Monday, 8 April 2013

Thanks Maggie (plus an old quote of mine)


Others will write finer prose, there will be a great deal of it too, so I will stick to two things - a one word appreciation of all that Margaret Thatcher did for Britain and a recycled quote from something I wrote in 2009.

The one word - it should be on all our lips really - is thanks.

And the quote - written following one of the periodic occasions when a Labour councillor talked of celebrating Maggie's death:

It’s nearly 20 years since the great lady left office – 12 of which years having been under a Labour Government. For most of those involved in this spat, Maggie is but a memory – even if they were born before 1990 their memories are those of a small child or those transferred across the generation from parent to child. Yes the scars of deindustrialisation, the impact on places like Barnsley of pit closure continue to inform us about the politics of such places ...but the left should look forward – to how their ideas might influence the shape of tomorrow’s world not backwards to dreams of a place that’s gone and won’t come back.

I never considered myself a “Thatcherite” – altogether too whiggish, too Gladstonian for my tastes. But those ten years transformed my country – painfully for sure but changed nonetheless – and made it possible for the small battalions to climb back out of the place they were hiding. Championing those folk is the challenge for me – and it should be something both left and right can support. We do not need big institutions, grand national organisations – we need things local, people-sized, participatory and independent of big government.

So thanks Maggie. RIP.


1 comment:

asquith said...

Also, I'm not aware of her doing anything to confront the system of farm subsidies, or challenge many other vested interests upheld by the state.

I am an economic liberal but not right-wing, so my perspective will differ from yours, and in addition to this I am concerned about issues of secularism so I will condemn her reaction to the Rushdie incident. I have found Kenan Malik to be very hot on this particular issue and the Iron Lady doesn't come out well.

I for one will not be lauding her tonight.