Voices: Thatcherism is still the driving force in British politics

Boris Johnson Margaret Thatcher

Four deacades after Thatcher the Tory Status quo continues!

When will people eventually see through their lies?

Guest author, Michael Thompson.

The right-wing Tory Government will be ending free prescriptions for people aged between 60 and 65, from this April, but people need to know that there is much more to this than meets the eye. 

From the outset this policy has nothing to do with costs, it is part of a more sinister agenda that in the general sense so many British people are failing to grasp. If people were fully aware of what is behind policies such as this, then they wouldn’t have kept voting Tory at each general election since the Thatcher government came into power. 

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Since the ’80s, this right-wing Tory Government have stuck on the same political ideology to shrink the State. However, they have done it more recently under the guise of Austerity. The objective of the Tory right wing under this banner of Austerity, is to get rid of everything connected to Britain’s Welfare State system.

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This started in 1980 with the abolition of State pensions linked to earnings. Even though the State pension isn’t a benefit, it is a “right”, having been paid in for by working people following the end of WW2 paying decades of National Insurance contributions when building this country up. However, it is now the intention of this Government to gradually phase the State pension out.  There are already plans by the centre-right wing think tank, The Centre for social Justice (CSJ), to extend the retirement age to 75. Ironically, the CSJ is chaired by none other than the Tory MP Sir Ian Duncan Smith, former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. This was the first Tory policy initiated under the late Margaret Thatcher in 1980. Today Britain’s basic State pension is a pittance compared to the much higher Western European levels, and this was the first steppingstone to the abolition of the Welfare State under the Tories.

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The replacement for our Welfare State’s means tested benefits has been the second steppingstone. The introduction of the non means tested Universal Credit for Britain’s low waged workers, and the unemployed. 

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The Tory right wing are a small state low-income tax party and Government, and privatization of all our public services, including the privatization of our beloved National Health Service that is funded by general taxation is now underway. Clement Attlee’s Labour government brought in our amazing NHS health service in 1948, that was designed to be free at the point of use for rich and poor alike. The Tories never believed in this concept; and it is important to remember that they voted against it four times between its conception and its inception.  

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The Tory right wing have been in Government for the best part of 40 years and are fundamentally and basically ending the Post War consensus that came in following the ravages of WW2 in 1945. The Welfare State was part of that consensus, to counteract the poverty that existed in Britain prior to 1945. It was brought in because of the findings of two social investigators: Seebohm Rowntree and Charles Booth. Their investigations into the cause of poverty in London and York changed perceptions away from the laissez faire attitudes reminiscent of the Victorian era, to the socialist policy of welfare to help the poor. 

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It is quite frankly astonishing that the Tories have lasted around 4 decades in office, they have no moral compass, they only care about their rich friends. 

Yet even though it is obvious that they don’t care about us ordinary people, and even though they have a deliberate right wing agenda that continues to plunge more and more ordinary people into poverty; many of these ordinary people still vote for them. 

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Margaret Thatcher went too far with the Poll Tax and was brought down by the protesting that followed, and eventually by her own Ministers.  The Poll Tax was a very unpopular method of taxation. Will this current Tory government’s policy to end free prescriptions for people between over 60 and 65, prove to be the final nail in the coffin for Boris Johnson?…

The British public largely are now less inclined to stand up for themselves; due to being largely more politically illiterate than ever before. Whilst we do not know for certain what our future holds. The current political climate doesn’t fill us with much hope. It’s scary!

Michael Thompson was a Labour party member and activist prior to the New Labour years under Tony Blair. Michael is a Widower since 2014 following 22 years of married life. He has campaigned for over 40 years to get a decent State pension for our elderly people, Michael has stood as an Independent for Parliament on all issues pertaining to Britain’s 12 million pensioners, and is a passionate Democratic Socialist….

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