Margaret Thatcher made Britain a “nastier, more brutal and less equal country,” TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady declared in a devastating attack just days before the ex-PM’s funeral.
Ms O’Grady received a rousing reception when she spoke at the Northern TUC conference on Saturday in Newcastle.
She said the economic and social disasters facing the people of Britain today could all be traced back to Thatcher’s rule, and that the coalition government was hell-bent on completing what she started.
“Her election signalled the end of One Nation Conservatism in favour of a free-market fundamentalism that ultimately led to the financial crash of 2008.
“Under her leadership, Britain became a nastier, more brutal and less equal country,” she said.
“Her policies brought destruction, devastation and despair to millions of working people, turning vibrant communities into economic wastelands.
“She demonised unions because we were the last line of defence against a cheap labour economy and because we stood up for a decent society.
“Many of the chronic problems we now face as a country – the destruction of our manufacturing, ship building and mining industries, the deregulation of finance capital, the housing crisis, rip-off privatisation, the gulf between north and south, growing inequality and falling wages – are direct consequences of Mrs Thatcher’s policies.”
Ms O’Grady said the current government seems “hell-bent” on finishing the job started by Thatcher.
“This is the nastiest, most ideological, most right-wing administration Britain has ever had,” she continued.
“It is a government of the rich, by the rich, for the rich whose failed austerity policies are holding back economic growth, depressing living standards and denying a generation of school-leavers hope for the future.
“Public services that have taken generations to build face privatisation and the benefits of ordinary families, low-paid workers and the unemployed are under attack.”
As more details of Thatcher’s funeral were released today a ComRes poll showed that 60 per cent of people across Britain are opposed to £10 million of public money being splashed out on the ceremony.
Labour’s former deputy prime minister John Prescott also condemned plans for taxpayers to foot the bill for Wednesday’s funeral, calling it a “political propaganda exercise.
“This country paid enough thanks to that woman so why the hell should we continue to pay now she’s dead?”
Mr Prescott suggested the 13,000 millionaires who had each received a £100,000 tax cut as a result of the government’s cut in the top rate of tax should instead each contribute £770 each to pay for it.
From Morning Star