Twenty five years ago on April 8th 1988, my lovely mother died (also my sisters birthday) at the ridiculously young age of 56.
How ironic that a woman she admired, but one I loathe, despise and hate (and yes, I thought long and hard about the use of such words and where she is concerned I am more than comfortable with them) more than most people to walk this planet should shuffle off this mortal coil on the same date.
Amongst her supporters and those in opposition too scared (or subject to political pressure) to express their real feelings about her demise, there is the usual historical revisionism, especially concerning her legacy, which if you look around this country today is appallingly evident in the financial crisis, moral turpitude, racism, cheating bankers and politicians, pointless and immoral wars, the exposure of lying policemen, clergy members, doctors and so called pillars of the establishment involved in child abuse and so much, much more.
In this age where the news is often deliberately manipulated for short term memory, I was actually heartened to see that as much as the predictable sycophantic rubbish there are so many who like myself are unable or unwilling to forget what she stood for and the havoc she wrought upon various communities.
I almost chuckled at the supreme irony of Tony Blair, having the temerity to say that people who celebrated her death were acting in poor taste. This from a man who obviously thought it was in good taste to bomb Iraq (a country where 42% of the population were under the age of 14) having already been responsible for the deaths of approximately 1 million Iraqi's from the US and UK led sanctions, which prevented children receiving even basic medicine. Then after fabricating the evidence to go to war, he did not even have the good taste to count dead Iraqi civilians! He is now making millions as a Middle East peace envoy, when his rightful place is in front of the International Criminal Court in the Hague. A Thatcher clone if ever there was one.
There appears to be much outrage that the old maxim of not speaking ill of the dead has not been adhered to. We are talking about a woman who stated that there was no such thing as society and was the prime advocate of the greed is good yuppie era, where people were actively encouraged to feather their own nests regardless of the effect it had on others.
Hence the housing stock was sold off, never being replaced. People bought their council houses, many bought second properties (I remember the interest rate at 15% when I bought my first house) and this has led directly to the situation we find ourselves in today where there is not nearly enough affordable housing for those that need it, repossessions are rocketing and greedy unscrupulous landlords are charging extortionate prices in the private sector (though she would doubtless blame this on immigration)!
If people are not being respectful, is it any wonder? We live in an age where you can call someone a "black cunt", yet be found not guilty of racism in a court of law.
Most of the TV watched by the masses is based around conflict such as the odious Jeremy Kyle, and pathetic examples of reality TV such as Made in Chelsea, The Only Way Is Essex, Big Brother and the rest of the brain dead forums. Many of our leading footballers spout all kinds of rubbish on social network forums and are regularly seen abusing officials and condoning cheating.
In addition many hypocrites, bigots and loudmouths such as the aforementioned Kyle, Simon Cowell, Gordon Ramsey, Piers Morgan and Jeremy Clarkson are seen as national institutions!!!
From her coming to power in 1979 (when I was 16) until the start of the Falklands conflict, Thatcher was immensely unpopular and had an extremely low poll rating of around 23%. Although doing very well academically at school I actively refused to join one of her disgusting YTS schemes.
Around 1980-81 she had actively refused to give the Falkland Islanders (somewhere that most British people thought was near the Shetlands as I remember it well) British citizenship calling them merely dependents. I vividly remember the news at the time, the then Governor of the Falklands, Rex Hunt, stating many times that he had written to Thatcher saying that the Argentinians were threatening to invade and could she send a task force as a deterrent. Thatcher saw this as a perfect example to boost her flagging popularity and waited until there had been an invasion before sending a task force. In the ensuing 74 day war, Britain lost around 255 lives and the Argentinians approximately 700. This was entirely avoidable and a cynical ploy to ensure an election victory, duly achieved the next year.
I have a good friend, whose brother died at Goose Green, the day before his 18th birthday. Not old enough to vote, or even buy a pint, but old enough to die on a battlefield in a place the vast majority of the country had not even heard of!
Then let us not forget the sinking of the Belgrano (which as every one knows was outside the exclusion zone and sailing in the opposite direction) and the disgusting accompanying Sun headline 'GOTCHA'. Thatcher was also pictured with the thumbs up, Yet you ask people to show compassion and respect for a woman with blood on her hands.
This woman branded the world's (and possibly history's) greatest human being Nelson Mandela a terrorist. She is not even fit to kneel at his feet. An avowed racist herself, it was her support (along with the equally odious Reagan) that prolonged apartheid and I remember Botha's state visit here in 1984. I also remember Young Conservatives wearing "Hang Nelson Mandela" ties at a Tory conference. Whenever people tell me Mandela was a terrorist, I ask them to name one terrorist incident he was involved in. They never can. Please ask me about her or Winston Churchill and I can give you many examples! When the Great Man did his world tour on his release in 1990, she was one of the leaders he declined to meet.
Australian Foreign Minister, Bob Carr described Thatcher as "unabashedly racist" after in conversation with him she railed against Asian immigration, just out of earshot of his Malaysian wife!
Thatcher was one of those who believed that Britain still had an Empire, being white and English made her inherently superior and it is no coincidence that the National Front and British Movement flourished in her era. Her distrust of other Europeans, especially the Germans was rooted in the past and gave vent to many of the despicable racists in her party such as the odious Tebbitt, Bruinvels, Carlisle, Beaumont-Dark etc.
Again lest we forget she had the brazen effrontery to cosy up to the repulsive Pinochet, who was responsible for at least 30,000 deaths of his own people in Chile. She was also instrumental in installing the now reviled Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, describing him as a freedom fighter.
