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No such

thing as
society

Against Thatcherism
1) Social Thatcherism
2) Moral Thatcherism
3) Cultural Thatcherism
4) Thatcherite Nationalism
5) Update ; Thatcherism in 2009
1) Social Thatcherism
Thatcher said “there is no such thing as society”. By the time she had finished, she had more or
less brought this about. Thatcherism was characterised by a despicable anti-social amorality which
degraded the quality of life for the whole country, and from which we are still suffering. In fact the
damage was so severe and became so ingrained, that two whole generations who were formed by it
and participated in it, can possibly never be recuperated. This led to the necessary invention of
ASBO’s which should have been given first to all the Thatcherites.
Public services and public property and social attitudes which had been built up and constructed
over generations, even over centuries, were dismantled and ripped to shreds. It created a society of
(for some) private affluence, and for everybody, public squalor. The rich got richer, the poor got
poorer. Homeless beggars filled the streets of the cities, making our streets look like something
from the third world. They lay in their dirty blankets outside expensive restaurants, the diners and
the beggars the thickness of a pane of glass away from each other – but an unbridgeable space
between the two worlds. The message was as clear as a punch in the face : ‘F*** The Poor’.
.
The Crimes of Social Thatcherism
Some of the crimes of destruction of public services have never been fully and widely pinned
onto Thatcherism : they need to be. The degradation of the NHS, (almost certainly the best in
Europe before Thatcherism) ; the dirty and infected hospital wards ; the virtual abolition of NHS
dentistry (never since restored by the Labour Government) ; the virtual destruction of what was
probably the best public transport system in Europe, which was transformed into the worst, into one
of third world standard, with filthy carriages and standards of track maintenance which were
murderously dangerous ; the reduction in police numbers leading to a partial breakdown in law and
order ; deregulations that led to the BSE outbreak and the cynical shamelessness that followed it ;
the contemptuous and insulting downgrading and underpayment of teachers in public education ;
the closure and selling-off (for private profit) of public libraries, youth clubs, playing fields, parks
and public toilets ; the London tube system under-invested in to the point of collapse ; and more,
much much more.
The enormous social inequality that Thatcherism created, (since consolidated by New Labour),
has given rise to a host of social problems : a rising prison population, psychological illnesses,
teenage pregnancies etc etc.
Thatcherism spread dirt everywhere : dirty hospitals, dirty trains, dirty tricks.

2) Moral Thatcherism
All these things were the end product of the Thatcherite attitude of selfishness, greed, nastiness and
crass materialism. They claimed to despise – in one of their favourite sayings – ‘Throwing money at a
problem’. Of course they thought it far more praiseworthy to throw that money into their own bank
accounts. It was a spiv culture, coming not from the traditional upper-class hypocritical Etonian
‘gentlemanly conduct’, but from the worst aspects of lower-middle class and London working class spiv
culture. Its participants were, and are, nothing more than spivs, thieves, crooks, liars and sleazy conmen.
It specialised in rudeness, coarseness and crassness, in sheer nastiness, in ugliness, in brazen
shamelessness (especially when they were caught with their hands in the till), in mean-spiritedness, in a
total lack of generosity or compassion, in cynicism.
Thatcherism can be summed up as ‘Me First’, ‘F*** You-ism’, or ‘Grab what you can and F***
everybody else’. It created the culture which still exists of middle class and lower-middle class yuppies
and working class yobs, each as disgusting as each other.

Thatcherite hypocrisy
Thatcher’s code of ‘Victorian Values’, was full of hypocrisy. While the Victorians created public
facilities of all kinds, Thatcherism destroyed as much of it as they could get away with. After one
election victory the hard-faced bitch appeared at the door of 10 Downing Street, grotesquely, in the role
of St Francis of Asissi, promising to ‘bring harmony’ !!! All the while, nobody was doing more than her
to set everybody at everybody else’s throats. All the ‘F*** You-ism’ was wrapped up in hypocrisy and
lies until it tore itself to shreds in the moral collapse of later Thatcherism.
The moral collapse
Inevitably this culture of spivs, thieves, liars, crooks, and yobs lead to a general moral collapse in
society, which Thatcherism with typical shamelessness, has never accepted any of the blame for. A
collapse into selfishness and greed. Money was made into the only god. The Tory press editors were
crudely and shamelessly bribed with honours ; the working class were bribed with ownership of
publicly-owned council houses. On all sides the Thatcherites appealed to the lowest possible instincts.
Everyone who didn’t get down to the Thatcherite gutter level was crudely sneered at for being ‘a loser’.
Bus passengers over 30 were sneered at for being ‘;losers’. Teachers were sneered at by Tory ministers
for ‘calling themselves professionals’. And this by a gang of shameless cynical spivs.

