#Thatcher Best of: Tariq Ali on Democracy Now!+ Boulettes des Media + Ken Loach et al.

10 Apr

Of course, our comments have been very sparse: we are not in politics and Obituaries. a couple of Tweets will do; we shall just note that not everybody is that timid in their reactions 😦

Tariq Ali + Boulettes des Media + Ken Loach et al.

—————(only the links will remain shortly …)

Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013): Tariq Ali on Late British PM’s Legacy from Austerity to Apartheid



Tariq Ali,            British-Pakistani political commentator, historian, activist, filmmaker, novelist and editor of the New Left Review.



          This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We turn to the breaking news of the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at the age of 87. She was Britain’s first female prime minister, serving three terms in office. Known as the “Iron Lady,” Margaret Thatcher became synonymous with austerity economics as a close ally of President Ronald Reagan. She famously declared to critics of neoliberal capitalism that, quote, “There is no alternative.” Her long-running battle with striking British miners dealt a major blow to the union movement in Britain and ushered in a wave of privatizations. On foreign policy, Thatcher presided over the Falklands War with Argentina and provided critical support to the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

To discuss Margaret Thatcher’s legacy, we go now to London, where we’re joined by Tariq Ali, British-Pakistani political commentator, writer, activist and editor of the New Left Review.

In these last minutes we have, Tariq, talk about the legacy of, talk about the tenure of the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

TARIQ ALI: Amy, there’s no doubt about it. She transformed British politics. She basically won over the opposition. Her legacy is still very much in force, so she’s not at all dead in terms of what is going on in this country. Her policies are being carried out by the coalition government. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, New Labour prime ministers, were completely enthralled to her. She was the first person invited by Blair to 10 Downing Street when he became prime minister, to show how much he owed her, and Gordon Brown did exactly the same thing. So we have had a continuum, that the process Margaret Thatcher started off was carried on by Blair, who used rhetoric on the Iraq, Kosovo and Afghan wars very similar to the rhetoric she used on the Falklands. And this policy has continued. So her legacy is effectively to have wrecked Britain economically and to have made it a total vassal state of the American empire.

AMY GOODMAN: Tariq, can you talk about the legacy of Thatcherism for the working class in Britain?

TARIQ ALI: Well, basically, she took on the workers’ movement, which had become very strong. Trade unions were very powerful in this country, and they were effectively challenging capital by demanding a share of the take, and being quite successful. The miners’ union, one of the most respected unions in the country, challenged her. She organized the state, the use of the police, use of the secret services, to defeat them. And she did it, and she referred to union militancy as “the enemy within.” She was very hot on enemies, either abroad or at home. And that phrase, “the enemy within,” has been used subsequently against dissidents of other sorts by her successors.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about her foreign policy, from the Falklands War—and we only have a minute—to her support of the apartheid regime, calling Nelson Mandela a terrorist?

TARIQ ALI: Well, she did call Nelson Mandela a terrorist, but one should remember that the Western governments as a whole were not at all friendly to the ANC, sustained and maintained apartheid, with a few exceptions in Scandinavia, throughout it. And Thatcher was upfront about it. Her foreign policy was deeply conservative and reactionary, and that foreign policy has not changed since she was forced out on Europe. Europe is still a big, big divisive issue in the country and within the Conservative Party as a whole.

And so, on every level, Amy, domestic level, international level, Thatcherism continues. One shouldn’t imagine that it’s over. And I hate to say this, but the fact that we haven’t come up, or no one has—neither the center-left or anyone else has managed to come up with an alternative to the Wall Street crash of 2008, does indicate that there was some truth in her statement that there is no alternative, at least as far as the mainstream is concerned.

AMY GOODMAN: Tariq Ali, I want to thank you for being with us, British-Pakistani political commentator, historian, activist, filmmaker, novelist and editor of the New Left Review, joining us from London on this late breaking news that the former prime minister of Britain, Margaret Thatcher, has died at the age of 87.

That does it for our show. Tune in tomorrow. Will Potter of Green is the New Red will be on to talk about how over a dozen state legislatures have introduced bills to target people who go undercover to expose farm animal abuse.

Democracy Now! has a job opening, the annual giving manager. Go to our website at democracynow.org to get the information.

