Mrs Thatcher in a hat illustrates Mrs Thatcher's dream

Was it Mrs Thatcher’s dream to see pretty English beaches caked in fetid lumps of human excrement and untreated chemical waste?

When she said there was no such thing as society, did Mrs Thatcher dream of a broken health service with striking nurses, a broken railway system with striking railwaymen, a broken society awash in foodbanks and millions living and dying in poverty?

Mrs Thatcher swept to power in 1979 with plans for a free-market economy untethered by rules, with minimal government spending, eye-watering tax cuts for the better off and a resurgence of British nationalism that brought in its wake race riots in 1981 to Brixton, Birmingham, Chapeltown in Leeds and Toxteth in Liverpool.

The Thatcher in Cornwall shows Mrs Thatcher's dream.

The Thatchers in Cornwall

Since Mrs Thatcher began through ‘stealth’ to unpick the carefully sewn threads of the National Health Service, did she dream of a nation with children suffering Dickensian ailments – tuberculosis, malnutrition, whooping cough, scurvy, typhoid, diphtheria, rickets, cholera, scarlet fever and vitamin deficiency?

Mrs Thatcher was laid to rest in 2013 after a state funeral procession through Central London costing £3.6 million and a church service at St Paul’s attended by the Queen. But Mrs Thatcher’s dream of a free-market trickle-down economy lives on in the ideology of Rishi Sunak as it lived on in Tory cabinets led by John Major, David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson and libertarian Liz Truss whose widely condemned tax shrinking budget is exactly the budget that Sunak believes in. Truss is a laughingstock for openly advocating what her colleagues have enacted and will continue to enact the Thatcher way, by stealth.

Mrs Thatcher’s Dream of Trickle Down    

How does trickle down work? You lower the taxes for the rich and both lower the taxes and give public money in subsidies to corporations. This puts more cash in the pockets of millionaires who then spread the wealth around buying yachts and building new swimming pools. Problem is, it doesn’t work. It has never worked. The money doesn’t trickle down, it trickles off into secret accounts in tax havens where the new yachts are registered and the swimming pools that get built are built in the Caribbean.

The trickle-down that reaches the rest of us is the human, chemical and medical waste pumped into rivers and let out on outgoing tides that wash right back to our beaches eliminating this one small pleasure the underfed children could enjoy.

No swimming sign illustrated Mrs Thatcher’s dream

Stony Beach closed

Why do we have poison sewage on our beaches and signs with a swimmer in a crossed out black circle and the word WARNING?

It began in July 1989 with the privatisation of our water network pushed through Parliament with the slogan ‘You could be an H2Owner’ to the sound of Handel’s Water Music – in spite of 79% of people opposing the policy.

There are currently eleven companies providing water and sewerage services across England and Wales. The majority of the shares in those companies are not owned by millions of small investors, Mrs Thatcher’s dream. On the contrary, 72% are owned by non UK-based investment firms, private equity, pension funds and businesses ‘with a complex web of ownership’ lodged in tax havens, according to research by the Guardian.

There is pressure on the water companies to put more money into replacing the crumbling infrastructure and to protect both the environment and public health, adds the Guardian. But public enquiries take years to complete and by the time the recommendations appear in Parliament, the companies have sold up and moved on. 

Mrs Thatcher’s dream that private companies would manage the utilities more efficiently at less cost to the consumer was a pipe dream. It was always bogus. Always a lie. Always a Daily Mail headline. The first – in truth the only – obligation of bosses running private companies is to make profit for their shareholders and extravagant bonuses for themselves.

Who Owns Our Water?

Our water is owned by investment authorities in Qatar, Abu Dhabi, China; the US investment groups Blackrock, Vanguard, Lazard Asset Management; the Australian firms Macquarie and IFM Global; the Cayman Islands registered, Hong Kong based CK Hutchison, part of the business empire of Li Ka-shing, Hong Long’s richest man; and equity firms based in Singapore, Malaysia, Germany, Jersey and a dozen other nations with a ‘strong focus on extracting revenue, rather than the long term health of the company’ or the general health of the people of England and Wales.

How much do water company bosses earn? This from the Daily Mirror: ‘Nine water industry fatcats received more than £15 million in pay and bonuses last year as the number of times their firms pumped raw sewage into our seas and rivers rose 37%.’