The Uncivilised Right


In France two kinds of Right wing are distinguished : the ordinary Right and the National Front Le Pen
Right who are called the ‘Uncivilised Right’. Thatcherism is the second kind. Everywhere, on all sides,
starting with Thatcher’s rudely-interrupting style of answering interviewers’ questions, (an interrupting
which has since become the norm in public media discourse), it encouraged rudeness and coarseness,
and destroyed civilised behaviour, politeness and consideration. It promoted crude and nasty attitudes
which became ingrained in society, and which have lasted to this day.
I’ve got a ‘little list’ too, actually quite a long one, of the leading participants in Thatcherism who
make a specially revolting collection of unsavoury, slimy, nasty pieces of work :
‘Lord’ Archer, the trouser thief, serial conman and liar ; the hypocrite Aitken ; Hamilton with his hands
in the till and still shameless, ; Tebbit the bigot ; Currie the opportunist ; Gorman the loud-mouthed
money-flaunter ; Redwood the cold calculating machine ; and their crew of media propagandists :
Littlejohn the swaggering loud-mouthed xenophobe and hypocrite ; Kelvin Mackenzie, ditto ; Davidson,
the ‘comic’, the smarmy on-the-make spiv.
And now there are a new gang of replacements, such as the nasty vicious Liam Fox, the moronic loud-
mouthed bigot John Gaunt and his nauseating cronies on The Sun, Melanie Phillips,etc etc etc
Thatcher’s own children are representative : one a dodgy arms dealer who has been in trouble with the
law ; the other a xenophobic bigot : the “half-golliwog frog “ remark.
3) Cultural Thatcherism
Popular Culture
Although some of the worst aspects of political Thatcherism have at last been defeated, we are still in
the pool of filth it has left behind. This is The Sun / Daily Mail brand of Cultural Thatcherism. It’s
everywhere, coming mainly from the media, from the ‘respectable’ middle class media to the nauseating
Sun and Mail, and increasing areas of ‘tabloid TV’. Thatcherism was and is characterised by a
combination of the worst aspects of extreme right-wing Conservatism with the worst aspects of London
lower-middle class and working class Alf Garnet culture. It’s Alf Garnet (or his contemporary version
John Gaunt) alive and living. Crucially, it has been impossible for the Left to acknowledge this. The
form Thatcherism has taken among some parts of the young male working class is yob culture. This yob
culture has only now been partly tackled by by ASBO’s. Its mouthpiece is The Sun, which exemplifies
it, while hypocritically claiming to deplore it, and the tabloid press and tabloid TV in general, which also
sets the cultural agenda for the whole media and huge parts of the whole culture, dumming everything
down, and spreading crassness and coarseness.
The agenda of The Sun and the tabloid press in general, which has since spread to TV, is a pathetic,
disgusting and degrading mixture of adolescent prurience drenched in hypocrisy, soft porn, swearing,
crass bigotry, nasty nationalism and xenophobia. It has affected everything across the board, from
ordinary conversation to the atmosphere in the streets, to Radio 3 plays which are guaranteed (under the
guise of being ‘cutting edge’) to sound like something from The Sun, to the cultural attitudes of the
Guardian.
Yob behaviour is everywhere as we all know, disfiguring the streets, and making some working class
neighbourhoods dangerous. Its most blatant practitioners are sections of the young English holiday
makers, smashing and vomiting their way through Europe. This was described (by a Tory politician),
who of course accepted none of the blame for it, as ‘Vomit and Violence’.

