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Let’s have a party!

It would appear various supporters of the Labour Party are planning a jamboree for the death of Baroness Thatcher.

My suspicion is these are people of my generation or a bit older brought up on the “alternative comics”. I mean when Ben Elton and his cohort was first shooting his gob off about Thatcher I was too young to get the politics (such as it was) but I did appreciate two things. The first is that Ben Elton is quite clever and can be quite funny (actually really quite funny on domestic stuff like swing-bins) and the second was that when he waggled his spectacles after a gag and said “A bit political that one!” like a naughty school-boy at some level he was acknowledging that he was talking nonsense because it was easy. A huge amount of Elton and Co’s routines really were like this. “That Maggie Thatcher – what a cow!”. Rapturous applause verging on adulation. Now I don’t recall having strong (any) political beliefs at the time because I was just a kid but kids can spot “cheap”. Oh, they so can – and I don’t mean strictly speaking financially as such…

Anyway, I am not blaming Elton for desiring the death of an elderly lady with dementia because that was his deranged followers and whilst Elton might generally not have been that funny he wasn’t utterly nasty and never said anything quite like that. Not whilst Maggie could wield her hand-bag anyway. But she can’t anymore.

I wonder what these folks would think if I went into their local care home and danced upon the impending doom of their Gran?

Utter scumbaggery and good that most of the Labour Party have told them to fuck off. The minority seem to be playing Student Union politics c.1985. Which was roughly when I started playing “Combat Lynx” on the Spectrum. A computer at least partially available because Thatcher had reversed our economic decline. The ’80s were my summer of content. My family was doing better and we could afford foreign holidays and such and whilst I never got a shag whilst Maggie was in power but that was hardly her fault! It was more likely my mullet. Which was entirely my fault. And the fact all the lasses in my year were into those wankers Bros.

I shall have a drink when Maggie dies (I think there is a fair chance I shall out-live her). It will not be in celebration (a vile idea) but in memory of a great life. And also for the PM who defined my formative years.

And. Yes. She did. I was born when Ted Heath was PM and I never took up sailing. We shortly had three day weeks under Wilson and Callaghan and B&W telly (mostly) and it were fucking awful. The only thing that increased (apart from the debt – again! – and not for the last time.) was the size of mustaches and men’s trouser leg ends. A ghastly time the 70s unless you were Gary Glitter when you were the leader of the pack.

In a peculiar way wishing her dead now is a back-handed tribute to the Iron Lady who has been out of power since I was a sixth-former but still garners both praise and opprobrium. It just shows the length of her shadow.

31 Comments

  1. Edward Lud says:

    It’s just occurred to me that my first shag was during the ministry of John Major. Could’ve been worse, I suppose. Had it been under Attlee the johnnies would have been rationed.

  2. Lynne says:

    Maggie Thatcher was the last Tory I voted for. Mainly because what came after wasn’t any kind of Tory I recognise.I’ll bet the bastard lefties won’t be celebrating Cameron’s demise. He’s almost one of them after all.

  3. NickM says:

    Lynne,
    Perhaps more to the point iDave is “Yeah, like whatever…”

  4. John Galt says:

    There have been stickers on the underground announcing “Party at Hyde Park the weekend after Maggie dies” (or variants thereof) for at least the last 10-years and probably longer.

    Nothing more than grown-up teen trots making a distasteful remark at the expense of an old lady who gave her best years to save Britain from the worst excesses of socialism.

    Although I was born in the 1960′s I came of age under the government of The Blessed Margaret and I must say that the appreciation of what she did for the UK only came later.

    Certainly she didn’t feel very special in 1990 when the Poll Tax was forced upon us and people like myself living in a a rather shabby bedsit in Headingley, Leeds was suddenly forced to pay about £250 a year that I’d never had to pay before. There were many other recent graduates that felt very aggrieved by this.

    The rights and wrongs of the Poll Tax have been much debated, but between this and the miners strike there were a generation of people who had a genuine hatred of Maggie burned into their souls. I believe it is this generation that are still the most vociferous opponents of her.

    With time, reflection and growing personal wealth, I came to realise what Maggie did for us all. However, there are those among my cohort that will never forgive and never forget.

