Thatcherism

“Go back, you flower people, back where you came from, wash your hair, get dressed properly, get to work on time and stop all this whingeing and moaning.”

Would back home be San Francsico?

Thatcher loathed Beetlemania and the worship of gurus in India – even though the mop-tops became the wealthiest folks in Britain. Hmmmmmm! What a witch!

“Help, I’m melting!”

Thatcher and Rothschild’s Bankers did not like the sight of long-hairs climbing fences to nuclear plants because it taxed the conscious of wealthy investors.

“What if these filthy rebels blow my plant?”

Billions has been spent by think tank cronies and Madison Ave Dudes to demonize Hippie. I am Hippie! If we had a credible forum, then we would have been listened to when I warned folks about Loan Sharks in my own family. Sure Thatcher toadies got rid of me. But, they got rid of the fortunes of millions in regards to the Mortgage Meltdown.
What a deal! Are you suckers for Jesus – happy now?

Catholic leaders are claiming my President is conducting a war on religion. So is Thatcher’s man, Maggot Newt!

I told you!

Jon Presco

Thatcherite morality

Thatcherism is associated with a conservative stance on morality.[citation needed] The sociologist and founder of the New Left Review, Stuart Hall, for example, argued that Thatcherism should be viewed as an ideological project promoting “authoritarian populism”, since it is known for its reverence of “Victorian values”.[citation needed] David Marquand expressed the “authoritarian populist” sentiment in 1970s Britain that Thatcherism supposedly exploited: “Go back, you flower people, back where you came from, wash your hair, get dressed properly, get to work on time and stop all this whingeing and moaning.”[24][non-primary source needed] Norman Tebbit, a close ally of Thatcher, laid out in a 1985 lecture what he thought to be the permissive society that conservatives should oppose:[relevant? – discuss]

Bad art was as good as good art. Grammar and spelling were no longer important. To be clean was no better than to be filthy. Good manners were no better than bad. Family life was derided as a outdated bourgeois concept. Criminals deserved as much sympathy as their victims. Many homes and classrooms became disorderly – if there was neither right nor wrong there could be no bases for punishment or reward. Violence and soft pornography became accepted in the media. Thus was sown the wind; and we are now reaping the whirlwind.[25]
Examples of this conservative morality in practice include the video nasties scare, where, in reaction to a moral panic over the availability of a number of provocatively named horror films on video cassette, Thatcher introduced state regulation of the British video market for the first time.

Thatcher is generally characterised as having being opposed to gay rights.[citation needed] At the 1987 Conservative Conference, she said “Children… are being taught that they have an inalienable right to be gay”.[26]

[edit] Sermon on the MoundMain article: Sermon on the Mound
In May 1988 Thatcher gave an address to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. In the address, Thatcher offered a theological justification for her ideas on capitalism and the market economy. She claimed “Christianity is about spiritual redemption, not social reform” and she quoted St Paul by saying “If a man will not work he shall not eat”. ‘Choice’ played a significant part in Thatcherite reforms and Thatcher claimed choice was also Christian by stating that Christ chose to lay down his life and that all individuals have the God-given right to choose between good and evil.

[edit] EuropeTowards the end of the 1980s Margaret Thatcher, and so Thatcherism, became increasingly vocal in its opposition to allowing the European Union to supersede British sovereignty. In her famous 1988 Bruges speech, Thatcher declared that “We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them reimposed at a European level, with a European superstate exercising a new dominance from Brussels”.

While euro-scepticism has for many become a characteristic of “Thatcherism”, Margaret Thatcher was far from consistent on the issue, only becoming truly Eurosceptic in the last years of her time as Prime Minister. Thatcher supported Britain’s entry into the European Economic Community in 1973, campaigned for a yes vote in the 1975 referendum[27] and signed the Single European Act in 1986.[28]

Throughout the 1980s Margaret Thatcher dominated British and global politics. At the same time she maintained an active Christian faith, which she understood as shaping and informing her political choices and policies. In this article I argue that we can construct from Thatcher’s key speeches, her memoirs, and her book on public policy a cultural “theo-political” identity which guided her political decisions. Thatcher’s identity was as an Anglo-Saxon Nonconformist. This consisted of her belief in values such as thrift and hard work, care for the family and local neighbor, and charitable generosity; her belief in the renewal of the national British Christian spirit; and her notion of morality as the opportunity for free choice. Without a recognition of the centrality of her theo-political identity, it is difficult to understand the values and beliefs which were central to her political life. The methodological issues raised by the construction of this theo-political identity are examined in this article. The aim of the proposed methodology is to develop theological insights into a political phenomenon like Thatcher rather than make policy judgments or recommendations.

I believe strongly that politicians must see that religious education has a proper place in the school curriculum. In Scotland, as in England, there is an historic connection expressed in our laws between Church and State. The two connections are of a somewhat different kind, but the arrangements in both countries are designed to give symbolic expression to the same crucial truth: that the Christian religion – which, of course, embodies many of the great spiritual and moral truths of Judaism – is a fundamental part of our national heritage. And I believe it is the wish of the overwhelming majority of people that this heritage should be preserved and fostered. For centuries it has been our very life blood. And indeed we are a nation whose ideals are founded on the Bible.

To dispel any notion that Margaret Thatcher was simply exploiting Christianity for electoral purposes, it is possible to trace this golden thread of Christianity in speeches she made prior even to becoming Leader of the Opposition: there is a distinct and consistent Nonconformist leitmotif running through all of her political writings. Her government essentially constituted an applied theology; it was, she said, ‘engaged in the massive task of restoring confidence and stability to our people’ because ‘unless the spirit of the nation which has hitherto sustained us is renewed, our national life will perish’. She reintroduced into British politics a missionary mood that reflected her provincial and Methodist origins. And the ‘spirit’ of which she spoke was unequivocally and uncompromisingly Christian. She said: ‘I find it difficult to imagine that anything other than Christianity is likely to resupply most people in the West with the virtues necessary to remoralize society in the very practical ways which the solution of many present problems require’. Of which it was observed:
Thatcher comes as close as she can to identifying Christianity and Conservatism. One can speculate that for Thatcher any distinction between Christianity and Conservatism is a technical theological distinction, and that the values and principles associated with the two sets of beliefs were normally, temporally, indistinguishable. She comes very close to this position in her volume Statecraft when she argues that certain cultures are “more conducive to free-enterprise capitalism and thus to economic progress than others”. She had in mind the “Judaeo-Christian tradition” as opposed to what she calls the “great Asian religious traditions” and the “religious traditions of Africa”. It is not necessary to agree with this analysis – and there are many problems with it – to recognize that for Thatcher a spiritual renewal meant essentially a Christian cultural renewal, not to fill the churches, but to ensure economic growth and prosperity.
Perhaps no prime minister since Gladstone could have risked telling a journalist that (s)he was ‘in politics because of the conflict between good and evil’, with the conviction ‘that in the end good will triumph’.

But it is not her policies which will save her from Hell. It is not her programme of government, her achievements or her world renown.

Her Christianity was grounded in the Protestant Nonconformity of devout and evangelical Methodism: her conservatism was Tory in its Burkean deference to the great institutions of state but thoroughly Whiggish and libertarian after Mill in its iconoclastic challenge to the big agencies of state; in her emphasis on the ‘work ethic’ kind of Protestantism, and her patriotic belief in the national British Christian spirit and her notion of morality as the opportunity for free choice. She had what some identified as a ‘puritan streak’, espousing the values of the English suburban and provincial middle-class and aspiring skilled working-class. These contrasted with the values of the establishment élite of the Church of England, landowners, university academics, the Foreign Office and the professions.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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