Does Thatcher legacy match up to Attlee?

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From: Jack Brown, Lamb Lane, Monk Bretton, Barnsley.

bernard Ingham (Yorkshire Post, April 9) places Clement Attlee second behind Margaret Thatcher in the Greatest Peacetime Prime Minister Stakes.

Like all her converts to capitalist/market economics – including the Russian Oligarchs who promoted the drunken Yeltsin to stop Gorbachev and destroy the USSR – he assumes that the ideology that drove Gorbachev and Attlee is down and out. Attlee inherited a bankrupt nation whose capitalist infrastructure had been pillaged by the heirs to its Victorian creators. Churchill never said “We’re all Socialists now” but in the Second World War the British people poured billions into the capitalist concerns of war; armaments and transport in particular.

Such was the state of the capitalist infrastructure in railways, gas and electricity, that the first Attlee government had to nationalise not from zealotry but from urgent necessity.

If it had not also invested in the welfare state, the NHS and housing, the returning soldiers and sailors were a revolutionary force in waiting.

From: William Snowden, Butterbowl Gardens, Leeds.

THERE is no significant political figure, past or present, that I admire more than Margaret Thatcher. When she became leader of the Conservative Party, in 1975, I was bemused and incredulous. I was a Liberal. But subsequent events, industrial anarchy and the sheer cowardice and ineptitude of a Labour government shored up by the Liberal Party (the Lib-Lab pact) changed me.

I was disgusted but not entirely surprised, therefore, when the Conservative Parliamentary Party betrayed, brought down and broke her. I met Margaret Thatcher only once when she gave a lecture at Leeds Town Hall, introduced by the late Richard Whiteley. She captivated her audience of local dignitaries with the sheer scope and depth of her knowledge of both national and international affairs.

I wanted to say: “May I thank you, on behalf of myself and my family, for all that you did and all that you tried to do, for our country and our people.”

But I didn’t. Perhaps it was English reserve, or not wishing to appear fawning or obsequious. But, afterwards, I quietly chided myself for not doing so; for no one was more deserving of our expressed gratitude than she.

From: Terry Marston, Lincoln.

THE most important part of her legacy, to those of us who have survived the Thatcher years, is not so much what she did as the inheritance she has left for us.

At the time that she was shutting her eyes to the collapse of our manufacturing industries, a West Riding industrialist at a Tory conference in Harrogate told a Look North TV reporter that the delegates there “know how to make a bob or two but don’t know how to earn a bob or two”.

Having presided over the sacrifice of the “lame ducks” as she called them, she clearly expected financial services to replace them as revenue providers.

Few housekeepers would seek acclaim for putting all their eggs in one basket. We have inherited the consequences in the shape of our present unbalanced economy that will not grow.

From: Jeffrey Stirk, Newton-le-Willows, Bedale.

IT is one thing to disagree with someone’s political views – Indeed it is essential to our democracy – but it is quite another thing to witness the vitriol and utterly despicable attitude shown by some members of the so-called Labour opposition and the fanatics of the far Left.

I sincerely hope that some of them, when they lose somebody close to them, do not have to be subject to the behaviour and antics as witnessed by the family of Margaret Thatcher.

It is an utter disgrace and 
shows how this country is slipping into complete moral decline.

From: Bob Crowther, Crigglestone, Wakefield.

MARGARET Thatcher’s policies and ideas not only made her many enemies, they also displayed the ruthlessness and total lack of compassion which was obviously inbuilt.

The miners’ strike was not one of fighting for wage increases, but one of attempting to preserve and retain their livelihoods.

It was notable at the time that they received only minimal support from the other main parties, as also the large trade unions.

From: Bob Simons, Rowborn Drive, Oughtibridge, Sheffield.

I’LL wager that a good 
proportion of those seen dancing in the streets to celebrate Margaret Thatcher’s death, 
while also blaming her for the closure of most of our coal mines and the destruction 
of our traditional heavy industries, are intent on finishing off what remains of these industries by their relentless pursuit of so-called “green” policies; certainly, none of them looked as if they would either relish, or be capable of, doing a shift at the coal face or in the steelworks.