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.
Well! This an amazing article, Nicola! I appreciate your defense of the Baroness and the Pagan and Wiccan associations you brought into your admiration are fascinating and stunning! SMILE!
In the USA liberal ranks, Thatcher is pretty much dismissed as a Reagan enabler — and not a friend of the peaceful or the poor.
I know she was either loved or hated by most people – I admired her for what she showed was possible in career terms to women – she really did break the glass ceiling – in fact she shattered it.
She had the famous “special” relationship with Regan – she was also friendly with Mikhail Gorbachev.
I am not sure if any politicians are friends of the peaceful or the poor – and that is one of the things that is wrong with large portions of society today.
I agree with you about politicians not caring about the poor or the peace. We thought Obama was The One — but he’s a rebranded Reagan Republican who is just as addicted as his predecessors to tossing bombs and slashing services to appease the Far Right.
It’s incredible that Obama wants to cut Social Security and other services built to protect kids and the elderly just to be popular with the Hard Right — who will still hate him now and forevermore.
I do not understand that about Obama – that is one group of people who are NEVER going to love him …………… will they hate him any less ?
No, and that’s what so odd about it. They will never support anything he does — yet he kowtows to them as if he’s desperate for their attention. He had a full majority coalition on the other side and frittered away all that goodwill. It is a stunning defeat.
Obama wants a “Grand Bargain” that will reshape the USA — and the Republicans know that, and they’re using that to manipulate and control him — and in the end they will lie and give him nothing but more obstruction while Obama will lose all his popular support at home.
Sounds like Camerons Big Society – the only one he will get is one that is united against him .
Also here in the States, she was quite viciously attacked by comics such as Doonesbury. Even years after she was PM, the attacks went on — for example, see the strip posted here : http://www.democraticunderground.com/101615157
That is pretty mild after what I have seen on facebook today …………… I was actually sickened by what I saw and from whom I saw it coming – which is why I wrote what I did. If it wrong from one person of whatever religion to spit on a persons grave it is wrong to suggest spitting on her grave – mildest example I can give.
Why do you think there is such vitriol against her in celebrating her death? Is there a policy reason people are so against her? It has to be more than just the Poll Tax, right?
The first was Maggie Thatcher Milk Snatcher …… when the department she was second in charge of abolished free school milk for kids between 7 and 11.
she sold of state assets – ie privatisation of British Gas and British Telecom
Union reform and the year long miners strike
sold off council / local authority housing – to the then tenants – councils did not replace the stock – people forget that bit .
oh and another gem – she was a female Ronald Reagen !
Forgive me for asking this — I know you’ll understand my intention, and not take personal offense, but other readers may think I’m trying to trap, but I am not — if Thatcher had been a man, would you remember him so fondly?
almost certainly not ……… I remember her for the women she inspired and gave hope to …………….. and yes I am aware that there are women out there who say she destroyed womens lives. I remember her for giving young women as I was at the time hope and a belief that we could rule the world – so to speak. I would also say I remember her respectfully for what she acheived in some areas – rather than fondly. I would also add and maybe should have added in my original post that I am saddened by any death – whomever it may be.
Do you think it is fair to use gender to evaluate one’s accomplishments in history?
Beautiful mantra. I found out here first about the news of Margaret Thatcher. I was pretty young when she became Prime Minister, but as time when on I became more aware of the situations in the UK as far as economic stress and the Faulkland Islands – mostly I learned about all this through the music I listened to.
But I also remember, as a young kid, seeing Margaret Thatcher on TV did something to me. I just remember being intrigued on some level of how a woman managed to rise to such power. I recall being a little in awe of it all.
Regardless of whether she was right in all her decisions or not, she certainly made a huge impact on the world.
“But I also remember, as a young kid, seeing Margaret Thatcher on TV did something to me. I just remember being intrigued on some level of how a woman managed to rise to such power. I recall being a little in awe of it all.” that inspiration is what should not be forgotten.
@David I think it is fair to realise and recognise achievement whatever gender. I also think it is fair to recognise what obstacles a person has overcome in reaching their achievement.
Fair enough — I only mention this because we sort of dealt with gender and Race during the Hillary and Obama face off. Women were adamantly supporting Hillary, “It’s Our Turn!” — mainly because she was a woman first and a good politician second. Should gender trump policy?
I think the reason Obama beat her was because he was a better politician first and just happened to be Black second, and that second was seen as a big additional bonus in the marketplace. The Right, were, and still are are color blinded by him and they see him only as that.
Critics at the time of Obama’s win over Hillary were astounded that a Black Man in America could beat a woman in the race for the first minority Presidency in the USA. The thing they missed is that it wasn’t about a minority coming to power — it was about choosing the right person to set us back on a better path and it really was just as simple as that. People liked Obama better than Hillary — not because he was Black or a man and she was a White woman, but because he spoke to our desperate need for hope and a way out and she did not.
Here the general public do not get a say in who leads a political party – that is decided by members of that party and the elected members of that party. It was a choice between Labour and Conservatives. It was not a concious decision by the electorate to elect a woman – it was a concious decision to elect that party on the electoral policies they presented to the country.
Having listened to Obamas speeches before his election I can understand how he gave hope – he picked up on that very well ………….. shame he is not delivering ………….. do you think Hilary if elected would have delivered better ?
No. Hillary would not have done better. She wasn’t worldly enough yet. You knew Obama understood the pain of other countries while she did not — she does now, thanks to him, and her role as Secretary of State; but when it started getting tacky with Obama in the primaries, and he began to pull ahead of her, she panicked and brought Southern Bill into the fray to beat up on the “Black Boy” and that made her look weak and indecisive and not strong enough to lead on her own.
So Hilarys turn next ?
Oh, absolutely. It’s all set. SMILE! I believe she’ll win, and we’ll finally have a true Democrat Dynasty again! Obama is actually doing all the dirty work for her — getting us out of the wars, taking on entitlements — she’ll be seen as a fresh breath of Liberal Righteousness that we have all been craving for the past 8 years!
I am pleased that I was away from the internet for most of the day, today. I did not shed any tears at her passing, nor will I be celebrating. I can appreciate the qualities that some saw in her and that she was quite a remarkable woman, I just wish those qualities had been put to better use for the common good of the people of her country, rather than the divisive destruction to the long term harm to the fabric of our society and to our economy, for which she was responsible.
I have recently won a long, hard fought and personal battle against holding on to demons spawned from events of the past. The lessons I have learned from this have taught me that it is unhealthy, both mentally and spiritually, to carry grudges from years gone by.
Having now caught up with some of the comments made in the social media throughout the day, I have to say that their remarks say more about the authors of some of those comments than about Margaret Thatcher.
Much appreciate your thoughts Peter – I suspect it was some of those very comments that made me write this in the first place.
I’ve heard a lot of lighthearted commentary on her death today as well. I have a professor from England who even made a snide comment in passing. Despite her faults, I agree that we do have to remember her groundbreaking position as a powerful female leader. If anything, that should be inspirational to other women.
She was like Marmite – you either loved or hated her ………… there is enough hte in the world already ………. I wish what I had heard was lighthearted.. We should always remember that we can reach for the stars