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Author Topic: Margaret Thatcher GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE  (Read 11103 times)

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Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: Ding dong, the witch is dead
« Reply #60 on: April 10, 2013, 08:57:48 PM »
Referencing the thread title, it appears the purchasing public have spoken.

Which basically shows you there's a market for anything if you're at the right time.
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Re: Ding dong, the witch is dead
« Reply #61 on: April 10, 2013, 09:52:16 PM »
I am a little bit older than killing time- nearer 40 than 30, so I remember nearly all of the Thatcher government years and I vividly remember the Falklands War. Initially I lived in Manchester but local government reorganisation meant my Dad lost his job (I remember him making scenery for his model railway from old picket line placards, not his though!) and so we moved to Nottinghamshire. One of my Grandfathers worked in the coal industry for his whole life.

The unions broke two previous governments as they were not strong enough to stand up to them and a major contributing factor to her staying in power was that the Labour opposition were of the time were too poor to be take seriously. The UK definitely needed strong leadership to fix many of its problems, but she was too inflexibly some of the time. If she was hated by so many people, why did she win so many elections, and some by landslides?

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Re: Ding dong, the witch is dead
« Reply #62 on: April 11, 2013, 02:55:53 AM »
If she was hated by so many people, why did she win so many elections, and some by landslides?

Being hated by 35% of the population is still a lot of people.
Leaders are supposed to look after ALL of their people, not just the ones who voted for them. This is a lesson that the current lot of Tories still haven't learned.

Offline Irisado

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Re: Ding dong, the witch is dead
« Reply #63 on: April 11, 2013, 06:11:31 AM »
If she was hated by so many people, why did she win so many elections, and some by landslides?

As I pointed out in an earlier answer, it's not emotions that need to be looked at here, but rather it's the policy, and ideological position of the Labour Party.

Labour positioned itself far too much to the left under Michael Foot, and so was unelectable in the 1983 general election.  There was no other serious opposition, so Thatcher's Conservative Party were bound to attract a lot of centre ground floating voters on that basis.  Fast forward to 1987, and while Labour isn't quite so far out there, it's still not considered to be a party which could credibly govern, owing to its policies, so same result.

If you want a comparison to highlight the role of the other parties, consider the 2005 general election.  Tony Blair was deeply unpopular, thanks to his disastrous foreign policy on Iraq.  Only one third of the electorate voted for Labour, but he still won comfortably, because the Conservatives were unelectable under Michael Howard, and most voters didn't want to take a chance on the Liberal Democrats.

Finally, remember that our first past the post electoral system also distorts the picture somewhat.  Thatcher won in 1983 and 1987 with 42 per cent of the vote each time.  That still leaves a majority who didn't vote for her.
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Offline Katamari Damacy

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Re: Ding dong, the witch is dead
« Reply #64 on: April 11, 2013, 01:11:21 PM »
Some interesting analysis from Max Keiser  ;)

Keiser Report: Myths of Margaret Thatcher (E430)
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Offline Underhand

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Re: Ding dong, the witch is dead
« Reply #65 on: April 11, 2013, 02:58:50 PM »
Seriously - How many posters in this thread are old enough to have actually formed a view of Thatcher as Prime Minister from their personal experience?  Anyone?

What's the minimum age you would feel appropriate if this limiting factor is important to you? How old do you feel one has to be to form a(n accurate) view of another's actions from their personal experience?
I think that the approximate minimum age that most people are mature enough to develop a personal awareness of political issues as complex as British Industrial Relations in the late 20th century would be 13.  And that would still be a pretty basic, one dimensional outlook.

Any younger than that, and even the most seemingly politically aware kid is probably just parroting what they've heard from other people.  We all know what kids are like.

The personal experience of posters is of central importance to the 'Ding Dong the Witch is Dead' thread because the thread is all about the celebration of the death of Margaret Thatcher.

