The new Tory-Lib Dem coalition government claims to be heralding in a 'new politics'. But a large layer of workers throughout Britain have recoiled in horror at the prospect of a Tory-dominated government, because of the vivid memories of the devastation caused in the years when Margaret Thatcher was prime minister. Here Robin Clapp, south west Socialist Party secretary, assesses Thatcher's legacy.
She stood in Downing Street after her first election victory in May 1979 and spoke the soothing words of St. 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. Where there is despair, may we bring hope."
Nine years later, after a ferocious assault upon the living standards and democratic rights of the working class, the mask of healer had slipped revealing the real face ofMargaret Thatcher. Once again she sought religious guidance, but this time the words came from St Paul: "If a man will not work he shall not eat."
Thatcher's reign was a nightmare for workers. Even before she became leader of the Tory Party in 1975 she earned the title 'milk snatcher' for withdrawing free school milk from school students when she was minister for education....
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