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Should Baroness Thatcher be tried as a war criminal?

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Showing 126-150 of 183 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2010, 23:27:23 GMT
well most people thought they were off the coast of scotland (how ignoranrt)

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2010, 23:31:09 GMT
with u all the way, (sorry dont mean much)

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2010, 23:35:29 GMT
fantastic, case upheld

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2010, 23:49:15 GMT
I have seen the direct results of mrs thatchers polocies, as the daughter,and sister of miners, and as a business owner in the thatcher years, she destroyed evrything we had, and the village surrounding.
she destroyed our business and our home, and consquently our marriage, what can i say???

Posted on 11 Jan 2010, 05:02:54 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Jan 2010, 05:06:12 GMT
P says:
Mr Anthony Perkins (are you really "Mr", you describe yourself as, "the daughter and sister of miners"?)

I can understand your bitterness against Thatcher and her government - I spent the years of the early 80s on Teesside, which was one of those places badly ravaged by Thatcher et al.

But truly, what laws did she break? And if she broke no laws, then putting her on trial is impossible. And do you want to live in a country where we put people on trial because we don't like them?

A government selling off national assets is doing nothing illegal, treacherous or even unreasonable. She believed economists who told her that for the government to try to run pubic utilities was a clear road to inefficiency, stagnation and corruption. One of the things that made her so dangerous, was that she honestly believed that she was doing the right thing - her total belief that she was acting in the best interests of the country, and that she always knew what those interests were. A lot of those people who voted for her believed that too. You believe the opposite, as do a number of others posting on this topic.

But even if you think that she maliciously destroyed the country's industrial base, and that her war with the unions was immoral, *still* that does not mean she broke the law.

As for the sinking of the Belgrano, it may have been a tragic error, a diplomatic blunder, a cynical ploy, but it was NOT a war crime. Attacking a military vessel belonging to an enemy power, during a shooting war is completely within the rules of war.

The "crimes against humanity" charge is also mere rhetorical flourishing. She ran no institutes of torture, did not order mass executions of people of the wrong ethnic grouping, did not run rape camps. She carried out none of the actions which can land you in front of a court at The Hague.

None of the things which you and others object to so violently were actually illegal. And if you cannot show a clear case that she probably broke a specific law, then saying that she should be, "put on trial" simply shows at best that you have not thought about what you mean. At worst it means that you think that if you hate someone enough they should be punished by the legal system without there having been a law broken.

Suppose someone takes over a large factory. They decide that what's needed is specialisation - aiming the factory products at a niche market. The factory is re-tooled to turn out garden gnomes in their millions. Boss get finance for this re-tooling on the basis of a large order from a Chinese retail chain. It's all done, and then the Chinese drop out, saying that fashions have changed and garden gnomes no longer have an appeal to the Chinese. Boss discovers he failed to get any cancellation clause in the contract, and that the Chinese are right, and no one anywhere seems interested in the garden gnomes. The whole thing is a disaster, he can't get credit (no one wants gnomes as collateral), and decides that factory must close and all the jobs are lost. He's been incompetent by not getting a proper contract, foolish by thinking that such a small niche would work, and lazy by giving up too easily. He's ruined the lives of his employees and their families by putting them all out of work. But stupidity and incompetence are not illegal. He can't be put on trial, unless he was breaking health & safety regs or actually fiddling the books.

No broken law, no trial, no criminal.

Posted on 11 Jan 2010, 10:10:43 GMT
S Flaherty: after the canberra delivered the troops it functioned as a hospital ship. Incidentally most of the wounded my father treated were Argentineans. In any case the Canberra, the Atlantic Conveyor and the Antartic Survey ship HMS Endurance were all basically civillian ships (although in military service) yet no-one argues that the Argentinians shouldn't have attacked those, yet somehow one of the largest war ships in the Southern Hemisphere is considered 'off limits'? That makes no sense at all no matter how much you personally hate Thatcher.

