Chi speaks for Newcastle’s experience of Baroness Thatcher’s legacy

Chi said yesterday that she did not want to intrude on personal grief but to put Newcastle’s viewpoint in what had become a public debate on Baroness Thatcher’s legacy.

Chi speaking in the House of Commons

Speaking in Parliament, Chi said:

“[Her] most meaningful legacy in the north-east is the unemployment across the region.

“…contrast the huge bail-out that a Labour Government offered the financial services sector to protect jobs and investment with the brutal, bone-crushing and soul-destroying destruction that Margaret Thatcher’s Government offered the shipbuilding, steel and mining industries, losing those very skills which we now need so very much.

“Change was necessary, but it is the Government’s job to protect communities from the impact of change. That change could have been managed; there could have been a transition and that could have been invested in.”

Chi noted the North East private sector success story of Nissan that has been enabled by the support and investment of central Government, local authorities and unions.

The speech is available in Hansard, and has received international coverage.

One thought on “Chi speaks for Newcastle’s experience of Baroness Thatcher’s legacy

  1. Bramley Murton

    Your speech was a true reflection of many of your constituents’ experience of PM Thacher’s policies.

    If i may add:

    Although we love the idea that a world-class leader is to be ‘strong’ ‘determined’ ‘idealogical’ ‘forthright’ and ‘singular’, the reality is that prime minister Thatcher was a bully, that did not listen to or recognise better advise from cleverer people; was economically incompetent; and whose policies have directly led to the destruction of the UK economy and fragmentation of UK society. R

    I can’t help but remember Thatcher was the one that said: “we do not need a manufacturing industry, we just need a service economy”, and “there is no such thing as society, just individuals”.

    It was North Sea oil and gas revenues that saved the UK economy and initiated the boom years after the bust of the early 1980’s, not Thatcherite policy. But even IDS forgets that; in his recent debunking of a geology student’s skills as ‘less useful than shelf stacking’. It was Thatcher’s lack of economic intelligence that, despite public warnings, embarked on policies that led to an over-valued petro-currency pound stirling that in turn led to increasingly uncompetative export conditions for UK products, the collapse of UK manufacturing industry and the loss of so many jobs, skills and communities. Just ask the German’s if they thought there was a future in manufacturing? And now, belatedly, the political classes of the South are realising that manufacturing industry isn’t all about dull men digging holes or bashing lumps of metal: its about high-tech design, aeronautics and space technology, electronics and software, civil engineering, mineral and energy resources. Oh dear, How wrong was PM Thatcher to destroy those precursor industries that took generations of learned skills to build. How ignorent.

    The ‘little-England’ obsession for home ownership was another of Thatcher’s catastrophic policy failures. Combined with deregulation of the mortgage finance industry, we have seen an explosion in house prices, a nation of personal debit, a reduction of families to virtual slavery to serve unassailable mortgage debts, rampant homelessness and unaffordability for key-sector workers (these are the poor hard working classes that we barely glimpse in the small hours of the night cleaning, collecting garbage, fire fighting and patrolling the streets), and the ultimate collapse of the banking sector.

    And yes, lets look at that banking sector: where is the great Thatcherite ideal of taking responsibility for your actions? Across the western world we have seen the consequences of privatising profits yet nationalising debts. The great banking service sector, the thing that Thatcherism deregulated to the point of irresponsibility (in ignorance of the lessons learned after the 1930’s crash), the sector that has always been staunchly Conservative and returned so much wealth to the already wealthy, now languishes as a busted flush, surviving only because of the trillions of pounds GIVEN to them by public purse and the very society that Thatcher claimed didn’t exist. Nationalisation was only ever there to pick-up the mess after the ruiness crashes of private capital: the railways, power, water – and now the banks.

    Hypocrisy doesn’t come much fuller than that. So its a travesty to read or hear such a lack of informed debate about prime minister Thatcher’s legacy. Instead we find the media conflate personal political dogma with intelligence and mistake the economic fruits of technological advancement and education as the legacy of a successful economic policy.

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