And so the rush of tweets and facebook updates about Margaret Thatcher begin in the wake of news of her death. Some of them are amusing, some genuinely enlightening and many are just tasteless. But a significant amount are just plain mindless, and my least favourite from this latter category are those espousing the following sentiment:
“Say what you like about her politics, she was certainly a ballsy lady.”
Which prompts me, in a fit of irritation, to want to post something along the lines of:
“Whether you’re pro or anti fascism, Hitler certainly had a lot of gumption, didn’t he?”
Unless you personally knew Thatcher, I don’t believe you can comment on her passing without referencing her politics and still be saying anything meaningful.
I adhere to the view that she was responsible for emasculating local government, that her economic policies favoured the wealthy and that she oversaw a time of vast toxic consumerism, all of which are still infecting the culture and politics of the nation some twenty-three years after she left office and it grieves me politically. I personally would not wish ill upon another person or their family and I’m certainly not going to be as crass as to consider celebrating the passing of a human life, though I don’t begrudge people using her death as a spur to rant about the damage she did to our country and her ongoing influence upon the current appalling state of affairs. Equally, if your politics are firmly to the right of centre and you are comfortable with such episodes as the sinking of the Belgrano and her friendship with people such as the Chilean dictator Pinochet then I do not begrudge you commenting on her passing and praising her political legacy.
But please, spare us the idiocy of empty soundbites.
“Whatever your taste in music, Peter Andre has recorded some songs, hasn’t he?”
Quite where this specific blog-rant sits on the scale of mindless to meaningful, I’ll let you decide.