Many more eloquent writers with first hand experience will have eulogised Baroness Thatcher, and rightly so. The Falklands, the privatisations, the tax cuts, the near destruction of the trade union movement as an effective political force and the enormous economic turnaround have all been well covered as has the poll tax. Most commentators have either missed or minimised the financial deregulation that made London the financial capital of the world, and the revenue this generated. Neither should achieving public sector debt repayments (sic) as opposed to today’s endless borrowing and QE be forgotten.
And most commentators be they natural allies, conservative opponents or indeed members of the Labour party have behaved with decorum more or less. Most have, one or two vile specimens have not.
Case the first, would be the cretinous socialist worker types who were dancing on the streets. Most could barely have been alive at the time, this is purely thoughtless Pavlovianism. It doesn’t make it right, just brainless.
Case the second would be the people in former mining communities. Now it is certainly true that pit closures would and did devastate pit towns. But this seemed to me to be more or less unavoidable. The raison d’etre for the towns was the mine. When the economic case for the pit goes, so frankly does the town. Some interviewees could not get past the hatred, most had not moved on*. They were fat, indolent and unemployed. The media talked about their shorter life expectancies. Yep, no exercise, crappy diet, smoking and boozing will do that. Hardly the Lady’s fault all these years later. I felt sorry for them. Betrayed by their erstwhile leaders, they were effectively living in the past, wishing for a bygone era that will never return. They will die bitter.
Case the third, Gerry Adams. I guess when you are a former bomber it is unrealistic to expect decent behaviour, or even a straight response. We got neither from this scumbag. He made a statement about how Thatcher had allowed the hunger strikers to die. That slightly understated his own responsibility and was to put it mildly, disingenuous. He also skipped right past his friends attempt to murder her in Brighton.
Case the fourth, and the worst by far in some pretty rum company, Neil Kinnock. This two-time whining failure made some ludicrous sixth-form type remarks about how the poor got poorer under Thatcher. Needless to say they got much, much richer but such a stranglehold on reality perhaps explains why the people of the UK said ‘No’ to Neil, twice in succession. And despite all the money sucked from the public teat for him and the entire family, he still wasn’t happy. And then it struck me, perhaps the Lady’s greatest achievement was kicking out Callaghan, obliterating the ludicrous Michael Foot and trouncing Neil “two-time-loser” Kinnock**. Keeping these hoons out of Downing Street may indeed have been her best.
* Of course I appreciate this was not a representative sample. Those who had moved on, had in all probability, left the area.
** Yes, I appreciate it was Major who beat Kinnock second time around. I itself a tribute to rank incompetence, being beaten by the grey man.