Regarding the rest of the arguments here it would appear that because people don't like Thatcher she should be tried as a war criminal. My grandfathers mine was shut down by Mrs T but the mine shaft ran 10 miles under the North Sea when it was shut. It was taking over 2 hours to reach the coal face and two hours back. Taxing the rest of us to support that mine is a fast track to national bankruptcy. My wife's family damn near starved during the strike because my father in law was too scared of crossing the pickets to dare work. If Scargill had called a vote on strike action according to NUM rules I might have had some sympathy with his demans but what he did violated even his own unions rules. HE didn't go hungry of course but his members did. As with the Argentinians he declared war on Thatcher and took the risk of losing the war.

This however has no relevance to Mrs T being charged with war crimes. What I have noticed is that NO-ONE advocating this has actually said what war crime she should be charged with. I would appear to be the same on the BBC forums where calling Tony Blair 'Bliar' is considered a substuture for actual legal knowledge. I'll even give the 'convict her now lobby' a clue. Admiral Karl Donitz head of Germany's U-boat fleet was charged at Nuremberg with waging unrestricted submarine warfare by issuing War Order No. 154 in 1939, and another similar order after the Laconia incident in 1942 & not rescuing survivors from ships attacked by submarine and was therefore in breach of the Second London Naval Treaty of 1936. He was aquited of those charges after it was proven the allies did exactly the same.

What, exactly, should Thatcher be charged with? 'War Crimes' are not a charge.

Posted on 11 Jan 2010, 15:43:18 GMT
A. Ferguson says:

Posted on 11 Jan 2010, 19:17:15 GMT
Alpha_Dog says:
We sank an enemy ship during war which was a threat to UK forces

No argument

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jan 2010, 23:28:23 GMT
P. Higgins says:
P V Sutton
I'd just like to make some points with reference to your previous very well laid out but flawed post.
I totally agree we cannot have a situation where dislike can result in trial. As Thomas More said in A Man for All Seasons, when Roper said he would cut down all the laws in England in pursuit of the Devil "And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you-where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?" finishing "Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake."
Now, you say that Thatcher was dangerous because she believed in what she was doing, and did it for the good of country. If you believe that, I'm afraid you are being somewhat naive. While I agree she may well have believed in what she was doing, she did it for her own good, for the benefit of her cronies and for the wealthy. She also did it to punish the miners and the rest of the trade's union movement for bringing down Ted Heath's government. This has been shown by the release, under the 30 years rule of papers showing how the planning began in 1976.
As for the gnome-maker, while he may not be guilty of a crime under present legislation it doesn't mean such legislation could not be introduced. Would it be any more a crime because it is written on paper and sanctioned by parliament?
And are you aware that strikes are and always have been illegal, that a strike breaks your contract of employment and that your employer is perfectly at liberty, and always has been to sack you? Yet an employer has no responsibility to you with regard to running his company on a financially sound basis.
The law of England is biased toward the wealthy, in all its incarnations. And where it is not, where a government `doesn't like you' (or what you are doing) it quickly passes laws to restrict your freedom. Ask Brian Haw. While they may have not been able to stop his protest, they have made sure nobody can legally join him.
So, back to the gnome maker. If a committee of employees had gone to him to ask him to maintain some diversity, not to over-specialise in case the market fell, what would he have said? I think we all know the answer to that. "My factory, my profits, your fault".

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jan 2010, 00:48:03 GMT
Cathbad says:
Waging aggressive war is the primary war crime; the Nuremberg findings were that if one wages aggressive war one is responsible for every crime that follows. Butcher-Blair and Bloodbath-Brown (along with their master George W Bush) are guilty of this crime, as well as that of using illegal chemical weapon on civilians in Iraq (napalm & white phosphorus, as well as heavy metals such as depleted uranium). Britain also used illegal cluster bombs on civilians in Iraq. These monsters should be in The Hague on trial for war crimes. They should end their days in a prison, or else follow Saddam Hussein to the gallows. It is a sad comment on British society that Blair and Brown are allowed to walk around as if they were normal human beings!

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jan 2010, 00:57:27 GMT
Cathbad says:
It was a war crime (that's why it was covered up!), and therefore Thatcher should be on trial for it. There is a history of justifying British atrocities by appealing to hypothetical occurrences. The Iraq war has been defended by war criminal Tony Blair on similar grounds, as has the mass extermination of civilian populations in India and Ireland. It is worrying that the views of the British right wing appear permanently fixed and unalterable, all evidence be damned! Perhaps reading is the long-term solution to this problem.

