Farewelling the Iron Lady

Martin Gordon writes: Re. “Rundle: a Baroness dies, but the fiction of Thatcherism lives on” (yesterday). I should not be surprised at the usual partisanship of Guy Rundle. Margaret Thatcher was divisive, but Thatcher was effective. I am astonished by the bigoted partisan celebration about her death. It seems incomprehensible now that Britain was looking at IMF intervention in 1979, strikes, short working weeks, social division of an astonishing scale before her election. I did not deliberately leave “Great” out of Britain, but Britain was in dire straits. With the change of government to Labour it was remarkable how little changed, as Labour did not want to go back to the old ways. Imitation is the finest form of flattery.

In more recent times the broad Left has not been defined by what it favours but what it opposes. In Australia they hated John Howard, and Bush in the US, all with a fervor that verged on the irrational. To paraphrase a joke about economists, if all the whingers were laid end to end they would amount to nothing. If you followed their policy positions Britain and pretty everywhere else would be vastly worse off.

Thatcher aside, the only consequential British leader in the last century was Churchill. They seem to be once in every half century, not even once a generation. To cap it off, Thatcher was a very impressive woman, and makes the feminist elite look pretty irrelevant and disinterested in the real interests of all women and people at large around the world.

Niall Clugston writes: Guy Rundle’s exposé of the Thatcher cult is very worthwhile, despite its weird introduction. Even from a conservative patriot’s point of view, she hardly saved the country. Britain has gone from, before World War II, ruling the largest empire in history, to facing extinction. Thatcher, by alienating Scotland, might have put the last nail in the coffin.

Where are the electric cars?

Fiona Brine writes: Just to let you know a recent discovery, based on a five-minute Google search — while many cheap (i.e. under AU$25,000) small to medium electric cars are available in UK, Europe and US, major car companies like Subaru and Mercedes-Benz won’t make their e-cars available here in Australia. Are we now a dumping ground for their surplus petrol vehicles unwanted elsewhere?

It may help that the UK has a 5000-pound subsidy for electric vehicles, but this just makes Australia’s inaction on this issue look prehistoric in the face of climate change, transport and pollution management. Mercedes-Benz is bringing out a new version of their Smart ForTwo car (all electric) in the next two months, to be under AU$20,000 — but it won’t be released in Australia, only in UK, Europe and US, according to Performance Automobiles Hobart (Mercedes-Benz supplier), with no reason given for the non-supply.

Meanwhile, all those Australians who have installed solar PV on their roofs and only get around 4c/Kw return for their power could use their excess power in charging their electric vehicles rather than exporting it to the grid for peanuts. But there’s no electric vehicles at realistic prices available in Australia, unlike the rest of the world.

Talk about being stitched up!