Without some direct personal experience of the horrors of Thatcherism, how could anyone possibly want to publicly  celebrate the death of a geriatric woman who basically faded from public life two decades ago?  What is the personal stake that a 25 year old holds in relation to the matter?  What did Thatcher do in the last couple of years of her reign that could possibly ignite such passion?

I'm not critical of people having a view of the merits of Thatcher's policies.  Anyone who has studied that period of history will have one.

I am generally mystified by this whole celebration of her death though.  Especially with regard to people who have no personal experience or memory of her.

Here's the thing:

I can understand how people might have publicly celebrated the killing of say, Osama Bin Laden - he was basically as close as it gets to a real life super villain.  He orchestrated the killings of thousands of completely innocent civilians, and indirectly set in chain the events which lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands more over the next decade or so.  When he was killed by those Navy SEALS, his death could be seen as him being brought to justice and an end to his reign of terror.  A lot of people might have thought that the dancing in the streets and all the triumphalism was a bit much, but I think it's fair to say that the overwhelming view was that he had it coming to him.

But with Thatcher it's totally different:

She is considered arguably the most influential woman of the last century. 

The reforms she put in place are more or less still intact.

She is admired as one of the great world leaders of the 20th century by her supporters.

She is despised by (a lot of) people whose opinions she pretty obviously couldn't have cared less about.

She basically left public life more than 20 years ago.

She died of a stroke at the age of 87.  She basically died of old age.



What exactly are her detractors celebrating?

She didn't get her comeuppance - she died of old age, her legacy secure.  She's never been 'brought to justice' by her enemies.

It's not the end of her reign of terror (like the munchkins in the song) - she stopped being Prime Minister more than 20 years ago.  She more or less left public life, in any serious sense, shortly thereafter.  Her eventual death changes nothing.

Is there some sort of victory that I'm missing?


Offline Lachdonin

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Re: Ding dong, the witch is dead
« Reply #66 on: April 11, 2013, 03:37:44 PM »
If she was hated by so many people, why did she win so many elections, and some by landslides?

Being hated by 35% of the population is still a lot of people.
Leaders are supposed to look after ALL of their people, not just the ones who voted for them. This is a lesson that the current lot of Tories still haven't learned.

That's always been a functional impossibility, though, and is one of the main failing points of Democratic thought. The idea that a majority elects a leader, and then that leader has to look after EVERYONE, is downright preposterous. Needs of the many, plain and simple.
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Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: Ding dong, the witch is dead
« Reply #67 on: April 11, 2013, 03:43:41 PM »
@Underhand I'm going to disagree with you there as even without a direct presence within the time frame, such as being a minimum of 13 years old at that time as you suggest, you're still able to learn and relate to the events afterwards. That's what studying history is all about and political history goes right along with it. Take the example of the Falklands War, so unless you/we were 13 years old or more at the time, we're not capable of having an opinion of the war and its after effects? True, children do often repeat what they've learned at home but I also credit people with the ability to learn after they've left home and form their own opinions. Such as those stated by people within this thread.

I'm as uncomfortable with the celebration of Thatcher's death as I was with Osama Bin Laden. I, personally, find it unbecoming but if people feel the desire to do so that's their decision and not one for me to make for them.
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Offline Irisado

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Re: Ding dong, the witch is dead
« Reply #68 on: April 11, 2013, 04:04:09 PM »
The personal experience of posters is of central importance to the 'Ding Dong the Witch is Dead' thread because the thread is all about the celebration of the death of Margaret Thatcher.

Correction.  Some people who disliked Thatcher's policies are using it in this way, but others who also disliked her policies are not, so let's not take the thread title as being representative of all its content ;).

I'm as uncomfortable with the celebration of Thatcher's death as I was with Osama Bin Laden. I, personally, find it unbecoming but if people feel the desire to do so that's their decision and not one for me to make for them.

I agree with this.

As much as I cannot support her policies, I also cannot jump on a vocal bandwagon of supposed joy, as that just doesn't seem right to me.



