Why did the Labour Party keep getting BTFO by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s?

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    • #131231
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Why did the Labour Party keep getting BTFO by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s? If Maggie was as bad as people say she is, then why could Labour not even come close to removing her from power?

    • #131232
      Anonymous
      Guest

      >couldn’t come close

      Maggie had a few rifts that threatened her tenure, the ’81 U-turn, shutting the mines, poll tax, all of these seriously damaged her popularity, leading to her bowing out to eventually be replaced by Major, Labour had to deal with internal party dissent (the SDP merging into the Lib dems gives you an idea of what was really happening here, it was arevolt by the right of the party)

      Thatcher consistetly had low opinion poll ratings, and the people who hated her, seriously, seriously freaking hated her, it’s hard to understate how mad some northerners are, she took their communities, their livelihoods, their homes, their childhoods and their childrens future.

      The actual long term success of thatcherism (and neoliberalism by extension) is yet to be seen, and outside the remit of the board.

      • #131235
        Anonymous
        Guest

        >Thatcher consistetly had low opinion poll ratings, and the people who hated her, seriously, seriously freaking hated her
        Yet they were consistently outnumbered by people who wanted to vote for her. At the very least, even if Brits hated Thatcher, they hated Foot and Kinnock even more.

        • #131238
          Anonymous
          Guest

          >Yet they were consistently outnumbered by people who wanted to vote for her.
          In both 1983 and 1987, Conservatives won about 42% of the vote, and Labour, SDP and Liberal candidates won about 52%.

          The majority of British voters in the 1980s did not want a Thatcher government. Thatcher voters were, in fact, outnumbered by people who did not want Thatcher.

          • #131239
            Anonymous
            Guest

            >Thatcher voters were, in fact, outnumbered by people who did not want Thatcher.
            And Labour voters were severely outnumbered by people who did not want Labour.

            • #131241
              Anonymous
              Guest

              Sure, absolutely. But you can’t say that the conservative voting base outnumbered non-Thatcher voters. It is not a true statement.

              In fairness has there ever been a British party who have won over 50% of the vote in a general election?

              1931 technically, if you count it – the winning party was a coalition that was mostly formed by Conservatives, but it was led by the ex-Labour leader and also included some liberals

              • #131242
                Anonymous
                Guest

                >Sure, absolutely. But you can’t say that the conservative voting base outnumbered non-Thatcher voters. It is not a true statement.
                Why are you assuming that Liberal voters aligned closer to Labour than to the Tories? The UK Liberal Party attracted many classical liberal people who were more centre-right than centre-left. They weren’t the same party as today’s post-SDP merger Lib Dems (and even the Lib Dems spent 5 years in coalition with the Tories).

                • #131244
                  Anonymous
                  Guest

                  The founders of the SDP were all Labour MPs.

                  • #131248
                    Anonymous
                    Guest

                    But the Liberal Party was an entirely separate party which attracted a great many Tory-leaning people. And the Lib/SDP merger did not occur until after all of Thatcher’s elections.

                    • #131249
                      Anonymous
                      Guest

                      Lib-SDP had an electoral pact and an agreement to govern as a coalition even before they formally merged

                • #131247
                  Anonymous
                  Guest

                  First of all, the statement that I was responding to was:
                  >Yet they were consistently outnumbered by people who wanted to vote for [Thatcher].
                  I don’t think that there’s any way that you can say that SDP-Liberal voters were "people who wanted to vote for Thatcher". That’s just wrong, whatever you think about the political affiliations of the Alliance. SDP-Liberal voters chose a party that didn’t support Thatcher. If you want the PM to continue in power, you don’t vote for an opposition party.

                  Second – the SDP were still ex-Labour and defined themselves as social democrats, certainly not classical liberals. So a significant part of the Alliance was people who had formerly been Labour and who still regarded themselves as being moderate leftists, and anyone voting for them had to be OK with that. And the Liberals had always sharply defined themselves as not being Tories (as they effectively had to, or there would be no reason for their party to exist).