    Maybe her death (even if wrongly celebrated) will give them the necessary catharsis to put away their hatred of her.

    For myself, I will raise a glass to the old girl and remember her for what she did, both right and wrong. The world I knew was better for having her in charge during 1979 – 1990.

  5. Schrodinger's Dog says:

    For all their professed opposition to “hate”, it really is part of the left’s modus operandi, isn’t it? The same with violence. I mean, when the anti-globalisation circus comes to town, you just know the local McDonald’s is going to get its windows smashed-in.

  6. NickM says:

    “Nothing more than grown-up teen trots making a distasteful remark at the expense of an old lady who gave her best years to save Britain from the worst excesses of socialism.”

    And that is precisely why I mentioned the likes of Ben Elton.

    “Maybe her death (even if wrongly celebrated) will give them the necessary catharsis to put away their hatred of her.”

    I think not. iDave is seen as despicably right-wing as indeed was Tony WMD Blair. The goal-posts have shifted. Maggie would be seen as almost incomprehensibly right-wing now.

    Anyway, I never paid my poll-tax and they never caught me. First year at university and I thought I could evade it and did. Not for political reasons but for money for like books and beer and buying a fit bird a coffee and things vastly more important than the council building speed-bumps in order to make everyone’s life slightly worse. I thought I could spend the money better than they could. You can see the seeds of a political philosophy there.

    Anyway – I can’t resist – you lived in Headingley. I lived on Meanwood Road (courtesy of Rory Aitkins who has been on Watchdog and has a significant number of civil cases pending for being, essentially a right cunt) and drank at The Primrose – a battle cruiser of ill-repute even by Leeds standards. It was fucking frightful to be honest. And it had a Bruce Willis pool table if you know what I mean. The mechanism was fucked so at least it was free mind – only reason we went. Not for the rustic charm of the landlord, “What are you fucking cunts having?”. And that was when I accompanied a lady friend (now my wife).

    Which brings me to the only positive. And it is a biggy. She was a a fellow inmate of mine. And dear reader I married her. We kissed on the steps down from The Chemic and we sealed it when she agreed to go out with me at the dead of night and raid a skip. I hauled a remarkably large collection of Jim Reeves records, a book on German history and a history of accountancy. I was going to give the records to the Primrose landlord – he was a fan and I had fuck all other idea what to do with them – but he buggered off at midnight under dubious circs. The place was then taken over by crusty types for a week. I wasn’t there the night Andy fled (he’d been on the fiddle) but apparently he left the doors open and the taps on and a fine night was had by all. Apart from me. Or Andy.

    So, John, if you have three Yorkshiremen I can give you four of a kind!

  7. I seem to remember getting off the mark in about 1983 with a rather attractive young lady called Sandra. I think that would have been at the very tail end of Lady Thatcher’s first term or possibly just into her second.

    Like you Nick, her politics defined my youthful politics.

  8. Pavlov's Cat says:

    Gary Glitter was the Leader of the Gang , not Pack
    “I’m the leader, I’m the leader, I’m the Leader of the gang I am!!!”

    I should know Why I Can Never Run For Public Office

  9. Radical Rodent says:

    I consider her the last PM who genuinely had the interests of the country at heart. She made mistakes – and who hasn’t? – she is only human – but the country ended the decade of the 80s in a far, far better position than when it entered it.

    We still need a leader of her calibre, rather than the very lack-lustre (though many might consider that a bit of an understatement) “Cast Iron” Dave.

    The ultimate irony is that people like Ben Elton could not have been as successful as they have WITHOUT Maggie!

  10. JuliaM says:

    “I shall have a drink when Maggie dies (I think there is a fair chance I shall out-live her). It will not be in celebration (a vile idea) but in memory of a great life. And also for the PM who defined my formative years.”

    Amen. And ditto.

  11. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    “The ultimate irony is that people like Ben Elton could not have been as successful as they have WITHOUT Maggie!”

    Yep, he had one joke and disappeared when Maggie went.

  12. Sam Duncan says:

    “Maggie would be seen as almost incomprehensibly right-wing now.”

    I try not to think about this. It’s profoundly depressing.

    But I completely agree with RR: she may not have been perfect (isn’t that the whole point of libertarianism: who is perfect enough to regulate all human activity?) but she was the last PM who clearly and obviously respected the office, and took its responsibility seriously.