Show Full          Transcript ›


Mort de Margaret Thatcher : les grosses boulettes des médias

Certains médias se sont un peu emballés à l’annonce de la mort de Margaret Thatcher. Si des erreurs d’inattentions peuvent survenir lors des gros événements, celles de certains médias ont été particulièrement grossières.

Yahoo! ActualitésYahoo! Actualités – il y a 23 heures


C’était l’information de ce lundi 8 avril 2013 : l’ancien Premier ministre Margaret Thatcher, surnommée la “Dame de fer”, est morte à Londres à l’âge de 87 ans après une dernière attaque. Si les médias du monde entier ont traité la nouvelle avec rigueur, dans la précipitations certains se sont bien emmêlé les pinceaux.

Ainsi, la chaîne de télévision taiwanaise CTi annonçait la mort de la “Reine Thatcher” sur des images de la Reine Elizabeth II lors de cérémonies officielles. Une information fausse du début à la fin, qui a dû semer le doute et l’incompréhension chez les téléspectateurs.

La Reine Elizabeth II confondue avec Margaret Thatcher.

Mais la chaîne de télévision thaïlandaise Channel 5 a fait aussi fort puisque ce ne sont ni des images de la “Dame de fer” qui ont été diffusées, ni celles de la Reine Elizabeth II, mais celles de… Meryl Streep, tirées du film “The iron Lady” dans lequel l’actrice américaine interprête Margaret Thatcher.

Meryl Streep en Margaret Thatcher au journal télévisé thaïlandais.

Quant à la BBC, la chaîne britannique a annoncé sur le réseau social twitter qu’elle était morte “des suites d’une grève” (“strike”), au lieu de “attaque” (“stroke”).

La BBC annonce la mort de Margaret Thatcher

Les deux médias se sont excusés auprès des téléspectateurs après avoir réalisé leurs erreurs, en promettant “de travailler plus attentivement” à l’avenir. C’est la moindre des choses…

Margaret Thatcher Dies; Remade Britain http://nyti.ms/12AnAn8

Margaret Thatcher est morte http://www.liberation.fr/monde/2013/04/08/margaret-thatcher-est-morte_894547 … via @liberation_info

Merci Maggie : la bande-son des funérailles de Thatcher | Rue89 Culture http://www.rue89.com/rue89-culture/2013/04/08/merci-maggie-bande-funerailles-thatcher-241285 …


"Ding ! Ding ! La sorcière est morte !", brandit cette femme qui célèbre la mort de Margaret Thatcher.
Thatcher a fait de ma jeunesse un supplice”


Ken Loach wants Thatcher’s funeral privatised

Filmmaker says that putting the plans ‘out to tender’ is what she would have wanted

Ken Loach has suggested that the UK privatises the funeral of Margaret Thatcher.

The outspoken filmmaker explained in no uncertain terms his feelings on the subject of the former prime minister, who died yesterday following a stroke.

[Related story: Streep pays tribute to Margaret Thatcher]

Loach… says that Thatcher’s funeral should be privatised (Copyright: Rex)

“Margaret Thatcher was the most divisive and destructive Prime Minister of modern times,” he said.

“Mass Unemployment, factory closures, communities destroyed – this is her legacy. She was a fighter and her enemy was the British working class.

“Her victories were aided by the politically corrupt leaders of the Labour Party and of many Trades Unions. It is because of policies begun by her that we are in this mess today.

“Other prime ministers have followed her path, notably Tony Blair. She was the organ grinder, he was the monkey.

“Remember she called Mandela a terrorist and took tea with the torturer and murderer Pinochet.
How should we honour her? Let’s privatise her funeral. Put it out to competitive tender and accept the cheapest bid. It’s what she would have wanted.”

Long an opponent of Thatcher, Loach’s views come as little surprise, and follow the announcement that Baroness Thatcher’s ceremonial funeral, to take place at St Paul’s Cathedral, is expected to cost up to £8 million, the biggest funeral of its kind since the death of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.

Loach’s comments are in stark contrast to those made by Meryl Streep, who in a statement called Thatcher ‘a figure of awe’.

Streep won an Oscar for her portrayal of Thatcher in the film ‘The Iron Lady’.


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