Thatcher was not a perfect prime minister or person. It is valid to criticise her at any time. This is an opportune moment, not because of her death, but because the excellent borrowing rates Britain is enjoying offer a once-in-a-generation opportunity to restructure the economy, the whole country, to heal the hurts and inequality her ‘reign’ dealt. Thatcher’s dominance caused Labour to disavow its socialist and militant branches, abandon Clause IV and adopt the paradigms of monetarism championed by the Iron Cult. New Labour represented far more continuity with the Tory position than many admit, giving free rein to the Bank of England and preserving the City’s dominance. This ‘received wisdom’ contributed to the 2008 crash and our current predicament.
Labour do not currently offer an effective opposition. They allowed the coalition to legislate retroactively and fine jobseekers who hadn’t technically broken any laws. Miliband has not set out an alternative economic plan, let alone one that is attractive. The slump allows the Tories, in the manner of a lion-pack who have brought down the slowest-running zebra, to savage the poorest in society with apparent disregard for evidence showing their methods are unproven, ineffective or outright damaging. These, then, are especially dumb lions, but the hyena of Labour cannot so much as snarl criticism.* Given the manifest weaknesses in our economy, and the straightforwardness of many remedies, such inaction makes me want to drink and wank and cry on a rock. Preferably one far away from savannah.
I have no strong opinion on the Death Parties or, to fuck up my metaphor, the pot shots Left and Right are taking against one another on social media over this woman’s corpse. The moral colour of criticising someone so recently dead is a matter of taste and politeness, neither of which I have.
The greatest tragedy of the whole grotesque safari is yet to come, however. As they did for the wedding of Bill Wales & Kate M (2)and the Olympics, the police are planning pre-emptive arrests for Thatcher’s funeral (2). This has even been picked up by the media of noted Human Rights champions, Russia. It looks a bit like “criminalising protest” – especially after the clusterfuck at Sussex Uni. That seems scary. Maybe get angry?
*I wanted to write that Labour are ‘pathetic’. However, some readers would understand this as meaning ‘deserving of sympathy’ which is entirely the opposite of my intent. They are (with exceptions) deserving of scorn and disappointment.