Thatcher Tribute Debate – Kevin’s Tribute

There was me thinking Kevin would stay away along with John Healey and Sarah Champion but I was wrong. Was it the lure of the over generous expenses on offer for this session that made the difference?

Extract from Hansard:

Mr Kevin Barron (Rother Valley) (Lab): I offer my condolences to Lady Thatcher’s family, and in particular to her children and grandchildren. Both Front-Bench speakers have said that she was not only the only woman Prime Minister of this country, but someone who rose to the top of a major political party when it was dominated by men, as it is still. The Prime Minister has said she broke through a big glass ceiling, and we should recognise that fact.

I add my thoughts to those of the hon. Member for Belfast South (Dr McDonnell). Today is the 15th anniversary of the Good Friday agreement. The House should acknowledge that Lady Thatcher’s initiative in the 1980s was the start of the peace process, for which many people have good reason to thank her today.

Lady Thatcher was a radical politician and will remain a controversial figure. She would have expected that her conviction politics would court controversy even at such a time. Many of her domestic policies caused great concern and harm to many people and communities. I entered the House in 1983, nine months before the start of the miners’ strike. I come from a mining background and represent a mining constituency. My overriding memory of the 12-month strike was not the violence that we saw on our television screens—I condemned the violence at the time—but the poverty and hardship that miners and their families went through for the best part of 12 months.

We know that the cause of the strike was the proposed pit closure programme and the consequent effect, particularly on male unemployment, which had been traditionally high in coal mining communities. I am not saying that the Government of the day were wholly to blame for the strike and its consequences, but I believe they had a responsibility to bring the dispute to an early end, which they did not meet.

On Saturday, I attended a march commemorating the closure of Maltby colliery—the coal mine I worked at as a young man. It was the sixth and last coal mine to close in the Rother Valley constituency. The bitterness that stems from the ’84-’85 strike is there among people even all these years later. Although tribute can and will be paid to Margaret Thatcher, other voices in the country ought to be heard.

Commenters please note:

Rothpol did not publish this story in order to allow abusive comments about Thatcher from anyone, least of all unregistered anonymous contributors! At least until after the funeral, I’m old fashioned about these things.

How to register your identity with Rothpol, whatever it is including Anonymous. Please email Rothpol, put your chosen identity in the subject line and simply send it. You may tell us a little about yourself in the body of your email but it is not essential to your registration.

Read Hansard, all the contributions in the debate here, every word!

12 thoughts on “Thatcher Tribute Debate – Kevin’s Tribute

  1. Agree with you absolutely about a moratoria on comments about Thatcher until after the funeral, and a hope that the usual idiots will not protest violently.

    Sadly the Tories decided to re-convene Parliament for no good, and thereby guaranteed politicisation of the event and period building up to the funeral.

    Maybe they should have listened to Brutus,To paraphrase ” I Come to bury Caesar, not to praise him”.”

    Wil (definitely not Shakespeare) Ewart


  2. I think it’s a dreadful reflection of our society that we ‘party’ when someone’s dead and use their death as an opportunity to criticise; why now? People ought to show some class and tact and as much as I loathe her party, I commend Sarah Champion for not reducing herself to the mob level of some in Labour and just staying away (from the parliamentary session); a subtle a tactful way of making her point. Others should follow suit.


    • Well said Omar and thanks for your letter in this weeks “Advertiser”. You said it all when you comment “While Thatcher was responsible for the destruction of many outdated institutions, she also paved the way for a renaissance in this country which New Labour continued and consolidated during their 13 years in power”. She made many industries, particularly the nationalised industries, cost effective.


  3. Reblogged this on maltbyblogger and commented:
    More than enough said on Margaret Thatcher, her death and her legacy as far as maltbyblogger is concerned.
    I don’t think Parliament should have been recalled either and give John Healey and Sarah Champion fair dues to them for not attending. Kevin Barron MP no doubt has his own reasons for attending – whether it was for political purposes or not, I don’t feel it necessary to debate.


  4. Well said Omar and I think your letter in the “Advertiser” said it all. I certainly support your comment that she was responsible for the destruction of many outdated institutions, she also paved the way for a renaissance in this country. She made our country cost effective!


  5. Cost effective you say! The cost for the successes during the eighteen years of tory misrule were borne by the poor! The gap beteen the rich and poor increased massivelly from 1979 to 1997. The Tories refused to have a minimum wage and parasite agencies paying pittances sprang up all over the place. To Blair and Browns’ eternal shame they bought into the Thatcher economic philosophy that can be summed up in one word – “greed!” Whatever your view is and despite winning three elections the majority of the people of this country never bought Thatcherism, Scotland totally repudiated it and the tories were almost wiped out there.


    • Sorry Malcontent but if you say the majority of the people of this country never bought into Thatcherism, you may as well say the majority of people in Rotherham do not buy into the left wing fiasco which is RMBC Labour Group but we have been stuck with them for decades now! This is our problem in Rotherham, the majority of Rotherham people fall for their vote buying scams.


      • Precisely, when two thirds of the electorate in Rotherham will not vote, no matter how bad the Labour party both collectively and some individuals behave.Then no matter how much labour councillors crow about them continually winning the maiority of searts on the council, they cannot claim to have the majority of the people backing their policies. Fiasco it may be, but they know as long as they get a majority of the third of the electorate that do vote backing them, the apathy of the rest will see them in power ad infinitum.


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