Measures of Britain’s greatness

From: G Cooper, Mill Street, Barlow, Dronfield, Derbyshire.

WHEN Mrs Thatcher came to power, her civil servants saw the business of government as the “management of decline”. She thought differently, and “made Britain great again” – the tribute paid by David Cameron.

Britain’s erstwhile “greatness” was based on the Industrial Revolution and Empire. The former came about largely because of industrial accident. It was led by a very small entrepreneurial class, whose object was not the good of the country, but the accumulation of wealth, which was gained at the expense of the poor.

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The Empire was also built by 
an entrepreneurial minority, aided by superior technology, that allowed Britain to dominate the indigenous peoples of the world.

Mrs Thatcher’s return to “greatness” was based upon the running down of manufacturing industry, and the creation of a “service industry” economy, in other words banking, based largely in London.

Again an entrepreneurial few benefited at the expense of many poor. It might also be said that this “second greatness” has proved to be an illusion.

Decline continues; despite the coalition’s best efforts the gap between the rich few and the poor grows ever wider, as does the division between North and South.

Is “greatness” to be measured by the wealth of a few? Or by a “voice in the world” gained by defeating a weak foreign enemy? Or by silencing the voice and crushing the aspirations of the working majority? Or by selling off the nation’s stock of homes to those who could afford them, and ignoring those who could not?

From: Michael R Ettinger, Crabgate Drive, Skellow, Doncaster.

COAL has come to the fore with Baroness Thatcher’s death; many blame her for British Coal’s demise, the first of two major tragedies.

The first being the mortal blow that was delivered to the coal industry by Baroness Thatcher and the Conservatives when they were in power. What they did was wrong, handled with malice and short-sightedness proved by the energy dilemma we now face in our country.

The second tragedy was worse in some ways. When Labour came to power with Tony Blair as Prime Minister, there was excitement, genuine hope for the country to change, move forward but coal was not part of New Labour’s plans and coal was left behind. Had the Labour Government chosen to redevelop British Coal, it would have taken many people with them. Even then clean coal technology had been around for some time and a great opportunity missed and a wrong righted.

The tragedy is that in all that time they were in Government they did little to promote the coal industry, instead promoting other forms of energy.

Instead of concentrating on the welfare of this country we got involved in an illegal war, the wasted money could have rejuvenated the coal industry, though nothing can atone for the loss of life.

From: Clive Barr-Hoyland, Wakefield.

ARTHUR Scargill, like his militant union colleagues, had their own way with Governments for a long time, to a point where they thought they ran the country.

While I did not agree with everything Margaret Thatcher did, she stood up to those union leaders who were driving our great nation into a manufacturing abyss, we were the laughing stock of the world.

She did put the great back in Britain. She was a leader of courage and fortitude which we needed. Without her leadership at the time, we would have continued the slide into world oblivion, for that we should all be grateful, at least we kept our nation intact.

George Galloway will never ever be credited with any such good work, he is another of those who live off the backs of others, with very little been contributed to our nation’s well being (Yorkshire Post, April 15).

From: James Kenny, Westfield Road, Rothwell, Leeds.

IAN McMillan states his opinion movingly as a mining community writer on the legacy of Margaret Thatcher and for balance John Redwood MP writes from personal acquaintance (Yorkshire Post, April 16).

Opinions are traded on all subjects very fairly in the Yorkshire Post. Fairness, is, what we should all strive for in life and, inevitably, in arriving at this, some will be happier than others.

Reflecting on the achievements and aspirations of subsequent, current and prospective leaders is a short exercise.

From: Beryl Phillipson, Burn, Selby.

ENOUGH is enough. We are all free to think and say what we like. But isn’t it time we ought 
to think Mrs Thatcher was a grand-daughter, daughter, 
wife and mother, and anyone who has lost any or all of these, 
knows the despair you are left with. You never get over it. Goodbye Mrs Thatcher.