Towards Better Democracy

Good words, well written, better the world. Good literature betters the world immeasurably.

The Grocer’s Daughter

The Grocer's Da8ghyer.jpgThe Grocer’s Daughter                                                                                 Limited Edition 1-10
Mixed Media 24 w x 24 h ins.                                                              Copyright the Artist 2018
Available at

Margaret Thatcher is an iconic figure within the pantheon of British prime ministers. Despite the paucity of intellect the quotation suggests, she was responsible for a wholesale dismantling of the Welfare State and much of Britain’s present ills can be laid at the doorstep of the policies she and her ministers implemented.

Among these was privatizing almost all of Britain’s public utilities. The privatization of government held entities was widely copied throughout the world. Until, that is, such a course of action proved to have severe drawbacks, and, based on experience elsewhere, countries late to the game that intended to privatize quickly went cold on the idea.

The basis of the policy is that the state has no business being in business; that businesses run for profit will run such entities much more efficiently than will governments. This has proved, in many, cases, not to be true. There are endless examples. But let’s take railways as one.

As with many utilities, railways require large quantities of investment in order to maintain and expand on their infrastructure. And long range planning to meaningfully allocate such large sums. For a commercial outfit there is no return on capital of such investments and planing into a distant future is beyond the capability of any commercial concersn.

Much of Europe run their railways as governments owned entities and have proved successful at doing so. Privatization of the railways of Britain has arguably been a disaster.

As the basis of this and other policies implemented by that prime minister were contingent on the denial that within society there is the concept of a public good. A further example of the devastating effect that such denial can bring is of affordable housing. Commercial builders have no interest in providing such a facilities and, previous to Thatcher, such housing was provided by local authorities. By starving these authorities of cash provided by Westminster, town and city councils ceased to be able to provide their populace with housting within their boundaries which low wage and unwaged families could afford.

With the denial of the social, as caught in the quote in the work, Britain became, and remains, a much less tolerant and compassionate country. Capital reigns and money comes first. As a result, the country which first implemented the Welfare State has descended into a state where citizens are expected to fend for themselves through bad times and good. The safety net that cushioned the more egregious aspects of Capitalism no longer exists. And Britain is a much more brutal country as a result.

I had in mind to incorporate in the text of the work, “England’s Most Famous Prime Minister.” but decided this was redundant..­

Malcolm D B Munro
Wednesday 21 November, 2018


Filed under: art, Current Events, Literature, Media, Memoir, Music, poetry, politics, stories

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