Twitter confusion out of the way, Margaret Thatcher is dead.
And Cher is still 100% alive, in the broadest dictionary sense. Why do the pretty ones seem to suffer old age more than the fuglies? Contrast? God’s ultimate irony?
I didn’t see Maggie get any uglier in her latter years.
Must be contrast.
Anyway, enough of my superficial judgement and pointless wasting of words.
What I wanted to ramble on about is the eruption of celebration at the news of Thatcher’s death, and what it says about (mostly) British culture. Some celebrations here too of course (mostly online – it’s safer), but in order to take to the streets and start throwing/burning things, you really need a solid reason.
Now, we’re all familiar with the reasons cited by many, and they’re bang on. She was a cruel, inhuman witch, with a dislike of personal warmth, community and social integration. She liked dictators, a lot, and saw the individual as the most important thing in society – a safe enough position to take when you’re well within the echelons of the privileged and wealthy (which she most certainly was near the end).
I won’t list all the things she’s done; if you can’t find hundreds of articles online detailing them, you’re unlikely to be reading this….and if you don’t know at least 3 to hand, you probably don’t care.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
What has me a little confused is how the bandwagon mentality, which affects us all to varying degrees, has driven people to openly, and enthusiastically, rejoice in the death of a senile old lady.
Had any recently deposed leader (Hussein, Gaddafi….) been exiled, lost all power and disappeared from the public eye for almost two decades, and then died – would anyone care?
“piss on her grave”……”burn in hell”……fair enough, if somebody had destroyed my life in a cold, calculated fashion that many experienced in 80’s Britain, then my hatred may too be this strong. But, and this is the key – many revellers are quite clearly, and predictably, serial bandwagon whores. And that annoys me. It dilutes the real and heartfelt anger and joy of those genuine people who wish to publicly announce their sense of relief or justice, or whatever the correct emotion is for the circumstance.
Look at these guys:
They look to be, the majority, younger than me (<30), so can’t have had a lot of first hand experience being laid off during the 80’s. It’s possible their families/parents suffered during the time, or are still suffering to date, or they were very young members of the Argentine Military, but I just can’t believe everybody who took to the streets to celebrate yesterday were fully aware of the impact Thatcher had on their lives, and on the UK as a whole. And I find it slightly unnerving that people, actual real humans, can be so outspoken in their vile comments about a dead old lady without just cause.
Generation Y has a preoccupation with the evils of right-wing policies, and loves a loose-fitting Che Guevara t-shirt as much as anyone. While this is not a bad thing, naturally, it sometimes gets a little cringey – and we’ve witnessed such here in Ireland recently. The Occupy crowd who took over Dublin’s Central Bank (well, not the bank – the place outside it) were indicative of this. Well, maybe not Occupy themselves, I mean the hangers-on. The Karma hunters.
Genuine protesters aside, the element which were most visible on my visits into town during the “occupation” were the teenagers and young adults jumping on the band-wagon. I knew two lads who joined their cause. One used it as a sleeping spot for prolonged sessions on the sauce as he didn’t like living at home, while the other was adamant that the “system has to change, man”, while being clearly too young to even understand what the system was. While admirable in its roll-your-own simplicity, nobody I talked to involved actually had an idea of what needed to be done in order to install “real democracy now!”. Dissolve the government immediately and let Joe Public run the country!? Give positions of authority to people with no authority on the position!? What needs to happen for you to go home happy?
There’s a fine line between anarchy and swift political reform, and most Occupy protesters (that I knew) had no idea what the ideal final outcome would be should they be successful. It was merely an opportunity to appear intellectual, left-wing and trendy. Their parents would hate the idea, so that makes it cool.
Thatcherism, as a political ideology, was horrible, but it was just an extreme version of capitalism, which we’re all bred to believe is just great. While it clearly isn’t great – nothing is – there is simply no political set up which can make all people happy. That’s just how we humans roll. As a 22 year old, I may not have been as politically aware, nor interested, but I still had opinions on “globalisation” and “sticking it to the man”. In Ireland, we saw an explosion (slow release?) in freedom of thought arise out of the grey, dull, Catholic lifestyle of the 70s and 80s, even 90s for some. Throw in the internet and you now have a fuck-storm of wannabee hippies/armchair freedom fighters, and these are the pricks that appear for every protest they can possibly get to. They’ll maintain their ideals until after college, when a comfortable job eventually erodes their interests in society or the struggle of the Proletariat. Ironically, this is how Thatcher thought too.
Third level school fees? That’s capitalism trying to keep us down man, better go throw some rocks at a policeman.
Austerity?? I don’t know what that means, but I really do feel like smashing up a charity shop. Better hide my face though, my political statement won’t go down well with the Lizard People in charge.
Not all protesters, I must repeat – but the unsavoury percentage who seem to always be at the front of the queue to throw rocks, and always get on television before any genuine activists.
What was I talking about……..oh yes, Margaret Thatcher.
So she died, and she was a bitch of a politician. A bitch of a human too, by all accounts, but she’s dead now.
Nothing is going to change now. It’s too late – she was out of power in 1990 (92 if you’re being anal), and anything she’s done since is her own private business. Evil business, perhaps, but still. Her own evil business.
By all means, criticise – vilify her reign, it fully warrants it. Vilify her personality too, she was a total bitch. I didn’t like her, and if there’s any confusion, I’m certainly not defending her in this rant. I’m simply pointing out flaws with the public’s reaction to a death.
But, whatever your personal experience with the child-eating, winged-bride of Satan, stop this shit;
A FUCKING CHARITY SHOP???
Did the little scrotes not get the irony of their actions?? The shop had to close – how do the owners feel? Who do they point the finger at? They’re not in the position to have a scapegoat at the ready, who has been hated by previous generations of their line, and whose malice is legendary. No, they simply have no income now (income or revenue – it was a charity shop after all, not sure how they define it).
Thatcher 0 – 1 Real Democracy.
I think the best way to “celebrate” Thatcher’s death is to do nothing whatsoever. Ignore her legacy, never mention her again – but never forget what she did, and what those around her did, so it never happens again (although it probably will….).
We’re usually such a classy, self-conscious bunch, us humans, but the events of the last 48 hours are a little odd to me. In contrast to the celebrations (completely bat-shit over the top) in the US when Bin Laden was murdered, there’s a huge difference. Bin Laden was, allegedly (trial by murder isn’t a thing), still an active threat to innocent lives in the US and their various patsy states throughout the world. This was probably real, to some degree. You can read the linked piece above for my actual thoughts on that fiasco…….but;
Margaret Thatcher was in a bed, dying slowly for a long time.
She couldn’t make video tapes of generic threats to the world, she couldn’t even push a pen I presume.
This is what’s odd to me. Her death is not the punishment for her cruel and destructive reign as Prime Minister, her expulsion from office by her own party looked after that.
If her death is viewed as revenge by the UK public, then I think they’ve misunderstood the word itself. She’s grand now, not a bother on her, and she doesn’t have to listen to poor people complaining about her or her policies.
To celebrate her death as a form of revenge for all the evils she committed is odd. I agree with Martin McGuinness on this one.
She was not a peacemaker, but it is a mistake to allow her death to poison our minds.