Tag Archives | Margaret Thatcher

On Criticizing Dead Figures Of Importance

margaret thatcherVia Common Dreams, on the insistence that Western political figures of power should not be criticized upon their deaths, Glenn Greenwald writes:

There’s something distinctively creepy – in a Roman sort of way – about this mandated ritual that our political leaders must be heralded and consecrated as saints upon death. This is accomplished by this baseless moral precept that it is gauche or worse to balance the gushing praise for them upon death with valid criticisms.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with loathing Margaret Thatcher or any other person with political influence and power based upon perceived bad acts, and that doesn’t change simply because they die. If anything, it becomes more compelling to commemorate those bad acts upon death as the only antidote against a society erecting a false and jingoistically self-serving history.

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London Throws Party Celebrating Death Of Margaret Thatcher

Anti-Margaret Thatcher badge, 1980sReuters reports that only “hundreds” of people turned up for “the party of a lifetime” celebrating the death of reviled (and occasionally revered) former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher in London today:

Several hundred people turned up for a “party” in central London on Saturday to celebrate the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as a mass protest predicted by some failed to materialize.

The British capital’s mayor had warned of potential rioting as organizers promised thousands of opponents of Thatcher, who died aged 87 on Monday, would descend on London’s Trafalgar Square to mark the passing of a leader who was loved and loathed in equal measure.

Current British politicians and world leaders past and present have paid tributes to the former premier, Britain’s longest serving prime minister in over a century, but she continues to divide Britons over policies which saw her crush trade unions and privatize swathes of industry.

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Thatcher’s Legacy: Austerity and the Attack on the Poor and Vulnerable

Mob

Via orwellwasright:

If there’s one thing the British government and its media mouthpieces can rely on it’s a general public who are quite happy to spread their propaganda for them – not since the riots of 2011 have I witnessed such a degree of slavish, unthinking  repetition of falsehoods and lies as can be seen on forums and social media networks in response to the recent wave of cuts to the welfare system. This feeling of despair at the gullibility of the general public was compounded by the response by many to the death of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher; the gushing eulogies and beautification of a woman who supported brutal dictators such as Pol Pot and Idonesia’s General Suharto, while decimating British industry. It’s as if people have lost the ability to think for themselves, finding comfort in a patently false narrative which blames the victims of savage austerity while simultaneously ignoring or excusing the crimes of the rich and powerful.… Read the rest

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Londoners Take To The Streets To Celebrate Margaret Thatcher’s Death

Beginning in the afternoon, until riot police dispersed the crowd after midnight, the center of the South London district of Brixton apparently became enveloped by partying yesterday. Brixton Buzz has an extensive collection of photos:

A substantial crowd gathered in Windrush Square in Brixton last night on the news that Margaret Thatcher had died. By 6pm there was already a large crowd filling the square. It got a bit silly by the end, and riot police were called in.

 

 

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Thatcher And Kissinger United Again: One Died, The Other’s Documents Were Dumped

Reagan ThatcherThe past fired back today–with two barrels.

Margaret Thatcher’s death at age 87 ushered in a non-stop sycophantic display of adulation across all the television networks, that, we need to recall, used the same playbook when her ideological kith and kin, Ronald Reagan, also suffering from dementia, departed this mortal coil

Then, there was a six-day televised praise poem between his death and what amounted to a state funeral with an unending orgy of uncritical commentary,  as if the media had fallen down the amnesia hole and forgotten that the great communicator was not that good a communicator and often an embarrassment, not to mention a political fraud.

Now it’s Maggie’s turn, with acres of sound bites stressing that “we should never forget” how tough the “Iron Lady” was.  Baroness “Lady Thatcher” was spoken of reverentially as royalty by the high and mighty who treated her as a divine figure.

In life her role was debated; in death, she was consecrated as a goddess.… Read the rest

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Margaret Thatcher’s Hearts And Souls

She failed in her dream of using economic policies to create a society of citizens who believed only in individualism. Via New Left Project, Tom Mills writes:

Much has been made of the ideological power of Thatcher’s political vision, but in reality she did not seek to persuade people that ‘there is no alternative’. Rather she forced people to accept as much by attacking the social bases of collective action and ideas, emasculating those institutional forms that could make building any alternative possible or even imaginable.

Like the Marxists she despised, Thatcher believed that ultimately it is the material conditions of life that determine political consciousness, and she sought therefore to bring about institutional changes which would carry with them an ideological reorientation. Hence why in an interview for the Sunday Times in May 1981 she made the chilling remark that, ‘Economics are the method; the object is to change the heart and soul.’

The policy innovations in the Thatcher years represented a profound shift towards a political economy based on rising asset values rather than income.

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Margaret Thatcher Dead

Margaret Thatcher cropped2Love her or loathe her – tell us your thoughts (in the comments section) on Margaret Thatcher, whose death was announced today. The BBC has the details:

Former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher has died “peacefully” at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke, her family has announced.

David Cameron called her a “great Briton” and the Queen spoke of her sadness at the death.

Lady Thatcher was Conservative prime minister from 1979 to 1990. She was the first woman to hold the role.

She will not have a state funeral but will be accorded the same status as Princess Diana and the Queen Mother.

The ceremony, with full military honours, will take place at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral.

The union jack above Number 10 Downing Street has been lowered to half-mast.

‘Force of nature’
Mr Cameron, who is in Madrid for meetings, has cancelled planned talks in Paris with French President Francois Hollande and will return to the UK later on Monday.

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There’s No Such Thing As “The Market”

425px-London_Stock_Exchange_LogoDan Roberts, writing earlier this year for the Guardian:

Margaret Thatcher famously outraged the left by asserting there was no such thing as society. Perhaps today would be a good moment for David Cameron to flummox rightwing orthodoxy by declaring there is no such thing as “the market”. This mythical creature has been credited with playing a key role in events of the last few days. The market was unhappy with uncertainty. The market doesn’t like coalition government. The market didn’t want to hang around and wait.

Television news crews were even dispatched down to the City of London to try to doorstep this grumpy beast, standing outside empty office blocks hoping to catch a glimpse.

The reality, as ever, is more complicated. There are markets, but many of them, all with buyers and sellers expressing necessarily contradictory opinions on where things are going.

Some of these markets have indeed shown clear reactions to the political turmoil.

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