Danger of ignoring history

From the previews of new film about Margaret Thatcher, she is portrayed as a woman battling for her gender in a dominating man’s world.

She is made out to be the iron lady that took on British politics, Europe and the world, and largely got her own way by bullying and handbag diplomacy.

I, and millions of others, witnessed a very different Thatcher.

Herself, Reagan and others engineered the de-regulation of the banks and financial institutions in the early 1980’s, giving them unfettered freedom to pillage pension funds, manipulate markets and introduce ‘casino’ capitalism.

Thatcher also de-nationalised public utilities, railways and destroyed manufacturing industry, all in the ideological pursuit of ‘free the markets’

We all know the end result. The banks have collapsed and we have now been forced to bail out.

Rail fares increase every year, water, gas and electricity charges continue to rise and the NHS is being privatised by stealth.

On the site of the cinema where the Thatcher film will be shown in Chesterfield, once stood an engineering factory that employed thousands of people.

Across the road stands derelict land, in between yuppy housing and a DIY store, once stood a huge engineering factory that employed many more.

Skills were lost, whole communities disintegrated, unemployment went through the roof, and a generation of young people were assigned to the scrap heap.

Poverty and deprivation rose, as did crime and drugs use.

Any sane person would say that we should never revisit those times. Yet here we are again - another young generation will be lost, more people will fall into poverty and higher crime rates are guaranteed.

Those who ignore or deny history are bound to repeat it.

JOHN KNIGHT

Chesterfield