Margaret Thatcher is as controversial in death as she was in life. The response to her death, by some, has been disappointing. Matthew Donovan explains.
I must admit I have been a little shocked and disappointed by the vitriol being meted out by some on the progressive side of politics towards a recently deceased Margaret Thatcher.
Those of you that know me, my background and political activities know I am a staunch and unapologetic left winger. So far be it from me to declare I am a fan of her actions in government.
She was a force to be reckoned with, especially when it came to unions and the idea of the collective. Her actions, to many, meant unemployment and a loss of quality of life.
Entire areas, most specifically areas such as Brixton, which were very much working class communities were smashed to pieces by her unyielding approach. However, it is unpleasant to see people celebrate the death of anyone.
For my mind that is not how progressives should behave. Our values lead us to be better than that. Better people than that.
I’m not saying we should mourn or fawn over her in death. I, for one, don’t have any strong emotions in relation to her death.
What I do have is respect for her place in history and her will to achieve her vision at all costs.
That’s politics. One side wins and they set about implementing their agenda. The opportunity to have a say about that agenda is given to electors every election where they pass judgment on where the country is heading.
Civility needs to remain part of politics no matter how one feels personally about the program being implemented by leaders or proposed to be implemented.
Tony Abbott is a perfect example of not remaining civil in politics and that is why I truly despise his approach.
One thing that does ring alarm bells for me is Tony Abbott’s statement on her passing and how he views her approach and legacy:
“Margaret Thatcher was one of the greatest British prime ministers and one of the most significant world leaders of our times.
She was the first female prime minister of Great Britain and ranks with the greatest of prime ministers because of the quality of her leadership and the impact she had on Britain and the wider world.
Margaret Thatcher arrested the decline of Britain and gave the British people renewed confidence. She ensured the British people no longer simply dwelt on the glories of the past but could enjoy a strong and prosperous future.
The thoughts of the Coalition are with Baroness Thatcher’s family and the British people at this time.”
It is instructive of how he would lead this country and where he would take us. I will be fighting it with all my will.
The reason I am a little disappointed about the response of some people I would call friends is because it reminds me of the actions and words of nasty, repulsive trolls on anti-Gillard pages.
We can express our opinions without personal, vitriolic attacks. We’re smarter than that.
She was a divisive figure and there is no doubting that.
I personally would have preferred she was never prime minister and I am distressed by the impact her policies had on many.
The level of hate towards her, even in death, brings that into sharp focus.
When all is said and done a human being has died and there is a family mourning the loss of a loved relative.
Dancing on her grave during that time is an ugly look.
(Originally published on www.independentaustralia.net)