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Offline Chuckles, The Space Marine Clown

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Re: Ding dong, the witch is dead
« Reply #69 on: April 11, 2013, 04:36:27 PM »
Just to clarify regarding the thread title, I was very torn between posting this in the Tavern or in the DB, and I ended up getting a bit confused about where to put it. Had it gone into the Tavern I would definitely have gone with this thread title, having posted it here I should probably have amended it to something a bit less contentious. I'll go back and amend it now.

I should also make it clearer that I'm really not celebrating her death. Apart from anything else, as has been pointed out, all that's really happened is a little old lady suffering from senile dementia died of a strike. None of her policies were altered in any way as a result of her death, and frankly the world is not a better place for the lack of her. What I was trying (and clearly failing) to show earlier in the thread was that I'm torn between my objectivity, which has reached the conclusion I already posted, and my instinct, which is to celebrate. Does that make me a bad person? Maybe, but I really do think that, the current Government notwithstanding, she was the most destructive and dangerous Prime Minister we've had in this country in a very long time, and probably the second worst PM of the 20th Century. I am passionate about politics (and not just British politics at that), so it's difficult for me to avoid responding emotionally to the death of somebody I feel was such a poor leader. But I do recognise that her death hasn't caused the world to improve in any way, and it's interesting to compare with the death of Osama bin Laden, whose death I really didn't get that excited about. The reason for that is that I didn't have any emotional baggage attached to the man, whereas with Maggie I do/did. Does that excuse it? No, but I try to be understanding of other people's emotional reaction to the death of somebody so thoroughly loathed.

Post Merge: April 12, 2013, 04:10:34 AM
In the future, please use the modify button. Double posting is against the forum rules, and for that reason, the system merged your posts.

A compelling response to hand-wringing about celebrating her death. Though in the interest of fairness, it was written by a comedian with...some leftward-leaning tendencies
« Last Edit: April 12, 2013, 04:10:35 AM by Chuckles, The Space Marine Clown »
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Offline Killing Time

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Re: Ding dong, the witch is dead
« Reply #70 on: April 12, 2013, 06:17:56 AM »
all that's really happened is a little old lady suffering from senile dementia died of a strike.

Deliberate? Or the best Freudian slip ever?

Offline Chuckles, The Space Marine Clown

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Re: Margaret Thatcher GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE
« Reply #71 on: April 12, 2013, 06:30:47 AM »
Deliberate, but a news agency of some kind did in fact make that error the other day. It was awesome
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Offline Underhand

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Re: Ding dong, the witch is dead
« Reply #72 on: April 12, 2013, 08:41:27 AM »
I think that the approximate minimum age that most people are mature enough to develop a personal awareness of political issues as complex as British Industrial Relations in the late 20th century would be 13.  And that would still be a pretty basic, one dimensional outlook.
...
I'm not critical of people having a view of the merits of Thatcher's policies.  Anyone who has studied that period of history will have one.
...

@Underhand I'm going to disagree with you there as even without a direct presence within the time frame, such as being a minimum of 13 years old at that time as you suggest, you're still able to learn and relate to the events afterwards. That's what studying history is all about and political history goes right along with it. Take the example of the Falklands War, so unless you/we were 13 years old or more at the time, we're not capable of having an opinion of the war and its after effects? True, children do often repeat what they've learned at home but I also credit people with the ability to learn after they've left home and form their own opinions. Such as those stated by people within this thread.
You seem to have misread or mistaken the meaning of my post, since I don't disagree with the first couple of sentences you have written. 

I wasn't talking about the Falklands War (which is a pretty easy topic to wrap one's head around), I was talking about British Industrial Relations in the late 20th century which was a notoriously difficult issue. The comparison between the two topics is not apt.

Understanding the Falklands War is pretty easy.  There aren't really any complex concepts to get one's head around.  A person doesn't have to be 13 to have a decent understanding, or awareness at the time of it. You don't have to have lived it to get your head around understand it.  In any case, the Falklands War isn't really relevant to anything in this thread.  None of the people who are celebrating Thatcher's death hate her because of her handling of the Falklands War.  Even her enemies probably think she handled it well.