    Major probably had some vague idea of this, but was a placeman put there purely because he didn’t have the Lady’s clarity of insight* and could be much more easily manipulated while, speaking of dancing on graves, that’s exactly what Blair did to the whole notion of respect for public office, cabinet government, and the impartiality of the Civil Service. Cameron is truly his heir.

    As for Lefties preparing their celebrations, Shrodinger’s Dog hits the nail on the head. For a bunch of self-professed lovers of tolerance, they don’t half do a lot of hating. (On a slighly tangential note, something occurred to me the other day: doesn’t it ever strike anyone at Greenpeace as rather odd that it owns a ship called Rainbow Warrior?)

    *I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the Poll Tax was an excuse. It was Bruges that did for her.

  13. John Galt says:

    @NickM:
    I lived on Meanwood Road (courtesy of Rory Aitkins who has been on Watchdog and has a significant number of civil cases pending for being, essentially a right cunt) and drank at The Primrose – a battle cruiser of ill-repute even by Leeds standards. It was fucking frightful to be honest.

    Small world then, I suspect this Libertarianism is something in the water…

    I was about 1/2 mile in the opposite direction across Hyde Park Corner in the middle of Victoria Road 1986 – 1987 and at the end of Victoria Road 1989 – 1991. I was paying £180 a month (less £80 a month housing benefit) as I was doing Computer Studies up at Beckett Park – Then part of Leeds Polytechnic.

    My two usual haunts where the grant money (about £600 per term) and the overdraft was spent were “The Original Oak” just as you come into Headingley from the City and “Woodies” at the North exit of Beckett Park by the bus garage.

    One place I used to love was an esoteric book shop at Hyde Park Corner called (I think) The Sorcerers Apprentice. They used to have ‘selective admission’ as they were always plagued by fanatical god-botherers who eventually burned the place down.

    Picked up some fantastic books on the modern worship of the Norse gods, still got them in the Library here at home in Malaysia.

    Great days… The Primrose was a shit hole though. Although its funny to note that although pubs have closed left-right-and-centre across the UK the ones in the student areas of Leeds (Headingley, Meanwood, Kirkstall, etc.) still seem to be going strong.

  14. NickM says:

    Didn’t a Froggie froman nix the Rainbow Worrier (not an sp). What did for Maggie was the 1922 committee (the men in grey suits) who then foisted on us a man in a grey suit! As to lefty love an peace I agree Sam. The only person I’ve known well who ever went to jail wound up there for a fight with the BNP. Now I seriously don’t like the BNP but him and his mates actively confronted them and Barney Rubble ensued. The rozzers scrobbled the bally lot of ‘em. They all did stir. Why? Both sides were actively looking for a fight. This lad and his mates didn’t turn-up to sing “We shall overcome” in full chorus. It was like a miniature re-enactment of the Battle of Cable Street – in Leeds. MLK having a dream it was not.

  15. NickM says:

    I know ‘em all John. So The Primrose was a shit hole in the mid ’80s. Dear Gods (including Norse ones) I knew it in the late ’90s. Jesus wept.

  16. John Galt says:

    So The Primrose was a shit hole in the mid ’80s.

    I think most of them had been shit holes since the ’60s. Being surrounded by student digs left-right-and-centre doesn’t exactly raise the atmosphere.

    The worst of all pubs (where a glass in the face was a nice hello), was “The Gaiety” over in Roundhay. It had such notable patrons as Peter Sutcliffe (The Yorkshire Ripper) before he got caught. Not nice – fortunately now demolished.

  17. NickM says:

    “The Gaiety”. Don’t know that one. It would only be funnier if it had been “The Hilarity”. Demolished you say. You’d think the council would have put-up a blue plaque. “Our ripper killed more than that London one – soft southern shandy drinking poofter”. I fucking hate Leeds. I doubt it is the students – though what genius had the idea of placing two massive universities next to each other. It is the local scrotes. My wife had a mate who broke an ankle because some cunt had stolen his doorstep. But what really fucking did it for me was seeing Leeds United fans singing “How many bodies in the snow?” on the anniversary of the Munich air crash. Cunts. They were cheering on the defeat of Manchester United. I have never heard them cheer like that when Leeds won. Which admittedly was a rare event.

