Thatcher and Me

I’m loathed to write something about the demise of Margaret Thatcher purely because so much has already been written and happened this past week.

For me her death is nothing particularly remarkable. Back in the day I despised her politics, and the time to celebrate the end of that was in 1990 when she left Downing Street with a tearful farewell.

Am I happy she’s dead? Not really, it’s a redundant question, a bit like asking are you happy it rained today? It rains most days so what’s the big deal?

However, I’m left disgusted by several things that have happened in the past week, things that have left me feeling somewhat battered politically, and unable to reconcile my position and views any longer.

The Death Parties
I found these quite embarrassing and distasteful. I wasn’t brought up to gloat at someone’s death, and to be honest, watching the pictures of the extreme lefties dancing in Brixton, Liverpool and Glasgow left me with a shiver.

The knee jerk reaction to these events revealed as much in the people that responded as those taking part. I can understand why these people did what they did but that doesn’t mean I agree with it, and it should be noted that there were a lot of other people in all these great cities that didn’t take part, which doesn’t automatically mean they sympathise.

The Newspapers
Some of the headlines were remarkable, and some of the journalists from all sides, particularly the Daily Mail, were more disgusting than the death party-goers.

The Mail’s view was just because someone has died we should look back on their life only in glowing tributes and respect. That’s all fine, but they want to impose this by blocking and ignoring all other points of view, which is as right-wing as you can get.

The Sun led with “Maggie Dead in Bed at Ritz”, while the Daily Mail led with “The Woman Who Saved Britain”. And then we had the Socialist Worker, which displayed a rotting gravestone and the word: “Rejoice!” splashed over the front page with the tag line: “Thatcher’s Dead Special Pull-Out.”

Remind me never to buy any of these rags ever again. Not that I ever did but you get the point.

The Politicians
I’ve lost just about all possible respect for these people now, after watching them queue up one by one to get their voice of praise heard on one side, and belittling the rest on the other. She did this, she did that, we should be grateful – all bollocks from corrupt no-gooders.

David Cameron just about bricked himself because with the spotlight on Thatcher once again, the country has been reminded of what it was like to have a politician that went with her own ideals and beliefs, not one that forms party policy after conducting market research.

And it amazes me that he has been so rubber-spined to have allowed a full military funeral costing almost £10 million. At least the Queen Mother deserved her price tag.

If there was an election today I don’t know who I would vote for. They’re all arseholes.

The BBC
I have lost my respect for the BBC because of their overwhelming and unjustified swamping of tellies with coverage for Thatcher. Yes, an ex-PM has died, but that doesn’t mean we kow-tow to the demands of the few and go overboard.

Their handling of the Wizard of Oz tune, Ding Dong the Witch is Dead, leaves a bad taste in the mouth, also. Frankly, who gives a shit if the song is in the charts or not? The charts have never been representative of the UK music scene for the last two decades so it means nothing to have this ditty surge up into the Top Ten.

It means nothing, but the credence the BBC gave to it only inflated the importance of it all; it was they who made it a story not those that bought it.

I’m with Paul Gambaccini on this one. The charts are supposed to be treated like the news; it’s like a bank statement reflecting the state of music in the country at any given time. To censor something they deem distasteful means the BBC are not doing their job and have learned nothing.

It’s their job to reflect the feelings and state of affairs of the whole country, offensive or not. It’s the Sex Pistols all over again and all that did was make them into legends.

If the BBC were so consumed by the preservation of dignity and non-offence, can they please vow to never again play Justin Bieber because I find that to be the most vile and offensive shit ever to be recorded.

The Scottish Independence Thing
One thing that pisses me off more than any other about this whole debacle is that it gives the pro-independence movement a huge surge in popularity. People have been reminded what it was like under Thatcher and that can only be good for a move for Scotland to break away in a referendum.

Even I, who up until now have been fully pro-union, was left wondering if it’s worth it. I remember the way the teachers were treated (my Dad was a university lecturer) and I remember the Poll Tax riots all too very well. The coal miners dispute seemed very alien to me, but I did get the feeling that the Tories under Thatcher saw Scotland as a waste ground with which they could do as they pleased.

It seemed that nothing good ever happened in Scotland while she was running the country, we always got shat on by stuck up suits that drank brandy and smoked cigars. People got worse off and suffered, and that just seemed wrong while watching all the London bankers pop open champagne bottles.

Thatcher dying has awakened all the old feelings from the past and left me thinking: “Can the union ever work if it is run by the Westminster politicians of any party?” Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not convinced that independence is the way to resolve this, so I’m stuck in a tough place now.

Thatcher should have gone quietly and with dignity, not in this manner. She’s just about pissed off the whole country by dying.

So I won’t be celebrating on Wednesday. I won’t celebrate someone being dead (although piss me off enough and you’ll join that small and elite band who I wish were).

Thatcher represented the worst of this country but she was finished in 1990 not last week, and her legacy has been a bunch of cardboard politicians who are still running scared from her.

Thatcher was someone who changed the country for the worse other than for a select few. It’s fair in my eyes to say she made the poor worse off and blocked them of climbing the ladder, while at the same time making the rich better off. You only have to look at the funeral guest list and read the papers to see that the people who benefited are the ones who are going to attend and are praising her.

Russell Brand summed it all up perfectly in this weekend’s Guardian:

“The blunt, pathetic reality today is that a little old lady has died, who in the winter of her life had to water roses alone under police supervision. If you behave like there’s no such thing as society, in the end there isn’t.”

Rest in peace, Maggie. I guarantee they’ll be talking about you long after Cameron meets his maker.

Cheers,

Col

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About Colin Galbraith

Author, poet, music lover, rabbit tamer, fake faller.
This entry was posted in Editorial Comment, Politics, Scotland and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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