Monday, 8 April 2013

Milk snatcher

Margaret Thatcher died today.

Let's get a few things out of the way: I feel sorry for her family's loss, and also a lingering set of twilight years with dementia followed by a stroke is an unpleasant way to go. And yes, she was the first female Prime Minister.

Right. Now we have said that, let's say some other things.

I will not mourn the end of a woman who is responsible for some fucking awful things in our country, and is still responsible now. I don't have a full set of all the awful things she did, but during her time as Prime Minister the working classes of this country were ground down into worklessness, entire communities made into poverty-ridden ghost towns. Those cities haven't recovered yey. Those cities in the north, in Scotland, in Wales, may never recover because the poisonous politics that started with her still tell them that they're wastrels, that they're not worth anything. The problems we have now still continue, and her political descendents are destroying what is left in some of those communities.

I will not mourn Section 28, a legacy I was still dealing with when I was in comprehensive education, a time when queer kids and adults were given no support by public funds. By 'no support' this meant no protection of homophobic bullying, amongst a raft of other things. This still continues.

I will not mourn someone who supported apartheid in South Africa.

I will not mourn someone who sank the Belgrano when it was retreating.

I will not mourn privatisation of vital services. I will not mourn the idea that it's somehow okay for people to make profit off the back of heating, light and clean water.

I will not mourn someone who kickstarted the excesses of our financial markets.

I am the daughter of working class parents. I grew up on the edge of one of those decimated communities. So you'll forgive me, right now, if I am having a drink. I'm not doing it to celebrate her death, but I am doing it to remember all of the tragedy and horror she caused, and her legacy is still causing.

Over dramatic? Yeah, probably. Depending on when the funeral is, though, it may well block my ability to get into work as the cortege will be going very near my offices. I have a long weekend coming up, but unless the funeral is on Friday or Monday it will directly affect my ability to get into work. Whether I want to or not, it's being put directly in my way.

Those are my thoughts. I appreciate you may have different ones. I don't pretend to understand them, if I'm honest.

1 comment:

  1. Many people I work with are Southern, have not seen the effects of the negative things she did, and don't care. I find this very difficult to work with and am mostly avoiding such conversations.