                  Finally, if you want to talk about classical liberalism, Thatcher herself often defined her political project as being essentially classically liberal in outlook – Thatcher famously said that Gladstone would have been a conservative in the 1980s. And especially in 1987, the Thatcher campaign was heavily focused around economic liberalism. So I would argue that the kind of classical liberal, right-liberal, center-right voters you’re talking about here would probably have been Conservative voters in the 1980s, and people who voted for Liberal candidates probably largely didn’t fall into this category.

                  • #131250
                    Anonymous
                    Guest

                    >That’s just wrong, whatever you think about the political affiliations of the Alliance. SDP-Liberal voters chose a party that didn’t support Thatcher. If you want the PM to continue in power, you don’t vote for an opposition party.
                    That’s not how parliamentary elections work. They’re not binary choices between individual candidates like US presidential elections. Many Liberal and even some SDP voters may have felt they preferred Thatcher to Foot/Kinnock. Labour supporters have always erroneously assumed (to this day in fact) that there is a "Secret anti-Tory majority" simply from counting up the percentages of everyone who voted for a non-Tory party, but it doesn’t work that way.

                    The nature of parliamentary elections also means there were, for instance, many seats where the only parties in contention to win were Liberal or Labour, and in those seats most Tory supporters would have voted Liberal.

                    • #131252
                      Anonymous
                      Guest

                      >That’s not how parliamentary elections work.
                      I know it’s not the way that parliamentary elections work, but I was responding to someone who did it first, so what are you going to do
                      >Many Liberal and even some SDP voters may have felt they preferred Thatcher to Foot/Kinnock.
                      Sure, it’s possible. And we can play infinite hypothetical games about what would have happened with a different electoral system. I’m not trying to argue that the Conservative government was illegitimate, they were the most popular party and won strong majorities under the system that existed.

                      But with all of that said, it’s simply not true that the majority of voters supported Thatcher. They didn’t. The majority of voters supported parties that didn’t support Thatcher.

                • #131260
                  Anonymous
                  Guest

                  Liberals tend to, in most contexts, have ideological common ground with socialists, one of the best explanations for the origin of socialist thought was that the post-revolutionary intellegensia noticed that the revolution hadn’t actually created "liberty, equality, fraternity", it had merely changed the face of power to a new class.

                  • #131261
                    Anonymous
                    Guest

                    > one of the best explanations for the origin of socialist thought was that the post-revolutionary intellegensia noticed that the revolution hadn’t actually created "liberty, equality, fraternity", it had merely changed the face of power to a new class.
                    I think it’s more accurate to say that, up through the middle of the 19th century, radical movements were sort of ideologically undifferentiated. They contained elements that could be described as bourgeois liberal alongside elements that could be described as proto-socialist and elements that were imperialist and right-nationalist. The French Revolution had its Babeuf as well as its Napoleon.

                    So it’s not that the post-revolutionary intellegentsia are coming up with this socialism from scratch. Rather, someone like Marx is essentially coming up with a theoretical justification for an already-existing political movement.

                    • #131278
                      Anonymous
                      Guest

                      Sure, but the post-revolutionary sorting from blanket "radicals" to distinct liberal and socialist camps absolutely has it’s root in what the answer to "did the revolution go far enough?" would be

          • #131240
            Anonymous
            Guest

            In fairness has there ever been a British party who have won over 50% of the vote in a general election?

            • #131254
              Anonymous
              Guest

              The Tories in 2019 did, if I remember right

              • #131258
                Anonymous
                Guest

                Don’t believe so

              • #131259
                Anonymous
                Guest

                Conservative: 42.4%
                Labour: 40.0%
                Liberal Democrats: 7.4%
                SNP: 3.0%

                • #131262
                  Anonymous
                  Guest

                  That’s 2017 OP

      • #131246
        Anonymous
        Guest

        OP has a point
        Something funny. My dad voted straight labour his whole life(I am a poortherner) but my mum voted Thatcher "because she was a woman"

      • #131251
        Anonymous
        Guest

        >Thatcher consistetly had low opinion poll ratings, and the people who hated her, seriously, seriously freaking hated her

        She was an irascible hothead who ticked people off, she wasn’t a lovable grandfatherly figure like Reagan or GHW Bush.

