We are reaping the rewards of Thatcher’s failed policies

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From: Paul Andrews, The Beeches, Great Habton, York.

AS one of many who voted for Mrs Thatcher in 1979 and regretted it soon afterwards, I find Mark Stuart’s article on the “wobbling coalition” distasteful (Yorkshire Post, November 26).

He says: “Harsh truths had to be faced up to: that our old industries would have to go to the wall...”

True, many voters felt that British industry was overmanned, under-efficient and the unions had too much power. We all wanted to see this unsatisfactory situation remedied. We never realised that the hidden agenda behind Mrs Thatcher’s election campaign, her “cure” for overmanning and inefficiency, was the total destruction of Britain’s historic manufacturing and heavy engineering industries, to be replaced by a dependence on revenue from North Sea gas and oil, and the financial services industry.

We are now reaping the rewards of Mrs Thatcher’s policies: the revenue from North Sea gas and oil is drying up, and the financial services industry is in chaos. Meanwhile, countries like Germany which continued to invest in their manufacturing and heavy engineering industries find themselves in a far better position to weather the recession than we are.

Mrs Thatcher’s government will eventually go down in history as one of the most destructive and divisive governments ever. One hopes that the coalition understands this.

Experience over the last century shows how foolish it is to put dogma above pragmatism. It was unyielding political dogma which destroyed the USSR: it was pragmatism which saved communist China from the same fate. If a policy is not working, there is no disgrace in changing or modifying it. “The lady’s not for turning” may have made a good media soundbite at the time, but it has not made sound financial sense for the long-term interests of our national economy.

From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

IT seems incredible to me that teachers are going on strike when very few members have voted to do so.

Is this because they cannot spell the words?

I recently watched my seven-year-old grandson doing his homework which concerned learning to tell the time. One question written by the teacher was ‘What are your favorite pajamas? (sic)’

Even my seven-year-old said “Look grandma, the teacher has spelt two words wrong in one sentence.” More pay and pension? Back to school more likely.

From: Robert Holland, Skipton Road, Cononley.

THE latest figures on unemployment in the Yorkshire region are astonishing.

The data from Office for National Statistics showed an increase of 129,000 in UK up to 2.62 million.

This was a five per cent rise during the three months from June to September. In this region the increase was 51,000 to 274,000, a 23 per cent increase.

Surely Yorkshire’s Coalition MPs who are supposed to represent the interests of their electors must demand urgent action from the Government?

The Government hopes that “private enterprise will provide jobs which have been reduced in the public sector” have failed with tragic results, especially for so many young people.

The Government was warned not to cut too fast and too deep during the General Election by Labour. Will they learn now before 2102 sees even worse consequences of mistaken ideology?

From: David Neil, Otley Road, Menston.

YOUR columnist John O’Connell (Yorkshire Post, November 28) calls today’s public sector strike the largest coordinated action ever seen in the UK.

Hurrah! At last, workers in the public sector have been able to co-ordinate something without outsourcing it to consultants.