It was on this day in 1985 that Oxford University refused to award Margaret Thatcher an honorary degree. In general, right-wing leaders such as Trump, Thatcher and Reagan pose threats to humanity by combating science and doing harm to other noble human enterprises. The statement from Oxford: “A convincing even mammoth majority demonstrates the seriousness of Oxford’s purpose in protesting against the damage inflicted by government policy on science, education and health.” During the Trump era, grave damages have been done to science, education and health also. Some things never change.
It was on this day in 1985 that Oxford University refused to award Margaret Thatcher an honorary degree
Have you ever studied how market capitalism works, or do you just mouth this stuff like a robot? Have you studied the problems involved with running the economic system you support?
For you, it all seems so simple, but in fact your system is the most complicated method of producing goods and services imaginable.
Thatcher won in elections because Public Choice theory worked too well explaining the reality of the Government the Brits were stuck with, and she was the champion of that theory.
At the time, Yes, Minister, and Yes Prime Minister perfectly demonstrated the point, by exploring stories inspired by real cases:
Unsurprisingly, that was Thatcher’s favorite show. Ironically, the writers were not Conservatives, and the actors didn’t like her.
Yet the show perfectly demonstrates the point; Government has proclivities. It has interests of its own, separate from “the people” it is meant to represent. The longer lived it is, the more entrenched and bizarre those interests become.
Thus, most of the revisions Thatcher introduced to the Civil service were not reversed, not even after 13 years of uninterrupted Government by Labor. They admitted she had a point.
It’s not really a question why Thatcher came to power, the question is how did the Civil Service in Britain run so out of control that someone like Thatcher became necessary?
What a diaper load. Cite some specifics.
In the year Mrs Thatcher took office, Britain was heading towards an inflation rate of 20% a year.
There were new strikes every week, especially in the nationalized industries which couldn’t go broke, since all their costs which couldn’t be met by their income, were covered by the taxpayer.
Uncollected garbage piled up in Leicester Square, and the dead went unburied in Liverpool.
Socialism – democratic socialism – was turning Britain into a Third world socialist dump.
Mrs Thatcher turned all that around.
Of course the Left hated her for it, especially after she knocked the Argentine dictatorship’s invasion of the Falklands on the head, leading to its downfall.
The disadvantages of too much socialism were SO obvious that when the Socialists finally took office again in 1997, do you think they were so stupid as to re-nationalize all those industries that she privatized? Not a bit of it! All of her reforms remained in place.
As for an attack on science? Please be specific. Mrs Thatcher had a degree in chemistry from Oxford, so she probably knew a little bit more about science than you. But give some examples of her ‘attacks on science’. Attacks on ‘scientific socialism’ as it’s sometimes called, don’t count.
Of course the Left hated her! They were well on the way to destroying their country, and she stopped them.
Here’s another view of Mrs Thatcher, and higher education:>
Terence Kealey, vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham, which was awarded its Royal charter in 1983 with the then-prime minister’s support, praised Baroness Thatcher’s policies in the 1980s for transforming UK higher education.
Meanwhile, the universities and science minister David Willetts also paid tribute to her “extraordinary achievements” in setting the scene “for the world-class higher education sector we have today”.
Professor Kealey, a former adviser to Baroness Thatcher, who has died at the age of 87 following a stroke, said her reforms led to more transparency and accountability within the sector, while her push to liberalise rules on fees also had an immense impact.
“Before Mrs Thatcher, universities were very similar to public utilities – run for the benefit of staff with government money. Now they are stellar,” said Professor Kealey.
“She was determined to introduce a much higher level of accountability for public funding and greater accountability for students as customers,” he said.
The introduction of full tuition fees for international students in 1981 was a good example of Baroness Thatcher’s benign legacy to higher education, he said.
“It was condemned by almost everyone as a catastrophe for higher education when it was introduced,” he said.
“We were told no foreign students would ever come to Britain. What happened was that, after an initial one-year dip in student numbers, international student numbers continued to grow, providing an invaluable, independent source of income to universities.”
