SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Thatcherism

Thatcherism comprises the conviction, economic and political style of the British Conservative Party politician Margaret Thatcher, leader of her party from 1975 to 1990. It has been used to describe the principles of the British government under Thatcher as Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990 and beyond into the governments of John Major, David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson. An exponent of Thatcherism is regarded as a "Thatcherite". Thatcherism represented a systematic, decisive rejection and reversal of the post-war consensus, whereby the major political parties agreed on the central themes of Keynesianism, the welfare state, nationalised industry and close regulation of the British economy. There was one major exception, the NHS, popular. In 1982, she promised the British people that the NHS is "safe in our hands". Both the exact terms of what makes up Thatcherism as well as its specific legacy in terms of British history over the past decades are controversial. In terms of ideology, Thatcherism has been described by Nigel Lawson, Thatcher's Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1983 to 1989, as a political platform emphasising free markets with restrained government spending and tax cuts, coupled with British nationalism both at home and abroad.

The Daily Telegraph stated in April 2008 that the programme of the next non-Conservative British government, Tony Blair's administration with an emphasis on New Labour accepted the central reform measures of Thatcherism such as deregulation, privatisation of key national industries, maintaining a flexible labour market, marginalising the trade unions and centralising power from local authorities to central government. Thatcherism attempts to promote low inflation, the small state and free markets through tight control of the money supply and constraints on the labour movement, it is compared with Reaganomics in the United States, economic rationalism in Australia and Rogernomics in New Zealand and as a key part of the worldwide economic liberal movement. Nigel Lawson, Thatcher's Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1983 to 1989, listed the Thatcherite ideals as "free markets, financial discipline, firm control over public expenditure, tax cuts, nationalism,'Victorian values', privatisation and a dash of populism".

Thatcherism is thus compared to classical liberalism. Milton Friedman said, she is a nineteenth-century Liberal". Thatcher herself stated in 1983: "I would not mind betting that if Mr Gladstone were alive today he would apply to join the Conservative Party". In the 1996 Keith Joseph memorial lecture, Thatcher argued: "The kind of Conservatism which he and I favoured would be best described as'liberal', in the old-fashioned sense, and I mean the liberalism of Mr Gladstone, not of the latter day collectivists". Thatcher once told Friedrich Hayek: "I know. Hayek believed "she has felt this clearly"; the relationship between Thatcherism and liberalism is complicated. Thatcher's former Defence Secretary John Nott claimed that "it is a complete misreading of her beliefs to depict her as a nineteenth-century Liberal"; as Ellen Meiksins Wood has argued, Thatcherite capitalism was compatible with traditional British political institutions. As Prime Minister, Thatcher did not challenge ancient institutions such as the monarchy or the House of Lords, but some of the most recent additions such as the trade unions.

Indeed, many leading Thatcherites, including Thatcher herself, went on to join the House of Lords, an honour which William Ewart Gladstone, for instance, had declined. Thinkers associated with Thatcherism include Keith Joseph, Enoch Powell, Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman. In an interview with Simon Heffer in 1996, Thatcher stated that the two greatest influences on her as Conservative leader had been Joseph and Powell, who were both "very great men". Thatcher was a strong critic of communism and socialism. Biographer John Campbell reports that in July 1978 when asked by a Labour MP in Commons what she meant by socialism "she was at a loss to reply. What in fact she meant was Government support for inefficient industries, punitive taxation, regulation of the labour market, price controls – everything that interfered with the functioning of the free economy". A number of commentators have traced the origins of Thatcherism in post-war British politics; the historian Ewen Green claimed there was resentment of the inflation and the constraints imposed by the labour movement, associated with the so-called Buttskellite consensus in the decades before Thatcher came to prominence.

Although the Conservative leadership accommodated itself to the Clement Attlee government's post-war reforms, there was continuous right-wing opposition in the lower ranks of the party, in right-wing pressure groups like the Middle Class Alliance and the People's League for the Defence of Freedom and in think tanks like the Centre for Policy Studies. For example, in the 1945 general election the Conservative Party chairman Ralph Assheton had wanted 12,000 abridged copies of The Road to Serfdom, taking up one-and-a-half tons of the party's paper ration, distributed as election propaganda; the historian Dr. Christopher Cooper traced the formation of the monetarist economics at the heart of Thatcherism back to the resignation of Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer Peter Thorneycroft in 1958; as early as 1950, Thatcher accepted the consensus of the day about the welfare state, claiming the credit belonged to the Conservatives in a speech to the Conservative Association annual general meeting

Gene E. K. Pratter

Gene Ellen Kreyche Pratter is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and former nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Born in Chicago, Pratter received her Artium Baccalaureus degree from Stanford University in 1971, her Juris Doctor from University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1975, her entire career in private practice was spent at the Philadelphia, law firm of Duane Morris, including as general counsel from 1999 to 2004. Pratter was nominated by President George W. Bush on November 3, 2003, to a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania vacated by William H. Yohn Jr.. She was confirmed by the Senate on June 15, 2004, received her commission on June 16, 2004. On November 15, 2007, she was nominated by President George W. Bush to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit vacated by Judge Franklin Stuart Van Antwerpen, who assumed senior status in 2006.

