OK, so perhaps I was living under a rock during the 1980″s. By “rock” I mean a combination of Mrs. B”s womb and St. Francis R.C. Primary School-where rather ironically I recall my fondest memories were that of drinking milk. Anyhow, news of Margaret Thatcher”s death this Monday and the consequent proclamations of hatred towards her have left me piecing together my own hazy memory of the 80″s; and to be quite frank it has left me stumped. In all fairness I was aged 0-4 in the period in my lifetime that she governed. And I only got a “B” in GCSE History.
With all the out pour of loathing towards her on Twitter and Facebook and probably/maybe Linkedin (who uses that by the way?), it left me thinking one thing: WHAT DID THIS WOMAN DO???!!! I mean, I was aware that she wasn”t exactly Lorraine Kelly (loved by all). I know this because at various points in my life when her name cropped up in conversation, more often than not it was met with a series of groans and general disgruntled mutterings. But I don”t think the true level of sheer abhorrence was quite made known to me until her death this Monday. Blimey, this woman must have had balls of steel as well as a body of Iron to be able to have dealt with this much animosity.
I”d never seen so many people slagging her off. I guess slagging off is precisely the right thing to do when dealing with The Iron Lady. (See Wikipedia: Slag “separates the desired metal such as Iron from the unwanted fraction”). Initially I found the open malice only venomous and insensitive to her grieving family. Dancing on her grave I felt was ultimately cruel and pointless. But with the sheer volume of openly public hatred towards her I wanted to explore whether or not she actually deserved it.
Ignorant and indecisive as to what my thoughts actually were on the Lady, I immersed myself in researching this fascinating political figure. And by “research” I mean mainly reading the 14 page spread in The Sun. Oh, and The Guardian, but that was only really because Russell Brand wrote an article on her. (Hello, I”ve had a crush on him since like forever). Before I go on can we all just take a minute to reflect that The Sun put Mags on Page Three this Tuesday! Page Three!! Never did I think that Maggie Thatcher would grace this paper”s notorious norgesbesteonlinecasinoer Page Three. I bet feminists minds exploded when their eyes met with this unfathomable juxtaposition. Where was I? Oh yes, I was on a research quest to find out exactly WHY she is/was so despised.
Up until now my only education of “The Thatcher Years” were when we studied Jim Cartwright”s “Road” in A Level Theatre Studies and when Channel 4 screened a couple of Meryl Streep films. It was fair to say my knowledge of Thatcher”s effect on society, sorry I mean the individual, were rather limited.
However thanks to the media I now understand what this woman did and why people have been harbouring so much acrimony and bitterness since the 80″s. I”ve gone full circle. From rather naively regarding her as a feminist icon; the epitome of girl power (Brand hit the nail on the head when he said she was an “icon of individualism, not of feminism) to feeling angry at what she has inflicted on our society. YES, SOCIETY. Don”t get me wrong I am not going to celebrate her death-I just don”t see the point and believe you me I like a party just as much as the next binge drinker
What she did and how she governed were intolerable for so many people in the 80″s and we are still paying the price today. Individualism are the routes of Thatcherism and this stance is still heavily ingrained in us today. Hell, I see it everyday when I get on the tube.
We live in a selfish culture now who many believe stem from Thatcherism. She famously disregarded society yet despite not believing in it she brought in Poll Tax which was a community charge. Community is Society right? Why then did she make a tax on something that she didn”t believe existed? Odd.
I won”t go into all the other rather “odd” things she did during her “reign” -(The Falklands, Privatisation, taking away our Milk-which I believe is why so many people now are Lactose Intolerant -we”re just not used to it), as I am assuming we”ve all read the 14 page spread in The Sun -did I mention Maggie was on Page Three!? Or failing that lived through her somewhat tyrannical governing. She was it seems, a battleaxe and Russell Brand”s (oh Russell….) use of the word “Headmistress” in his Guardian article reflected this.
It is no wonder with all this combined that her death is causing so much controversy and anguish. Her funeral is in a Right State, literally. Well, it”s actually now technically not a State Funeral but a Ceremonial one. Whatever, it”s still going to cost the taxpayer 10 million big ones. To digress- a State Funeral turning into a Ceremonial one-is that like the equivalent of buying your own council house? Which reminds me, as it”d be quite diplomatic of me if I kept this Blog unbiased-she did do SOME good. People became home owners. She put a roof over their heads. A Thatched roof, albeit but still a roof. However this has now affected the house prices today detrimentally. Ah.
You”d think with all this commotion she”d be turning in her grave but I doubt it somehow, the lady”s not for turning. But I think the death of Margaret Thatcher is ultimately a sad and reflective one; and not of jollification. Her death does not signify the end of Thatcherism, Individualism and a less selfish society, it merely emphasises how much we live in a world where the levels between rich and poor are stark and that everyone of us is essentially narcissistic We shouldn”t be celebrating her death, we should be looking forward to change. Turning over a new leaf. The Lady might not be for turning, but we are.
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