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Saturday, 2 April 2016

Chip Off The Old Block

Who here remembers Thatcher?

Now I can't say as I do, but my parents do - distinctly. They lived through that era. They saw what it did to the country. My mother was lucky enough to have an office job, while my dad saw jobs literally vanish.

Now - who here remembers Cameron?

Just the other night I was thinking, and I started to see more and more similarities between the two of them. Or at least, between their respective terms as Prime Minister. Let's take a look at a couple.

Both of them were tough on Europe, or at least tried to be; "No, No, No," the iron lady was famed for saying in 1988, and - until recently - Cameron has touted a staunchly cynical angle (which he backs off from anytime UKIP become too popular).

They both had a habit of helping the wealthiest echelons of society, as well. Thatcher was a strong proponent of trickle-down policies - Reaganomics - that doubled the share of England's income for the top 1% of earners (7% to 14%), and the most recent round of tax breaks and economic legerdemain has helped the rich out a lot more than the poor in Cameron's government.

Wars; Syria and Falklands. Executed differently, approached differently, but equally distant. Equally draining and pointless to us, too. Posturing. Sabre-rattling. Like a reality TV star claiming they've slept with someone famous just to stay relevant in a world that doesn't need or want them.

Both of them studied at Oxford - Thatcher left with a bachelors in Chemistry, and Cameron with Philosophy, Politics and Economics (which was for some reason upgraded to a Masters for no apparent reason).

Their differences, however; they are interesting in and of themselves.

Cameron's only ever had one Chancellor, and that is George Osborne - a man with less economics education than your average twelve-year-old. (As a twelve-year-old I had precious little money of my own so I had to learn to save, a problem that Georgie Porgie has never had, probably.) Meanwhile, two of Thatcher's three Chancellors had educational backgrounds in economics, and one actually worked with money in the banking sector. That's right. John Major was boring because he knew a LOT about money.

Another key difference is that while we are reminded daily of the apparent threat of terrorism, it was Thatcher who was actually targetted by a terrorist attack. Five people died in the Brighton hotel bombing in 1984. Yet more laws are passed today than in 1984 curtailing people's freedoms in the name of fighting said terrorism than ever were under the hostilities of the IRA.

Where does this lead me, I hear you ask?

Both of them sold out our industry.

We all know the old story of the miner's strike. It was cheaper for Thatcher to import German coal than it was for us to produce it ourselves, so - rather than bite the bullet and do right by the workers of the country - things went due south, very fast. So while the financial sector was enjoying something of a boom, your average person was seeing their real earnings vanish - if they had a job at all.

Right now the same thing is happening with our steel. It's easier and cheaper to let it go, and to let the workers bear the brunt, in an economy whose growth is a fart in the breeze. Even despite the increase in minimum wage, even despite the reduction in taxes for most - the cost of living is on the increase, and isn't getting any better.

What does this mean? Probably that it's still going to get worse before it gets better, people. If Cameron's little mob intends on following in the Iron Lady's foosteps, then it's us lower ninety per cent of earners that are going to suffer the most. Some folks just never learned the lessons from the past, and unfortunately, those folks are currently dictating economic policy.

Bet you won't vote for this same shower of bastards NEXT time.

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