        • #131255
          Anonymous
          Guest

          Yeah powerful women tend to do that when they tell their ‘guardians’ to fuck off. You see that in the States all the time with non-Democrat women

    • #131233
      Anonymous
      Guest

      >could
      It didn’t want to. Labour was all kinds of yellow by that point.

    • #131234
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Because the British are scrotebrained and just deserve to suffer for all of the suffering they brought around the world.

    • #131236
      Anonymous
      Guest

      The Labour vote was split by the SDP.

      It’d be a bit like if Sanders ran last year. Dromfp would win due to the split in the blue vote between moderates (Biden/SDP) and socialists (Sanders/Labour)

    • #131237
      Anonymous
      Guest

      The Callaghan government had been disastrously unpopular by the end and that left Labour in a huge gap to recover from. Also, the opposition vote was heavily split during this period, as Labour moderates defected from the party and formed the Social Democrats, who allied with the Liberals and took 22-25% of the vote. In a first-past-the-post system, having a third party that splits the vote in that way is absolutely disastrous, and this almost certainly had a huge impact on Labour’s chances.

      >1983
      Thatcher benefited from the Falklands War; Michael Foot was an unpopular and relatively far-left Labour leader, and Labour had a very left-wing campaign platform (their manifesto was famously called "the longest suicide note in history")

      >1987
      Economic performance had been relatively strong compared to the late 70s and early 80s. Labour was hurt by infighting with the far-left Militant faction, as well as the extremely divisive miners’ strike of 1984-85

      • #131245
        Anonymous
        Guest

        Pretty much this. Although if anything Labour was so unpopular it was the third party, acting as a spoiler for the SDP in the early ’80s.

        […]

        Because unlike most of the people who like to go on about how bad Thatcher was today, voters in the 1980s could remember how absolutely shit the country had been in the 1970s. So when Labour under Michael Foot said ‘not only do we need to keep doing what we were doing in the ’70s, we need to do it harder’, they were basically handing Thatcher an auto-win, even with the deep divide caused by the strikes. Even though Labour then backed off from being literal freaking communists, by the mid ’80s it was clear that Thatcher’s policies were working: inflation was under control and the economy was recovering, and Thatcher had more or less won the battle with the Unions, or at least go the upper hand. Thatcher’s economic theory had clearly succeeded when Labour’s had demonstrably failed – although her policies came with a human cost, all of Labour’s moral arguments against Thatcher couldn’t get people to ignore that reality.

    • #131243
      Anonymous
      Guest
    • #131253
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Thatcher planted the seeds and then new labor gave Britain the rest with their flooding of Britain with migrants. Reagan destroyed California with amnesty for illegals. Reagan and Thatcher were fake conservatives, wolves in sheep’s clothes that destroyed their own countries in the long term.

    • #131256
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Perception is everything in politics. LBJ and Nixon looked like dishonest "typical" politicians.

      • #131257
        Anonymous
        Guest

        I feel like the wholr think about radio listeners prefering Nixon and tv watchers prefering Kennedy is just a modern myh.

    • #131263
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Why do modern leftist britoids start screaming and pissing and pooping everywhere when Margaret thatcher is brought up. Someone give me the QRD, yes I’m an American zoomer. I got banned off the elder scrolls subreddit weirdly enough and got accused of being a racist hardcore thatcherite for saying “she couldn’t have been as bad as modern liberals are saying”

      • #131264
        Anonymous
        Guest

        She broke the unions, massively deregulated financial markets, and sold off public services and nationalized industries, leading to a massive increase in the overall financialization of the UK and exposure to free market capitalism and lots of bankers making lots of money. Unemployment was generally high during her premiership, and she also made unpopular changes to the tax system, especially the implementation of the "poll tax" which charged people the same regardless of whether they were rich or poor, that redistributed the tax burden towards poorer people.

