'Fall of the Thatcher regime' and history

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Demogorgon303
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Apr 3 2007 08:07
Ret Marut wrote:
The electoral process counts for something, otherwise why would the security services bother to want to influence it?

In one sense it counts - with parliament - because these are the formal routes through which governments are formed and laws passed. But the same was also true of the Supreme Soviet in the USSR, even though everyone knew the actual decisions were taken by the Politburo.

In a sense you answer you own question when you say "dirty tricks are played in Parliament to get laws passed, different factions (including the security services) do lobby and bribe for their own interests". All this backroom dealing has been done long before the vote is cast i.e. in other words the real decision has already been taken before Parliament rubber stamps it. But I also think much of the debate in parliament is staged for our benefit.

As far as bourgeois conspiracies go, it's true that we can't prove many of them and won't be able to until we destroy the state and sieze their secret documents. Until then we can only speculate, but I still think this can be informed speculation. First of all, there is ample evidence of real conspiracies which provides confirmed precedents of the type of discussions and plots the bourgeoisie is capable of concocting. We can also - as baboon has done - examine available evidence and assess it in this light and try and come up with the answer that best fits the evidence we have. Sometimes we may have to rely on gut instinct.

As for your comments about the functioning of the bourgeois state, I think you are creating a false opposition. Obviously the bourgeoisie can never have a truly united consciousness. The foundation of their economy and ideology is based on competition - hence they are compelled to always behave in a machiavellian manner in their internal dealings. This doesn't prevent them from co-operating whenever their class interests are threatened as the rival Junker-Army faction and the Social Democrats did to put down the German revolution (with weapons supplied by their imperialist rivals, the Entente).

What's interesting in the current period - from the early 90s onwards - is the way the bourgeoisie have begun to lose this discipline. This is undoubtedly because of two factors: the lack of class struggle forcing them to unite against a common threat; and the extreme pressures placed on them by the economic difficulties. The example of the vicious internicine squabble between Blair and Brown (which seems based primarily on personal ambition than any real difference of political orientation) springs to mind. Another might be the bitter acrimony with which certain faction of the extreme right attacked the Clinton administration and the humiliating balls-up in both elections since, where the US bourgeoisie simply couldn't work out what it wanted to do with Bush. The open cronyism that has dominated both US and UK administrations in this period is another example - nothing new in itself but it has reached new depths and has become almost tolerated, if uneasily by some bourgeois factions.

Despite this loss of discipline, the bourgeoisie has still got enough presence of mind to organise massive ideological campaigns around its own failings. The use of Bush to mobilise workers to defence America's democracy (despite the fact that all factions of the bourgeoisie largely supported the repressive measure he brought in), the way the never-ending stream of allegations against Major and now Blair's governments have produced heart-rending soul searching about sleaze and "sofa government in Britain, have reinforced much of the bourgeoisie's ideology.

baboon
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Apr 10 2007 12:17

I just want to return to a couple of points:

But just before that, in response to Ret, I think that different and competitive bourgeois factions are at work within the state is not the main issue here. But this is a given of how the bourgeoisie works and the development of state capitalism. Cliques, clans and competitive fractions are a feature of the organisation of capitalism. Democracy it most certainly is not.

The role of the secret services in and around the rise of the Thatcher clique and the consequent confrontation with the working class, wasn't so much a conspiracy, as an intelligent, effective strategy. It perfectly suited the needs of a bourgeoisie faced with wider and deeper levels of class struggle during the 1970s. I think the bourgeoisie's reported use of the lessons of the German Revolution, 1920, underlies their understanding that a military coup - which then was being considered by some fractions at high levels within the state apparatus - would not have been effective. On the contrary, it would have been counter-productive from the bourgeoisie's point of view, and the left, particularly the unions, were a better vehicle to undermine the class struggle.
I insist that Thatcher and her coterie were not against the unions - they used them, dealt with most of them and even set up a new one. It's not enough to say that the latter, the UDM, was a "scab" union; they were all scab unions. The "militant" steel workers union scabbed, the "militant" power workers unions scabbed, the "militant" rail unions scabbed. That's the role of unions, look at the T&G at Heathrow since January. And if you argue that the workers can and should take over the unions themselves. If the workers were powerful enough to do so, what would they need the unions for? This is the heart of the question: the bourgeoisie are not anti-union, but anti-working class.
Any suggestion that the bourgeoisie before and during the miner's strike were acting in any way blind, or that parliament was in any way taking any sort of effective decisions, underestimates the strength, organisation and intelligence of the bourgeoisie and the development of state capitalism. For the miner's strike, the bourgeoisie organised itself pre-emptively and consciously, using all the weapons of repression of state capitalism, the police, and more importantly, the unions. The bourgeoisie were playing for high stakes. For the working class during the miner's strike, to take its struggle forward it had itself to take on the lessons of the German Revolution, not least the role of the trade unions which, to some extent, the German workers had clarified in their struggles from 1918 onwards.

