LETTER: Mrs Thatcher not to blame for industries’ decline

Margaret Thatcher.
Margaret Thatcher.

Mr Boddy (Mail, May 18) commented on Mr Cameron having “a rose tinted view of the Thatcher years”.

I, along with many military friends, consider Mrs Thatcher to be second only to Winston Churchill as the best Prime Minister this country has ever had.

He continues to blame her for the closure of the pits, shipyards and steelworks when, in reality, she did none of these things.

What she did was to confront the unions by refusing to give any more subsidies to these industries.

In the 1980s most house heating was done by coal fires.

When the offer came to buy a ton of coal for £20 or from a different supplier for £25 which one do you think people bought?

Unfortunately the £20 per ton came all the way from China or Poland, at a cheaper cost than that from the collieries 15 miles up the road.

The miners wanted more money for the same job, without an increase in output.

It was costing us more to get the local coal than it was worth, so it was the consumer, not Mrs Thatcher, who closed the doors.

This value for money was also the same for steel and ship-building, which is still present.

It can be seen any day on the dock yard where scrap is loaded into ships and taken to China, smelted down into steel plates, and returned to Hartlepool to be turned into 24in pipes.

Then it is loaded back onto ships and taken back to China.

All cheaper than us making the steel and pipes before sending them to China.

It all boils down to the consumer who wants value for money.

As for replacing jobs, it’s a great idea but go to any contractor and you will find that they are not willing to work for a decent wage.

These suggestions and comments are about as relevant as the party he claims to represent.

Even the prospective Labour leaders are distancing themselves from the unions.

As for leaving people behind, as in Hartlepool, I would lay that firmly at the feet of the Labour Hartlepool Borough Council which has controlled the Hartlepools for far too many years.

I have a monthly income and when it’s gone, it’s gone.

I can’t scream and shout about not getting a grant.

I, along with most people in Hartlepool, have to budget my wages, not live in the expectation that a pot of money will arrive from somewhere.

In conclusion I would suggest that Mr Boddy finds another party, because the one he represents is just about as dead as a dodo.

T Wilson,

Macaulay Road,

Hartlepool.