I’ve been off line for a while now, there were a few personal issues that came up and demanded most of my spare time and attention, then to top it all, my computer crashed and burned, leaving me with no internet access. Well, the personal issues have eased and I also have a new computer and I’m back online, and what a week to come back with Margaret Thatcher departing this life.
When I first heard the news, I didn’t really have an emotional reaction which surprised me because back in the days when she was in power, I loathed her with a passion. I had watched the film, The Iron Lady a while back, and it aroused a certain sympathy in me for her as a human being, which was a big surprise to me considering how I had felt about her. Maybe I’ve grown up!
But what I realised while watching the film was that her glory days were far behind her and that no matter how much power she may have wielded, or how important she may have been in the world of politics, she was now just an old woman and was going to die, just like the rest of us, and when I sat down to write this last night I was reminded of these lines from Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.....
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power
And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave
Awaits alike th’inevitable hour:
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
And when Thatcher’s children attend her funeral next week, it would do them no harm to reflect on their own mortality and realise that arrogance and money will not insulate them from the reality of death and, one day, they too will take the same journey.
Maybe the outpouring of hatred towards Margaret Thatcher will serve to remind them of the damage that can be done by those whose self-serving beliefs allow no consideration for the humanity within us all.
Margaret Thatcher was contemptuous of the weak and poor, regardless of their life situation, and used the power of the state to wage war on the working classes, wrecking their communities and their political power bases. Everything that is wrong with the country and the economy today, has its roots in the policies enacted under her leadership.
I certainly understand the outpouring of hate against her, those wounds run deep and it is not my place to condemn or condone someone else’s actions but I will say this, at least you knew what you were getting with her, there was no ambiguity in what she stood for, even if you completely disagreed with all of it, which is more than can be said for Tony Bliar, the Tory in a red tie.
But whatever she was, she is no more, and is now dead and gone. Her legacy will be debated for many years to come and how much of it will all matter in a hundred years from now, who knows? The great pity of her life is that she could have done so much more good, if she had just remembered her humanity and had been a bit less intransigent.
Life is short, too short for many of us, and I can only hope that this present administration would take some time out to consider the legacy they are creating and the damage they are inflicting on future generations: that they would realise the divisions and the hate they are fomenting will remain long after they have been kicked out of office, (which will be soon, hopefully) and that the responsibilities of political office demand that you serve all the people not just the rich and powerful.
Live well people