Monday 8 April 2013

Sadness And Disappointment

If I were Ed Miliband, there'd be skid marks in my pants over what ill-considered tweets, Facebook statuses or local news statements will be popping up from the left in coming days and weeks after Margaret Thatcher's death today. His own response was dignified and respectful.

Those making hay on social media seem to genuinely believe that a sizeable majority of the public share their hate to such an extent that it is acceptable to exhibit it in public; to be proud of it, in fact.They must have forgotten that she returned an overall majority at three successive general elections and it wasn't till seven years later that voters swung away from Thatcher's party.

Whether one agrees with her politics or not, two things are pretty clear. Firstly, she was more popular than not and, further, as a frail old woman of 87 she had long become irrelevant to everyday life. 23 years have intervened since she was last in office - if her policies were that appalling to the general public they would have been swept away by now.

Mr Puddlecote Senior always had an intense and irrational (for me who didn't remember the times, anyway) hatred for Harold Wilson. If I'd heard the story of how Wilson changed attitudes from one of 'earning' to "you are entitled" once, I'd heard it a thousand times. But when Wilson died in the 90s, Puddlecote Snr acknowledged that he was a man of the people who had the interests of the country at heart, however misguided one may think his policies were. If he harboured private celebration, I didn't see it.

Contrast that with Tom Paine's experience today.
My tour of my local brewery is rather spoiled by our tour guide punching the air with glee at the news of Margaret Thatcher's end. What kind of human glories in another's death?
Perhaps this woman forgets (or is not old enough to remember) that Thatcher's government introduced the Beer Orders in 1989 to try to protect her local brewery from the excesses of large, powerful breweries. Without Thatcher, it's possible she wouldn't be guiding visitors round that brewery today.

Thatcher wasn't a perfect politician as the Conservatives like to eulogise, nor was she universally disastrous as the left claim. She was a politician, so naturally prone to not pleasing all of the people all of the time. She did manage to please a majority of the country enough on three occasions though.

This isn't a defence of any of her policies. I find it incredible that there used to be rules on the amount of money which could be taken on foreign holidays, and am grateful that she abolished them. By the same token, the poll tax was a nonsense of the first water.

It's not Thatcher's death which makes me depressed tonight, it's the desperate disappointment that so many feel it is acceptable to post jubilant bile all over the internet and - in Tom Paine's case - proudly in person.

Former England hooker Brian Moore expressed it best today, in my opinion.

The Tories are 'the nasty party', remember? Labour and the left in general are supposed to be compassionate and above political nastiness in pursuit of a greater human condition. I see none of that today. Just scary people who seem to have forgotten - or never possessed - common decency.

Dan Hodges has written about what the 'Labour movement' should be doing this week, but I don't reckon many are listening.

Ed Miliband should stock up on underpants.

Margaret Thatcher RIP.


Tony Hand said...

I'm not going to get into this too much Dick as I have a great deal of respect for you and your blog, but I imagine that a lot of relatives of soldiers needlessly dying in Iraq will, "punch the air" when Tony Blair passes from this mortal coil. So goes the same for all tyrants that start, or contribute to unnecessary wars.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

I can understand that, but I don't think they'd be holding parties in public in city centres. Also, if you're implying that the Falklands was a war that shouldn't have been waged, I would tend to disagree.

Something that I remember at the time - with astonishment as a timid teen - is the attitude of the soldiers who went to wage it. They seemed genuinely eager to get down there and "do what we have been trained for".

I don't reckon Tom's tour guide has seen any active service, either. Nor any real Thatcher-imposed discomfort, it just appears to be trendy to hate her amongst some people. That's fair enough if the person is alive, but vulgar in death IMHO.

moonrakin said...

As somebody who went along with the " 'Fatchah is a fascist" thing in the 70's - I can now see that I was naive and misled - there were both positives and negatives to her administrations - Simon Jenkins - in of all places The Guardian comes closest for me. Not a fan - but not much of a knocker either.

Give the one dimensional, brawling, bigots of the "left" their rope, let the infantile twerps who hadn't even been conceived when she was PM prance and twitter their ignorant bile. An old lady who didn't - I'm guessing, know who or where she was shuffled off her mortal coil today - and that's it.

If Galloway turns up to demonstrate his pleasure at her funeral - I sincerely hope he gets the bejasus knocked out of him.

Little Ed has good reason to be stocking up on underpants, his party is rudderless, spouting hollow bilge, reliant on its PR Dept - the BBC to keep it's knees under the top table - some union leaders and the re-energised "militant" activists sense a chance here to remake the Labour Party - but they can't even spell pyrrhic let alone understand the connotations - and that's just fine by me.

…Zaph said...

Apparently there is a campaign to get "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead" from the Wizard of Oz to number 1 this weekend, and when I last checked the iTunes "hit parade" it was standing at #34.

While I find the idea of celebrating the death of a grandmother with dementia utterly abhorrent (my own granny went out that way) part of me would actually welcome the song being in the charts come Sunday, both as a symbol of how vile people can be and because I'd love to hear how the BBC would deal with that on radio 1.

Rob said...

That cunt Mark Steel (sorry, no other way of describing him) has no doubt booked himself many more appearances on the BBC with his gloating tweets.