The issue of British Industrial Relations and Thatcher's policies and reforms and their effect on British society is obviously a vastly more complex and nuanced matter than the Falklands War.  It is simply beyond the ability of a child to grasp all the various issues involved.  A decent understanding of all the different issues and factors requires personal observation as it happened or detailed study and consideration years later.  Having first hand contemporaneous personal experience is obviously superior to only learning from academic sources.  Even the best study from the best sources can't convey the sense of uncertainty and insecurity that would have existed during such a time of societal upheaval.

But how can a person who has not personally experienced (or be able to recall) the trauma of that period, become so emotionally invested in the subject to such an extent that they would publicly celebrate her death?  Where does that level of personal hatred come from?  It's baffling.

« Last Edit: April 12, 2013, 08:43:44 AM by Underhand »

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Re: Margaret Thatcher GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE
« Reply #73 on: April 12, 2013, 08:53:35 AM »
I hate to Godwin this thread, but the obvious comparison to make would be the Holocaust. I imagine that had Hitler survived the war (fleeing to Brazil or something) and then died of old age a great many children who had lost family members in the camps would have been jubilant. Now obviously it's not appropriate to compare Margaret Thatcher to Hitler. The point though is that the way a lot (though definitely not all) of people feel about Thatcher is a result of the effect that her premiership had on their families and towns, even if it had no effect on her, personally. "You're the reason my dad lost his job!" is a pretty common feeling regarding her in Scotland, Wales and the North of England.
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Offline Killing Time

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Re: Margaret Thatcher GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE
« Reply #74 on: April 12, 2013, 11:33:36 AM »
"You're the reason my dad lost his job!" is a pretty common feeling regarding her in Scotland, Wales and the North of England.

Ironically, Thatcher is actually the reason my dad was so busy.
He was a social worker caring for the families in the mining valleys of South Wales. Those communities simply never recovered from the evisceration dealt them by Thatcher's policies. The massive rise in drug dependance, alcoholism and other social illnesses that are still endemic today are all directly attributable to those policies.
You really don't need to have been alive at the time to see the damage.

Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: Ding dong, the witch is dead
« Reply #75 on: April 12, 2013, 11:20:53 PM »
You seem to have misread or mistaken the meaning of my post, since I don't disagree with the first couple of sentences you have written. 

It was an example man, not the whole of the argument.  ;)

The issue of British Industrial Relations and Thatcher's policies and reforms and their effect on British society is obviously a vastly more complex and nuanced matter than the Falklands War.  It is simply beyond the ability of a child to grasp all the various issues involved.  A decent understanding of all the different issues and factors requires personal observation as it happened or detailed study and consideration years later.  Having first hand contemporaneous personal experience is obviously superior to only learning from academic sources.  Even the best study from the best sources can't convey the sense of uncertainty and insecurity that would have existed during such a time of societal upheaval.

Yet, are you willing to give credit to people within this thread, with quite the impressive credentials that they carry, that they have indeed done so? Having not only lived in the regions but also studied in the proper areas? I do. Do you? Is say give credit, not that you have to agree with their arguments.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2013, 11:22:26 PM by Rummy »
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Offline Underhand

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Re: Margaret Thatcher GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE
« Reply #76 on: April 13, 2013, 03:17:52 AM »
The whole reason for asking the question in the first place was to gauge the credibility of the posts in the thread.

The quality of each post speaks for itself.  Some people have demonstrated that they clearly know what they are talking about, others have not. 

I doubt anyone has spent the last couple of days sitting at their computer hitting the refresh button waiting to see if Underhand has given them his personal seal of approval.

« Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 05:23:11 AM by Underhand »

Offline Ben Atter

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Re: Margaret Thatcher GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE
« Reply #77 on: April 13, 2013, 10:06:16 AM »
For me, the reason I wouldn't celebrate Margaret Thatcher's death is not so much about the dead as the living.

