I’ve been travelling home all day so I’ve had plenty of time to write up a post about this alarming trend I’ve been watching spring up today. Before I get in to it, I’m not a supporter of her or even an anti-Thatcherite(?) – I just want to give you an opinion about a series of opinions I noticed.
For those of you who haven’t interacted with any other humans today, Margaret Thatcher passed away following a stroke at The Ritz this morning. Former and first lady Prime Minister of Great Britain and nicknamed the ‘Iron Lady’, she was also the country’s longest serving PM.
There was much controversy surrounding her though, with her privatisation of state companies, reducing the power of trade unions and her clash with the mining community, in particular.
However, support for her rose in 1982, with her support for the Falklands War, helping the islands to remain British, and she was re-elected. This was before an assassination attempt on her by the IRA in 1984, at the Brighton hotel she was staying in.
Still with me? Good.
For those reasons listed, she became highly unpopular with the working classes of the time, but later in life this has seeped and tarnished the good aspects of her reign. By no means do I support what she did, but more of that in a bit.
The trend I mentioned above was the comparisons with her and Hitler, the out and out disrespect of her after she had died (regardless of Political agendas) and a murmur among a few delegates at the announcement of her death in the NUS conference today.
I’ve labelled this as the ‘Teenage Bandwagon’ – something not to stereotype those of my generation, but where a vast majority have been massively without their own research. There were negative comments flying left, right and centre about her when the news broke, and a lot of them from people my age and younger.
This is the point I’m getting to, and something I tweeted earlier. These people were (in the majority of cases) not even born when she was in power, probably have little to no idea of who she is – other than some “devil woman who ruined the country” (something else I saw) and most likely are heavily swayed by influences around them.
It’s more the arrogance of people when someone as infamous as this dies. The popular opinion is negative, and so it’s cool to bash someone – especially now they’re dead, right? My main point is that people shouldn’t so quick to judge about someone they know relatively little of, just because they know somebody else who’s doing it.
If you’ll note I haven’t referred to her as either ‘Baroness Thatcher’ or a ‘witch’ at the opposite ends of the spectrum. I’m very much on the fence, observing this all pan out. Because I wasn’t born when she was about, and I don’t know too much about her other than what I noted, I’m not really the person to be telling you how to feel. Neither should your 14 year old brother.
On a lesser note, other rather funny things surrounding Thatcher’s death occurred that I thought I would bring light to for those of you who were unaware.
The hashtag #nowthatchersdead (or, now Thatcher’s dead) was hilariously mistaken for ‘now that Cher’s dead’ – resulting in mass hysterics and a PR nightmare for Cher – who is thankfully, still alive. Very reminiscent of the now infamous #susanalbumparty.
Harry Styles, lead auto tune vocal of One Direction tweeted ‘RIP Baroness Thatcher x’ and thousands of his fans responded. The screen grab below from @CounteractMag gives you an idea of how that went about.