        • #131265
          Anonymous
          Guest

          Ah so she’s just a scrotebrained corpo neocon?

      • #131266
        Anonymous
        Guest

        this isn’t really the right board to ask this on as it’s heavily left-wing and you’ll only get slanted or partisan answers

      • #131267
        Anonymous
        Guest

        >Why do modern leftist britoids start screaming and pissing and pooping everywhere when Margaret thatcher is brought up.
        Political polarisation is awful in the UK. You think Dems vs Reps is bad in the US? Well, Tories vs Labour in the UK is several times worse than that, and it’s been like it since the 1940s at least. Labour supporters the for the most part the instigators of this hatred as they tend to regard Tories as being not just people they disagree with, but as outright scum, villainous, sometimes even murderous people that they have zero respect for. Most Labour supporters couldn’t even name one Tory PM that they have admiration for (They used to say Churchill, but now Labour is running with the line that he was racist so he’s out too). Thatcher is like the #1 boogeyman for Labourites. Just imagine what Trump is to Democrats today, and that’s exactly what Thatcher was to Labour supporters starting in 1979. She completely upended the political establishment of the time in a way that made leftists absolutely seethe to this day, to the point their go-to criticism of any Tory leader they dislike is to accuse them of "trying to bring back Thatcherism".

        Pic related is Aneurin Bevan (Labour minister of the 40s/50s) talking about his hatred for Tories. Which gives you a sense of how much hatred there is between the parties. To this day "Tory scum" is thrown about very liberally by Labour voters, they refer to working class people who vote Tory as "class traitors", and I’ve known female Labour activists to walk around wearing badges that say "Never Kissed A Tory". The political divide in the UK is basically unmendable.

        • #131268
          Anonymous
          Guest

          Out of interest, which Labour PMs do you most admire?

          • #131270
            Anonymous
            Guest

            Attlee and Wilson. Blair was decent. I think Labour has never had a truly god-awful PM because, generally, their worst leaders (Kinnock and Miliband come to mind) never really get within a sniff of government. IMO, Hugh Gaitskell and John Smith are the two big "what-ifs" of Labour PMs we never had, but who could have been great.

            • #131271
              Anonymous
              Guest

              Fair play, although posters on here often describe both Attlee and Wilson as abject failures

              I also think that Blair is evidence of the fact that polarization ebbs and flows; I wouldn’t describe the Blair era as being marked by strong political polarization, pictures of William Hague’s face with Thatcher’s hair notwithstanding.

              • #131273
                Anonymous
                Guest

                >I wouldn’t describe the Blair era as being marked by strong political polarization, pictures of William Hague’s face with Thatcher’s hair notwithstanding.
                Blair did what any successful Labour leader needs to do which is to convince Tory voters to switch to Lab, rather than attack them. On the other extreme end of the spectrum you have the hardcore Corbynite/Labour left strategy which was to say "sod the Tories, we can win by energising non-voters into voting". But the common rallying cries used by both Labour-right and Labour-left is to make accusations of supposed Tory extremism, make comparisons to Thatcher, and claim that whoever the current Tory leader is "wants to privatise the NHS". Kinnock, Blair, Brown, Miliband, Corbyn and now Starmer all do this.

                Pic related, Mirror newspaper gag from the 2010 election depicting Cameron as Thatcher, used for an article explaining why Cameron was meant to be a "right-wing extremist" who would revive the Thatcher era (spoiler: he wasn’t, and he didn’t)

                […]
                […]
                It’s crazy to me because there is nothing like this with presidents in America. Maybe with Reagan a bit but for me as a right winger, there is no left wing boogeyman previous presidents that I really hate. Yeah some were pretty gay and I don’t like them, but I wouldn’t say I hate them or even waste the time to argue with their fans about why they are not good. Leftists are just spergs I guess

                Probably it’s to do with the fact that the US has never had a major socialist party. Labour, in its roots, is an explicitly socialist party, even if it has strayed from that somewhat post-Blair, the lingering effects are still there. Traditionally Democrats and Republicans were much closer ideologically to each other than Labour and Tories were. And even to this day their major disagreements are more over singular culture war issues, rather than grand ideological debates. Also Labour being stereotypically the "party of the working class" and the Tories the "party of the upper/middle class", which isn’t really reflected in the US to the same degree.