Posted on 12 Jan 2010, 07:08:49 GMT
sparky_67 says:
We have to see things as a whole, the finchley problem, the ruin of this country hidden by various wars and crises often illusory or exaggerated, the reality being the stripping of public assets, the demise of its institutions, the personal slavery, now when nothings left publicly, the stripping of personal wealth starting with pensions, progressing thru family heirlooms to the kids games consels, finally the long term end is the organs of the dead, compulsary organ donation, to those that can afford the operation, not happy with owning everything they want to keep it for longer, in the end the war criminals are only a cover for the real criminals, the lesser evil.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jan 2010, 07:20:29 GMT
Withnail says:
Wow... Not one full stop!

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jan 2010, 11:32:49 GMT
On 10 June 1982, "The Worker" said:
Britain out of the Falklands
Thatcher is waging a completely unnecessary and totally unjustifiable war in the South Atlantic to strengthen her position for waging war against the working class in Britain. We shall pay dearly if we don't stop her.
We shall pay with our freedom. Thatcher says the war is being fought for freedom. She lies. It is being fought against our freedom. The fatuous chauvinism whipped up by the press, the phony nationalism from pulpits and on TV screens have fastened Thatcher's yoke on our necks tighter than ever. Each khaki election victory won is a green light for her to go ahead with her vicious attacks on our jobs, wages and unions.
We shall pay in cash. Already more than a billion pounds, representing schools, colleges and hospitals which could be kept open and industries which could be saved, have been blown away in this bellicose adventure. Many more billions will be poured down the same military drain while here in Britain monetarism is invoked as the excuse for cutting our public services expenditure on our welfare.
We shall pay in national honour. Britain's name is beginning to stink in the nostrils of the decent people of Latin America and the Caribbean, of Africa and Asia. Her veto of a UN resolution calling for a cease-fire shows Britain's growing isolation. The barbarous howl of The Sun for blood, the savage cries of the SAS to hunt down and kill `Argies' show that the hated voice of British imperialism is not dead. Thatcher, like some Cecil Rhodes in skirts, is talking now, to the cheers of a lumpen mob, of hanging on to the Falklands permanently for the export of more capital.
Thatcher says the war is being fought to punish aggressors. She lies. We are the aggressors. The Falkland Islands were stolen from Argentina by imperialist force a hundred and fifty years ago. Just before the Heath Government came to power, arrangements had practically been made to hand the Falklands back. The negotiations that will have to be held on the sovereignty of the Islands could have been held without any bloodshed. Over a thousand young men have died uselessly.
Britain once repelled an armada sent by a villainous king to reduce the British people to vassals of the Pope and Spain. This time the armada was despatched by a British Prime Minister to bolster up her power over the British people at home through belligerence abroad.
It is not too late to undo the shameful damage done in our name for the purpose of undoing us. Pull down the warmonger and pull out the troops - out of the South Atlantic, out of Ireland. They can be housed in the bases from which we expel the GIs.

Quite good forecasts!

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jan 2010, 14:42:36 GMT
Liammons says:
Mr Podmore,
I wonder did that tawdry little rag quote the population of the Falklands at the time of British settlement? Probably not. And of course giving things away for free was always a favourite of the Labour party. Didn't they 'give away' a whole empire because they couldn't see through their red tinted spectacles and didn't have the bottle to stand up to America?

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jan 2010, 14:48:55 GMT
Liammons says:
If the sinking of the Belgrano was a war crime, were similar crimes not committed by the Argentines? A very valid point is raised above about the Nuremburg trials, although it is not followed through to its logical conclusion; the victors are never wrong! Was Dresden a war crime?
None of that is truely relevant though, the basic truth is that the sinking of the Belgrano was, under the articles of war, a legitimate act. As was the retaking of forcibly occupied territory. Mrs Thatcher committed no crime under the statutes of international law, therefore she is not a war criminal. You can't just make the rules up as you go along!!