Foreign companies clamber to ‘invest’ in UK water, railways, health, mail, gas and electricity because profits are high, the red tape elastic and bosses earn huge incomes by providing large dividends to shareholders. There is absolutely no question of actually investing in repairs and restoration of the worn and broken infrastructure and the Government for all its talk will not change a thing. Everything is broken because Mrs Thatcher’s dream was to break the unions, break working class communities and break the society she never believed existed anyway.

Rishi Sunak is a multi-millionaire ideologue who said Mrs Thatcher was the best Conservative leader in history. He has not moved into No 10 to repair broken Britain. His job is to calm the markets and continue the libertarian agenda of Margaret Thatcher. When Sunak did a U-turn on attending the COP27 climate summit in Egypt, what he was weighing up wasn’t global warming, it was how it would be received by the oil and gas companies that had donated funds to the Ready4Rishi leadership campaign.    


Posted in Blog.


  1. So sad, so destructive, so dangerous – in a democracy everyone needs to know this. A brief but important history of modern Britain.

  2. I doubt if these were the dreams of Thatcher because I am sure she truly believed that her policies were right and would make the country wealthier. The Conservative party and, too a lesser degree the New Labour party under Blair and Brown, still held to the idea that globalisation and reduction in tariff barriers would increase economic activity. That low taxes and smaller government were something to aim at.
    The result that was not truly anticipated was the secure work in factories, and in other heavy industries would be moved to places with cheaper labour and lower safety and environmental standards. This has left the West and in particular the UK and USA with an underclass who are often now working in low paid insecure jobs and are angry and frustrated with their lot. This anger and frustration is then pointed towards whatever suits the wealthy and powerful who by contrast have become increasingly more wealthy over the same period as the rest of us have got poorer. The targets set up by the compliant media include unmarried mothers, immigrants, the EU, anyone taking industrial action etc. Politicians can also benefit by saying they have the answers to the problems even though the problems are exaggerated for effect and the answers will only bring more of the same.
    They are now trying to drive wedges between the old and the young. All of this is to avoid people realising that too many of the decisions made since Thatcher have been driven by the greed of the wealthy and the idiotic idea that low taxes and small government are a “good thing”, which they are if you have the wealth to invest.
    We need honesty from our politicians in that we need to pay significantly more in tax to fund all those things that make society work. If we want examples we should look to the Scandinavians who have high taxes and high welfare provisions and are amongst the happiest people in the world.

  3. Gerry Colverson, you are spot on. The damage caused by Thatcher, Reagan and Howard in Australia is finally being realised. In Australia we have rid ourselves of the conservatives, in America there is a process undergoing to do the same. It has taken 50 + years for people to realise they have been duped. The answer is in increasing taxes, privatising water, energy, and public transport and providing services and opportunity for the majority. The idle rich have had their turn for the past 50+ years, and have destroyed infrastructure everywhere they go.

  4. Labour grandee Denis Healey once said trickle down economics is what you get from the other end of a donkey after you feed it with oats. Thats about the sum of it. Thatcher is a cult figure to people like Sunak, they have little actual knowledge of the detail of events and policies. If you watch part one of the Downing Street Years, you can see people who served with her in her Cabinet, Ian Gilmour, Francis Pym and Jim Prior who are not praiseworthy of her at all. They of course are now written out of Conservative Party history as is Heath, the man who termed the Lonrho affair as the “unacceptable face of capitalism.” Imagine Sunak or any of those pygmies saying capitalism has an unacceptable face. Clifford is correct, these people are ideologues and much like the post war settlement which ended with Thatcher’s ascension to power in 1979, once feels the age of Thatcherism is coming to an end. Or should one say Powellism, as Thatcher didnt dream up any of this herself.
    Currently the Sunak Government is trying on another miners’ strike showdown but the times have changed, picketing unionists are often commenting on the support they are receiving from the public. The unions are not viewed in the same way as they were in the Thatcher years and prior to.
    The next question is how far Starmer will go towards rolling back these free market fundamentalist policies. The recent Labour Party conference seemed to offer some good portents in that regard but leaders often ignore conference. So we must wait and see.

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