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Britain "more Thatcherite" Than Under Thatcher

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/dec/13/social-survey-thatcherite-britain

Britain is now more Thatcherite than when Margaret Thatcher was in power, with people much less supportive of the welfare state and the redistribution of wealth than in the 1980s, according to an authoritative study of the country's mood.

New Labour oversaw the biggest recorded shift to the right in public attitudes on those measures, despite a surge in concern about the scale of the wealth gap between rich and poor.

Sympathy towards benefit claimants has evaporated, along with support for redistributive tax and spend policies, over the past 20 years, with Labour governing during a period of significant hardening of attitudes towards the poor, the annual results of the British Social Attitudes survey reveal.

But public satisfaction with health and education improved dramatically over the same period, the study shows, leaving the researchers asking why Labour did not fight the election on its social policy record – and warning that the coalition is now risking a significant backlash against its reforms and cuts to public services that people are happy with.

Making profound reforms to the NHS or schools, when trust in politicians has reached an all-time low, risks considerable public resistance, the report concludes. The annual British Social Attitudes survey of more than 3,500 people, conducted by the National Centre for Social Research every year since 1983, this year offers a verdict on the 13 years of Labour rule.

Penny Young, chief executive of the National Centre for Social Research, said: "The survey points to a nation at political crossroads between left and right: it is perhaps little surprise that the election resulted in a coalition. On the one hand we are seeing a hardening of attitudes towards welfare reform, whilst on the other there is strong support for investment in health and education."

It finds that the public is now less sympathetic towards benefit claimants than at the end of the Thatcher era. In 1991, 58% thought the government should spend more on benefits. By 2009 that had more than halved to 27%.

Just over half (51%) backed policies to redistribute income from rich to poor in 1989, compared with 36% now. The researchers blamed the "significant change in political rhetoric" throughout the New Labour years, with the abandonment of Clause 4, the party's promise to redistribute wealth, and the emphasis in welfare policies on people going back to work. "This could be due to the reluctance of parties on the left to talk positively about redistribution, which has become synonymous with an 'Old Labour' 'tax and spend' approach," the report says.

But concern about inequality in wealth has simultaneously grown, with 78% of people now saying the income gap between rich and poor is too large. The report argues that the difference between high levels of concern about that income gap and support for policies to redistribute wealth is explained by "self-interest" on the part of higher earners who do not want to lose money from their pay packets to support others and a perception of "laziness" among poorer people.

Satisfaction with the NHS is at an all-time high. When Labour gained power in 1997, only a third of people (34%) were satisfied with the NHS, the lowest level since the survey began in 1983. By 2009, satisfaction had nearly doubled, and stood at two-thirds (64%). Reduced waiting times, after the introduction of targets, are a crucial factor in this.

In 1996, about a half (56%) thought schools taught basic skills well, rising to nearly three-quarters (73%) by 2008. But there is still deep concerns about the effectiveness of schools in preparing young people for work, with only half thinking schools do this well.

Trust in politicians has plummeted after the expenses scandal. Four in 10 "almost never" trust British governments to put the national interest first – about four times as high as during the 1980s.

Trust in bankers has fallen even more precipitously. In 1983, 90% believed banks were well run, and their reputation for being well managed was higher than many other institutions, including the police and the BBC. Now just 19% think banks are well run and their reputation for good management is far below that of either the press (39%) or trade unions (35%).

Young said: "Record levels of investment under Labour appear to have paid off in terms of public satisfaction – particularly on health, where satisfaction levels are now at all time high. The coalition will need to tread carefully to avoid a backlash against the potential impact of reform or failure to invest. In contrast, changing attitudes to welfare are in tune with the government, suggesting the public will back benefit reform.

"It is twenty years since Margaret Thatcher left office, but public opinion is far closer now to many of her core beliefs than it was then. Our findings show that attitudes have hardened over the last two decade, and are more in favour of cutting benefits and against taxing the better off disproportionately. But just as Blair and Brown incorporated key concepts of Thatcherism into New Labour's ideology, Britain today is sending a clear message to Cameron and Clegg that it values the investment Labour has made in this country's core public services."

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Just over half (51%) backed policies to redistribute income from rich to poor in 1989, compared with 36% now. The researchers blamed the "significant change in political rhetoric" throughout the New Labour years, with the abandonment of Clause 4, the party's promise to redistribute wealth, and the emphasis in welfare policies on people going back to work. "This could be due to the reluctance of parties on the left to talk positively about redistribution, which has become synonymous with an 'Old Labour' 'tax and spend' approach," the report says.

More likely it became apparent that the distribution was from people on quite modest wages aka "rich" to non working parasites.

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More likely it became apparent that the distribution was from people on quite modest wages aka "rich" to non working parasites.

Are all those not working "parasites" ?

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More likely it became apparent that the distribution was from people on quite modest wages aka "rich" to non working parasites.

Corrected for you:

More likely it became apparent that the distribution was from people on quite modest wages to bankers and corporates, aka the "rich"

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Like the royal family then.

Yes.

And pensioners.

Now all we need is some moron to suggest multi millionaire property speculator and JP Morgan employee Anthony Blair is a "socialist" and we can all have a jolly good laugh at the stupidity of the right wing nutters (aka British public).

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What complete drivel this guardian spouts. Britain today is sending the message to cameron and clegg that it is completely fed up financing the public services built up by labour.

+1

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Yes.

And pensioners.

Now all we need is some moron to suggest multi millionaire property speculator and JP Morgan employee Anthony Blair is a "socialist" and we can all have a jolly good laugh at the stupidity of the right wing nutters (aka British public).