The culmination of her decimation of the working class she came from, but despised was the miners strike. Even nearly 30 years on, there are still families divided. It destroyed whole communities, left families in poverty (again I attended many fundraisers) and achieved her ambition of crushing the last bastion of working class solidarity (having already destroyed the manufacturing industry). Again rags such as the Sun and the Mail spewed their usual propaganda to place all the blame with the miners. Again Thatcher (with that voice that I find even more irksome than an Afrikaans accent) showed no compassion for those whose lives had been ruined and whose children had literally no food. I will not forget the footage of miners being battered by mounted police. Nor will I forget the crowing police drafted in from Avon and Somerset, using the acronym ASPOM (Arthur Scargill Pays Our Mortgages). Nor will I forget the tragic death of taxi driver David Wilkie who died taking a non-striking miner to work.
I also remember her sneering contempt at the death of the democratically elected M.P. Bobby Sands (imprisoned for possession of a handgun) and the families of the other Irish hunger strikers. Like people say about her, these men were also somebody's sons, fathers etc. Her attitude lead to surge in recruitment for the IRA.
Does it not strike anyone as more than a touch ironic that a woman who privatised everything, including assets such as gas and electric whose reserves may just have bailed the country out its current financial predicament, now wants a state funeral, to be met at the expense of the taxpayer. Surely, as I believe film director, Ken Loach may have suggested would it not be appropriate to put it out to tender to the highest bidder? Frankie Boyle, who I don't usually agree with had it right when he said give everyone in Scotland a shovel and they could dig a whole deep enough too present her to Satan himself. Morrissey, another with whom I usually vehemently disagree, was spot on in his obituary.
Should it be expected that those in places such as Birmingham, Newcastle, South Yorkshire, Nottingham, etc should have any respect for a woman who seemed to delight in destroying their whole employment infrastructure? It is still not forgotten today in Liverpool how she again allowed the Tory press to vilify the whole city after Hillsborough, to the extent that those who lied, fabricated evidence and besmirched the 96 who died so appallingly are now only just starting to be bought to book. It has taken the best part of 23 years and the bravery and tenacity of the families (many of whom did not live to see it) to get to this stage. Again I have no problem with the opprobrium dished out to those who caused the deaths of the Juventus fans at the Heysel stadium in 1985.
Thatcher again made no secret that she regarded the majority of football fans as scum.
Again in football no surprise that the likes of Whelan and Madjeski (who would have been principle beneficiaries of her era) want a minutes silence to acknowledge her passing. The FA have not advocated it, as they know it will be met with abuse on so many grounds. I certainly, had I still been playing or in a crowd would not observe it, in any way, shape or form.
Likewise the Scots, who after being, as ever, the guinea pigs for the poll tax that eventually bought about her downfall, who at least had the good grace to wipe her off the political map. It was always evident that she had no regard for them at all.
As ever her supporters exaggerate her role. She opposed German re-unification, owing to racist views rooted World War 2. The current Con-Dem cuts that as ever, wreak havoc on the least vulnerable are merely an extension of what she started, as is the gradual dismantling of the NHS and indeed public services. If you read the reactions from around the world (with the exception of the insular shoulder to shoulder blah blah blah from the US) reading between the lines it is patently obvious that she was not universally liked. They say she changed this country and put the Great back in Britain. Personally I would be extremely mistrustful of any country that labelled itself thus! She certainly did change this country, unfortunately, for the worst and Blair and other idiots like the awful Boris Johnson and rich kids and chinless wonders and elitists, Cameron and Osborne are no better, though I look forward to Ian Duncan-Smith living on £53 a week.
Her so called legendary intelligence is another lie. Everything about her from her image softening, that awful voice and her speeches was invented. I remember an interview with Jenni Murray where her notes had obviously been delayed and she was clueless.
Again a simple question. If like Churchill, immediately after the war, she was so good, why did her own party, eventually knife her in the back and get rid of her?
For those who say people celebrating her death are being disrespectful, I have as ever one simple question. How many of you believe in capital punishment? As someone whose political leanings usually engender a reasonable amount of compassion, I cannot even find it in myself to feel compassion for her odious children. Carol, another racist who a couple of years ago thought that using the word wog was OK. Then there is greedy boy Mark, who not content with becoming a millionaire overnight as a result of one of his mothers dodgy arms deals (and let us not forget Westmoreland), then like many of his colonialist ilk, thought it would be OK to start a coup in an African country to further line his pockets. Obviously something in the DNA.
I remember the western world railing against the Russian invasion of Afghanistan and even boycotting the Moscow Olympics over it. Who would that be that Britain and the US have invaded now?!!!
She was the first woman Prime Minister, but what did she actually do for women? She abhorred feminism and let's be honest, she wasn't too keen on Carol, much preferring Mark. She had a chance to smash the glass ceiling and make life better for women in this country, but she much preferred men. How many women in her cabinet?
So no, like so many others I am not ashamed to say that I will not mourn her death one iota and have no problem with those who choose to celebrate it. Like Blair, Bush, Reagan, Churchill, Kisssinger et al she was prepared for innocent people to die and to wage war to further her own political ends.
There is so much more I could write, but I have wasted enough time and effort on this vile woman. As an atheist I don't believe in heaven or hell, but hey even if she did go to hell, she would probably try and sell it off.
A beautiful woman died on April 8th. Rest in Peace Mum. XXX