Spikymike
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Apr 10 2007 18:02

Of course the state will use all its many elements to try and derail struggles and will from time to time provoke particular struggles as a diversion. In the case of the british miners strike it was well prepared by the state (including the involvement on an increasing level of the Secrete Services) but that wasn't to guarantee it success necessarily. As for the Poll Tax I see no evidence of this being a deliberate 'set up' by the state - more a miscalculation. It may have been less favourable ground on which to fight, even than the miners strike, especially as it became fixated on 'the' left wing anti-thatcher cause of its day, but again the states victory wasn't guaranteed. Struggles can, and ocassionally do, develop beyond their unfavourable origins, as I presume the ICC contributors agree. The ICC needs to be a little more open minded in its understaning of this though. I think Red Marat has the right balance on this issue.

baboon
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Apr 11 2007 12:18

I don't quite understand this last post. No one is saying that the state's victory was guaranteed - in fact I was careful to explicitly state that it wasn't. Of course the Poll Tax was set up by the state, miscalculation or not - who else organised it? Spiky says that he agrees the miner's strike was well prepared and a provocation, as well as the role of the secret services. But what about the role of the unions? Because this is the central question and the one that the main lessons for today can be drawn.
Of course strikes develop beyond unfavourable origins - look at the history of the working class. That doesn't mean though, supporting unfavourable conditions for the working class to struggle in. It means putting forward the lessons of workers' struggle - ie, the union question from Germany in the revolutionary wave of 1918 onwards.

Spikymike
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Apr 11 2007 16:05

I don't think we have many disagreements on the Unions role generally or specifically in relation to the British NUM during the strike though, as expressed elsewhere on this site, we would probably differ in some respects on particular tactics in particular situations.

But I do think that the ICC has a too narrowly focussed view of the nature and content of class struggle (restricted mainly to industrial struggle) which has been reflected in its analysis of the opposition to the Poll Tax.

Pointing out the negative aspects of that struggle is not difficult (they abound in i ndustrial struggles as well) but that does not make every aspect of the struggle irrelevant from a communist perspective.

PS:my reference to 'set-up' in the previous post was meant to refer to the state not deliberately using the poll tax as a means of setting up the workers for a struggle leading to defeat, whereas the miners were setup even if the outcome for the State was potentially risky.

baboon
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Apr 12 2007 11:52

Spiky, I take your point on the poll taxand the set up aspect of both that and the miner''s strike.
I think that a fair amount of clarification has been made during this discussion. Just a quick point on the "too narrow a focus on industrial struggles" from the ICC. One of the aspects on the NHS thread from the ICC posts was to try to defend the question of the social wage and how this can be an important part of generalising struggle. The ICC gave enormous support and dedicated much time to intervening in the fight back of the students in France last year against the attack of the CPE. The same for its defence of the position of Luxemburg on the mass strike, which goes from the economic to the political and back again. The class struggle, the struggle of the working class to defend itself, has to be central but this is not enough for a movement with the possibility at least, of overturning society. I think the German Revolution has many important, often neglected lessons. I will return in the near future with a thread on it.

