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Op-Ed: The bunting comes out for Margaret Thatcher's funeral

By Alexander Baron     Apr 9, 2013 in Politics
With uniquely British bad taste, some people are celebrating the death of Margaret Thatcher. There has also been praise from some unlikely quarters.
After yesterday's eulogies, including an extended one o'clock lunchtime news programme by the BBC, more tributes have flooded in for the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Although most have lauded her, some have celebrated her death. In Brixton, the scene of riots in 1981, they were literally partying in the streets, although anyone who knows something about the true cause of those riots will blame neither her, nor her government, nor the police.
Her passing was not mourned in mining country either, one miner interviewed by the BBC said she had decimated his community, and if there was one image that he remembered, it was that of police officers chasing miners.
The evergreen and always popular Ken Clarke served in the Thatcher Government; speaking live on the BBC, he said the reason for her clash with the miners was because their union was in the hands of hard leftists who insisted that no coal mine should ever be closed unless and until it was totally exhausted. The then Prime Minister was not prepared to subsidise the mining industry. Clearly she was right about that.
She was right about many other things too, and received not a few plaudits from the former Soviet Union. Along with Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev she is credited with burying the Evil Empire for good and for liberating the Russian people, though if the West hadn't subsidised it from the word go, the Bolsheviks would never have seized power in the first place, but that's another story.
Undoubtedly Margaret Thatcher did many good things in her three terms, including downsizing the state, but at what cost? As usual, it was the poor and the vulnerable who paid the price, a point made graphically by Luke Morley who in an August 1992 interview revealed to The Friday Rock Show the inspiration for his song Low Life In High Places, witnessing the sight of young people living rough on the streets of Catford, a few miles from the City of London where bankers and fund managers throw around money like confetti, and where the taxpayer picks up the tab when their gambling goes belly up.
The low point of Margaret Thatcher's career though must be a disastrous venture she undertook early on in her tenure, the Falklands War. It has to be said though that this ludicrous example of the once mighty British Empire flexing its muscles on its deathbed was an unqualified success for her, it led to her re-election, and she remained in power until her own Cabinet decided she had to go. But this ludicrous Imperialist venture cost the deaths of over a thousand service personnel, 255 on the British side. It may also have inspired her spiritual heir Tony Blair to lend his unconditional support to the later invasion of Iraq, with all the disastrous consequences that have followed for Britain, the West generally, and most of all for the people of Iraq and the Islamic world, who have been plunged into years of chaos, mayhem, mass murder and misery.
Whatever good Margaret Thatcher may have achieved in her long political career has been far outweighed by this, which is why when so many otherwise intelligent people celebrate her death, we should understand rather than condemn.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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