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jan 2010, 15:01:34 GMT
P. Higgins says:
Tawdry little rag? He was talking about 'The Worker', not 'The Sun'

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jan 2010, 15:10:29 GMT
Liammons says:
P Higgins,
I don't think one is any better than the other to be honest. Jingoistic disinformation are the key components of both!

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jan 2010, 23:13:22 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Jan 2010, 23:16:22 GMT
P. Higgins says:
As with all the media. One has to learn to REALLY read what they are saying. 'Reading between the lines' if you like. I learned some of the techniques while on a very informative course at the Solihull College of Technology in the 1970's.

Whatever their claims, they all have a bias and will report 'truthfully and honestly' according to that bias.

For example, at the Saltley coking plant in the `70's the Birmingham Mail declared a front page headline `Policeman Hurt on Picket Line'.

Reading the report, it transpired that the officer had slipped on a kerb and either sprained or broken his ankle (I don't remember which, just that it was his ankle he hurt). No pickets involved. Nobody else, no threats or attacks that made him slip. A pure accident. But the reporter and/or the editor knew that the headline would attract attention and no matter what the consequent story (let's face it, not the sort of thing that would normally get front page headline reporting, if reported at all) the majority that were not privy to the machinations of the media machine would immediately assume from the headline a picket had assaulted the officer and caused the injury.

Reading on that no such thing had happened would not displace the initial assumption and belief that pickets were violent and assaulting police officers. They had reported the truth, but given the impression they wanted.

Of course, one might argue if there were no strikes, no pickets there would have been no need for him to be there and no need for him to have the accident. But then, as my dad used to say, 'if s**** was puddin', we'd never go hungry'.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jan 2010, 02:37:04 GMT
Fernanda says:
What the hell is your definition of a working man?

Is a doctor for instance, who has put in long, tortuous hours of learning, and exhausting, anti-social shifts as a newly-qualified in a hospital, any less of a working man (or woman) just because he/she will hopefully go on to earn a higher salary than a so-called blue-collar worker?

Comments like this just smack of inverted snobbery. Anyone in employment these days is a working man or woman, and there are very few easy rides left, regardless of either job or profession.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jan 2010, 04:14:05 GMT
Last edited by the author on 13 Jan 2010, 04:15:56 GMT
P. Higgins says:
A working man (or woman) is one who sells as their main asset their physical labour as opposed to intellect and/or knowledge or skill, and who, in the capitalist mode of production, does not own the means of production, their labour generating a surplus value greater than their wages.

By this definition, a doctor, who sells his intellect, knowledge and skill would be considered a member of the petty bourgeoisie or lower middle class.

As with most definitions, there are grey areas. Though a doctor might not be considered a `working man' in this sense, his efforts to help the sick, irrespective of their ability to pay would include such a professional worker as a member of the proletariat.

Membership of the working class is not defined by one's wages. Rather it is defined (often) by high profits generated (usually) by low wages to which he has no access and over which he has no control.

Necessarily, these profits are generated from the goods produced by his physical labour, and even in commercial and other non-productive services where there is no apparent physical produce, it is the value of these goods that produces the surplus on which commercial and non productive services feed.

This brings us back to the doctors, who must earn to survive in their chosen profession and are dependent on the worker to pay him from the surplus he produces as the worker is dependent on the doctor to keep him healthy so he can continue to produce goods and earn a wage.

There is, therefore a symbiotic relationship that is broken when doctors pander to the whims of the rich and powerful, whose excess has been gained from the sweat and toil of the working man- there's that awful term again.

Contrary to popular belief, socialism and communism attempts to redress this imbalance. `From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.' I don't say they have done this successfully or that their methods are as wholesome as many advocates of these principles might profess. There are aspects of socialism with which I do not agree. But I still believe that the balance is unequal and unfair and that socialism is the way to redress the balance. It is not inverted snobbery, a popular term used by capitalists to further demean socialism. It is a genuine belief in the rights of the working man to share in the surplus he, and he alone produces, whether that be directly through his wages or indirectly through better services based on need rather than ability to pay.

