A Liberal View On Margaret Thatcher

MT

“I hope Lady Thatcher’s death was painful”, “87 years too late” and “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” are just some of the things being said by members of the public to celebrate the death of Margaret Thatcher.  Her son, Mark, has not only had to bereave his mother but he has also had to listen to what many people thought of her whether that being songs of praise or chants of repugnance. Being a public figure can’t be easy. Especially when some think you get it right and others think you have it all wrong.  The saying in politics goes “you can’t please them all” and why should you? We are all different and we all buy into different ideals.

We find love in different philosophies and we try to live our lives according to our findings in such principles. For many of the socially inclined, they would oppose Thatcher because their principles rest in socialization and in the public sector. If Thatcher was guilty of anything, it was finding principles elsewhere. Her principles rest in competition, individuals, striving and thriving and mainly in the private sector. Her crime was not her principles, but her leaving many people behind, hopeless and without support.  As a social liberal, I do not make this stand in defense of Thatcher’s ideals, her being a Conservative or in defense of her actions. It is true, she  caused great suffering and did so proudly. However, she also found pride in creating a step for many people at the bottom to climb on so they could become more.

She is constantly blamed for being the woman that divided a nation but I find more divisive attitudes in the class mentality that Marx left behind. We all, even Conservatives, can be very defensive of either the public or private sector. As a liberal, I believe that it is about overcoming adversary and working towards pluralism. Our biggest problem we face today as a nation is our tribal attitudes towards one another. It is so easy to fall into the trap of finding homes within certain camps. However, we have to try and see one another from a human perspective. Otherwise, it makes all those chanting such horrid things about Thatcher no better, and is that the type of society we truly want?

Love her or loathe her, it is completely wrong and inhuman to curse the name of any human being that is no longer with us. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”.  If you opposed Thatcher that much, and if you really did not like the legacy she left behind, there are more loving and humanitarian ways of refuting others. It’s called leading by example.

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Posted on April 12, 2013, in Speaking Out and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hi Sean,

    I appreciate your points, only with the exception of “…it is completely wrong and inhuman to curse the name of any human being that is no longer with us.”

    The dead who hurt us in our time, or affected our lives adversely, can be addressed however the individual chooses. The more directly affected ones, such as those crippled communities, victims of the Hillsborough disaster, Argentine relatives of the Belgrano, or the myriad victims (on both sides) of the Northern Ireland situation all have valid and different perspectives of their emotive reaction to Margaret Thatcher. Who is to say that they should not be heard, or they should soften these opinions, not speak out, just because she is now dead? Their situation has not changed and, although revenge is a very negative drive, it is far from “inhuman”. It is most understandable, and has been the foundation of many of humanity’s stories, tracing as far back as the tragedies of the ancient world. This is no new development, to be shocked and appalled at.

    Many criticisms of these dissenting voices come in the form of ‘You weren’t even alive when she came into power!’ but I’m sorry, this is a trick to make you scoff away their opinion, whether well-founded, vitriolic, callous or not. , and an informed understanding of the very-definite political and financial path this nation has taken over the last forty years necessarily requires an understanding of Thatcher’s part in that. To have an informed understanding of history is vital, and someone should not be dismissed because they were not alive at the time of the event being discussed. A lot of history actually happened a long time ago. And it is generally written by the winners.

    It may be distasteful but these are subjective opinions being expressed, and the right to express them, whatever they may be and however uninformed or callous the speaker, is essential to our state. The worse attack on our liberty is the suppression of those voices but, as this time it is on the side against poor taste, I shall not go to pains to berate this. However, this presents the opportunity for the tories to indulge on a month-long publicity campaign for Thatcherism, feeding parasitically on a media-fuelled, and opposition-censored, grieving of an extremely partisan politician,

    What would Thatcher think of what disrespectful things people are saying? Just as she reacted to these kinds of public responses while she was alive, she wouldn’t care. Let the polarised rabble distract themselves with their internal arguments, while she pushes through one socially-debilitating policy after another. Oh, wait, weren’t we arguing about the welfare reforms just the other day…

    The comments and glee expressed by so many may be tasteless, in many cases only inherited, or just jumping the bandwagon. But they are many, and democratically lawful, and therefore valid, I understand the distaste felt by those who do not like to hear these kinds of outpourings. However, be careful when it comes to censorship and good taste. Before you lend voice and support to those urging you to let them silence the disrespectful voices, concern yourself with when you, at some point, may become the disrespectful who needs silencing.

    • Liam,

      Thank you very much for responding and I don’t disagree with you what you say. In particular, I really liked when you said “It may be distasteful but these are subjective opinions being expressed, and the right to express them, whatever they may be and however uninformed or callous the speaker, is essential to our state” as you will often hear me defend the right for fascists to speak (even though I despise fascism more than anything), I still agree that people should voice how they feel and say whatever it is they really want to say. It’s a fundamental part of communicating with one another. That’s why it’s called ‘getting it off your chest’.

      This article is in no way trying to silence those voices. It is merely attempting to ask those expressing themselves to consider not giving anyone else the last laugh. Revenge, for me, is reactionary and it really does take love and conscious effort in thought to overcome. You see, overcoming is even more important, for me, and if it is voices like Thatcher that people wanted to silence, then by giving her hate, it actually feeds her legacy and places her in the books of history.

      On your last comment “Before you lend voice and support to those urging you to let them silence the disrespectful voices, concern yourself with when you, at some point, may become the disrespectful who needs silencing”, if I do show signs of disrespect in any way, I’d be more than happy to be silenced in the name of reason. 🙂

      Thanks again Liam.

      Best wishes,

      Sean

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