The UK’s reaction to the death of Margaret Thatcher is unique. There is no doubt about that. National events are occasions that unite the people of a country; in pride or in sorrow. Even at their most divisive, these occasions allow for one thought to take the lead. Those that hold alternative views tend to be silent and respectfully conform to the mood of the state; history tell us this. The deaths of Churchill, Diana and the Queen Mother, the Royal Weddings and Jubilees, and the Olympics have all generated a national mood that generates the unwritten rule of conformity. How stark in contrast, is the nation’s response to the death of Thatcher.
Love her or hate her – and there is no other choice – Thatcher was a strong person. She stood her ground and took control; but the people she controlled in life, control her in death. Thatcher’s legacy will survive her and most of us, but the people – not the politicians – can and should shape that legacy.
Spare a thought, if you would, for Tony Blair. Not blessed with the respect of his detractors, as Thatcher often is. Blair, not the Iron Gentleman. His image is of a sly, heartless man who cheated his country into an illegal war to benefit himself and to please a corrupt US government. Some call him a warmonger who is responsible for the death of thousands. An act which dwarfs the sinking of the Belgrano, the Poll Tax and the illegal and propagandist practices of Thatcher’s government during the miners’ strike.
Blair has labelled ‘Thatcher Parties’ as tasteless. There is no wonder. Blair must realise there are bigger celebrations that await his death. His one great achievement over Thatcher is that he managed to unite the country – even if it is only in its hatred from him. No matter how much loathing and contempt there is for Thatcher, the UK can always manage to find that little bit more for Tony Blair.
Let’s give Thatcher her unique send off. Let the nation be spilt. Let us have silent mourning, but let the joyful singing and hearty cheers be heard across the land; and let it ring as a warming bell in the ears of those in Westminster. Let the dancing in the street make the ground tremble so as to make all politicians quake in their boots.
Perhaps we can encourage the greedy and heartless politicians to redeem themselves while there is still time by letting them see what awaits them at their demise. No politician wants to be as loathed and despised with such venomous good cheer. Think of Thatcher’s passing as a version of the Dicken’s Classic: ‘A Christmas Carol’.
If we can get Blair, Cameron et al to think again, then whether or not you believe Thatcher destroyed the UK during her life, her legacy would be that she died for the good of Great Britain – and that is something we can all agree on!