thatcher's britain

I’m generally not one to piss on other people’s headcanons, and as someone who often struggled with disability accommodations at university, I can totally sympathise with those posts talking about how amazing it must be to have access to magic.

All that said, given that the institutions of Harry Potter’s Wizarding World are explicitly based on Rowling’s experiences as a single mother on public assistance in post-Thatcher Britain, I can’t help but think about all the new and fascinating ways they must have discovered to fail to accommodate people. And not just for physical disabilities - that the Wizarding World has essentially no concept of mental health care is near as anything to canon, if you read between the lines.

Like, Hogwarts must be screwing disabled kids in ways we can’t even imagine. Magic’s a knife that cuts both ways.


Jeremy Corbyn vows to rip up Thatcher's entire economic legacy
Jeremy Corbyn will use his flagship conference speech to promise a “new common sense” model for British life that will overturn 30 years of liberal free market economics. The leader will set out policies to pull up the foundations of the existing model, in place since Margaret Thatcher reshaped Britain in the 1980s and adhered to by Labour until Mr Corbyn came to office.

“Jeremy Corbyn will use his flagship conference speech to promise a “new common sense” model for British life that will overturn 30 years of liberal free market economics. The leader will set out policies to pull up the foundations of the existing model, in place since Margaret Thatcher reshaped Britain in the 1980s and adhered to by Labour until Mr Corbyn came to office.

In particular, he will point to the Grenfell Tower disaster as a “tragic monument” to a model of government that has become “brutal and less caring” over the last three decades. In its place, he will propose a new system with an empowered state, nationalised utilities, billions in extra funding for health and education services, curbs on corporate excess and tax rises for the wealthiest.”

Margret Thatcher was a true inspiration to those in support of gender equality everywhere, because she didn’t make a fuss. She never made a big deal about being the first female Prime Minister nor did she use her gender to sway votes in the election. She didn’t specifically appoint women In her cabinet, she appointed those right for the job and she acted as she believed. Margret Thatcher should be a true inspiration to gender equality activists everywhere because she didn’t spend her time trying to empower women to overthrow society, she simple pursued her life as an equal and never let her gender stand in her way, she put sexism aside and did the job she was appointed to. Now if that isn’t the strongest of all gender equality activism I don’t know what is.


December 2nd 1988: Bhutto sworn in

On this day in 1988, Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as the eleventh Prime Minister of Pakistan, becoming the first woman to head the government of a Muslim state. Daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, former Prime Minister and founder of the Pakistan People’s Party, Bhutto was educated at Harvard University and Oxford. She returned to Pakistan in 1977, the same year that a military coup toppled her father’s popularly elected government; Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was later hanged, and Benazir took over leadership of the PPP. The coup resulted in a military dictatorship under General Mohammad Zia ul-Haq, forcing Bhutto and the PPP into exile. However, Bhutto returned to Pakistan in 1986 to push for open elections. Two years later, Zia ul-Haq was killed in a plane crash, and Bhutto was elected to the premiership that December. As Prime Minister, Bhutto’s tough stance with trade unions and other rivals earned her the nickname ‘Iron Lady’, in homage to Margaret Thatcher in Britain. Her government was defeated in the 1990 election amid allegdations of misconduct, but Bhutto was re-elected in 1993. However, her administrated was dismissed in 1996 by President Leghari on charges of corruption, for which she was convicted two years later. In 2007, Bhutto returned to Pakistan having received amnesty from President Musharraf, though immediately was faced with threats and attempted assassination. On December 27th of that year, while campaigning for the general election at a rally in Rawalpindi, Benazir Bhutto was killed by an assassin, who also detonated a bomb which killed almost thirty others. Bhutto is significant for her role in Pakistan’s opposition politics, as well as her status as Pakistan’s only female Prime Minister.

14th June 1982: Falklands war ends 

The Falklands war, known in argentina as the Guerra del Atlántico Sur or the South atlantic war. Was an 10 week war between the argentinian military Junta and the British government under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher. The war would have big political consequences in both countries and is still a source of tension in world diplomacy today. 

In 1765 the British established a colony on one of the smaller islands and claimed the entire archipelago. Unaware of the french colony on east falklands The French handed over their colony to the spanish in 1767. However the spanish and the British where forced to leave due to the american revolution. The Argentinians set up a settlement there but the British were angered by this and returned in 1833 with a small force. It has remained British since then. After ww2 the islanders wished to remian a crown territory. 

In 1976 argentina was the victim of a military coup and a repressive far right government was set up.The country suffered from economic problems and civil unrest. To distract the argentinians from the failing administration. Argentine dictator Leopold Galtieri hatched a plan to retake the Falkland Islands to increase the popularity of the junta. 

