News of the death and funeral of Margaret Thatcher have flooded the media in the last few days. She was a high-profile politician and an icon, important enough for other scheduled events in London to be delayed due to her funeral taking place tomorrow. However, is her passing a real cause for celebration?
What I have found the most striking of it all is the absolutely huge divide between those who liked and/or respected her and those who didn’t agree with her policies. I don’t know well enough the political and economical situation of UK in those days to judge whether the reforms and the rest of her political manoeuvres definitely worked and saved Britain. But, Brits definitely seem to be seeing things one way or the other, contrary to their character.
Her measures were strict though. The unemployment during 1980’s was terribly high in Britain and pressure on the poorer classes was huge. The consequences are still visible in nowadays Britain, and they are not pretty. To make things worse, we are now living a similar situation in that the Government keeps implementing big social cuts to try and overcome another financial crisis, not just in UK, but other parts of the world too.
It’s not surprising that some people have ‘celebrated‘ her death with street parties. Still, I am unsure as to how celebrating someone’s passing is going to help change things. Even Martin McGuinness has asked Republicans to stop celebrating and some Unionist politicians in Northern Ireland have branded the celebrations as ‘ghoulish and disgusting‘, according to The Guardian.
Probably, other Tories, her family and the Government are comfortable enough in their high social class to even notice or care about those who partied with pints of milk in London or Glasgow. It seems to me like it can be an easy escape to the bad economic situation experienced years ago and, even, right now. After all, the Tories are in charge again in the middle of yet another economic crisis, and people are not happy with their policies either. This could also be taken as a warning for the Governement too.
Whilst I might perhaps disagree with her policies, regardless of their effectiveness, there’s one thing I believe she warrants respect for. It must have been hugely difficult for a woman to be in her position for 10 long years, even more so in Britain in the 1980’s.
I am guessing that she earned her nickname, Iron Lady, quite rightly. She had to be seen that strong in the public eye, so that other men and women would take her seriously. She was the first female PM in UK history, and the next female PM in Britain will surely be compared to her to a certain extent.
It’s not about feminism whatsoever. But, the first feminists had to be really loud, so that everyone could hear and take them seriously. I don’t think it would have worked out well for her, had she had a softer public image.
Moreover, she was not born and bred in the higher classes. These days, some people talk of 7 social classes, and there is more mobility. The classes system back then prevented anyone from a lower class to move up easily. Before she married a rich man, she already had a bit of a career in politics. Nonetheless, people from the lower classes in Britain felt let down by her.
I personally find it very hard to believe that she cooked dinner every single day after work, not even often, just like her PR people would try to have everyone believe. I don’t believe that she did all that she did by herself either.
I can understand how non-supporters can see things not changing. Few facts as follow:
- She did not want a state funeral, but her supporters are silencing the Big Ben tomorrow during her funeral.
- The ceremony is taking place in St Paul’s Cathedral, and even the Queen is attending.
- The song Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead, which lasts 51 seconds, didn’t get to be played on the BBC when it reached number 2 of the charts last week. The BBC spent more time explaining why they were not doing it.
What do you think? I know it’s a sensitive topic, but I think it’ll be good to share some ideas about it all! Thanks for reading.