The introduction of the research assessment exercise [RAE] in 1986 was another key achievement, he added.
“The process aligned government support with research outcomes and it transformed the system,” he said.
“The RAE [was] of huge benefit to British institutions, which are second only to those in America.”
He listed Baroness Thatcher, who was chancellor of Buckingham from 1992 to 1998, as one of the four great politicians of the 20th century, alongside Lloyd George, Winston Churchill and Clement Atlee.
Mr Willetts, who worked in the former prime minister’s policy unit before becoming an MP, said the “sad news” was “the right moment to reflect on Margaret Thatcher’s extraordinary achievements”.
“I was honoured to know her and to work for her. As education secretary [from 1970 to 1974], she saved the Open University and presided over a big expansion in student numbers.
“As prime minister, she extended opportunity by introducing the first student loans and improved the research base by introducing the research assessment exercise. Those changes set the scene for the world-class higher education sector we have today.
“As a scientist she also understood the value of research, including blue skies research. That is why, as prime minister, she overruled official scepticism and made Britain a full contributor to the Large Hadron Collider.”
Peter Swinnerton-Dyer, who was chairman of the University Grants Committee, later the Universities Funding Council, between 1983 to 1991, also saluted Baroness Thatcher’s impact on higher education.
“The instinct of a woman is to spring-clean and this country needed spring-cleaning, not least the university sector,” said Professor Swinnerton-Dyer, a former vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge.
“She was a great prime minister and she did much to change the atmosphere of higher education,” he said.
“Universities were spending money wastefully, so…the [RAE] was essentially invented by me and was instituted so money could be divided up in a fair way.”
As for the Left’s contribution to education … well, take a look at a school where they got full control, William Tyndale School: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Tyndale_affair
For those interested in learning more about Mrs Thatcher, I highly recommend Claire Berlinsky’s biography of her, which you can find here: https://www.amazon.com/There-No-Alternative-Margaret-Thatcher/dp/0465031218/
You can get a used copy for $4! Hurry up before Amazon bans it!
And while we’re on Left vs Right re Education, anyone who really cares about how poor kids do in school, needs to read about Michaela School. Under the Conservatives, Britain initiated a kind of ‘super-Charter’ school policy: anyone could start a school, and get funding for it – these schools were called ‘Free Schools’.
A woman who had taught in one of Britain’s dire state schools started one, called Michaela School. It’s very conservative, very old-fashioned, very strict – no idiotic Lefty fads, no indoctrination about how evil white people are, etc.
Of course the Left here hated it like poison, and did everything they could to make it fail. I won’t go into details, but you can read about them elsewhere if you wish. As usual, the Left revealed they they couldn’t care less about ordinary people – they’re slaves to their statist ideology.
And how have children who went to this school fared? They have done brilliantly! In Britain, the Conservative Members of Parliament basically don’t care about children’s education, because they all send their children to private schools. (As do some Labour MPs, which doesn’t keep them from wanting everyone else’s children to go to state schools.)
But they did allow Free Schools … and they may regret it, because now kids from pretty tough backgrounds – most of them non-white – are going to be competing with the kids from the wealthy private schools for places at Oxford and Cambridge.
Anyway, here’s what Wiki has to say about Michaela School: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michaela_Community_School
American patriots should really get behind School Choice – real School Choice, vouchers, so that the US can start having wonderful schools like Michaela School. Since the Left is working hell for leather to destroy education in the US and replace it with insane indoctrination, we have all the more reason to push for freeing education from the grip of the mad ideologues. We might find plenty of ordinary Democrats who would join with us, as well.
Insane ideologues? Oh come on, surely you’re joking! Okay, take a look at one of the vanguard school boards for the Left, San Francisco. (And at some point Mr Blue is going to want to see proof of how educational Lefties treat Black children by teaching them loony nonsense.)
Here’s what children in California state schools will soon be ‘learning’: https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/california-ethnic-studies-curriculum
Let’s be clear: the Left hate ordinary people. Their desire is for power. It’s nice when honest liberals resist this stuff, but such resistance is evaporating rapidly. Too bad.