Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, that was her name. She was also known as the Iron Lady of Great Britain. She led her nation into the era of free market liberalism, she destroyed the last remnants of social democracy and privatized many state owned industries. A famous victim of Thatcher was the British Railways. Although privatized after she left office, the plans were made before that. The British Railways were the pride of Great Britain. But under the new rules of neoliberalism this public owned system had to go. Today there are more train companies then meets the eyes. The prices for tickets have not dropped as Thatcher claimed they would. Instead the new owners made sure that they got wealthy and rich, at the expense of workers and ordinary people!
Thatcher became a member of the British house of lords in 1959. Like many conservatives she hated high taxes for the rich and the social market economy that was build in the 50's. During the congress of the Conservative Party in 1966, she said that the Labour Party was turning towards socialism and communism. This was welcomed by the anticommunist conservatives who loved to portray the social democrats as radical leftists!
In the 70's she became the leader of the opposition against social democratic rule in Britain. She attacked the Labour Party on their bureaucratic way of handling the government. According to her the British state should not intervene in the economy. Thatcher opposed the welfare state and the classic social democratic ideals of mix between state rule and market rule. She only wanted market rule and very limited government!
As a conservative she was very anticommunist. Thatcher attacked the Soviet-Union many times. One of her famous quotes on the USSR were; The Russians are bent on world dominance, and they are rapidly acquiring the means to become the most powerful imperial nation the world has seen. The men in the Soviet Politburo do not have to worry about the ebb and flow of public opinion. They put guns before butter, while we put just about everything before guns''
As the Labour government was trapped between their working class basis and the international capitalist class, the conservatives saw a window of opportunity. Thatcher claimed that Labour was not working to improve the lives of workers and their families. She got her victory as the Labour Party could not choose between workers and capitalists. This led to a motion of no confidence and the end for the social democratic government of James Callaghan!
With a strong anti-socialist agenda and a weak Labour Party, Thatcher was able to win the 1979 elections. She became the first female prime minister of the British Empire on 4 may 1979. She based her monetary politics on the principals of Milton Friedman, an American economist and supporter of classic capitalism. According to Milton Friedman, the free market economy is the only economy that would grant freedom to people. Just another lie spread by the American imperialist camp. Milton Friedman claimed that collective control over the economy was anti-democratic and that capitalist rule was true freedom ( only for those who owned it in reality )!
It is not strange that Margaret Thatcher was supported by the conservatives of the American Republican Party. In the USA, Ronald Reagan became president and a very good friend of the Iron Lady. Both he and she saw themselves as defenders of ''freedom'' and ''democracy'' against the waves of international communism led by the Soviet-Union. For both Reagan and Thatcher even social democracy was a dangerous ideology.
The capitalist class in Great Britain was very happy with Thatcher. She did managed to end the crisis that plagued the island ever since the 70's. But this came at a huge cost, more then 3 million workers lost their jobs. The British trade unions were not happy with her right-wing politics. So they started many strikes to bring down the government!
While some politicians would fear strikes, the Iron Lady was not afraid She attacked the Trade Unions for ''harming'' democracy and the economy. But because the Labour Party was not offering a genuine socialist alternative, many British workers still choose to vote conservative. Only 39% of all union members voted for the Labour Party during the 1983 general elections. Because of her charisma, the support from the majority of the media and her little war with Argentine over the Falklands, gave her another four years as prime minister of Great Britain!
The war with the Republic of Argentine was a reason for Thatchers victory over the social democrats. This war started when Argentinian forces attacked the British owned Falklands Islands. The military junta in Argentina wanted to show how powerful they still were. In reality the junta was losing power and support. The attack on the Falklands was a desperate act. Had Margaret Thatcher waited a few months then the military junta would have collapsed as it did. Not because of its defeat at the Falklands but because it was already collapsing in 1982. The Falklands War costed Great Britain about two billion pounds and the death of 258 soldiers and sailors!
Although Thatcher and Reagan claimed to be fighting for human rights, in reality they supported any enemy of the USSR. Dictatorial anticommunist states like South Korea and Indonesia were supported, but the most brutal dictator Margaret Thatcher supported, was not an anticommunist. During the fall of South Vietnam in 1975, the Red Khmer took power in Cambodia. They created ''Democratic'' Kampuchea. A people's agrarian republic based on Maoism with Khmer nationalism. Leader of ''Democratic'' Kampuchea was Saloth Sar, most people knew him by his revolutionary name: POL POT!