Having lots of money and working in a state backed industry doesn't preclude someone from being a socialist. The first requirement of which is to make sure the rules you preach only apply to everyone else ;) .

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Having lots of money and working in a state backed industry doesn't preclude someone from being a socialist. The first requirement of which is to make sure the rules you preach only apply to everyone else ;) .

Oh looky! Its the Granuad.

The only paper you can take to the outhouse, and then read afterward's, as there is no difference between the article's, and the fecal smear you left behind.

Edited by Dan1

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What complete drivel this guardian spouts. Britain today is sending the message to cameron and clegg that it is completely fed up financing the public services built up by labour.

Looking at a lot of the ranting on the news it looks more like Britain is sending the message that it wants Labour's unaffordable waste. I'm not sure which worries me more, a return to that, or services being destroyed by the selfish, greedy I'm-all-right-Jack traditional Tory attitude.

Another thing that Britain is really fed up with is those at the top being able to help themselves to what little wealth anyone else manages to get hold of. It's a very unhealthy situation of contrasting opinions both being in practice and being very damaging, and politicians are possibly some of the least qualified people to try to find a way of tiptoeing between them; rather they'll just side as much as they can with whichever moronic standpoint is in line with their party's ideology. That said, Labour did seem to do a fair bit of diverting wealth and resources to the worst of both sides, which is quite an achievement.

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Under Labour we spend more on services and things get better, albeit with waste and a growing debt. The poor get poorer, the rich get richer.

Under the Conservatives we spend less on services and things get worse, albeit with recovering public finances. The poor get poorer, the rich get richer.

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If Old Labour was 'Tax and Spend' according to the article , does that mean New Labour was 'Tax and Spend and Spend and Spend' ? Or maybe 'Spend and Beg the Chinese'

Edited by Ruffneck

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Under Labour we spend more on services and things get better, albeit with waste and a growing debt. The poor get poorer, the rich get richer.

Yes - the last lot were a miserable failure.

Under the Conservatives we spend less on services and things get worse, albeit with recovering public finances. The poor get poorer, the rich get richer.

Under the present government we spend less on services and things get worse, we spend more propping up the banks with more waste and growing debt and public finance go from disastrous to unrecoverable. The poor get considerably poorer and the super rich (ie the cabinet) p1ss themselves laughing.

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Under Labour we spend more on services and things get better, albeit with waste and a growing debt. The poor get poorer, the rich get richer.

Under the Conservatives we spend less on services and things get worse, albeit with recovering public finances. The poor get poorer, the rich get richer.

I wouldn't have minded so much if things had got better under Labour, but all that money spent to send us into debt hell seems to have been wasted. They deserve to rot for eternity for making the Conservatives a better-seeming option.

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I wouldn't have minded so much if things had got better under Labour, but all that money spent to send us into debt hell seems to have been wasted. They deserve to rot for eternity for making the Conservatives a better-seeming option.

They did get better.

Just look at your typical school and hospital now compared to the mid-1990's. They are much better.

Was it all perfectly spent - hell no.

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The Thatcher and Major governments sold off public utilities and encouraged inward investment in place of our own declining manufacturing industries. A lot of the privatised companies are now foreign-owned, some even state-owned by foreign governments (e.g. EDF)

The last Labour government bailed out the banks with taxpayers' money, and some of the bailed-out banks continued to pay obscene salaries and bonuses to their top people.

The new coalition government announced £6 billion of public spending cuts and a few days later gave £7 billion to the Irish government.

No government has a monopoly on perversity.

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Oh looky! Its the Granuad.

The only paper you can take to the outhouse, and then read afterward's, as there is no difference between the article's, and the fecal smear you left behind.

Kind of similar to the intellectual content of your above contribution to this thread then... :)

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Kind of similar to the intellectual content of your above contribution to this thread then... :)

Just been discussing biased articles in the Guardian on another thread:

http://www.housepric...ic=155169&st=45

Plenty of content for you there. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to post it again, here.

:):)

Edited by Dan1

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It's interesting that people who are working are in favour of removing benefits. i wonder what they would do if they lost their own job? Presumably the people who took part in this survey were in full time work and always have been with no fear about losing their jobs. I wonder what proportion of them were public sector workers, since effectively, they too are sustained by the state, albeit in return for something just slightly more productive than nothing at all.

People can always be "Thatcherite" during the good times and the media never wastes an opportunity to seize upon an opportunity to promote soulless neoliberalism .

What next? "survey finds new generation happy to work for nothing, live in a tent and eat straw".

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They did get better.

Just look at your typical school and hospital now compared to the mid-1990's. They are much better.

Was it all perfectly spent - hell no.

Yes I have heard this.

And yet...my wife has been verbally abused by doctors whilst being tested for a serious disease, our out of hours service is a man who can't speak English except to say, "you need to contact your GP in the morning", my foreign friends experience of giving birth here was appalling, I can't get a doctors appointment except when I am at work, and only if booked a week in advance, etc etc.

I was always a defender of the NHS, but the reality is that it doesn't exist for me any more. I am denied access to it at every turn, and am effectively forced to use private hospitals.

The hospitals do look better now, I'll give you that.

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It will be another decade next month. I wonder if this one (like the last few) will be another ten years of bankers and land owners pi55ing themselves with their loot, unbeknown to everyone else who are too busy pointing the finger to notice them.

Boomers

Public Sector

Unemployed

'indulged' young

Right who’s next on the list?

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  • 311 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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