The Argentine government sent a ship of scrap metal merchants to South Georgia island. However the ship was a trojan horse and contained 60 Argentine marines. The Marines hoisted the argentine flag on the Islands. The HMS endurance was dispatched to remove what they thought were civilian rebels. taking a small marine detachment. This was the only British ship in the region and before anyone could say a word. The argentinians had launched a full invasion of the falklands islands. 

The Falklands where easily captured and the argentinian government thought the British wouldn’t respond due to the isolation of the Islands and the harsh terrain. They were wrong. 

British prime Minister margaret Thatcher dispatched Britains best. Royal commandos, marines, gurkhas and paratroopers were sent with a task force of 127 ships and 42 aircraft to retake the Falklands. The plan was to achieve air and naval superiority before landed their troops. British harriers valiantly defended their navy despite being heavily outnumbered. A British submarine controversially sunk the argentine vessel “the Belgrano” which was retreating to port and was out of the exclusion zone. Once information reached thatcher that the ship was carrying exocet missles. She had the ship sunk. Technically a war crime. the argentines responding by sinking HMS sheffield.

The British landed 4000 troops in late may. The Argentines launched air assaults sinking the transport ships carrying helicopters. With no transport. The British moved on foot. The task force split up. Half moving to Goose green and another marching 120km by foot to the capital of Port stanley. At Goose green the British overwhelmed the argentinian garrison. When the rest of the task force arrived at port stanley they found 10,000 conscripts waiting for them. Using a series of brilliant night attacks carried out by special forces. The argentinians were defeated. Their morale broke and the British had retaken the islands. 

In Britain the war had made Thatcher very popular with the british people despite being hated before the war. This got her elected with a majority the next year. The war only worsened the juntas grip on argentina. As the war had costed over 600 lives. The Junta left power the next year. The sovereignty of the islands is still desputed. A referendum was held in 2013 where the population voted to remain british. Although Argentina have denounced this. Lets hope it won’t come to war again. 

A Long Rant about Sexist Tropes

Just thinking about the trope of women “sleeping their way to the top” after I’d been reminded that it’s a bit of a recurring theme for female villains in the old Star Wars EU. This makes me mad, as not only is it lazy writing, but it also shows a fundamental lack of understanding of how patriarchy works.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems almost impossible to sleep your way to the top in a democracy. Sure, you could do it to get onto a candidate shortlist, but then there’s the pesky problem of all those thousands of votes from the electorate you’d have to chase. Some of them might not even want to sleep with you! It would be much easier to buy your way to the top, or marry into a wealthy and politically influential family. You’re not guaranteed power, but you’ve got a definite head start. You are far more likely to get elected to high office if you give the impression that you have a happy, traditional marriage. Politicians are judged harshly for their sexual indiscretions; at best, you’d be ridiculed, at worst, you could lose your job.

The only 20th century example I can think of off the top of my head where a woman ends up with political power as a direct result of her marriage is Eva Peron, and even then I’m only basing that assumption on my recollections of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, I have no idea how accurate that is to her real life (everything is just like it is in musicals, right? I’m really clutching at straws to find an example here). Looking further back, the aristocracy used to aim to consolidate wealth and power through what was essentially a form of arranged marriage. Although this might change the fortunes of a family, the women were rarely the ones wielding any sort of political power.

The only industry I can think of where it happened a lot was the Hollywood studio system of the 20s, 30s and 40s, where an (often not entirely consensual) affair with a studio boss or director was a quick way up the career ladder. However, even when starring in films, lead actresses rarely had any actual power, they were essentially still the property of the studio.

So far, I don’t have many examples of this trope actually working in real life, and here’s why. Patriarchy is a club. In Star Wars, Palpatine’s empire is meant to be a ruthless military dictatorship, with a lot of power consolidated into very few hands. Canon suggested the Imperials were misogynistic and racist, and that was why there were no women or non-humans working on their ships in the original trilogy. The commanders were all old white dudes. Anything sounding familiar yet? ‘The Establishment’, whether it’s the bad guys in a sci fi film or the people running a country in real life, tend to hire people like them. The sort of men they’ve been promoted alongside, met at private members clubs or business functions. If you’re a misogynist who wants your business to succeed, you hire your golfing buddy, not your 'bit on the side’.

When women have affairs with powerful men, they are branded gold diggers or home wreckers. Monica Lewinsky, a young woman with an interest in a career in politics, became an international laughing stock for years when someone in a position of power took an interest in her sexually rather than professionally.

The finale of this trope always seems to be that the woman turns out to be not that great at her job, makes a series of ridiculous errors, and our heroes win the day. What is far more common for women at the top is that they become isolated and are taken down by members of their own party. It happened to Margaret Thatcher in Britain, and to Julia Guillard in Australia. That story arc would actually make more sense within the canon, as it would bear out the suggested misogyny of the bad guys.

IDK, in some of these books the aliens and space battles are way more believable than the humans.