Pol Pot's brutal dictatorship killed 1,3 million people between 1975 and 1979. By then the Vietnamese had enough of the Cambodians attacking their borders. Pol Pot hated the Vietnamese and wanted to conquer Vietnam to build a great Khmer Empire. His Red Khmer attacked Vietnamese villages and killed thousands. The Stalinist ''Socialist'' Republic of Vietnam choose to eliminate Pol Pot and attacked ''Democratic'' Kampuchea on 20 December 1978!
Soon the capital of Cambodia was liberated by the Vietnamese troops. What they found was a drama. 1,3 million people death, a nation lost 1/3 of its population. Pol Pot forbid the use of western medicine, so more people died from easy heal-able diseases. The Red Khmer regrouped in the jungle, but they needed money. Mao Zedong died in 1976 and the new Chinese leadership led by Deng Xiaoping were turning China away from Maoism. So he needed new allies. He found them in his anti-Vietnamese attitude. Both the USA and Great Britain hated the North Vietnamese victory over South Vietnam in April 1975!
Margaret Thatcher's conservative government supported the Red Khmer and did not recognized the People's Republic of Kampuchea, founded by the pro-Vietnamese Cambodians. Instead the British and Americans supported Pol Pot and did not allow the flag of the People's Republic of Kampuchea to fly at the UN headquarters. The flag of Pol Pot remained at the UN headquarters until 1993, all because Ronald Reagan and the Iron Lady hated the ''Socialist'' Republic of Vietnam!
On European collaboration, Thatcher wanted a centralized European Union. But not a Europe for the people, no she wanted a trade free Europe. A Europe that would serve British capitalism good. She and her free market lovers got what they wanted. The European Union was indeed formed as a single market union and a semi political confederation. She also did not wanted to end trade relations with the racist South African government. The white leader of South Africa was called a friend and the ANC of Nelson Mandela she called a ''bunch of terrorists''. Many conservatives hated the ANC for their revolutionary leftist stand against apartheid and racism!
Like her friend Ronald Reagan she liked the new reformist Soviet leader; Micheal Gorbachev. A man who could bring change to the USSR, she knew. Also Gorbachev wanted Chinese style capitalism in the Soviet-Union. Since the People's Republic of China did a great job of allowing British capitalists to use cheap Chinese workers, the Iron Lady knew that the Soviet-Union could also be a place for British capitalists to do business. It must have felt ironic for her. Two ''communist'' nations adapting capitalism, she must have loved it!
Thatcher did not liked a united Germany. She feared a united Germany could choose side with the USSR against the western world. But as soon as her conservative allies in East Germany won the elections, she knew that a united Germany would be a capitalist Germany. Thatcher was praised by many capitalist leaders in Eastern Europe, after the collapse of stalinism. But as the Berlin Wall came down so did her own rule in Great Britain!
By 1989 she was not as popular any-more. The Conservative Party was in need of new leadership. After she lost the support of her last original cabinet minister, it seemed her time was up. Thatcher however did not wanted to surrender and planned to put up a fight. Michael Heseltine was her opponent for the leadership in the Conservative Party. Although she won the first round, Heseltine had enough support for a second round. She wanted to fight him, but her cabinet said that her time was over. The Iron Lady felt betrayed by her conservative friends and left her office in tears!
The Conservative Party won the elections of 1992 and the new conservative government made sure that many of Thatcher's privatizations were put into action. Like the privatization of the British Railways. But even after she left office, the Iron Lady was not gone. In 1998 she wanted Spain to release former dictator Pinochet of Chile. The pro-capitalist dictator of Chile ruled his nation with support from Thatcher. Also she wanted Saddam Hussein gone, the Iraqi dictator who stood against British oil imperialism in the 90's!
When American imperialism attacked Iraq she supported it. Again she claimed that it was all in the name of ''democracy'' and ''human-rights''. But today after 10 years, the Republic of Iraq has become a corrupt and failed state, with no genuine democracy or human-rights. But at least the oil is in the hands of western capitalists. The Iraqi economy has been privatized, just like she wanted it to be!
Her last years were of poor health. The Iron Lady did not appeared in public in her last years. She died on 8 April 2013 as a result of a heart attack, the enemy of socialism and workers became 87 years old!