Posted by: davidkhr | April 15, 2013

The Thatcher Enigma

I have resisted the temptation to say anything about Mrs T until now.
There can be little doubt that the first woman PM has made a mark on the history of the UK and the world. But how should she be remembered ?
Her foreign policy helped soften the East/West divide while causing her own party to implode over Europe. Her luck (and by all accounts it was luck) in winning the Falklands War kept her in power at the following election. She is still remembered as the woman who took away free milk from primary schools. She is the woman whose policy brought a tax to one part of the country before rest of the UK, and gave birth to the Tommy Sheridans of Scottish politics.
And now we wait for a state funeral with all the bells and whistles of military precision.
Should the state be paying for it ? I doubt it, but can understand the reasoning behind it.
Should there have been dancing in the street ? No, but I can understand why it happened.
Should ‘Ding, dong’ have attracted such publicity ? Again, no, but I can understand why.
I was present when she delivered her ‘Sermon on the Mound’ in the GA in Edinburgh. It was greeted with polite applause. The cheering crowds outside turned out to be police in plain clothes (according to one source).
She had a deep Christian faith, and yet her political ideology drove her to confrontation and division instead of the unity her ‘Francis of Assisi’ misquote suggested.
What is bring overlooked in all the eulogising from the Tory party is the fact that they got rid of her before the country had the opportunity to do so, and the ‘saint’ they portray was a deeply flawed individual.
What is her legacy ? The jury is still out on that one, but if the increase in food banks is anything to go by, then the verdict may not be a kind one.

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