TONY MULHEARN 47 The Socialist Perspective TONY MULHEARN 47 The Socialist Perspective TONY MULHEARN 47 The Socialist Perspective Tony Mulhearn is the blogger for this site, Historian – Writer – member Socialist Party – TUSC supporter – Liverpool 47 – Co-author with Peter Taaffe: Liverpool, the city that Dared to Fight. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, and Socialist activist. Contact Tony to have him speak to your organisation.
THATCHER’S LEGACY TWENTY-FIVE years ago a tearful Margaret Thatcher stood outside No. 10. She had been discarded by Tory MPs who saw her as a liability after her defeat by the Anti-Poll Tax Campaign. This was in sharp contrast to 1979 when, bloated with hubris after her election victory, she intoned the words of Francis of Assisi: “Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.” The comforting sentiments were shattered by years of assault on the living standards of working class people. Trade unions, city councils, particularly Liverpool, who stood up to her was regarded as ‘the enemy within’. Her brutal assault on the mining communities with an unconstitutional deployment of a national police force operating with impunity, reinforced by undercover army detachments, epitomised her rule. The gigantic confidence trick of the ‘trickle-down’ effect was used to justify the transfer of wealth from the working class to her rich friends. Energy, rail, water and gas are now privatised; many British rail companies are owned by foreign governments and the tax payer provides lavish subsidies to those still in private hands. She claimed to act for the individual; in reality she was the champion of power and privilege. This was graphically displayed by her worship of the monetarist, free-market ideology of Milton Friedman who advised the murderous dictatorship of Chile’s Pinochet. Her baleful legacy lives on with the current government busily enriching the already obscenely rich 1% at the expense of the 99%. If our trade union and Labour leaders displayed the same dedication to their class that she showed to hers then, like her, Thatcher’s heirs would be consigned to the dustbin of history.