Margaret Thatcher is dead.
I never thought I would ever write this or think, or say, ill of those who have passed from this world. This world is a better place for the passing of one of the most divisive and awful people I have ever had the misfortune to be a contemporary of.
The Grocers daughter managed to divide the people of England. She did what the ruling classes of England have always done. She sowed division in order to exercise authority. What she did in Ireland was merely an extension of the same policy. She had no idea of what to do here. She thought the North was “as British as Finchley”. Her obituary, for me, will always be three things. That ignorant and insulting comment, her utterly inhumane handling of the hunger strikes, and her “out, out, out” reaction to the new Ireland forum.
She was a friend of apartheid South Africa, she was a friend of General Pinochet in Chile, she was a friend of right wing nutjobs the world over. She had no time for Europeans, She “handbagged” them so it is said. That is a kind phrase.
As Education secretary she took free milk from schoolkids, as prime minister she took employment from her people, notably the miners. She also took their self respect, their right to demonstrate and then, their welfare state from beneath their feet. She criminalised the people she sought to destroy and she engaged the mass media in that enterprise. The same media that have since been exposed as complicit in criminal enterprises of their own.
She believed in “Privatisation”. She called the trade unions “the enemy within” She sold off pretty much every state owned asset there was. Gas, Electricity, Rail, Telecoms. If you want to know the results of that just ask any current customer.
She led the UK into a war over a colony. The Malvinas. That war was nothing to do with the people living there, or the people who had been expelled from living there in 1820. It was to do with getting her re-elected. It worked. At the cost of many lives, British and Argentinian.
Margaret Thatcher was a stubborn woman. That I can admire. She was also incredibly blinkered and incredibly destructive and incredibly downright nasty. She was also simply ignorant.
I detested her. I don’t mourn her passing and I dislike her all the more for making me feel that way.