ernie
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Apr 12 2007 18:10

Baboons intransigent defence of the need to see the bourgeoisie as a Machiavellian class is extremely important because it is one of the primal responsibilities of communist to understand and explain the workings and actions of the class enemy. It has not been a conspiratorial view of the class enemy that has been an historical weakness of the revolutionary movement, but rather an underestimation of it. The last 200 years of the bourgeoisie's struggle against the proletariat has shown time and time again that the ruling class is very aware of the need to struggle and manoeuvre against the working class. Since the formation of the corresponding societies in the 1790's the British state has consistently and consciously sort to penetrate and work against the development of the workers' movement. Now I do not think anyone would disagree with this. So why is it so difficult to see that the ruling class will consciously set up manoeuvres against the proletariat involving the use of a powerful attack on the working class -which the Poll Tax was- in order to divert the wider discontent in the proletariat into a direction that reinforced the hold of the ruling class over the working class?
Ret and Spikey in discussing the Poll Tax do not really place this campaign in the wider context of the massive international democratic campaign following the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. If you look at the Poll Tax, or any event, in itself without any reference to the wider national and international framework one can only end up with an empirical understanding of the meaning of such an event.
To directly respond to Spikey the ICC did not and does not deny that the Poll Tax was an attack on the working class, but that attack took two dimensions the economic and the ideological. In the context of the profound disorientation that the proletariat was in following the collapse of the Eastern Bloc the British ruling class know that there was very very little chance of its manoeuvre being overcome through the working class rejecting the democratic inter-classest circus, that went with this campaign, and instead making the demand for higher pay to pay the Poll Tax part of a wider class movement against the attacks. To say there was a real chance of this happening is to profoundly underestimate the ideological disorientation that the proletariat had been thrown into.
Ret, in relation to your insistence on proof, this seems to change every time Baboon gives you what you want. Apart from dragging the various members of the ruling class involved in coordinating its struggle against the proletariat before your court, what can he do. We are not history teachers or academics who feel the need to prove every point by constant references, we are communist struggling against capitalism. All we can do is base our analysis on the historical marxist understanding of the nature of the bourgeoisie and its state, as I said the danger is not over estimating the class enemy but underestimating it. All of the information that came out in the 1990's in Italy about P2, etc showed that indeed the bourgeoisie does conspire against the proletariat. What else is it going to do faced with the class that threatens to destroy its rule. Obviously, the analysis we make has to be backed up as much as possible with references to sources, but the very nature of the political struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie means that we will not be able to provide absolute proof.

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Apr 12 2007 23:30
Quote:
Ret, in relation to your insistence on proof, this seems to change every time Baboon gives you what you want.

Untrue. Illustrate that claim with quotes from this thread. I illustrated my point about speculation presented as fact quite clearly - you can't refute it, or learn from it apparently. It's like talking to a brick wall. An impartial reading of this thread shows the truth of the matter.

baboon
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Apr 13 2007 11:35

Ret asked for proof about my comments on the secret service and Thatcher and he got it. He (and Spiky) seemed satisfied with that, with some slight, seconadary qualifications and assertions of their own. I believe my original statements were fully confirmed by the examples I gave.
I thought that in general this discussion was proceeding positively and I want to return to a couple of spiky's points:
- One of the main responsibilities of anyone claiming to defend the interests of the working class, is to take a class standpoint on all issues. Concessions to the petty bourgeoisie here and inter-classist fighting there would soon render an overall class position sterile at best. The centrality of the working class has to be insisted on at all times.
- For the ICC, one of the most important struggles of the last decades has been the fight a year ago of students to fight back against the French state's law that anyone could be instantly dismissed within the first two years of work. This struggle had depth and reach (Germany was forced to withdraw similar laws after it saw the reaction in France). Parents were involved, grandparents, schoolchildren, workers - it was threatening to spread. This was not an "industrial struggle" but was absolutely essential to the working class and rich in lessons for the future. In the meantime the bourgeoisie choose to focus on nilhistic, pointless violence where atomised elements of the working class were attacking their own.
Where do you see a revolutionary perspective coming from Spiky, if not from the working class?

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Apr 13 2007 14:13
baboon wrote:
Ret asked for proof about my comments on the secret service and Thatcher and he got it.

You're lying. The proof asked for was that

baboon wrote:
Through the secret services, MI5 and MI6, Thatcher was fast tracked for Prime Minister.

You also claimed Major was. You replied that you had no proof. You have presented only well-known evidence of a relationship between Thatcher and Neave, which doesn't prove your assertion that you wrongly presented as fact. You seem totally unable to grasp the difference between speculation and fact - unsurprising for someone who believes truth only exists in higher mathematics.
Fact; no proof offered, only speculation presented as fact.
Fact; after being challenged, you changed your position, then denied you changed it, thereby contradicting yourself. As illustrated by the 4 quotes on previous page. As anyone can see.
Fact; you said truth only exists in higher mathematics.
Fact; the ICC has been criticised before for playing fast and loose with the truth to justify its own political line, both on here and elsewhere.
You seem unable to grasp the difference between your own speculation and actual historical truth - or the need to recognise the difference. It seems there is reality - and then there is planet ICC.
Fact; all of the typical behaviour above are part of the reason ICC has such a widespread reputation for nutty eccentricity and extreme dogmatism.