Thatcher wasn't just a politician, but also a mother and a grandmother. Regardless of her policies and whether they were right or wrong, there are people out there now grieving, and having to see people celebrating the death of granny. It's not nice, and for me it's in bad taste.

I imagine if my stepson grew up to be a serial killer, people would celebrate if something happened to him, and I've seen footage of mother's grieving their children's execution in the States. The world might be a better place for losing that individual - but I still think that the people who are suffering from their loss deserve better than to see people celebrating it.

That's not to say that we can't discuss and criticise her decisions or her politics - I don't believe that criticism of her should be censored - but dancing on a grave seems in bad taste to me.

Incidentally, in answer to Underhand I was born in 1979, so I was very much a Thatcher baby. I'm not going to comment on her politics because that's not the point of my post, but she certainly provided one important memory to my childhood - as an 8-year-old I remember thinking about the fact that everybody important seemed to be women - my teacher, headmistress, mother, the Queen, and, of course, the Prime Minister were all women. I asked my Mum "Mummy, are men allowed to be important?"

Seems trivial, but I do wonder if the reason why England seems to have much less sexism than Italy (where I currently live) is at least partly connected to an entire generation of children growing up with a woman in a position of authority.

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Re: Margaret Thatcher GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE
« Reply #78 on: April 13, 2013, 11:33:03 AM »
Seems trivial, but I do wonder if the reason why England seems to have much less sexism than Italy (where I currently live) is at least partly connected to an entire generation of children growing up with a woman in a position of authority.

No triviality there. It's likely the reason that the only industry thriving in GB is the movie industry. I hear Femdom is quite the money maker. Wait, that's not the point I was going for.

What the rest of your post sounds like, is ascociating with the transgressor. "Think of what these 10 people that deeply loved Grammaw are feeling right now! Forget the pain and misery wrought on thousands if not milliions, and focus on those 10 people. Everyone should be ashamed that we're making 10 people feel a little bad, while many of the victims are still unable to afford to live at a decent standard of living."

Bad taste? Sure. Honest and heartfelt? Probably. Part of the healing process for some? Maybe.

If you [now refering to Everyman] can't understand hatred, and you can't understand the joy someone might feel at seeing another person dead, be grateful. Maybe you have had a lesser class of villains in your life. Or maybe you have some kind of miraculous capacity for forgiveness. Maybe you are a great person, and deserve the nice tall horse everyone seems to be riding on.

In all honesty, anger and frustration can spur a person to do great things. If that means that a person takes joy in seeing a long-past-her-prime tyrant put in the ground, then so be it. The greater good is served, if not the greatest good.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 11:34:53 AM by GreatBigTree »

Offline Ben Atter

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Re: Margaret Thatcher GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE
« Reply #79 on: April 13, 2013, 05:55:13 PM »

[/quote]
What the rest of your post sounds like, is ascociating with the transgressor.
[/quote]

Fair enough, but not exactly how I see it. I don't see it as associating with the transgressor, but with the transgressor's family - a kind of 'there but for the grace of God go I' thing. It's not quite the same thing. If a member of my family did a terrible thing I would probably still mourn their loss, and maybe be more hurt by others celebrating.

Remember when the Twin Towers went down and the news showed clips of people across the Arab world celebrating? Most of the west was in mourning, in shock, and it seemed so wrong that people could celebrate such a terrible thing - but of course they argued that the West, and America in particular deserved it. Did it make any difference to the dead? Not a thing, but it can't have helped the victims' families, none of whom presumably were responsible for declaring war on the Arab world or stealing their oil.

It's not the same thing, I'm well aware of that, but the concept is the same. Celebrating the death of Thatcher will make no difference to her (she was probably expecting it anyway...) but might hurt someone still here.

Incidentally Great Big Tree I have no problem with people being happy that someone they hated is dead, can't help our emotions, and you're absolutely right that great things can come from anger. It's the active celebration that seems wrong to me.

 


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