Don’t Let the “Maggie” Fool You

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Margaret Thatcher is dead. Don’t let the cutesy “Maggie” fool you. Or the almost nostalgic movie with Meryl Streep. Thatcher was hated by many in Europe. The stupid Falklands War, being buddy-buddy with Reagan, her complete disdain for the British working class, the Poll tax (same percent income tax for everyone) which ended up being her downfall, and–especially pertinent today in America–her ban on saying anything positive about gays in public and in the media. Which made Tom Robinson’s song all the more popular. People sang it at a concert I was at in Edinburgh like they wanted her to hear it all the way at 10 Downing Street in London. So good riddance, Maggie Thatcher!

10 responses to “Don’t Let the “Maggie” Fool You

  1. I am British and American, and along with my dual nationality, I also saw both sides to “Maggie.” But more importantly, I applaud your refusal to let go of your opinion just because she has passed on. I think too many people are allowed to become idealized just because they are dead (Reagan is a case in point). Cheers!


  2. But what do you REALLY think? 😉


  3. Right on, Barbara! As A.C. Grayling points out in today’s NYT, Mrs. Thatcher was the most divisive PM in many a decade, and one who invariably favoured the well-to-do at the expense of the rest. The rich got richer ….

    Had it not been for the Falklands War, she would almost certainly have lost the 1983 general election. That war made no sense from a financial or economic point of view. It would have been more sensible and humane, and it would have saved several hundred lives, to buy out the Falkland Islanders, as some members of her own cabinet proposed. But if the Argentinian junta needed a war to distract their people from domestic difficulties, so did Mrs. Thatcher and her closest advisers. By deciding to retake the islands, cost what it may, they tapped into a vein of virulent UK jingoism that I became aware of when I visited the Netherlands in May, 1983, and watched East Anglia Television. Shocking! Shades of the old imperialism. And President Reagan acted as enabler.

    Good on you for not getting carried away by the nostalgia. Unless you’re wealthy, Mrs. Thatcher gives you very little to be nostalgic about.


    • Thanks Michiel. Also for the more detailed background. Mine was just a bit of a raving post against all the cutesiness here, with the quotes of u-turn puns and nonsense like that. I have found that in America most people believe that Reagan won the Cold War, and now they are crediting Thatcher with that, as well. But that’s for another post…


  4. From a distant perspective of an anti-apartheid South African it was possible to obtain a fairly objective view, and it is clear that the anti-Thatcher sector are operating on incorrect data and insufficient analysis – or analysing apparatus. The ‘virulent jingoism’ can equally be seen as national pride, and refusal to kow-tow to bullies. That feature has again markedly been on the decline without her sort of leadership. Ideals are sacrificed on the altar of appeasement, In fact, all criticisms levelled at her are based on a section – often irrelevant – of the whole picture. There is a media-led ‘fashionable’ view, and this is severely slanted.


    • Hi colonialist,
      Thanks for visiting. I don’t believe I’m influenced–at this point, anyway–by a media-led fashionable view. I was right there in the Netherlands when Thatcher was in office and my opinion of the woman is based on what she did at the time. She may have been against apartheid, but so was pretty much everyone in Europe at the time. For the people in Britain itself she was very controversial, racist, anti-gay, anti-free speech in some cases and full of disdain for the poor and working class. But I fully acknowledge that everyone has their own opinions about her, depending of where they’re coming from.


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