It is a dyslogy.
It will be no surprise to anyone by now, but Margaret Thatcher is dead. It will also come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, that I see this as a cause for celebration, rather than mourning. It seems to have been a long wait, and I am glad that it is finally over. Her bitter legacy can be consigned to history, and with her passing, hopefully truths will emerge.
Can anyone convince me that anything about this spiteful and bitter woman was good, or worthwhile? I very much doubt it. She personified all that is despicable about middle-class Toryism; profits over people, business over labour, and violence over truth. Much is made of her policy to allow anyone to buy a council house. The legacy of this policy haunts us today; whole communities with young people having nowhere to move to, still living with parents, or paying exorbitant private rents. Others trapped in worthless properties, locked into a lifetime of negative equity. If one word symbolises Thatcher, that word is greed. The greed of ordinary people, buying cheap council houses, hoping to sell on, at a profit. The greed of businessmen, being aided in the smashing of unions, so that they could pay lower wages, and reintroduce Victorian working conditions and contracts. The greed of financial corporations, selling our raw materials, our energy resources, and our entire national heritage, all to the highest bidder.
She used the Police to break strikes, paying them better wages, and unlimited overtime, to ensure their compliance, and active support. The selling off of the railway system, the telephone company, and every other nationalised industry she could get rid of, resulted in a money-grabbing free for all , that was of absolutely no benefit to the everyday traveller, or consumer. Easing credit restrictions, gave rise to a credit card and loan debt bubble, that has finally burst in our faces. Those who reaped the benefits were her friends, or her husband’s friends, or their friend’s friends. Ordinary working people paid the price in the long run, with minimum wage, no-hours contracts, and no future for their children. They might be living in the council house that they were allowed to buy, but they are struggling to pay the mortgage, and the other increased taxes.
We will see a lot of images of the ‘Iron lady’, driving in the turret of a tank, recapturing the Falklands, and dealing harshly with the Soviet Bloc, and China. We wont be told that she had previously rescinded the ‘right of abode’ for most of our territorial islanders, including the Falklands. The ‘badly timed’ Argentine invasion was in fact a direct response to this, as they presumed that she didn’t care anyway. All they did was give her an ideal chance for re-election, at the expense of the tragic waste of so many British and Argentinian lives.
Many of the men that surrounded her have since been discredited, some imprisoned, and others reviled. Yet she went on, untarnished by these associations; the product of the greatest political spin ever, and a cosy relationship with the tabloid and right-wing press.
History has a way of making things right, exposing evil in retrospect, and delving into the darker sides of power. It is just a shame that she was around long enough, to do so much irreparable damage; we should all be glad that she has finally gone.