Maggie Thatcher’s death is bringing out the worst in some of us. Or is it?

No state funeral for Maggie Thatcher

No state funeral for Maggie Thatcher

For a long time I have tried to persuade others not to lose their dignity when Thatcher died. I saw others itching to get the champagne bottles out, to hold parties. I thought this tasteless and in danger of degrading those who took part.

Society has an unwritten rule about death. We allow friends and family a little time to grieve. There is a quid pro quo here. We do that when we feel nothing or less than nothing for someone who has died and expect similar courtesy when one of our loved ones finally die. This is a good set of rules to live our lives by.

However, as I was afraid would happen, things got complicated with Maggie Thatcher. SKY, BBC, Channel Four News peddled bullshit on behalf of the richest 1%. Lies, lies, lies and more lies.

Can the broadcasters seriously expect the victims of Margaret Thatcher and those pathetic politicans who grovel before her (including Labour leaders like Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband) to put up with these lies? If they did, then they must be very disappointed.

We have seen a plunging the depths of bad taste, and I have been as guilty as most of those who want a refund from the BBC for the disgraceful abuse of our license fee to spoon feed the voters wall to wall party political broadcasts on behalf of the Thatcherite Party. We simply couldn’t take it and we fought back. SKY and Channel Four News were every bit as bad. And this Tory bullshit has brought out the worst in some of us.

People are doing this to make it abundantly clear to all these disgusting broadcasters that we are not buying into their Tory fantasies. In the process of making that clear, some of us (myself included) are breaking the taste barrier. This feels bad. Torture is not just bad because it breaches human rights, cannot deliver reliable testimony, but also because it degrades the torturer. In much the same way, those who breach the social contract when it comes to allowing others to grieve are going to pay for it. Our consciences are going to make us suffer. Mine already has started this.

What else do I want to say?

Thatcher’s gender? Is it appropriate to have a go at Thatcher in terms that identify her gender? Can we really feel good about cursing “that woman”? This is dangerous. Shall we work to get “The Witch is dead” to the top of the charts? Is that acceptable? Many probably don’t think there is a problem, and it is borderline. What about banners that declare, “The bitch is dead”? Now that is surely beyond the pale.

Socialists need to be very, very careful how we handle this.

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One Response to Maggie Thatcher’s death is bringing out the worst in some of us. Or is it?

  1. robin bale says:

    I entirely agree about the gendered abuse – I want no part of that. As to the rest, the “taste barrier” in particular, I would say that the left is not engaged in some gentleman’s disagreement with the right, that can be thrashed out over port and cigars. To accept that there is a taste barrier is accepting the opposition’s terms for how the argument will be conducted. In other words, that there must be silence unbroken except for heartbroken sobs and tearstained eulogies; that there must be “national mourning”. I can entirely see why it might look in bad taste to be questioning exactly which, or whose, nation is in mourning (or, for that matter, which nation she “saved”) .
    It is in bad taste to say “I’m not sad, I’m glad”. But the idea that there is a commonality in manners, or tact, or anything is something that the ruling classes apply only when it suits them. The public rejoicing over this is an assertion that we have nothing in common with our rulers, and neither should we have.


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