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Eulogies obviously big up personal impact. You don't get up at a funeral and say "Fred was a nonentity who just went with the flow". There are pivotal moments where an individual can influence direction, but these are just oscillations in a longer trend. By and large, "management" of which politics is a particular species means keeping things running and not screwing up a la James Crosby.
The flip-side of this truth is the cult of personality - the tendency to attribute inventions and great deeds to the powerful.
You could have been forgiven this week for thinking Margaret Thatcher was North Korean. The desire to credit her with near magical powers of influence produced one particularly surreal meme. Stephanie Flanders, who may have copied Ian's homework, rolled out the same emblematic factoid on BBC News last night.
Of course, the Leaderene was no more responsible for technological advance than Canute was for the waves. The key change in telephony was the widespread adoption of cordless phones in the mids, which largely did away with the need for extension wiring.
Warming to the theme, Philip Hensher imagined a counter-factual world in which Thatcher never came to power: Perhaps there would be three TV channels and the requirement for a licence before you could use the internet".
They had a point, but they had no idea how fascinating she was". Even the more sober analysts of economic performance succumbed to the Dear Leader hysteria.
Jeremy Warner in The Telegraph noted that GDP relative to France began to improve "almost from the moment she came to office, after more than three decades of decline".
You can almost smell the magic, not to mention the unwillingness to credit any of this to the spadework of a prior administration. Our current economic woes are all the work of Gordon Brown: Only the last is partly attributable to policy, specifically Thatcher's championing of the single market.
The idea that we would have been stuck producing "notoriously poor" goods for the duration is, to coin a phrase, to misunderstand history. Heath is also selective on financial services, insisting that the Big Bang was unavoidable: Thanks to Big Bang, the new players ended up being based in London, rather than elsewhere, contributing greatly to the Exchequer.
The plain fact is that deregulation allowed foreign banks and brokerages to buy up The City.
They were always intent on moving in because of London's structural advantages in the money trade notably Eurodollars and bonds.
Like many others this week, Heath also tried to scare us with tales of how the 70s were scarred by industrial action: In other words, practicing the democracy that was conspicuously absent within the workplace.
It is difficult to convince people today that strikes were nowhere near as prevalent as the myth has it, and that days lost to strike action didn't fall to a historically low level till the 90s, largely as a result of the changed composition of the economy.
It was globalisation and deindustrialisation that primarily undermined organised labour, not anti-union law or police truncheons. The pitched battles of Wapping inevitable technological change and Orgreave simple revenge for were exceptions, not the rule.
The visceral hatred of organised labour remains a significant dividing line on the right, between the small capitalists and Hayekians on the one side and the more pragmatic big capitalists and neoliberals on the other.
I should point out that the "right" in this sense includes much of Labour. Another popular meme is the claim, made by Mrs T herself, that her greatest achievement was Tony Blair and New Labour.
In fact, both she and he were common products of a wider tendency, not one of the other, and there were crucial differences between them. The growing rift over the EU pushed big capital towards New Labour in the 90s. Finance capital, now dependent on global flows and the need for domestic regulatory shelter, found a willing ally in New Labour and adopted an ambivalent attitude in turn.
The legacy of Thatcher is the persistent strength of this small capital core, now driving the demonisation of welfare and Europe. The fact of New Labour's continuity is taken as evidence that Thatcher "made the weather" and "shifted the centre ground". The judgement of history will surely be that most of the socio-economic changes that came to pass in the 80s would have occurred regardless of who was PM.The staging in this cartoon is inspired by the George Bellows painting Stag at Sharkey's A new critique of the Lancet Iraq death toll study.
the National Archives has an excellent Web site for the Declaration of Independence. He is now known as a one-work artist, for his painting Stag at Sharkey's of , a boxing slugfest where two fighters tear into one another as a raucous crowd howls from the ringside. It captures not just the primal nature of boxing but of the world of the spectators too, a .
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Go to: Distributed Proofreaders. Jan 28, · Ashcan Inspiration—a Closer Look at: Stag at Sharkey’s, Skating in Central Park, and New York If the goal was to shift the focus from the individual to the event, as an artist, how would one conceptualize this manifestation? In answering this question, one can look to the artists of the Ashcan.