In February 2008, the liberal group Leadership Conference on Civil Rights sent a letter to the Democrat-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy, D-VT. The group claimed that Pratter had as a district court judge, "exhibited a willingness to prematurely dismiss the claims of civil rights plaintiffs and to inhibit advocacy by their counsel, thus denying these plaintiffs access to a full and fair legal process." As a result, Leahy refused to process her nomination for the rest of the 110th Congress. In an act of reconciliation with the Senate Democrats, Bush withdrew her nomination in July 2008 in favor of Paul S. Diamond. George W. Bush judicial appointment controversies Gene E. K. Pratter at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center

Buttevant Rail Disaster

The Buttevant Rail Disaster was a train crash that occurred at Buttevant Railway Station, County Cork in Ireland, 137 miles from Heuston Station on the Dublin to Cork main line, on 1 August 1980. More than 70 people were injured, 18 died, resulting as one of Ireland's worst rail disasters to occur. At 12:45 the 10:00 am Dublin to Cork express train entered Buttevant station carrying some 230 bank holiday passengers; the train was diverted off the main line across a 1:8 temporary set of points into a siding. The locomotive remained upright but carriages behind the engine and generator van jack-knifed and were thrown across four sets of rail lines. Two coaches and the dining car were demolished by the impact, it resulted over 70 people being injured. The accident happened because a set of manual facing points were set to direct the train into the siding; these points were installed about four months and had not been connected to the signal cabin. The permanent way maintenance staff were expecting a stationary locomotive at the Up platform to move into the siding and had set the points for the diversion to the siding, without obtaining permission from the signalman.

Upon seeing that this had been done, the signalman at Buttevant manually set the signals to the Danger aspect and informed the pointsman to reset the points. The train was travelling too fast to stop in time; the derailment occurred at around 60 mph. Local doctor Finbarr Kennedy was on hand at the time of the crash, while waiting to cross the line, was able to give aid to those injured; the train consisted of a generator van and 11 coaches. Six of the coaches consisted of wooden bodies on steel underframes. Four of these were either destroyed or badly damaged in the impact, the two which survived being at the rear of the train; the remainder of the coaches were light-alloy Cravens stock. The generator van, a modified BR Mark 1, was damaged. All of the vehicles were coupled using screw shackle couplings. Locomotive 075, front plates damaged Generator/boiler & guards van, No. 3191 damaged Open 1st class, / timber body No. 1145, body destroyed Buffet car / timber body No. 2408, body destroyed Self-service car / timber body No.

2412, body destroyed Standard carriage / plywood body No. 1491, badly damaged Standard craven / light alloy frame No. 1529, badly damaged Standard craven / light alloy frame No. 1527, body damaged Standard craven / light alloy frame No. 1508, both ends damaged Standard craven / light alloy frame No. 1542, one end damaged Standard craven / light alloy frame No. 1541, no damage Open standard / timber body No. 1365, no damage Standard class and brake van / timber body No. 1936, no damage This event, the subsequent Cherryville junction accident, which killed a further seven people, accounted for 70% of all Irish rail deaths over a 28-year period. CIÉ and the Government came under severe public pressure to improve safety and to modernise the fleet. A major review of the national rail safety policy was held and resulted in the rapid elimination of the wooden-bodied coaches that had formed part of the train; the passengers who were most injured or killed were seated in coaches with wooden frames. This structure was incapable of surviving a high-speed crash and did not come near to the safety standards provided by modern metal-body coaches.

The expert bodies that reviewed that accident discovered that the old timber-frame carriage bodies mounted on a steel frame were inadequate as they were prone to complete collapse under the enormous compression forces of a high-speed collision. While the steel underbody remained structurally intact, other carriages could "mount" the frame compress and destroy the wooden frame body; the more modern steel-framed carriage bodies survived due to their greater structural rigidity. On this basis, the decision to purchase a new fleet of modern intercity coaches based on the British Rail Mark 3 design was made; the Mark 3's longitudinally corrugated roof can survive compression forces of over 300 tonnes. These coaches, an well proven design, were built by BREL in Derby, England and, under licence, at CIÉ's own workshops at Inchicore in Dublin between 1983 and 1989. On 8 August 2005, a commemoration marking the 25th anniversary was held at the station. A bronze sculpture in the shape of two crossing train tracks was unveiled alongside a plaque commemorating the names of the victims at the Buttevant Railway station.

Buttevant Disaster Official Report Eyewitness comment of railway worker on the day