Love, hate, mourning, street parties and, of course, mourning at street parties, into the early hours of the morning. Radebe G. Radebe infiltrated the United Kingdom.
LONDON – Expressions of adoration and admiration poured in from all over the world this week in memory of Margaret Thatcher, who died at the age of 87. The former British Prime Minister was found dead in her bed at the Ritz Hotel in London after suffering a stroke on Monday morning.
People spoke with great kindness of a person who, for better or worse, left a lasting impression on Britain and, indeed, the world. She will always be remembered as the inventor of Thatcherism and was, with Ronald Reagan, arguably at the forefront of fuelling the whole spandex wearing, highlighted and sprayed big hair-styled social movement of the time.
Mrs Thatcher, known as the Iron Lady to some or as the Wicked Witch of the West to others, is fondly remembered by many of her detractors. “I used to get clobbered by riot police while out on a routine protest against “poll tax”. Ah, those were the days,” laughs Mick Winslett from Brixton. “I still have a kink in my neck from a police truncheon.”
“I really miss being unemployed, working can be a drag,” remembers Tim Hartlow, now a factory supervisor in Scunthorpe. “It was hard to get a job and hard to get on the dole. Still, I wouldn’t be the man I am today if it weren’t for Margaret Thatcher and the tough times as a result of her policies.
As the memories come flooding back, some people even remember her stint as education minister, when in 1971 she scrapped free milk for school children. “I’ve been chanting “Maggie Thatcher, milk snatcher” all week long,” says Robert Morris. “Haven’t even thought of that for years. This time I’m not chanting with disdain, it’s just that my most pleasant memory involving her is about my friends and me chanting hateful slogans about her. I don’t hate her. I hated her for taking away our school milk. Nowadays I just hate milk.”
Some of those who found her loathsome in the past even went as far as changing their views completely. “Death can really affect your opinion on someone,” sighs John Tuffey from Bristol, while bopping his head to the blaring beat at an impromptu street party. “I’m just here because I heard there’s a party. I don’t even remember why I hated her so much.”
He’s not alone. Others also express a newly discovered sympathy. “I never used to like her, but now I love her,” remarks Mary Jones, before gulping more apple cider. “I can’t help it. She’s dead!”
According to Doctor Richard Carthright, a clinical psychologist in Milton Keynes, this is a fairly normal phenomenon. “People often stop hating others when they die. I suspect they feel it’s unfair towards persons who are in no position to defend themselves. They’re dead. Nothing more to be done.
Professor Philip Huntington, a sociologist at the University of Surrey, has a more pragmatic view. “There’s no point in hating someone after they’re dead, is there? They’re dead. They don’t even know they’re being hated. And there’s no point in being glad that they’re dead either. You should be glad that they are alive, so you can hate them. When they are dead, you hate what doesn’t exist.”
I used to vote Tory until she came around, haven’t voted Tory since. Now that she’s passed, just might again,” muses Paul Davis of Ipswich. “Well, after David Cameron is gone, of course. Can’t vote for him now, can I? That would completely tarnish my fond memory of repugnancy towards Thatcher.”
Not everyone is enthusiastically embracing a new found love for the Iron Lady. “You turn if you want to,” declared Denise Bishop of Brighton, remembering a famous speech. “This lady is not for turning.” BN
Radebe understands that you really need to look at politics from all sides, weigh up all options and come to terms with what politics is before you can write about politics. This takes time and resources, and he never makes a deadline. Still, his ill-conceived articles are better than it would have been if he rushed it to meet demands. Even if we can never print it, because it’s too late.
- Russell Brand on Margaret Thatcher: I always felt sorry for her children (The Guardian)
- For Margaret Thatcher, few tears shed in South Africa (Global Post)
- Margaret Thatcher, The Iron Lady, mortal after all (The Daily Maverick)
- Is Thatcher Dead Yet? (isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk)
- Great Britain Bursts Into Song Over Death Of Margaret Thatcher (wonkette.com)
- Margaret Thatcher dead: Iron Lady to receive ceremonial funeral after passing away at 87 (mirror.co.uk)
- Margaret Thatcher: feminist icon? (newstatesman.com)
- Margaret Thatcher ‘hated because she won’ (itv.com)