Hell is about to be privatised!

‘The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.’ – Marcus Tullius Cicero

Yesterday the world learnt of the demise of the UK first female Prime Minister, Baroness Thatcher. I could written a long damning piece about her mistakes, her lack of social awareness, the damage she did to normal working people, the division she caused by the Miners Strike and the Poll Tax but I am not going to do so. Many others far more qualified than I will do a far far better job in that regard.

I’d rather discuss the reaction to her passing which for me is more interesting. If I said that Margaret Roberts (her maiden name by the way) was a divisive figure, I am fairly sure no one could argue with me. She was a political form of Marmite, you either loved her or hated her, there was no middle ground.

I was part of the generation blighted by the policies enacted by her government. Large scale unemployment, riots, poverty, those were the things we had assumed would never see again and yet we did, far worse than the depression of the 1930s. Not everybody was affected of course, those who were fortunate did OK, but the poor, the weak, the homeless and those struggling to survive were left behind. I wonder how many people who would have otherwise had a full and successful life were denied that chance through the greed and avarice of those who benefited from the destruction of the working classes and the industry they worked in.

It is no surprise to me that some of the best music of the 20th Century grew out of the hate and torment of young people living in the inner cities, left with little hope and nothing to look forward to. The Specials, Crass, The Exploited etc all featured Maggie in tracks and those are the people I can mention whose work wasn’t too violently opposed to her. Creativity is often spawned from times of strife.

And yet as I write this I can not help but feel sorry for her and her family. The vitriol of some commenting on her passing somehow feels inappropriate. Regardless of her politics and her actions, in the end we are talking about a frail old lady whose mind was going dieing in a posh hotel. She was somebody’s mum, somebody’s grandma. The people she left behind her and loved her will be hurting. If any reader has ever lost a loved one, you will know how that feels. If you were in their place, would you want to read such hatred about someone you love who has just died?

History will be the judge of her actions, I suspect their findings will be a lot more nuanced then the present reaction to her death. Time and distance allowing them to see a prospective I and others would find difficult to achieve. Some of it will be good I’m sure, she did forge a path for other female politicians to follow. She did seem to have an understanding of environmental issues, she did help with the fall of communism and achieve better relations with Russia. Even I can accept she did some good.

Let’s hope that those who hate now will learn that hatred is ultimately bad for the people who hate. Life goes on, hate needs to be let go.

admin posted at 2013-4-9 Category: Rants