Thatcherism not dead

Thatcher embodied the rise of a zombie form of capitalism, something that had arisen from its discredited death in the nineteenth century when the crashes and slumps of liberalism had to be replaced by various forms of social democracy and state intervention. Neoliberalism got its first outing in Chile with Thatcher’s pal Pinochet. Thatcher set about applying the return from the dead by breaking up the material industrial base of the independent nation of Britain and then having denuded our manufacturing capacity handed it over to the European Union to privatise our railways and utilities. It is unfinished business as far as the Tories are concerned now and what remains of the post war social democratic consensus, our public services, welfare systems and the NHS, is to be broken up and put to the market. Thatcher will be remembered as the Prime Minister who gave away our national sovereignty without a mandate. She did not break the unions – the unions are still six million strong and the clearest voice of opposition to the vandalism of the coalition.

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