Monday, April 15, 2013


Hear that rumble? It's the sound of a bandwagon, which I'm about to jump on. I've been deliberately staying away from this up until now, because I've been hearing all sorts of impassioned stuff. I didn't really feel I had anything to add when it comes to, you know, HER.

See, I'm a bit too young to remember what life was like when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister. She was resident at Number 10 for the first eight years of my life, years where I was definitely more interested in the exploits of Optimus Prime than those of the Prime Minister.

Of course, as luck would have it, I lived in the South West of England, so my family wasn't being directly affected by things like the closure of coal mines. My dad was made redundant during her tenure, but not as a result of anything she did. Would I have understood or cared even if he had been?

So I wasn't old enough to have an opinion of the Iron Lady at the time she was exerting her will upon the nation, nor was I in one of the geographical areas most impacted by her policies. According to many, this means I'm not allowed an opinion on her now.

Well, sorry, but, no.

One of my ex-girlfriends lived in a shared house at university. Among her housemates was a young woman who would only watch films, or read books, which were set within her lifetime. Incredibly, anything prior to this was considered completely irrelevant to her. That's weird, right? Really weird?

I hold an opinion on Margaret Thatcher because she was important. She did big things. Changed the way a lot of people think. Wreaked havoc on whole swathes of the country and had no interest in hearing people's objections.

Some people have probably thought about (and cursed the name of) Margaret Thatcher every day for the last twenty years. I haven't. But I have thought about her in the last week, because:

- She was kind of a big deal
- She died
- It has been the top story for every media outlet ever since

Probably the most divisive political leader in living memory, and some people think we shouldn't be talking about her. Except that's not what it is, is it? The people who are resisting the negative comments about Thatcher are the people who believe that she saved the nation (and, for the record, I think anyone who sees no bad in her actions is a fool, but I also think her actions came at a time when something needed to be done, and big changes are never positive for everybody). These are the people who want to hear only praise. Probably, in large part, they are the people who did well during Thatcher's time in government.

Now, I have no desire to go to a party in celebration of anyone's death, that's a bit macabre for my tastes. Do the people staging these things think that somehow Lady T still had her hand on the steering wheel all these years? That the unwell old lady portrayed by Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady was a cunning disguise? Maybe don't put your energy into celebrating Thatcher's death, put it into fighting against her ideological offspring's current style of government. Or, maybe, have a death party, I don't really mind. I also wouldn't mind if you were celebrating the death of someone whose politics align more closely with mine. It might be bad taste, but I don't find it offensive.

If Margaret Thatcher is now in some other plane of existence, watching down (or up…) on us I don't think she'd be offended. I might be too young to remember, but apparently she was quite a strong character.

PS - The alleged cost of the funeral though? That's taking the piss, especially with the "we're not telling you how much it cost until it's happened" line which the government are taking. No-one's funeral should cost that much. Silly.


  1. I reckon it should be an austerity funeral, cardboard box and some limo sausage rolls at the local Con Club.

  2. Fantastic post fella. I think you covered it nicely there.

  3. You know, I was not a fan but I actually find all the celebratory stuff, the 'ding dong the witch is dead' etc stuff really distasteful. I feel so sorry for her family...even though her son is possibly the biggest dufus on earth.

  4. Like your post, very reasoned. I'm a product of the 1980s and feel pretty much the same.

  5. I'm still more interested in what Optimus Prime is up to. ;)