annakey said:Dilfor said:annakey said:Dilfor said:I know many proper working people from the post war era who refused to touch their trade union with a barge pole. Thatcher didn't do for the unions - the unions did for the unions, when they ceased to truly represent their members, instead becoming a plaything of the politically motivated, thus losing the sympathy of the country as a whole, sick of being messed about by them. Thatcher wasn't just voted in by the cravat wearing classes.
A number of friends work for London underground, some as well paid drivers. They belong to what could reasonably be called a 1970s-style trade union, one of the few left in Britain. They're highly democratic - ballots coming out of their ears - have a general secretary, Bob Crow, who doesn't mince his words and won't take $hit from anyone, they're widely hated by the London media and London politicians, and will go on strike at the drop of a hat should their interests be threatened.
In other words, a bunch of people who haven't forgotten how to look after their mates, stick together, give some upstart little Hitler manager a bloody nose should they find his hand in their pocket. That's how the British white working class used to be. It's pathetic they took Thatcher's shilling, sold out their mates, bought their council houses, and now are at the mercy of the unregulated international labour market, and find their communities disintegrating around their ears.
Are you suggesting that London ASLEF and RMT members are "playthings of the politically motivated"? If so, why do tube workers keep voting in secret ballots, with high turnouts and majorities, to support the militant policies of their leaderships? Has Bob Crow hypnotized them?
Itâs always the same: if workers get themselves organised, demand a say in their industry, refuse to swallow a load of PR bilge from some w*nker in a snazzy suit, theyâre being âmanipulatedâ by âpolitically motivated people.â
Balls. Theyâre just doing what the British white working class always used to do before Thatcher turned them into burger-fodder. Itâs one reason why many people get so angry about tube workers. Theyâre secretly jealous and humiliated that theyâve allowed themselves to be shat upon, and have betrayed what their fathers and grand-fathers worked so hard to achieve.
Whilst I don't think much of the bloke, Bob Crow is a little brighter than some of his predecessors in that he manages to combine his political views with an undoubted connection to his members. Unlike, perhaps, Andy Gilchrist. More lamb passander anyone?
The destruction of working class community spirit you refer to is certainly a reality, and I would agree that policies from the Thatcher era contributed significantly towards that (and was, perhaps the major factor in, say, mining towns). However, I would suggest (based upon conversations with older people) that this is actually a wider social change that started even earlier, and was possibly an unwelcome side-effect of greater social mobility.
Harking back to the 50's is as dull as blaming the 60's, but as I wasn't in either decade, I can avoid that trap. It has, however, been explained to me that possibly the greatest change since then is that people cared what their neighbours thought. About them, about their children, about everything. This peer pressure made everyone rub along much better, whatever their income group.
The growth in selfishness is allied to both the growth in self-expression/freedom from the 60's and the growth of self-interest in the 80's. Society has just changed. Organised labour was certainly one facet of greater social cohesion, but so was, for example, greater religious observance and church attendance, and Thatcher didn't explicitly target those.
I agree, of course, that the destruction of British white working class political power, as exercised formerly through their trade unions, is only one factor in a complex mix. But as every soldier knows, if you stick a gun in someoneâs face you tend to get their attention. They stop waffling and may do as you say or, at least, be willing to negotiate.
That was the position, industrially and politically, of the British white working class from roughly 1940 to 1985. That's what Thatcher broke. Until then they could turn off a power station or stop the supply of steel which, just like a gun in the face, forced politicians take account of their interests. They had a proud voice in British national political and economic life.
All that's gone, unlike their economic equivalents in the rest of Western Europe, who still have strong trade unions and, therefore, a real say in the political life of their nations. It's a gross humiliation for British white working class people. No amount of Grecian pillar-adorned purchased council houses make up for the loss of that pride and power.
If anyone tells me that the political emasculation of the British white working class has not had a profound effect on communities across the UK I'll tell them they're talking rubbish. You canât smash key social group's political power without that having a profound effect upon their culture.
Thatcher was a goddesss.
Her only failing was to disband the SPGs. A few more truncheons aronund the heads of Chav scum and this country wouldn't be in the state that it is.
No surprise that Annekey's friends are troglodytes.