Margaret Thatcher, chemical weapons and economic crisis


This video is called Chemical weapons in World War I.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Thatcher secretly wanted to restock chemical weapons

Tuesday 30th December 2014

Margaret Thatcher’s government secretly considered stockpiling chemical weapons in the 1980s in response to the Soviet Union’s chemical arsenal, according to newly released official files.

Publicly ministers claimed that they had no plans to restore the nation’s chemical warfare (CW) capability, which had been voluntarily relinquished in the 1950s.

However files released this week show that, behind the scenes, Thatcher suggested the government could be considered “negligent” if it did not build its own chemical arsenal.

A Ministry of Defence document from 1984 estimated that the Soviets had more than 300,000 tons of nerve agents alone, while the US — the only Nato member to possess then-undeclared chemical weapons — had an ageing stockpile of 31,000 tons.

Notes from a meeting of senior ministers and defence chiefs held on August 8 reported a warning by then-defence secretary Michael Heseltine that the lack of a retaliatory CW capability was a “major gap” in Nato’s armoury.

In the discussion that followed, ministers acknowledged that any moves by the government to acquire an “independent CW capability” would create “political difficulties.”

In particular concern was expressed that such an acquisition could undermine public support for Britain’s role as a nuclear power.

“Against this, it was pointed out that public opinion might well be appalled if it was realised that the only response which Nato could offer to a CW attack would be nuclear retaliation,” the note adds.

Thatcher said she was sympathetic to the idea, but believed that the time was not yet right.

“Summing up the discussion, the Prime Minister said that it might be argued that it was negligent of the government not to acquire a CW capability. But this was not a decision which could be addressed at this stage,” the minute noted.

Responding to the disclosure, Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) representative Andrew Smith said: “Chemical weapons are deadly and immoral and they need to be abolished, not stockpiled. It is also very concerning that the government was actively considering acquiring these weapons at the same time as it was denying it in public.”

This video is called Chemical Weapons Testing – Rare Top Secret US Military Film.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Thatcher officials mulled plan for chemical weapon shelters in homes

Tuesday 30th December 2014

Home Office officials secretly considered plans to provide homes with chemical weapons shelters amid fears of an attack by the Soviet Union — but the scheme quickly ran into difficulties.

Files released by the National Archives show that the plan floundered after experts pointed out that people would have to remain in the sealed shelters for up to 10 hours in the aftermath of a chemical attack — while shelters only had enough air for two to three hours.

It was suggested that the air supply could be extended through the use of fans and filters — but again there was a difficulty.

“It was immediately realised that finding room for them might be a problem,” the minutes from April 1985 noted.

This video says about itself:

23 November 2013

Meltdown is a four-part investigation into a world of greed and recklessness that brought down the financial world. The show begins with the 2008 crash that pushed 30 million people into unemployment, brought countries to the edge of insolvency and turned the clock back to 1929.

But how did it all go so wrong? Lack of government regulation; easy lending in the US housing market meant anyone could qualify for a home loan with no government regulations in place. Also, London was competing with New York as the banking capital of the world. Gordon Brown, the British finance minister at the time, introduced “light touch regulation” – giving bankers a free hand in the marketplace.

Meltdown moves on to examine the epidemic of fear that caused the world’s banks to stop lending and how the people began their fight back. Finally, it asks how the world can prepare for the next crisis even as it recognises that this one is far from over.

We hear about the sheikh who says the crash never happened; a Wall Street king charged with fraud; a congresswoman who wants to jail the bankers; and the world leaders who want a re-think of capitalism.

By Richard Bagley in Britain:

Advisers warned Thatcher of-free-for-all bubble

Tuesday 30th December 2014

Top official warned that deregulation could spell disaster

Boneheaded ex-PM Margaret Thatcher’s most senior official warned 29 years ago that her City free-for-all could mean a future financial collapse, newly released government papers revealed yesterday.

The notorious Tory ignored the accurate predictions of Cabinet secretary Sir Robert Armstrong and went ahead with her “Big Bang” that saw stock exchange regulations torn up in 1986.

In a private memorandum he set out a string of concerns months before she tore up City rules — an act linked directly to the 2008 collapse of the banking system.

The March 17 1986 document reports “increasing disquiet about the things going on in the City.”

Sir Robert warns: “They think more about the way in which corners are being cut and money is being made in ways that are at least bordering on the unscrupulous.

“It tends to be summed up by the people saying that they doubt whether it really is good enough any more to leaving the policing of the City to self-regulation.”

Free-market zealot Thatcher — aping then US president Ronald Reagan — opted to ignore the warnings and tear up the rule book, comforted by advice from policy adviser David “Two Brains” Willetts.

The still-serving MP claimed at the time there would be no repeat of the “boom and bust” seen following earlier City deregulation in 1971, when a housing bubble was followed by a market collapse and banking crisis with dark premonitions of 2008.

“We do not expect a systemic problem,” Mr Willetts stated in a joint policy paper.

But within 20 years the taxpayer had been forced to bail out the collapsed banking system to the tune of trillions of pounds, prompting the current era of “austerity” cuts.

Sir Robert was less accurate about rocketing financiers’ pay packets, suggesting that it was “a bubble that will be pricked in a year or two.”

In fact City wages have rocketed in the 30 years since, with chief executives of the biggest companies seeing pay rise from 18 times the average in 1980 to 174 in 2013.

Current Tory policy chief Oliver Letwin urged Thatcher to press ahead with the viciously iniquitous poll tax in the 1980s despite warnings from leading ministers that it would be politically “catastrophic,” newly released documents reveal: here.

Thatcher was warned to break off relations with a self-serving millionaire who trumpeted himself as the architect of the miners’ defeat in 1984-85, papers released under the 30-year rule show. Officials feared that property developer David Hart was exploiting his connections with No 10 for his own ends, warning the Tory prime minister that he would end up causing her “grave embarrassment”: here.

4 thoughts on “Margaret Thatcher, chemical weapons and economic crisis

  1. If Thatcher, did stock pile chemicals she must have had shares of some motive other than fear of Russia, you have to remember Britain does not trust America and vice versa, Russia is a secret ally of Britain, MI5/6, know they cannot trust any country other than the ally being Israel, although they are also cagey of Israel, in both cases Britain needs these two countries for defense and to obtain resources, America is a country no one can trust.

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