Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by Levers_Aligned, Jun 18, 2007.

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  1. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    Read the plaudits below, regarding the very moving and poignant services that have been held round the country regarding the 25th Anniversary. I'll say this ... back then and even now, it is a proud moment, and many of my civilian friends have remarked how it has, just for a moment, restored some credibility to this dying trade of ours.

    But I read (and watched) the revered worship of Lady Thatcher. I'll give her one thing; her style of leadership was admirable but are we not forgetting:

    1. In 1981, she rubber stamped the Nott Review. That would have had the navy in a similar situation to where we are today, right in the middle of the Cold War. Let's not kid ourselves, she saw the Armed Forces as an expensive, cullable folly which had clung on to its position since the the end of WWII and had been only rescued by periodic squabbles and some wry political chicanery. She was ranged against any sentimentality for the AF and planned to cut the navy itself by at least 35% and condemn much of that to sitting alongside FLJ. That is how it was explained to me then by a very senior officer on our ship. Looking back now, he was straight up.

    2. She was rescued by the opportunism and pure bloody-mindedness of Henry Leach, the persuasion and assurances of Lewin and the strategy of Fieldhouse ... and of course the courage of those who went south and bailed her sorry arse out. It was us who bought her the 1983 election and her chance to stamp monetarism into the mindsets of every up and coming hopeful of that era. We saved Thatcher, not the other way round and in anycase, any saving was for just seven years because as soon as Tom King saw the chance, he was in with Options ofr Change and thereby the crumbling began.

    Although there are many things admirable about Thatcher, I think that many are lost in triumphalism and fail to remember that had Galtieri not gambled, the Tories would have been out in the next election and the UK would have beeen an entirely different political and economic landscape. Thatcher had it in for us, and it is too easy to see her as our savior, and not vice versa.

  2. ALL politicians have it in for the Armed Forces - it's a matter of to what degree.

    If Thatcher had not sent a Task Force then yes, the political and economic landscape would have been different - far worse than it is now, IMHO.

    Hong Kong would have gone much sooner than '97 - Gib would have been a prime target for the Spaniards and they would have got it, against the wishes of the Gibraltarians. All because, Britain was seen to have no balls.

    And as for the European Union - they would have pissed themselves laughing at the thought of controlling Britain.

    But, Thatcher had the balls and did what she had to do. And she listened to Leach.

    Not many people like Thatcher - I do. How many PMs will be recorded in History after Churchill to current day as better than her?

  3. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator


    Again, agreed. But had it not been for the Falklands Conflict ...

    She had absolutely no choice.

    None, I'd wager. They've all disgraced themselves in one way or another. She should deserve such plaudits from us, however. SHe was indirectly responsoible for the culling of the fleet and the message sent to the junta of our intent.

  5. I have posted on this subject in another thread but to continue ... Thatcher seriously disrupted the US' foreign policy by assisting in the downfall of an American backed junta in Argentina. At the time the US saw South America as it's 'backyard' and was training the military of several countries in torture and counter insurgency techniques (Escuela de las Americas) ... so ... I can't help but wonder if that was part of the reason she was so keen to snuggle up to the US administration subsequently ... remember the Gone with the Wind type posters? she had to make reparations ...
  6. I think a large number of people are ambivolent to her legacy, with their opinions ranging from her being a necessary evil (dealing with the Unions) to a very devisive leader that paved for much of the selfishness we see today ("there is no such thing as society").

    We are only 17 years later able to start properly to assess her contribution to the story of Britain. Which makes it all the more amusing that some people on hear are confident they know what Tony Blair's legacy will be and he ain't even left office yet.
  7. Every PM since Chruchill has authorised a reduction in the size of the fleet. The RN is seen as an anachronism by many, they do not understand the RN's nor do they seem to want to.

    Baroness Thatcher was perhaps the Greatest PM since Churchill, prepared to make the tough choices without bothering about popularism, many in this country hate her with a passion, as many admire her. We have had two abysmal PM's since, the grey man and the liar, neither of which has stood up for this country, but gave away our rights bit by bit.

    I am not a fan of McBrown, I just pray the he puts the UK first, and is prepared to make the tough decisions.
  8. Wonder what would happen if Spain decided to increase it's borders a tad and take over the Rock.

    Would a Potential Task Force start storing ship, or would it be handbags at 20 paces in the UN.
  9. Neither, Bliar et al would give it to them with the smarmy grin.. !
  10. Spain has enough tatty 60's tower blocks of its' own, and a massive drug problem, without the need to increase both by taking over Gibraltar.
    What would it gain? An inadequate airport and a dockyard, the latter not up to the standard of its' own at Cadiz.
    As for Mrs T then I lump her along with all the other PM's who have sold this country to the foreign policy of the U.S.
    As others have said she was obliged to face down the Argentinians, nothing else could really have been done.
    We had the distinct advantage of having trained and supplied the Agentinian forces (We had Argentinian midshipmen on Intrepid when I was on it, and Iranians too, who showered with black swimming trunks on) and did well to achieve what we did.
    Now what is left is to properly look after the service men and women who survive politicians decisions.
    If Mrs T needs a good legacy perhaps it could be that.
  11. I responded to this thread because of my belief in Thatcher. Your opinion may vastly differ from mine but at the moment, should you wish to cast your own vote, see for yourself.

    None are without blame, more than others though, and what a motley crew of listing they are when hindsight binoculars are applied.

  12. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    AH. The Daily Torygraph. So if we were to mirror this poll in the Grauniad, we'd see the same unsurprising result?

    Do you still 'believe' in Thatcher, even though her vision of the 1982-onwards Navy was almost as barren as it is today? Be truthful now ... and bear in mind that had Galtieri not thrown the dice, we would possibly be looking at a nil-Navy by now, with everything contracted out, PFI-stylee, o shady ex-Cabint Minister-led 'security firms'.

  13. To be honest, I never had that view prior to '82 with Thatcher, maybe I missed something with the Nott review.

    I always thought Thatcher was "on our side" so much as a politician could be.

    But, my previous posts stand - she is a damn sight better than the other ones.

  14. Morocco have indicated that when Spain gets the Rock back, they'll take back the Spanish enclaves of Millila(?) and Ceuta. So Spain would face a war on two fronts: The Morrocans and the Kingdom of England, or if the flooding persists, the Kingdom of London!
  15. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    She had the Cabinet terrified. Let's face it, they were abunch of Oxbridge, spineless poshoes anyway, each and every one of then either sychophantically aligned or trembling behind their briefcases. Thatcher alienated a great deal of people and created today's shower of underachievers. Have you ever seen or felt the seething loathing of other people as much as it pervades today? Her misquoted missive containing 'there is no such thing as society' (misquoted as she explains inher Statecraft book) basically set the foundations of the grasping, nihlistic, narcissistic youth we witness and bellyache about right now. Major and Blair have just tinkered with the prototype.

    Thatcher okayed us to be cut to 40-odd ships. It eventually happened eight years later and the Falklands bought us eight years from a stupid woman.

  16. hackle

    hackle Badgeman Moderator

    3 Military Cross holders amongst them, though. Courage does, of course, take different forms.
  17. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    You are confusing Valour with Courage. I respect both. The only time the ******* showed courage was when she was wounded, lame and dying politically.


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