Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The Cold Iron Lady

When the news broke yesterday that Margaret Thatcher had died  (and had, to my normal high standards, been properly verified using proper sources - namely the BBC and the website http://www.isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk) my brain leapt into gear about a potential blog post. No doubt the Daily Mash and The Onion and all the other (decent) funny pages had their writers beavering away already, and I could get something in relatively quickly and be vaguely topical for once.

So, armed with some hastily downloaded clip art of a fiery background I wrote something with the headline "Hell rejects Thatcher". I'd post in more detail about what I wrote but - for reasons I'll mention later - I can't. It basically implied that Hell wasn't a bad enough place for her but because of the recession - cutting edge stuff, eh, Satire fans? - they hadn't the budget to build a new appropriate level. Throw in a sentence or two implying that she'd failed to apply for hell on some criteria or another likening it to ATOS and there you have it - comedy gold. Of course I used the scenario of a press conference taking place in Hell - regular readers of my blog might notice that I fall back on the press conference plotline way too much because it's so easy to do so - and there it was. Short, sweet and just needed me to click "Publish".

And I clicked "Save" instead, and thought about it.

And then thought about it a little bit more.

And then clicked "Delete".

Now, don't get me wrong, I hated Thatcher. Being a child of the seventies, I grew up with her policies. I hated what she did to my city when she destroyed our manufacturing Industry. I despise every single fibre of the woman and what she stood for in ways that could take up several incredibly rant-laden and angry blog posts.

But her death yesterday didn't change any of that - didn't reverse any of her destructive policies or bring any of the Belgrano sailors who were sailing away from the exclusion zone or the Hunger Strikers back from the dead. It didn't reopen the mines. All that happened yesterday was a frail old lady who'd lost control of her faculties some time back breathed her last breath.

No fanfares sounded, no policies were reversed, the earth didn't shake.

An old woman died. And I felt a little bad about the fact that I was going to mock that in a - with hindsight - not very funny knee-jerk post.

But do you know what? I can understand where the jubilation and celebration is coming from. It's not something my conscience lets me know I feel I can be a part of, but the very mention of her name evokes either passion, anger or both. She cut a wound so deep into the psyche of this nation that it's difficult to think about her and not be emotive.

But a weak old lady breathed her last.

Celebrate when her legacy has died, but now isn't the appropriate time. Her death has achieved nothing.

Click here to read what I thought an exceptional piece - not one I necessarily agree with for the reasons outlined above, but it's well written and honest and for that reason to be applauded.

Disclaimer: Regarding the title of this article, FoldsFive holds no responsibility for any cockney songs that may become lodged as an earworm that may result.

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