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Thread: Disturbing Revelations About Margaret Thatcher

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    Disturbing Revelations About Margaret Thatcher


    "Jan 14, 2020 by Grunge

    Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher ruled Great Britain as prime minister from 1979 to 1990, a period in which she defined a generation. On the world stage, she was renowned, but if you look a little closer, you'll see that her career was filled with many disastrous choices.

    In the aftermath of World War II, the Labour government had a minor crisis on its hands. Huge portions of the British population were growing up undernourished, a fact that ongoing rationing really wasn't helping. So a solution was devised. From then on, every school age child would receive a free glass of milk every weekday. It was a cheap, popular policy. So popular, in fact, that when Margaret Thatcher canceled it in 1971, it caused an outcry.

    At the time, she was the education secretary in Ted Heath's Conservative government, which was trying to make huge savings to the budget. To trim back spending in her department, Thatcher ended the milk subsidies for all children over the age of seven. It made minor savings at best. Ending the subsidy was so unpopular that people would shout "Thatcher, milk snatcher!" when they saw her in the streets. Along with other cuts to the education budget, it so angered the sector that Oxford University refused to give Thatcher an honorary degree in 1985 while she was prime minister. The topic of milk also came up when Meryl Streep played the prime minister in the 2011 film The Iron Lady.

    Even today, mentioning the dreaded poll tax can send a shiver down Conservative MPs' spines. A 1989 change to local council tax rates swapped taxation on a property's rental value for taxation on the number of adults living there. But what really matters is that it generally drove down taxes for the rich, while hiking them up for everyone else. New taxes are an easy way to get your voters to turn on you. In Thatcher's case, they didn't just turn on her. They rioted.

    There were ominous rumblings even in the planning stages. Cabinet memos exist from the year before the tax was rolled out, advising that resistance was growing. Yet Thatcher not only plowed on, she publicly owned the policy. She forced it onto Scotland first in 1989, triggering mass civil disobedience. But rather than be deterred, she then imposed the new tax on England and Wales the following year. The results speak for themselves.

    In London, a mass protest devolved into the largest riot the capital had seen in 100 years. Across the country, people refused to pay. The tax was so destabilizing that Thatcher was begged to withdraw it. But she refused, so her party instead deposed her in a leadership contest, ending her premiership. The hated tax wasn't ended until John Major became prime minister in 1991.

    There are some sentences so absurd that it's impossible to parody them. Margaret Thatcher's comment to Augusto Pinochet in 1998 is one such example. In front of news cameras, the retired prime minister firmly told the former Chilean dictator,

    "It was you who brought democracy to Chile."

    Based on that statement, Thatcher's definition of the word "democracy" seemed to involve overthrowing the elected government in a coup, ruling as a military strongman for 18 years, and murdering over 3,000 dissidents while torturing 40,000 more. But then again, everything about Thatcher's relationship with Pinochet was unusual.

    Britain had previously suspended arms sales to Chile following Pinochet's 1973 coup, which saw thousands arrested and herded into makeshift torture centers. The moment that Thatcher came to power, she restarted the arms sales, apparently more impressed with Pinochet's anti-Communist credentials than his killing of civilians. When the ex-dictator was held in London on an international arrest warrant in 1998, she not only made speeches in support of freeing him, she also visited him to share glasses of scotch. The official line from Thatcher supporters is that she was grateful for Chile's clandestine help during the Falklands War. But that's hardly the most valid excuse, since that war took place years after arms sales were restarted.

    Keep watching the video to find out more disturbing revelations about Margaret Thatcher.

    #MargaretThatcher #GreatBritain

    Milk snatcher | 0:16
    Riot-triggering poll tax | 1:25
    Supporting a dictator | 2:38
    Mummy's favorite | 3:51
    Anti-feminist | 4:54
    Section 28 | 5:38
    Supporting perpetrators of genocide | 6:45
    Complicated history with apartheid | 7:37
    Trouble with the Troubles | 8:43
    Contaminated blood | 10:02"

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