                • #131274
                  Anonymous
                  Guest

                  Can you tell me how is it possible, that Corbyn was less popular among the British public than Milliband?

                  • #131275
                    Anonymous
                    Guest

                    >no Corbynstone
                    NGMI

                    • #131277
                      Anonymous
                      Guest

                      I saw this trainwreck live. Good times.

                  • #131279
                    Anonymous
                    Guest

                    Labour got a higher vote total and vote share in both 2017 and 2019 than they did in 2015. 2017 was Labour’s third-best election result by vote share since 1970 (after 1997 and 2001).

                    • #131280
                      Anonymous
                      Guest

                      Yeah but most of that is irrelevant in FPTP

                      • #131281
                        Anonymous
                        Guest

                        Labour also gained 30 seats! 2017 was objectively a relatively strong electoral performance for Labour. 2017 is about as strong as Labour has ever been since the 1970s, with the exception of Tony Blair’s elections. And they were against strong headwinds – they got that performance despite the fact that Scottish Labour had collapsed in 2015 and threw away 40 seats. And it’s despite the fact that UKIP didn’t perform well, with most UKIP defectors going to the Tories. Labour’s performance in 2017 under Corbyn was better than its performance under Miliband in 2015 by every reasonable measure, especially under the circumstances.

        • #131269
          Anonymous
          Guest
          • #131272
            Anonymous
            Guest

            >Why do modern leftist britoids start screaming and pissing and pooping everywhere when Margaret thatcher is brought up.
            Political polarisation is awful in the UK. You think Dems vs Reps is bad in the US? Well, Tories vs Labour in the UK is several times worse than that, and it’s been like it since the 1940s at least. Labour supporters the for the most part the instigators of this hatred as they tend to regard Tories as being not just people they disagree with, but as outright scum, villainous, sometimes even murderous people that they have zero respect for. Most Labour supporters couldn’t even name one Tory PM that they have admiration for (They used to say Churchill, but now Labour is running with the line that he was racist so he’s out too). Thatcher is like the #1 boogeyman for Labourites. Just imagine what Trump is to Democrats today, and that’s exactly what Thatcher was to Labour supporters starting in 1979. She completely upended the political establishment of the time in a way that made leftists absolutely seethe to this day, to the point their go-to criticism of any Tory leader they dislike is to accuse them of "trying to bring back Thatcherism".

            Pic related is Aneurin Bevan (Labour minister of the 40s/50s) talking about his hatred for Tories. Which gives you a sense of how much hatred there is between the parties. To this day "Tory scum" is thrown about very liberally by Labour voters, they refer to working class people who vote Tory as "class traitors", and I’ve known female Labour activists to walk around wearing badges that say "Never Kissed A Tory". The political divide in the UK is basically unmendable.

            this isn’t really the right board to ask this on as it’s heavily left-wing and you’ll only get slanted or partisan answers

            It’s crazy to me because there is nothing like this with presidents in America. Maybe with Reagan a bit but for me as a right winger, there is no left wing boogeyman previous presidents that I really hate. Yeah some were pretty gay and I don’t like them, but I wouldn’t say I hate them or even waste the time to argue with their fans about why they are not good. Leftists are just spergs I guess

    • #131276
      Anonymous
      Guest

      One thing which hasn’t been mentioned in this thread is that while Thatcher utterly obliterated large parts of UK, many regions in the souf actually greatly benefitted from her economic policies, giving her a sizeable support base.

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