I am not celebrating the death of Baroness Margaret Thatcher. The passing of the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 was announced this morning. It has been said that she is one of the most vilified and controversial of leaders of our time as well as one of the most socially divisive.
She was responsible for the privatisation of several state owned industries and was in Power when the UK went to war with Argentina over the invasion of the Falkland Islands.
Her term in office saw thousands of ordinary voters gaining a stake in society, buying their council houses and eagerly snapping up shares in the newly privatised industries such as British Gas and British Telecom. It also saw a bitter yearlong battle with the miners after their leader Arthur Scargill called a nationwide strike without holding a strike ballot amongst his members.
The “Iron Lady” was resolute and uncompromising “the lady’s not for turning” epitomised her determination and focus.
Her downfall was the “Poll Tax” or community charge, a flat-rate tax for local services which was based on individuals rather than the value of the property in which they lived. This sparked some of the worst violence on the streets that Britain had seen in decades.
Now for the reasons I am not celebrating like many in the UK.
Firstly, as a woman I have enormous respect for a fellow woman who was the first in her field — she was the first woman Prime Minister in Britain and one of the first female leaders in the modern world. She was a role model to a whole generation of women who later went into Politics. She was also a qualified chemist and a barrister. She also had a family. She showed us it was possible to do both.
She was a principled woman — she had her beliefs and stood up for them.
This is where what I think comes in. I also have my beliefs. They are Pagan based, my core belief is that of the Wiccan Rede — “Harm thee none.” I also hold concepts such as “judge not lest you be judged” dear to my heart. I also believe in the mantra:
Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
I am incredibly dismayed by many of the vicious and vile comments concerning the death of Baroness Thatcher. These are from people who judge others every day for their hypocrisy and their intolerance and speak of their “hatred” of hate speech. They profess to be spiritual and in some cases religious. I refuse to stoop to their level and sink into the morass of their bigotry.
I may not have liked all of your policies Baroness Thatcher, but I respect your achievements as a woman and as a statesperson. As a fellow human I wish that you rest in peace.