Saturday, November 22, 2008

Maggie, Maggie, Maggie!

It's eighteen years to the day since Mrs M. H. Thatcher was ousted from Number Ten with tears in her flinty little eyes. One of the most divisive political figures of the post-war years she entrenched a growing divide between the haves and the have nots - and then complained about the behaviour of those excluded from the society she claimed did not exist.

Whilst she certainly had her supporters, there was also a whole swath of society that grew to hate The Conservatives with a passion never before seen. I remember those years as bitter and full of hurt as battle after battle was fought and lost and the dole queues grew ever longer.

Sure, there were some who did well out of the Thatcher years, but they didn't live on my street, or go to the places I went either. They might have owned them I suppose, they surely must have existed.

Those were the days of real class ideologues in Parliament. Today we seem to have a bunch of managers who simply claim they can make the bus time tables more orderly - but back then it seemed like there were real struggles for ideas. Perhaps we lost those battles and the bland consensus we see before us are the fruits of that age.

It's strange to think that something that still feels so deeply etched into me is taught in history lessons in schools and that many of today's activists know of Thatcher only as a piece of political data rather than the fire and brimstone demon that had control of this country for eleven long years.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well put and so very true. That woman changed politics in our country so dramtically that the effects are still with us and probably will stay for ever although I hope not. Without Thatcher's influence would a so called Labour Government try to introduce 42 days detention without trial or biometric ID cards or allow the decimation of social housing? I think not.

The ongoing fight for freedom and equality continues but it's a lot harder because of Thatcher.