As you say, there are very few easy rides left, regardless of either job or profession. But does this not suggest that working men and women and the professionals should stand together and demand better for us all? Give up the constant struggle for personal gain and concentrate our efforts on improvements for all? If we stood together, we would surely be a force to reckon with, and no government or employer could refuse to listen.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jan 2010, 12:16:32 GMT
i believe there is a lot more to that period of history although even as a 'middle class' southerner my sympathies lay with the miners at the time, I was a journalist then and visited Barnsley at the height of the strike. This was part of a concerted effort for the 'ruling classes' to which Thatcher personally aspired, to wrest control back after the new freedoms of the 1960s, the emancipation of women after WW2, and the rise to power of the Trades Union movement in the early part of the 20th Century looked to seriously threaten the rich and greedy. Real 'second order change' takes decades. But Thatcher was like all people who are prepared to do what it takes to grab that much power, psychotic in her desire to protect her circle and her husband's circle of international corporate business people who in that decade had truly begun to run the World. And they certainly do now - look at petrochemical companies, Walmart, etc, look at the continuing demise of World commodities markets and money exchanges which have now been all but replaced by private venture capitalists like Phillip Green, a Thatcher protegee, who are the real culprits in the recent banking collapse. Should Thatcher be tried for anything? Well, do people really believe that thirty or forty cabinet ministers can actually run a country of 64 million people? No, they can only tinker. And the lobby system of which most ordinary people are unaware - a perfectly legal setup whereby most MPs of all parties are in the Commons on behalf of a business sponsor with a special interest, further demonstrates that it's not important to pin any 'blame' on an individual politician, although being human, I may join Billy Bragg and dance on her grave when the day comes. On the upside, the relentless 'growth' which has kept people anaesthetised into mere 'sales targets' and lined the pockets of the feudal overlords is over because the environment simply obviously cannot sustain the amount of materialism we have seen since the War and is already collapsing under the weight of the tampering with the ecology that the First and now the Second World has indulged. Climate change, food and water shortages, it's all obviously a result of Corporate activity and once this knowledge spreads out beyond the intelligensia there will probably be bloodshed.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jan 2010, 15:24:35 GMT
D. Murphy says:
Argentina invaded sovereign territory, we had every legal right to fight a war against them. It was not an illegal war, it was an illegal invasion. how about a more sensible question - why haven't the argentine leaders of the day been hauled up on war crimes charges for starting an illegal war, and committing murders as part of it.

The sinking of the Belgrano, a large heavily armed warship of a belligerent nation, was perfectly justifiable.

I despise self-hating brits who have nothing better to do than stickikng the knife into their own country at every opportunity. If you hate the country so much then leave it and go live in France where of course they obey all international laws, known and unknown.

Argentina got off very lightly from that war, and in fact emerged far healthier when the military junta was over turned and decades of murder and torture of their own citizens was ended.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jan 2010, 15:29:31 GMT
D. Murphy says:
I remember at the time that britain announced the withdrawal of Endurance after the argie junk yard people went onto the island. I thought at the time it would lead to war, becasue it would say to Argentina 'we don't care' carry on. So they did.

I believe Thatcher's government was incompetent in its handling of the diplomacy up to the Argentine invasion, but Argentina started the war unprovoked and ot was illegal under international law. I remember Carrington resigned as foreign secretary because of the failings of the foreign office - last decent minster ever, except maybe for Robin Cook.

"There are some who say that if plausible peace initiatives are under way, then you should confine your military efforts to a purely defensive role."

Only a fool would suggest it ro agree to it. It merely gives your enemy breathing space to start again. We were perilously close to losing that conflict and stopping to allow 'possible' peace initiatives would have been silly.

I agree totally with your last two paragraphs

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jan 2010, 17:00:50 GMT
Liammons says:
P Higgins,
I am curious to know where i fall in the socialist orders of class. I am a professional (veterinary surgeon) and therefore selling my skills and intellect. I am also however a farmer and therefore engage in physical toil (and believe me, if you had been drawing water by hand to almost 100 animals (the pipes are all frozen) since the 23rd of December, you too would know the definition of physical toil!). As a farmer i don't even qualify for a day off for Xmas.
On a personal level i would consider myself upper middle-class, but going by your above definition, I fall between the rungs of the ladder so to speak.
I hope i'm not going to be defined as a kulak when the revolution comes!!
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