  18. Sam Duncan says:

    Oh, possibly, Nick. I neither kno nor care. But they did have it at one time. It just crossed my mind the other day, as I say, and seemed appropriate here.

    And the 1922, sure, but the reason was the Bruges speech (in that it represented Thatcher’s road-to-Damascus realisation of what “Europe” meant for British sovereignty), I’m certain of it.

  19. John Galt says:

    @Sam Duncan:

    Not sure I buy the argument that the 1922 were out for Maggie because of the Bruges speech. If that was the case then why did they elect Iain Duncan Cough Smith as leader of the Conservatives in 2001?

    As her Private Secretary Charles Powell said in the 2002 documentary on the Poll Tax, “Her downfall was about 40% Poll Tax, 20% Europe and another 40% due to her presidential style which was increasingly authoritarian”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjCcN3mOo_A (about 7minutes 15seconds in)

  20. Furor Teutonicus says:

    Anyone who can anger the commy shits after so long out of power deserves a bloody sainthood.

    Good on you Thatcher!

  21. Tim Newman says:

    A huge amount of Elton and Co’s routines really were like this. “That Maggie Thatcher – what a cow!”. Rapturous applause verging on adulation.

    Ditto Chris Rock…he used to be good, now he just says “Barack Obama” and his audience goes nuts. And how many lame comedians used George Bush routines when they ran out of material?

  22. Sorry to spoil a good story, but the three day week was under Heath. I was there at the time, but you can see the details here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-Day_Week

    I’m not going to join in the adulation of Thatcher either. She was as ideologically driven as Blair in her own way and did as much damage, especially to local government. She was dogmatic, aggressively centralist and it was under her government that we started the process of closer and closer integration into the EU.

    That doesn’t mean I agree with the idea of dancing on her grave. Three close members of my family have suffered from dementia and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone – even her.

  23. Sam Duncan says:

    JG: Well, that was eleven years later, with a largely different crop of MPs. And of course, IDS’ face never really fitted either. I’ll give Powell the presidential style – Blair completed what she started – but I really don’t think we should dismiss Bruges so lightly. The Conservative Party is deeply committed to European unification, and pretending otherwise.

  24. MickC says:

    The problem is that Thatcher wasn’t actually a Tory-she was a radical.

    The Conservatives have never had the balls to go down that route again-hence the result is “call me Dave”. They will be destroyed at the next election.

    And after destruction can come re-building, in an entirely different form-as happened after Heath.

    BTW, Leeds in the mid 70′s was shite-but at least it had good fish and chips (Sweaty Bettys) and yeh, Meanwood was ok-ish to live in. It had some real people not just students-and I don’t recall them as being worse than any others. At the very least, it was real-rather than poncified.

  25. John Galt says:

    She was dogmatic, aggressively centralist and it was under her government that we started the process of closer and closer integration into the EU

    I would agree with the analysis, but not the interpretation.

    The Blessed Margaret was elected leader of the Conservatives in February 1975 and campaigned on the part of the “Yes” vote during the June 1975 referendum on membership of the EEC.

    She was never a committed Europhile, but rather saw the EEC as then was as being a part of the larger picture of trade liberalization and free markets. Certainly up until about 1986, she followed the consensus which was that the EEC was good for business and largely politically neutral (although with hindsight, we know this was a lie).

    Her realisation over Europe was not a “Road to Damascus” experience, but rather came over an extended period of time during the mid 1980′s, leading up to the Bruges Speech of September 1988.

    http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/107332

    The question is, would you or I have done any different?

    Her negotiation of the EU Budget rebate has saved us a fortune over the years (although leaving would have saved us even more) and her continual focus against the worst aspects of European Union integration have set back the European project by many years, more so than any other European politician.

    In the final analysis, the Blessed Margaret was a deeply flawed and difficult person, but through her strength of will alone she battled and largely won against socialism at home and EU colonialism abroad.

    For this alone she deserves our respect and thanks.