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Apr 13 2007 17:03

"Fact; all of the typical behaviour above are part of the reason ICC has such a widespread reputation for nutty eccentricity and extreme dogmatism".

That is an opinion, not a fact Ret. Calm down and recognise the fact that people are trying to engage with you.

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Apr 13 2007 17:31

My blood pressure's been normal all day, thanks. I think it is undeniably well established that you have that reputation, whether you feel it deserved or not.

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Apr 13 2007 18:05

I think your assessment of our reputation is based on a rather limited circle. We certainly don't have that reputation among many of the new proletarian groups and elements appearing around the world, with whom we have established very good relations (Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Korea, Argentina, Brazil, elsewhere). So perhaps you need to do a bit more research yourself.

Lurch
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Apr 13 2007 23:01

Slothjabber started this thread with three questions and various contributors have tried to provide background to support their analyses to provide some elements of an answer to them.

The first, an important question, IMO, was that relating to Thatcher = Fascism.
Contributors –mainly in or sympathetic to the ICC – answered that fascism was (or is) a particular phenomenon of bourgeois society which arose (arises) at particular moments under very specific circumstances. The Thatcher regime in Britain was not, under those criteria, according to those comrades (contributors) considered fascist. No one seems so far to disagree with that though in truth, the topic in general is a vast discussion

A second question posed by Slothjabber was “was it (the Thatcher regime) brought down by the Anti-Poll-Tax movement?”

There have been different interpretations of this question which I think are important, and are linked to Slothjabber’s third question:”was it brought down at all?”
I’m not neutral in this discussion – I tend to agree with most elements of the ICC’s analysis.

Which doesn’t mean I’m not open to alternative arguments on specifics: ie was the Thatcher government’s stance on the Poll Tax a cock-up (or miscalculation) which hastened her/their demise ? Ret Marut seems to me to argue that this is a possibility.

So it is. For many reasons – from historical to conjunctural - the ruling class doesn’t always- can’t always, won’t always - ’get it right’ (ie act in its own best interests). The ICC has often pointed to such instances (ie, the election in France in the late Seventies) of a ‘left-wing’ government at a time when most of the European ruling class was installing governments of the ‘right’), which has embroiled it in difficulties.

Nonetheless, I’m yet to be persuaded that the ICC’s analysis of the situation in Britain – whatever anyone may consider it worth - was or is wrong.

I’m certainly not persuaded by Ret Marut’s legalistic approach which is to take certain statements by Baboon – the now well-quoted ‘Thatcher was fast-tracked by the secret services’ – and to point out that there is no concrete, written, published evidence for this. A point which Baboon, while providing much valuable background, is the first to admit, and with which Ret himself agrees - “Particularly when you are talking about the role of the security services, proof is hard to come by, so let's not pretend otherwise.”

Who has “pretended otherwise”? However, in a general epoch (state capitalism) and at a time (the Eighties) when the world’s most powerful governments (the US and USSR) tended both to be led by ex-Secret Service chiefs (Bush Snr, Reagan, and their Soviet counterparts including Brezhnev, Gorbachev and today Putin) only a "nutty eccentric" would venture to conclude that such agencies had any bearing on a government’s composition, policies, or leaders, right?

Ret’s argument is that the ICC presents its “speculation” as truth, as fact. From that, like any good defence lawyer in a Hollywood B-movie, he goes on to infer that because this or that statement can’t be proved, that the entire edifice is erroneous:

“Fact; the ICC has been criticised before for playing fast and loose with the truth to justify its own political line, both on here and elsewhere. You seem unable to grasp the difference between your own speculation and actual historical truth - or the need to recognise the difference. It seems there is reality - and then there is planet ICC. Fact; all of the typical behaviour above are part of the reason ICC has such a widespread reputation for nutty eccentricity and extreme dogmatism.”

Well, if Ret wants to play bourgeois lawyer, the ICC has never said that ‘Thatcher (or Major) was fast-tracked by the secret services’ – where, exactly is this written? Baboon said it, and he’s not a member of the ICC any more than I am. Get your facts right, Ret, if you insist on arguing on this puerile terrain.

