|She is? Oh thank heavens… Oh wait, you mean me. Oh bother.|
Margaret Hilda Thatcher (née Roberts, 1925-2013), aka. the Iron Lady, was to date England’s only female Prime Minister (PM). She gained the nickname the Iron Lady because she was known for taking s*** from no-one. Whenever she wanted to do something she did it, whether people liked it or not. This is no different from other PMs except that she was blunt and vocal, so she did what she said she would.
She was in office 1979-1990, therefore was Britain’s longest serving PM! She was a huge fan of privatisation, making most businesses private-sector. There are 2 sectors – public (parts and services of society owned & looked after by govt) and private (parts and services owned & looked after by laypeople). She thought privatisation would increase competition and thus create wealth. In a sense that was true, but it only increased wealth among those who were already in charge of businesses or could afford to be. And increasing competition meant that the rich & poor are in a constant fight, the rich to get richer and the poor to… get richer. Thus the capitalist status quo remained unchanged, and if anything was worsened. Under her unemployment, poverty & income inequality increased (see the figures here).
Privatisation also meant rather than closing on Wednesdays & Sundays, as most businesses did before her, they could open on those days – and most do. Before they had set opening times, now they choose their own opening times, leading to the 24-7 culture we live in now. This has increased foreign investment because foreign investors see our highly flexible working hours as greater opportunity to earn money. What they don’t see (or maybe do but don’t care) is that wealth is only generated for them and the business owners, everyone else is barely scraping by. It’s thus said that she was a PM for the rich.
She is even known to have called Nelson Mandela a terrorist (because back then it wasn’t synonymous for Muslim). That alone says what kind of person she was, but even worse she invited Pieter Willem Botha, a South African PM & apartheid leader, to London. Also bear in mind that the Brixton race riots happened during her rule, in ’81 & ’85.
Thatcher lived through both world wars. In 1982 she took the Falkland Islands back from Argentina during the Falklands War, which won her a re-election in ’83. For this reason she was (and still is) loved by patriots. However, people have been holding parades and parties over the past week since her death. One played the Wizard of Oz song Ding dong the Witch is dead, just to really get across their feelings about her. A police officer has resigned over an anti-Thatcher comment he made, and one of the parades was even planned from 10 years ago! Though I wouldn’t have gone so far as to throw a party (not because I respect her in death but because she’s not important enough to me), knowing what I know of her I sympathise with them.
Oh, and there was once a time in England when children got free cartons of milk at school. Thatcher abolished that, which is how she also became known as Maggie Thatcher the Milk Snatcher. You may even hear some people (who are grown adults now) complaining that she stole their milk.
As England’s only female PM so far, some may get the impression that our country has become more progressive. This is wrong, because she never went out of her way to help the disadvantaged. Societal progress shouldn’t be measured by who’s in charge, but by what’s being done by who’s in charge (ie. unemployment, poverty, education, job opportunities, etc). Some wonder that since we’ve had a female PM when will we have a ‘black’ PM. My answer is 32nd December 3-thousand and NEVER, and even if we did who’s to say he won’t be like Obama, making so many grand promises and not delivering? And considering his/her cabinet & party members & advisors would still be ‘white’, it’s extremely unlikely a ‘black’ PM will do any good for us. At least with Thatcher you knew what to expect.
Tomorrow (17/4/2013) is her actual funeral day, after the government spent the past week having her carried through London. What will the partygoers do then, I wonder?…
|You either love her or hate her, just like Marmite|
And now the actual funeral has happened, she’s been laid to rest in St Paul’s Cathedral. Finally it’s over and done with! Most attendants loved it, the protesters hated it. Some threw a mock cremation of her body in the street, someone even put up a charity tin to raise funds for a funeral party! Wow, they genuinely hate her.
|An old-time friend & supporter of Thatcher|
|Scenes of the funeral procession|
|Scenes of protests|