  26. Sam Duncan says:

    This is true, Mick. I well recall people in my local Association dismissing the Thatcherites among their number with the “She’s not a proper Tory; she was brought up liberal, you know” line. Hell, my dad was one of them. Being young at the time and having grown up knowing only the crypto-socialism of the Liberal party, I had no idea what that meant, but of course she was, at least in strictly economic terms if not on so-called “social” issues. A few years later, when I was still prepared to give the Tories the benefit of the doubt, yet to realise what a fundamental change her ousting represented, I used to joke that Britain had a liberal party called “Conservative”, a socialist party called “Liberal”, and a conservative party, known as “Labour”. Even then, it was more true than they’d like to admit. Anyway, there was always a large faction who felt she didn’t fit. I suppose even Bruges, important though it was, was only an excuse really.

  27. Sam Duncan says:

    “Her realisation over Europe was not a “Road to Damascus” experience, but rather came over an extended period of time during the mid 1980’s, leading up to the Bruges Speech of September 1988.”

    Fair point, John. I (mis-)used the expression for emphasis, I suppose. Although in terms of her overall career, it was quite a rapid process, starting with the SEA negotiations as far as I understand it: four years, maybe, if that?

  28. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    “She was as ideologically driven as Blair”

    What was Blair’s ideology?

  29. John Galt says:

    What was Blair’s ideology?

    “The Third Way”, which was about as ideologically sound as “Juche” (the state ideology of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (or Naughty Korea as the Brisbane Metro would have us believe).

    Although Blair added his own flavour to aspects of “The Third Way”, it was in essence the same Social Market Economy that had been played to different extents in socialist / communist regimes across the globe since the 1950′s.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_market_economy

    I personally thought it was well marketed clap-trap, but it was nevertheless Blair’s ideology, mostly courtesy of Peter Mandleson aka “The Prince of Darkness”.

  30. Paul Marks says:

    I think of Mrs Thatcher as much like the Emperor Probus – someone who tried to stop the decline of their country, did some good things and made some mistakes. And was, in the end, destroyed by their own soldiers. Although if the real soldiers had any say in the matter Mrs Thatcher would still be Prime Minister today.

    The key choices that are leading to the decline and fall of Britain were made long before Mrs Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979 (just the key choices that led to the decline and fall of the Res Publica was made long before Probus.

    But there were still ghosts of honour of Britain – as can be seen in the Falklands War (against the cleptocratic Argentine regime – not all military dictatorships are the same and the drunken robbers and rapists who ruled Argentina, and much the same sort of people still do, were not Oliver Cromwell types, bad though he was) and also in the standing up against Communist barbarians at home and overseas.

    Just as there were still positive aspects of Roman civilisation to be seen under Probus (along with all the darkness) – it is not till Diocletian that I find myself overwhelmed with disgust with Rome and flicking to the end of records for the barbarian destruction of it all (although I have a soft spot for Julian the pagan and Valentinian the first the Christian – and for the Emperors Marcian and Antastasius in the East, both of whom I admire).

    Could Mrs Thatcher have saved this country?

    I doubt it – as (as mentioned above) the key bad choices were made long before her time.

    But the lady did her best.

    And God (if He exists) asks no more than that we make our best efforts.

    If Lady Thatcher (Mrs T. as I still think of her) did well enough for God (which the lady did) – then the lady did weill enough for me.

    I doubt that her enemies (many of whom are already dead – and thus in no position to go to parties) did as well.

    Their motives were and are vile – they do not seek to prevent the destriuction of civil society, they seek to bring forward the destruction (for they lust for power and for the unlimited state).

    They favour the very tyranny they accuse of Lady Thatcher of supporting – but their lust for power will just lead to destruction in the end.

    Including the destruction of their own evil hopes.

  31. Paul – she may have done her best, but that means as little as Brown’s adulation of her as a ‘conviction’ politician.

    She did not reduce the power of government – she increased it. She started the process of centralising of political power in the UK that Blair built on, especially the use of secondary legislation. The supposed privatisation of local government services like refuse collection merely replaced public monopolies with private ones that in the end delivered a poorer service at greater cost. Her government saw the start of the descent of government in this country into the cronyism, greed and corruption that became endemic under later Tory governments and continued under Blair.

    She achieved very little – the economy was in just as bad a state when she left as when she arrived. She divided the country in a way that probably hadn’t been the case since 1911 and the ‘Great Unrest’.

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