But it’s really not the point: the ICC’s analysis – and that’s what it is, a class-based analysis, not some eternal ‘truth’ – is based on a mixture of known, observable facts and an interpretation based on the previous experience of the workers movement when faced with its class enemy.

Which is not to say the ICC is ‘right’, or telling some absolute ‘truth’: - you are the one alleging this, not the ICC.

So have a debate – I thought that’s what these boards were for – by all means, but don’t divert it with accusations of ‘liars’, or the grinding your own axes.

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Apr 14 2007 00:46

So anyone who challenges basic misleading inaccuracy is playing 'bourgeois lawyer'? That's a weak argument - the ICC and their supporters distort actual facts. Baboon, an absolute toe-the-liner, has dug himself in a hole and now you bring in the reserve army of ICC 'supporters ' to salvage what you can. Baboon presented as fact what was not fact. That has been illustrated. I never said the ICC said those things . I accurately said Baboon did. Don't misuse quotes. What I did say about the ICC is true, according to the perceptions of most who have any opinions about the ICC. And that is the heritage you have created for yourselves. Live with it or move on. If you are at all bothered about the perception of the ICC, this thread has done you no favours at all, only confirmed the existing perceptions.

baboon
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Apr 14 2007 11:32

Quote Spikymike - words to the effect that: 'the secret services were involved in the miners' strike on an increasing level of involvement'. That's good enough for me. I don't know what Ret's politics are, shyster lawyer by the look of it. But he certainly hasn't had time to read all the references that I gave him, nor the references involved in the references. He says "what I said about the ICC is true, according to the perceptions of most who have any opinions about the ICC" - a breathtaking assertion with no basis in anything, as too is his further assertion that 'existing perceptions (of the ICC) have been confirmed'. You are not entering into a discussion Ret, you are acting out your shyster lawyer fantasy on this thread. There are many silly and pointless games to play in order to avoid serious discussion. What do you think about the role of trade unions in the miner's strike and their relationship with Thatcher? Spiky says there isn't there much difference between his position and the ICC's on the union question.
If you have read any of the references I gave you, you will have been able to appreciate that the secret services were involved in Thatcher's rise from the off. You will also be able to appreciate that a confrontation between the state and the working class was being prepared for by centralised agencies of the state. You should also be able to understand that the Thatcher clique did deals with the trade unions in order to isolate the miners and that one of her clique, a figure close to the secret services, set a breakaway miners' union.

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Apr 15 2007 12:14
baboon 1 wrote:

Through the secret services, MI5 and MI6, Thatcher was fast tracked for Prime Minister. Her mentor was Airy Neave, well involved with the secret services and later assassinated by the IRA (incidentally, John "cone lines" Major, the "Brixton Boy", was also fast tracked by similar networks through the Treasury and the Foreign Office as a Mr. Bland to take over from the strident Thatcher and attempt to fine tune Britain's imperialist objectives in the "New World Order" (see above)).

baboon 2 wrote:

I don't have any "concrete evidence" of Thatcher being fast-tracked by the secret services to power, again I hold no statements from these agencies, but it isn't at all unusual for the major democracies to use the secret services for its "leadership" candidates either directly and indirectly.

baboon 3 wrote:

One point I will alter in what I said above, regards the statement that "it was not unusual for the secret services to involved in leadership candidate" or some such phrase. I would change this to say that the secret services are absolutely and always totally integral and indispensable to the whole election process of the bourgeoisie, and particularly its candidates for leadership.

baboon 4 wrote:
I haven't changed anything Ret

--

baboon wrote:

If you want absolute "truths" go into higher mathematics which is just about the only field where it's available.

Ret wrote:
Er, for example - World War II did occur, Thatcher did exist, I am alive - I'm happy to treat that as truth. It's helpful to have such agreed working concepts to aid communication. In your universe, they are apparently only eternal assertions, unless one can turn them into a mathematical equation. No wonder you have trouble distinguishing between your speculation and actual facts.

