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Thatcherism is not to blame for all past ills

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Letters

I take strong exception to John Bancroft (Letters, AJ 4.10.01) saying that the Thatcher government lacked political will and was responsible for the 'destructive form of capital and its monuments'. In fact, it had the strength of will to begin to demolish the patronising myth of public housing, a system which kept a large section of the population in a form of limbo, in which home ownership was alien and where the upkeep of one's home was a responsibility and expense for somebody else.

The 'monuments to destructive capitalism' at Canary Wharf and elsewhere are symbols of economic strength - for which we largely have to thank the Thatcher government, and without which there would be precious little for inhabitants of public housing or anyone else.

Mr Bancroft might like to think of the female population 'scrubbing the front step' in their council estates, perhaps while male counterparts unload (by hand) ships in the Port of London, but few others would.

If Mr Bancroft seeks political scapegoats for the state of public housing, let him look at the local authorities, which refused to set economic rents; refused to collect the rent and rates which were set; threw up vast estates which only the most desperate were prepared to live in;

and chose to pass the buck to central government. It is fashionable to attack the Thatcher government for its perceived shortcomings, but it is almost invariably wrong.

Christopher Davenport Stockport, Greater Manchester

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