Thatcherite Philistinism
On the level of ‘higher’ culture, Thatcherism is responsible for creating a cultural desert, and in the
process destroying the thriving popular culture of the 60’s and 70’s. It did this by turning everything
into a question of money, by commercialising the arts and entertainment, by for example taking all
quality control out of television. Instead of a living culture we were given a business-funded cultural
desert, set to the bland and empty tunes of Lloyd Webber, a perfect symbol for the cultural emptiness of
Thatcherism. Flashy advertising men like Saatchi became so-called arbiters of artistic taste. Vacuous
nonentities like The Spice Girls and all their later lookalike versions were hyped into a faked
significance. Free-for-all Thatcherite ‘Choice’ unleashed a flood of moronic talentless ‘celebrities’,
notable for nothing.
The universities were degraded by Thatcherite greed and money-worship into commercial businesses.

The Phony Intellectual Basis


The whole Thatcherite enterprise claimed to rest on an intellectual basis which was in reality as
phoney as Archer’s diary or Thatcher in the role of St Francis of Asissi. Flimsy and dodgy economic
theories (which have recently crumbled in an avalanche of greedy scams, cons and sharp practice) were
flogged to us like second-hand cars, and used as smokescreens for their selfishness and greed. We were
bombarded with the great Thatcherite buzzword ‘Choice’ (later adopted by New Labour), the freedom
to choose between one terrible public service and another slightly better one, between one load of
Thatcherite garbage and another load, while our real choices became more degraded and reduced every
day.
Actually the great Thatcherite ‘Choice’ was and is an enormous con. Quite the opposite of giving
people more choice, i.e. freedom, it forced everyone into the Thatcherite rat-race of greed, property-
acquisition and selfishness, whether they wanted to or not.
‘Freedom’ became the freedom to be even nastier, greedier and more selfish than the next person.
Occasionally hack philosophers like Scruton (Redwood mark 2) emerged from the woodwork to justify
this despicable rubbish and give it a gloss of rationality and reasonableness.
4) Thatcherite Nationalism
Thatcherism claimed to be patriotic, but in reality it should be described as English
nationalism. (That was one reason why Scotland and Wales opted out of it, with permanent
consequences.) As Orwell said (in ‘Notes on Nationalism’), nationalism isn’t the same as
patriotism. Nationalism is essentially aggressive, objectionable and unsavoury as Thatcherism
was and is. Patriotism can be generous and natural, as Thatcherism wasn’t. Orwell also used the
phrase (in his essay ‘Boys’ Weeklies’) ‘gutter patriotism’, a phrase which perfectly describes
the attitude of Thatcherism and the gutter tabloid press. It’s an attitude deeply grounded in
xenophobia. It was memorably summed up in Thatcher’s crass pronouncement “everything bad
comes from Europe”. Thatcherite nationalism was exemplified in words by Portillo with his
SAS speech at the Tory conference, and also by his statement that “foreigners buy their degrees
from universities”. Crude and crass xenophobia ,usually an anti-European xenophobia, was and
is blatantly flaunted by The Sun and the rest of the tabloid gutter press on an almost daily basis,
from its ‘Up Yours Delors’ headline to its pathetic call for its readers to stand in protest in
Trafalgar Square and “smell the garlic”. How about the smell of shit that comes from The Sun
and the rest of the tabloid gutter press ?
Then there was Tebbit’s ‘cricket test’. Unfortunately this had the opposite effect from that
intended, at least for some people. It made some people resolutely determined not to be part of
any group that included the likes of Tebbit.