Nuff said.

baboon
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Apr 16 2007 11:09

What, precisely is Ret Marut's game?
Look at what this arch-enemy of "assertion" said on the 14th: "What I did say about the ICC is true" (a general slagging off, B) "according to most who have any opinions about the ICC". Is that the mother of all assertions, or what? Ret, on the 14th of this month, knew, by some means, what most people who have had contact with the ICC thought. How does he know that? He doesn't of course - it's all bluff. All this "show me proof" and his many other assertions are bluff, based on nothing but prejudice and his own agenda.
My assertions on the other hand, are based on personal experience, a framework of analysis, research and empirical observation, all of which Ret calls "toeing the line".
The role of the secret services in bringing Thatcher to power, in the centralisation and organisation of the attack on the working class in the 1970s/80s, their relations with the unions and the union's complicity with the secret services, is there for Ret or anyone else to see in the references I provided - he just has to join the dots when he finally gets around to reading them.
According to Ret's earlier words, he understands about democracy and the role of the secret services. How do we know that? Because he said so. Again these empty assertions are based on nothing, nothing at all, no analysis, no explanation, no nothing. So what's motivating Ret, what game is he playing with a lawyerism that wouldn't be out of place in New Labour?
Ret won't give us a clue about his politics, he clearly doesn't like to talk about it and prefers to keep it quiet. That speaks volumes in itself. Ret's agenda is very simple: pick out in a hackneyed legalistic way what he considers as a weakness and use it to hammer and slag off the ICC without putting any position forward himself. He doesn't want a discussion or clarification, his only motivation is to attack the ICC.

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Apr 16 2007 11:28

I think Ret has indeed behaved in a very negative manner on this and other threads. His 'passion' often seems to be to pick holes in what the ICC is saying and use arguments about secondary details to question our integrity.
However, I was pleasantly surprised to see his post on the Anarchist Federation thread (the one about the ban on the ICC) where he was prepared to back our account of the activist 'anti-war' assembly we both attended last summer. Perhaps there's hope for our future exchanges.

si
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Apr 16 2007 15:14

lol

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Apr 16 2007 23:42

grin You lot really are being a clown army. Baboon has still not shown any evidence to prove the statement I originally asked for concrete evidence of - I asked him to show us one piece of factual evidence that had led him to believe Thatcher was definitely fast-tracked by MI5. All he has produced has been another assertion - he quotes from Lobster that she was. I asked for evidence - like, er, facts that this claim is based on. I have neither the resources nor time to hunt down the 25yr old back copies of Trot papers or out of print books by Trots that he references (impressive though how the 'left wing of capital' is now such a reliable witness). If he knows of quotes in those writings that are concrete evidence for his assertion then just quote them - why the big problem with doing that? I asked you to show what concrete evidence led you to believe what you believe and that shows it is more than mere assertion. I've yet to see it. It's not that important in the scale of things but you have been so evasive you've made a mountain out of a molehill.

Baboon apparently has a real problem with perceiving reality here. I have engaged with him and the ICC on various political issues on here, from decadence to nationalism to riots etc, yet he says I hide my politics. (I think what he means is he is unable to pigeon-hole me into a neat category and so wheel out a pre-fabricated standardised critique. Unlike some, I try not to use politics as a form of character armour.) Which says more about him than me. Look back over this thread - he ignores that I engaged in a political debate about Poll Tax. And yes, Alf, if there are holes in what the ICC says, and there are, I will pick them. I 'intervened' wink on the other thread about the anti-war meeting for the same reason I take issue here - factual accuracy.

I would say that many ICC ex-members, most people I know who know of the ICC, many posters on here - would share the perception of ICC I described. If you don't realise that it only adds to your problems.

Baboon's vanity won't let him concede an inch that he may have overstated his claim - so he justs digs himself deeper into absurdity. Further evidence of your major problems with interpreting reality, Baboon - you claim;

Quote:
Ret asked for proof about my comments on the secret service and Thatcher and he got it. He (and Spiky) seemed satisfied with that, with some slight, secondary qualifications and assertions of their own.

What I actually said was quite different;

Quote:
Thanks for the references, baboon. But that stuff is fairly well known; i.e Neave's relationship with intelligence and with Thatcher, the intelligence services' involvement in the miners strike etc. But there is still no evidence to prove your claim that "Through the secret services, MI5 and MI6, Thatcher was fast tracked for Prime Minister." It may or may not be true, though I doubt the proof, if it exists, would ever come to light. So it should not be stated as definite fact.

