Thatcher Cronies

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I’m All Right Jack came into my mind when I read BT, (July 29), and the comparison between running a small town in Derbyshire and one of the largest cities in the country is laughable.

I have written before about police being shipped in from down south to enforce Thatcher’s fight. All expenses paid plus overtime costing a fortune. Unfortunately SY Police bear the brunt of criticism.

Thatcher handbagged everyone she could to get her own way without any thought of the damage she was doing to ordinary working people. She downgraded PE in the school curriculum, selling off playing fields, not to replace social housing which she had sold off, but build large detached houses to make the maximum profit for developers. Home economics was lumped with modern technology as a choice subject. How we are still reaping the effect of this! Home economics was about, yes cooking, but so much more. Budgeting, dietary planning, shopping, parenting, running a home, etc. Now on the second/third generation so much work is having to be done to counteract the lack of education in this field.

Our excellent village primary school was full and we were horrified when the pupils were shared out to schools in a two mile radius filling their few empty places, splitting siblings and giving mums with more than one child a headache getting them to different schools on time. The school was sold in Manchester for a pittance and the site, including playing fields, has a development of about 30, mostly large detached, homes. This was not the council but government policy.

All the training schemes and apprenticeships, although some are now good, don’t hold a patch to the 5/7 year apprenticeships of old. These were cut in the Thatcher era by large companies and organisation - profit before people. Oh dear, the skilled workmen came up to retirement and we have a skills shortage! Well I never!

Her own cabinet turned on her eventually. Finally having the courage to stand up to a woman who thought she could dig away at the bottom of the pyramid without the top falling. No thought for the future effect of anything.

So Lady of Chesterfield, I don’t begrudge you your pension and I am pleased things have worked out for you. Just have some empathy with pensioners who have had to sell, or remortgage their homes because their pensions have disappeared through company or bank mismanagement.

Pension credits are paid to men and women who have also worked all their lives and the women have paid married women’s rate allowing their husbands to have a reduction in tax.

Until recently tax credits helped with mortgage interest but this has been cut for everyone. It’s ok though, Osbourne says, the struggling working families and poor pensioners may be entitled to help in 2017. Hmmmmmm. How many more broken people before then?

Mr Brown is well thought of and respected worldwide as a great economist. Pity he wasn’t given the chance to put things right during the world crisis. Cuts, yes, but not decimating the lives and services for so many people.

All in it together? I don’t think so.