Imperialism without an Empire


What Thatcher really meant (though unconsciously) by her ‘Victorian values’ was that, if it
had been possible, she would have liked to re-establish the British Empire. That’s what she
behaved like. Her strutting aggressive nationalist attitude was, in reality, an expression of this.
And the very fact that the Empire didn’t actually exist points to another central element of
Thatcherism : it was all based on an illusion, an illusion of what England now really is. It
wanted, and still wants, to go forward to the past. And because that was and is impossible, it
was essentially frustrated, arrogant and spitefully bad-tempered in its attitude to other countries,
like a playground bully that doesn’t have anyone left to bully any more. The vanished Empire
had to be replaced as an object of domination by hectoring and hostile, or patronising, attitudes
towards Europe.
It should be noted and acknowledged that New Labour, although it has followed and even
consolidated most of Thatcherism, has at least been much less xenophobic in its attitudes to
other countries than Thatcherism.
5) Update : Thatcherism in 2009
Cultural Thatcherism
Unfortunately the culture is still dominated by the pathetic attitude of the Thatcherite tabloid press,
especially The Sun and The Mail with their moronic mixture of bigotry, cynicism, crass celebrity-worship,
character assassination, hypocritical prurience and anti-European xenophobia and nationalism. The Sun’s co-
called ‘political editor’, a suave-sounding promoter of bigotry, is regularly respectfully introduced on the BBC to
give his ‘opinion’ on current events. Why don’t they invite the editor of ‘Bums and Tits Weekly’ as well ? There
seems to be no end to the kowtowing of the broadcast media and New Labour to the lowlife cynicism and bigotry
of the tabloid press. In fact it’s no surprise that it has now penetrated Downing Street itself in the form of spin
doctors who had previously worked in the tabloid press and who have brought in their sordid bag of dirty tricks,
sleazy emails etc. All those responsible for Thatcherism still in respectable positions, both in the Tory party and
New Labour and the media should be given prison sentences for their crimes. Thatcherism still needs to be sent
back to the sewer where it belongs if there is to be a re-establishment of a civilised society.

Thatcherism in the Tory Party


Thatcherism has had some gloriously unintended triumphs, like the ongoing constitutional break-up of the UK.
But the best of all is the semi-destruction of the Tory Party, which has an identity crisis it can’t escape from :
whether to celebrate Thatcherism or to apologise for it. Led now by some of the leftover Thatcherites, and others
who claim to be more moderate and ‘caring’, (but who in fact contributed to it), the Tory Party poisoned
themselves with their ruthless selfishness, nastiness and cynicism, and are now trying to pretend it never happened.
For instance they blame Labour for dirty hospital wards, when everybody knows they created them themselves
with their privatised sub-contracting and under-funding. And it’s exactly the same across the whole range of public
services. Their policy in the last election was to improve public services, (yes, the ones they destroyed), by
reducing taxes…. A piece of impudent spivery that would be best fronted by ‘Lord’ Archer wearing a pair of his
stolen trousers.
Although Thatcherism is full of nasty loud f***- you aggression and triumphalism, it’s basically an expression
of a sad, narrow and pitiable view of the world, and is utterly pathetic.

Thatcherism and New Labour


As Thatcher said “ The creation of New Labour is my greatest achievement”. New Labour has been nothing
more than Thatcherism with a few soft edges. It has worshipped and encouraged the Thatcherite free market of
Finance Capitalism, of grotesque City profits and bonuses, spiralling house prices and collaboration with the super-
rich. It has, disgracefully, continued to semi-privatise some public services, the London Underground, the Post
Office, etc. The tactics have been all horribly reminiscent of the classic Thatcherite tactic of first running
something down financially until it’s under-performing, and then using that as an excuse for privatisation.
NHS dentistry, destroyed by Thatcherism, has not been re-instated – New Labour has preferred to collaborate in
paying millions to greedy bankers rather than fund NHS dentistry. The railways have not been re-nationalised, as
they could have been, and are now the most expensive (and probably the worst) in Europe.
It shamefully collaborated with George Bush’s imperialist invasion of Iraq for oil and money ; and also with
American torture flights. The Labour party will always have that blood on its hands.
An oppressive, insulting, meaningless and insane bureaucracy has been imposed right across the public sector,
making the work more difficult to do, presumably with the intention of giving some satisfaction to the accountancy
culture of New Labour.
The New Labour leadership still parrot the Thatcherite buzzword ‘Choice’. As many people have said, people
don’t want a choice of 57 varieties – they want their local school or hospital to be excellent – that’s enough. The
New Labour hierarchy still kowtows to the tabloid gutter press, instead of having the belief and the guts to take
them on. Ex-gutter press employees have infiltrated Downing Street, bringing with them their sordid sleazy cynical
culture.
In May, the whole public was shocked to find out that New Labour MP’s (as well as the rest), were up to their
ears in the culture of dishonest, unprincipled, property-dealing, shameless Thatcherite greed, and had done their
best to hide it. They were caught with their hands in the till, stealing from the public, and were afterwards
completely shameless about it.
Above all, in spite of its vast majorities, New Labour has NOT challenged or changed the cynical, greedy and
shameless ethos of Thatcherism. Most people are now increasingly convinced that they are in full agreement with it,
and have neither the intention nor the guts to change it.