Today, Wednesday 17th April 2013 the UK buried Baroness Thatcher. Since she died there has been a mixture of public grief at her passing and public joy.
I was born in 1982 and therefore am personally unaware and unaffected by Margaret Thatcher’s policies, but living in the heart of Wales I am made very aware how much she was disliked by many here.
From what I understand however, Margaret Thatcher’s policies were designed to reduce the huge power that Trade Unions had at the time. When the coal miners went on strike they had the ability to cripple British industry within a couple of weeks. The trade unions were too strong, too powerful. They were a third arm of government, undemocratically in a position of extreme power. Something did have to be done.
Whether what was done was right is another question. Many of families, in Wales and elsewhere were left without work and without food and money. Coal mines closed and coal is now imported from abroad, despite the fact that we have about 20 years more coal left in Wales. The Welsh valleys haven’t recovered from the loss of the industry. Is this entirely Margaret Thatcher’s fault though? I think the answer has to be no. It was a combination of things, and of course it must be remembered that she was a figurehead for her political party. She was not single-handedly responsible for everything that went on. Another party leader may well have done the same.
At the end of the day however, whether what transpired was right or wrong, and where the blame lies is irrelevant. A human being has died. Yes she died in comfort, she died in the luxury of the Ritz while people her policies affected may still be dying in poverty but still that is no reason to celebrate her passing. She has been compared to Hitler – an absolutely outrageously hysterical comparison. Any damage done by her was done. There was no gain to her death and therefore there is no reason to celebrate. Must we forget that she was a wife, a mother, a person. Ok, maybe don’t mourn her death, but at least let her pass without vilification – afford her the dignity which you would wish yourself.