Thoughts on the late Mrs. T.

She did immense harm, but she didn’t do it all by herself. She left the country bruised and fractured, torn between those now proud to be greedy and heartless and those embittered or broken by the contempt with which they were spat upon. The cracks have only widened since then, as the smarmy procession followed: Major, Blair, Cameron, each smoother and nastier than the one before. (Brown was just a blundering bear who accidentally found himself on the stage and knocked down a few pieces of scenery before being led out.) She was a monster, but if it hadn’t been her, it would have been another one. There were plenty of people ready to listen to the comforting nostrums of Milton Friedman, to lap up the good ol’ boy platitudes of Reagan and to look wistfully across at Chile. Millions of them voted for her party, delighted to find that their good fortune was earned, that they didn’t need to worry about the poor or the sick or the old, that society, and the long tradition of compassion and co-operation and co-dependence, were just fairy stories made up to console life’s losers. If it had only been her, we could have gone back again, that day when she resigned and we sang, for the first time, ‘Ding dong, the witch is dead.’ We could have awoken from the terrible nightmare, followed the ovine leadings of Geoffrey Howe and recovered our sense of justice and compassion. But they didn’t want to; those who followed in her wake; politicians, directors, journalists – and voters. For the winners, the brave new world was still shiny; it was only its figurehead who was looking her tarnished age. The losers were already lost. There is nothing more distasteful than the braying young (and old enough to know better) bucks in Westminster and what was once Fleet Street, hee-hawing their complacent pieties. But I can’t feel that rejoicing at her death is quite right either. Not now. She was old and sick, in body and mind, and still, however ferrous, a woman. And none of those disabilities, in the harsh world she ushered in, can be forgiven. I feel no delight at her death, no more than at the hole-in-the-corner despatch of Saddam Hussein or Bin Laden by the next generation of neo-cons. If we want to change the brutal scramble that has replaced our communities, if we want to stand shoulder to shoulder with the poor, the immigrants, the disabled and the billions we are killing through climate change, then we have to ask ourselves some hard questions. If we, to any extent, are the winners, then who are the losers, and how are we going to take our fingers off the scales? If, behind all the shouting, we can take the time to ponder these, then perhaps the fuss has been about something after all.

4 thoughts on “Thoughts on the late Mrs. T.

  1. keith@development-alternatives.co.uk

    Excellent, mature thoughts. I stumbled across this because I was looking for a book. I will certainly come back again and support your business. For my part I have joined the Green Party. They are the only party now who, in my opinion stand for social justice and fairness.

  2. admin Post author

    Thank you very much, Keith, and I’m also extremely pleased to hear that you’ve joined the Green Party. I’ve been a member for several years, and share your view.

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