Monday, 15 April 2013

The Zombification of Thatcherism

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Thatcherism is dead. It might not have yet realised it and it might still have some lingering potency but as an argument and grand narrative its time is done.

Of course, the effects of Thatcherism still infect the body politic of the UK. Like any bad sickness it will take time for the virus to fully leave the system and for immune systems to kick in. As we all know Thatcher herself is now a corpse but Thatcherism stumbles forward, the zombified undead of British politics, too many members of the ruling and political class still caught in its thrall.

Thatcherites searching for immigrants, the unemployed and those who don't "aspire"

Thatcherism’s neo-liberal, “free market”, monetarist policies have also created a zombie economy. It struggles on, lurching around like some gormless monster, seeking out the weakest and poorest to suck their blood, smashing through public services and bludgeoning the NHS into a million pieces. It doesn’t care what it mows down in its path as it serves only itself and other zombies.

The zombies of Thatcherism puke out words like “aspiration”, “welfare scroungers”, “immigrants” and “privatisation” in a giant, unthinking chorus of belligerent drool. These barely sentient weaponised phrases are repeated ad infinitum, destroying the minds of anyone who gets too close for too long.

Yet if anything ever signified the head of the Thatcherism zombie it was Thatcher herself. Now, we all know from the movies that to kill the zombie you have to take off the head. But sometimes even if you take off the head the zombie keeps running – its end, however, even if it doesn’t yet realise it in its mad, flailing, final charge, is inevitable.

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