How to mark her passing, and whether we even needed to, sparked a lively debate between camparigirl and me. We were both living in the UK for part of Margaret Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister (1979 – 1990); so witnessed, first-hand the devisiveness of her economic decisions. And were financially impacted by the ‘poll tax’ that eventually stopped her reign. But we also benefitted from the boom that followed in the late eighties/early nineties. And by the example set by a woman who refused to take no for an answer. Who was never confined to the kitchen or the backbenches by her gender.
We were both surprised by the vitriol directed at her 23 years later. Not so much by those miners or colliery workers who lost their livelihoods and bore the brunt of the recession that followed (we got that), but people who weren’t even around during her years. People who apparently blame her for all the current ills of England. Who want to take to the streets in riot gear. Or turn their backs on her funeral cortege.
camparigirl is kinder than me – she can understand the legacy of anger, and forgives the outrage. I say “”you voted her in three times England, it’s twenty four years later … fix it or move on.”
Margaret Thatcher clearly divides opinion; but we agreed on one thing. Dancing on her grave is just unseemly. And ignoring her passing would be remiss. She changed the world we lived in – sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. She is the only woman to hold the office of Prime Minister in the UK. She faced down bullies. She had some questionable friends. She married well, to a decent man who was proud of his wife. And they stayed together until Denis died. She loved her children. Even the one that was a mercenary. She won wars. She made mistakes. She held her ground. She was the “Iron Lady”. You either loved her or you hated her.
We thought this image said it all.