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June 18, 2007

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Shuggy

"Conservatism, especially in its Thatcherite form, celebrated greed and wealth, however acquired. To many Conservatives, wealth from inheritances or rising house prices is as much admired as wealth won by hard work or entrepreneurship."

Though it pains me to say so, I don't think you're being entirely fair to the Conservatives here. They certainly don't seem to admire wealth if it has been accumulated as a result of selling illegal narcotics, for example, even if this has involved considerable 'entrepreneurship' on the part of the dealer.

dearieme

"Conservatism, especially in its Thatcherite form, celebrated greed and wealth, however acquired." I've always suspected this of being tosh. The great film celebration of that attitude, The Italian Job, was a product of the years of the first Wilson government. The years when I first heard people saying words to the effect of "If those buggers can get away with behaving like that so can I" were the seventies, starting with the miners' strike under Heath and climaxing with The Winter of Discontent under Callaghan.

Will

Can you only get rich by cutting corners? Is there an impeccably honest entrepreneur out there, somewhere?

The recent series of the Apprentice showed one of the candidates negotiating with a supplier and suggesting a VAT fraud. That candidate was not booted off there and then, ad waslater praised for overall effort by those observing. The fact a few small traders behave that way should have been no excuse.

cityunslicker

It is disenguous to claim Thatcher made everyone greedy and that this is the heart of conservatism.

With this logic the whole of America should be drug dealing pornstars. Despite the media, this is clearly untrue. Socail Mores matter and Conservatives want to enhance these. It is the socialists on the left who want revolution and a break with the oast to 'free' the proletariat. The effect his has on cultures can be seen in what has happened to social mores in the UK sine the 1960's.

emmanuelgoldstein

[Conservatism, especially in its Thatcherite form, celebrated greed and wealth, however acquired.]

{I've always suspected this of being tosh}

Al-Yamamah.

Workshy Fop

'Conservatism, especially in its Thatcherite form, celebrated greed and wealth, however acquired.'

Look at the amount of spivs and wide-boys, who managed to put their dubious earnings into clubs, and gain social prestige in the latter half of the 80s.

Roger Thornhill

Although I do to agree with this part: Conservatism, especially in its Thatcherite form, celebrated greed and wealth, however acquired.

I agree very much with the thrust of the post, especially the points about managerialism and this:

If wealth matters more than how it's acquired, then the stigma attached to criminality fades.

The entire point comes down to one word:

Integrity.

Devil's Kitchen

Conservatism, especially in its Thatcherite form, celebrated greed and wealth, however acquired. To many Conservatives, wealth from inheritances or rising house prices is as much admired as wealth won by hard work or entrepreneurship. If wealth matters more than how it's acquired, then the stigma attached to criminality fades.

What absolute twaddle. Yes, wealth from inheritance was accepted, of course; why should it not be (and, yes, I know that we differ on the moral dimension of inherited wealth but it is still legally acquired wealth)?

But are you seriously telling me that if someone walked into a party and proudly announced that he had acquired his wealth by selling young girls into sexual slavery, that he would not have been shunned?

Methinks that you have become far too cynical, hanging around the nouveau riche of the City, Chris.

DK

Roger Thornhill

RT:Although I do to agree with this part:

Please read as: Although I do not agree with this part:

TDK

Your previous commentator made a good point when they noted that most people thought the 1970s unions were all about "fuck everyone else, I want more".

Today we have a Labour government who's level of graft puts to shame the Major government. eg. is it credible - a well educated woman has millions resting in her account that she didn't know about?

I don't know a single conservative who respects politicians as a class; they loath Mandelson precisely as they loath Archer or Aitken. This is the bit you haven't understood: we don't like big government and see corruption as an inevitable consequence of increasing its powers.

chris

DK - but if he walked into a party of Thatcherites and was obviously wealthy but quiet about the source of that wealth, he would be well respected.
That said, Thatcherism merely continued an earlier trend. Many old Labour figures had an unhealthy respect for the shady rich: Maxwell, Kagan, Poulson etc. In this respect, there's nothing new about new Labour.
That word "revolution" should have sent a clue that I wasn't making a narrow party political point.

Hilary Wade

I don't know anyone, personally, whose free will was perverted to such an extent by the wicked influence of Mrs Thatcher that they turned into someone intrinsically greedier or more selfish. Do you? One hears that there were such people. But Thatcherism itself seemed, originally, to be predicated on the assumption that we would act in quite the opposite way - that voters, en masse, would behave - given the chance - like an intelligent girl from a Grantham corner shop. They'd welcome the chance to buy their own houses, take a personal interest in how local government was funded, borrow less money as the price of credit went up. Left to themselves, they'd display financial prudence, independence and a sense of civic duty. It's an ideology, obviously. For some people, as we know, it didn't work. You run into them all the time on the internet. But I wouldn't call them Thatcherites.

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