I was due to speak on the BBC World Service tonight but after sound check my internet and phone died.
This however is roughly what I had hoped to say:
“Both pragmatically and in principle, celebrating Thatcher’s death is wrong.
In principle, at such a difficult time that is shared by all humans – death – we should be looking for the human side of Thatcher. We should be seeing the side of her that has friends and family who are going through great pain at the moment morning their loss.
At the same time though we should not under-estimate the genuine pain and anger that is felt by many and has been bought to the surface by her death. In principle we must let people morn but we cannot forget the harm her policies have caused.
Pragmatically though we should be focusing our energies on the neo-cons who now sit around the cabinet table implementing her legacy with terrifying efficiency. Celebrating the death of an 87 year old moves us no closer to tackling this blight.
In fact the opposite, it alienates us from everyone who looks on disgusted that people could be rejoicing at another human’s death. It puts us in that unpalatable category of Galloway and the Socialist Workers.
If this discussion was about the death of Thatcherism I would be the first one in the streets. But it is not, Thatcherism lives on more powerful and more accepted than ever before.
All that has changed is that an old lady is now no longer with us.
If people want to celebrate that it is their right to do so, but I think it is wrong and ultimately not useful”
6 responses to “Celebrating Thatcher’s death is wrong both pragmatically and in principle”
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agree with steve hynd, here here!
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the sad reality is that all of those news media, politicians and celebrities who show ‘respect’ and remember her ‘success’ totally disregard the devastation of communities, industries, lives and the hopes and futures of so many! I despised the woman and shed no tears. I cannot condemn anyone whose lives were affected so badly as a result of the thatcherite policies, who have taken to celebrate. Many of those who last week took advantage and revelled in the deaths of 6 children at the hands of their loved ones, used it to try to undermine and totally discredit the welfare state, are so aghast at this celebration. She yearned for the day when the philosophy of ‘no such thing as society’ was clearly evident. Sadly, we are living in the very period where the followers and inheritors of that belief, are actively carrying out that ideology. It may not be a very pleasant thing to see celebrations at death, but this is by no means a unique situation. Not so long back I witnessed little respect for Hugo Chavez passing. Equally, I fear the media going into a massive overkill and whitewashing of the thatcher era and legacy, dismissing the cost and damage to lives, has presented a very unedifying and unrepresentative account.