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#21 Matthew Winn

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 05:17 AM

View PostEpicoene, on 08 April 2013 - 07:11 PM, said:

To paraphrase Stewart Lee: Everyone hated her. It was surprising she was elected. Three times.

Very surprising, considering that the UK doesn't elect its Prime Ministers. (Her constituents elected her as their own representative in parliament, but that can hardly be considered evidence of countrywide approval of the woman.)
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#22 Titan

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 05:34 AM

If the uk hated her so much and what she was doing they could have voted the conservatives out of power. The problem is labour left the country on its knees at the end of the 70s, much like they have done this time. Then she came in and did manage to fix much of it (anyone who doesnt bow down to unions is doing something right in my book). But, like now voters are left with little choice, labour screwed up big time so only option is conservative. Except this time we have a wet government who is too afraid of offending anyone  so they just dont make any tough choices

#23 Backdrifter

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 09:19 AM

It is interesting that the British complain about PMs who adopt a dictatorial style and are accused of running presidential-style governments. The two most recent PMs to be regularly labelled as such were Thatcher and Blair. Who each got voted in three times (or at least, twice after they'd established themselves).

We also complain about being 'nannied'. But I think as a nation we actually want to be told what to do. And we clearly like dictatorial PMs, no matter what we might say. Bill Clinton said "People would rather have a leader who is strong and wrong than weak and right."

It's also interesting, as touched on above, that Thatcher issued a warning of the potential dangers of human-induced climate change, in her speech to the Royal Society in September 1988, ironically a kind of viewpoint now vociferously derided and dismissed by many who in most other ways would be Thatcherites. Yet at the same time, this chemistry graduate and her administration were putting the squeeze on science funding and causing a science brain-drain.

Many of my formative years were under her tenure and I disliked it, her, and her politics. But no doubt she is fascinating - a very contradictory phenomenon. People think of the radical left marginalising themselves at the peak of her reign, and associate 80s radicalism with "loony" lefties etc. But she was the last genuinely radical PM we had - there was radicalism in the 80s but it largely came from the right.

She's seen as a strong uncompromising person which she no doubt was, someone above referred to her as having 'balls'. Yet e.g. her handling of the Lockerbie tragedy was appalling, rolling over for Bush Snr and playing down the very obvious Iranian connection at his request in order to not jeopardise some negotiations, gagging her own ministers in the process and refusing to meet the victims' families, and ultimately laying the ground for an immense miscarriage of justice. She even excised it, the worst UK terrorist atrocity and it occurred during her tenure, from her 900+ page autobiography. But maybe that kind of vile behaviour in itself requires 'balls'.

Culturally - bringing it back to theatre - people talk about her cutting a swathe through arts funding though others dispute this (though aren't those cuts the reason Peter Hall made his "coffee table speech"?). She did seem to epitomise an attitude I've encountered many times, of "what's the point of the arts anyway". It's also pointed out that the antipathy to her policies led to much creative activity, though I'm not sure about that, there was some but as much as people claim?

Someone on Twitter yesterday said they owe their existence to her; her parents met during the poll tax riots.
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#24 armadillo

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 10:01 AM

Her great contribution to the theatre was to ride into Romford on a giant lobster in Market Boy.Which divided these boards as much as she did.

#25 Epicoene

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 01:09 PM

View PostMatthew Winn, on 09 April 2013 - 05:17 AM, said:

Very surprising, considering that the UK doesn't elect its Prime Ministers. (Her constituents elected her as their own representative in parliament, but that can hardly be considered evidence of countrywide approval of the woman.)

Oh that is mere internet pedantry (and wishful thinking), in a general election the party leader determines to a large extent how a significant part of the electorate vote; looking at it the opposite way would you seriously claim that poor old Michael Foot shambling around in his donkey jacket had no influence at all on voters preferring to not vote Labour ? The Conservatives increased their vote in her 2nd and 3rd elections which looks like approval to me.

On Peter Hall mentioned above, a famous passage in his Diaries refers to the fact he voted for Thatcher himself because of the union-inspired chaos at NT which had closed the place down.

Leaving aside the environmental arguments, it is a good thing that generations of teenagers have not had to go and work down the mines, it is a rotten and dangerous industry and we are better off without it (I had relatives in the industry, incidentally).

#26 Epicoene

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 01:12 PM

View Postarmadillo, on 09 April 2013 - 10:01 AM, said:

Her great contribution to the theatre was to ride into Romford on a giant lobster in Market Boy.Which divided these boards as much as she did.

By reputation she was notably narrow-minded and philistine when it came to the arts. I recall an interview where she said her favourite TV show was "Yes Minister" which was just about the most depressing thing I had heard.

#27 armadillo

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 01:29 PM

View PostEpicoene, on 09 April 2013 - 01:12 PM, said:

By reputation she was notably narrow-minded and philistine when it came to the arts. I recall an interview where she said her favourite TV show was "Yes Minister" which was just about the most depressing thing I had heard.
  Paul Eddington discusses in his autobiography how reluctant he was to get involved with this but I suppose it was for charidee...



#28 Tettekete

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 01:40 PM

All I can say is that no matter how much she screwed up, and no matter if you dislike her or not, celebrating her death is disgusting.
Seen (theatre): Wicked (Scheveningen, The Netherlands x6), Wicked (London x 19), We Will Rock You (London x3), Les Miserables (London x 1), The Phantom of the Opera (London x1), Rock of Ages (London x 1), Romeo et Juliette (Takarazuka Revue, Japan x 5), Studio54 (Takarazuka Revue, Japan, x1), For Whom The Bell Tolls (Takarazuka Revue, Japan, x1), Nova Bossa Nova/Meguriai wa Futatabi (Takarazuka Revue, Japan, x2), Nijinsky (Takarazuka Revue, Japan, x3), 9 to 5: The Musical (UK Tour, Sunderland x1), RENT in Concert (Newcastle x1), Singin' In The Rain (UK Tour, Sunderland x 1)

Seen (concerts, etc): Willemijn Verkaik "As I Am" solo concert at the AFAS Circustheater (2012), West End Eurovision 2013, Rachel Tucker at the St James Theatre studio, Scott Alan at the O2, Andrew Lippa at the St James Theatre

#29 Epicoene

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 01:57 PM

View PostTettekete, on 09 April 2013 - 01:40 PM, said:

All I can say is that no matter how much she screwed up, and no matter if you dislike her or not, celebrating her death is disgusting.

You assume she screwed up. In many areas she plainly didn't. What is amusing is that many of those celebrating weren't born when she was in power and they are just parroting orthodox chattering class opinion while under the delusion they are rebels.

#30 Lynette

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 02:12 PM

'Narrow minded and philistine' eh? Hmmmm I wonder how much of the 'arts' our current gov ministers experience? I saw Tony Blair at Oklahomo with his family back when. S'pose that's ok then.




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