The Lady is Not for Burning 11/04/2013

I normally reserve these levels of anger and disgust to crimes punishable by the return of the death penalty and it is with some large degree of surprise that I find myself writing this particular blog.


Like many of my generation I grew up hating Margaret Thatcher, but upon hearing of her death I felt no urge to jump up and down with glee. I am appalled by some of the comments and events that the last few days have shown.

Have an opinion by all means, but could we please make it rational. A lot of the stuff that’s being bandied about at the moment quite frankly isn’t even worthy of the average 7 year old.


I realise those of you who are compelled to make your immature and disrespectful comments are operating under some deluded notion that a) You were either there at the time and despite the evidential passage of time consider you can still make reasoned arguments for hating this person 20 years on, or b) Have just done “A” level British history and think as I did at 18 that you know everything.


Well I was there.

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I was 13 when the Tories won the 79 election and it’s fair to say as my hormone levels increased so did my anarchic tendencies, nothing unusual there. By the time puberty had fully taken hold I was very much a political animal.


When I was 15, I was in of all unlikely things a CND street theatre. We went round local demonstrations and the odd jumble sale, singing anti government songs and wielding the propaganda of social injustice to anyone who could be bothered to stop fighting over a crimpoline dress and listen.


Oh yes this was the cutting edge of political anti-establishment. I was an out and out socialist with a side order of communism, but only the nice kind of course.

I ranted and raged through my teens the same as everybody else and feasted on the cornucopia of anti government entertainment that blossomed with the never ending material the Thatcher government gave us, Spitting Image, Not the Nine O’clock News, The young Ones, Ben Elton, Alexei Sayle to name but a few.


By the time I was 18 I had already been working for 3 years, had my first mortgage and was starting to learn how to actually live as a fully fledged tax paying member of society.

Things were hard and I used to listen to the budgets with dread. Interest rates were high and inflation was in double figures, then the miners strike happened and it was horrendous. My family are originally from a South Yorkshire mining town so it really hit home with us. I remember watching the coverage on the news and thinking how lucky I was and  when asked by the various groups that would go collecting on their behalf, was more than willing to hand over part of my meagre wage to support them and their families. I still believe to this day that what happened to the miners was totally wrong.


However that was a long time ago and you’re allowed to be politically naïve when you’re young; you are as you get older expected to have a little more experience and a hell of a lot more nowse about how the world works.


This is why these outbursts of vitriol against Margaret Thatcher only show just how ridiculous the state of this nation really is.


The Tories came to power in 1979 with a 53.4% majority, not a brilliant win but enough to get them in. We had a 76% turnout that year which is pretty good going by today’s standards where we hover pathetically around the 60% mark. Now despite all the ranting and the raging about how terrible the Tories were, we as a free thinking non rigged democracy went on to vote them in a further three times.


Now come on guys once is just careless but four times!!!!!


Does that not make it our own fault? Do we really have the right to lambaste this woman upon her death for carrying on doing what we the people voted her in to do?

Yes let’s have a street party to celebrate, any excuse to get the bunting out, after all it’s only a year since it last had an airing. Let’s celebrate the fact that despite being in denial about it, it is we the British people that have well and truly screwed ourselves!


We have become a self centred spoilt child of a country that constantly bleats on about what it hasn’t. We have a whole generation of kids that have no work ethic whatsoever, that believe the state should provide them with all the comforts that the rest of us have had to work our arses off to get.  And please don’t tell me there are no jobs, there are plenty, ask all the Eastern Europeans that do such a cracking job filling most of the posts in our service industries To be fair to our youngsters though it is true that if your main skill set is the ability to drink vast quantities of alcohol and throw up in the street, your chances of gainful employment are a little limited.


Generalisation to make a point? Perhaps.


The fact that there were riots at the Brixton street party the other night, kind of says it all.


Oh hang on, I am being told that the perpetrators were all very, very angry Tories out to defend the honour of Mrs T and the looting was just a bit of an entrepreneurial side line.


We have all got used to living in a nanny state with a mentality that fosters the attitude of I can’t rather than I can. Yes Margaret Thatcher Sold out our industrial heritage but Tony Blair didn’t exactly do anything to re-instate it either.


So did I sell myself out, betray my roots and turn my back on the beliefs I had in my youth?


Yes I did. – The day I heard that Tony Blair sent his kids to a private school.That was my light bulb moment, the moment I became politically androgynous.


I realised that the biggest difference I could make to the world was to look after those I loved and put some effort and time into the community in which I live. Me railing against the establishment was not going to make a difference to anyone. If the people who have the time, money and inclination to hold tasteless street parties could put the same time, effort and inclination into doing something that was actually useful we might just start getting somewhere.


Mind you, hard work and a bit of forward thinking doesn’t grab big brother style air time does it? So I guess it won’t happen any time soon.


Whatever your feelings toward this lady are, I personally think spending the last years of your life with dementia is punishment enough for anyone, but hey if you don’t agree why not go find a puppy to kick the shit out of and really make your day.


“You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift

You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.”

Abraham Lincoln.

 

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