And that means I'm saying I'm satisfied? confused Reality check; to draw the conclusion that you did from what I said sugests you're apparently in denial and/or live in a fantasy state. Or you're deliberately trying to misrepresent what I said to save face. Which all makes it impossible to have a rational exchange with you. But if you want to carry on making yourself look daft who am I to stop you?

streathamite
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May 15 2007 14:46

1. no!
2-only partly. The most surefire way of getting tory MPs to dump the chief is to make them believe they may lose their seats, and it was the ndivisions over europe that (the MPs believed) was responsible for their awful showing in the polls, every bit as much as the pol tax (yes, they were that self-important and delusional, but correct in that UK voters tend to react negatively to divided parties). Thatcher announced the withdrawing of the tax BEFORE that ballot of MPs.
irrlevant anyway - the captain may have walked the plank, the ship sailed on. major was agreyer-than-grey version of maggie anyway; economically as right as she
3; in a strong sense, we still have a thatcherite govt today
a pedant's point on Neave; whilst he was v close to thatch, he was NOT the main mover behind her leadership bid - that was william shelton MP - but baboon is spot on re;spooks

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May 15 2007 17:46

Shite, just realised that post by barry was actually done by me, we were using the same computer and i must of thought i was in my account.

big brother wrote:
Does it mean Maggie a fascist or if not then what definition be attached to her political ideas?

Its a very difficult question, but i'm going to say probably not, she just didn't do enough to be a fascist. Don't get me wrong though, she was still fucking horrible, she was very authoratarian, but (correct me if i'm wrong) it seems to me she di not control market forces because of the very fact she advocates free market capitalism, would fascist regimes more control over the market? I don't really know enough about corperatism to answer that one. I don't know if there's a single word to sum up her ideas, if not a fascist, perhaps: Neo-conservative/Neo-liberal/Nationalist.

streathamite
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Joined: 8-05-07
May 16 2007 15:04

err...Thatch certainly wasn't fast-tracked by the spooks for the following reasons.
1) she didn't serve in a single relevant role as junior or cabinet minister, which she'd need to - she did pensions, then education
2) the fast-tracking would have to have started in the 1960s, during which period it would have been unthinkable to either MI5 or the tories to single out a woman for such a role
3) her victory in the 1975 tory leadership election was the shock of the era, right up to the second ballot no-one expected her to win
4) it was a tory backbencher with no spook-links who put neave up to putting thatcher up for the job

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Khawaga
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Joined: 7-08-06
Jan 13 2008 11:54

What baboon and folks don't seem to get is that truth and fact are two very different things. Ret is asking about the latter, not the former which often is taken as what is generally agreed upon (which doesn't mean that it has to be based on facts, though that obviously helps).

casualobserver
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Joined: 18-11-08
Nov 18 2008 06:19

I clearly remember shortly before his death, that Thatcher had decided to bring the security services under her direct control and combine them into one service. The person chosen to do this was Neave. Neave died and thatcher was visibly very upset. The plan was dropped and thank goodness.
As a casual observer it seems that this would make the security services work for the government of the day and not the people. It never happened. We may owe a debt to someone.

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waslax
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Joined: 6-12-07
Nov 18 2008 07:59

The security services work for the people?! eek

casualobserver
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Joined: 18-11-08
Nov 21 2008 13:48

Do the security services work for the people?

I see where you are coming from. I looked it up once and it is a bit ambiguous if they work for the people or the government. One assumes they ultimately work for the people. Even supposing there is pressure from somebody as far right as Thatcher to use the services as her own personal tool, you cannot ignore the fact that most of the thousands of people in the services are there because they love their country. Assume she had leaned on her minister who leaned on the head of MI6 and so on down to the case officers. I can imagine a scenario where the orders passed are 'I am officially asking you to do this, unofficially ---".
Of course a person who went against official policy would be labeled a Maverick. I will not use the term Maverick because that implies that only a tiny percentage of the services would go against official guidelines, when it is my belief that most of the good people who work for us would work hard to thwart a take over attempt by somebody as extreme and pernicious as Thatcher. Could someone have planted a bomb? If the very integrity of the security services was threatened, as I believe it was, then I reckon somebody who loved their country could do so and live with it.
Eventually Thatcher started listening to sound of her own voice and destroyed herself, in large part by pursuing the poll tax. She had to go. It is interesting that thatcher complained bitterly about being removed by the 'people in gray suits, but were they not the very people who put her there? What goes around comes around.