Hatred of Thatcher – for Those who don’t Understand

  • Posted on April 11, 2013 at 5:33 pm

I’ve been driven back to my Blog after a long absence by my growing astonishment, disbelief and sheer incredulity at the seeming shock in the media and amongst the political and chattering classes at the levels of hate expressed towards our ‘dear departed leader’ Margaret Thatcher.

I confess myself stunned at this apparent lack of knowledge of the feelings of a large swathe of the population – in the North of England, Scotland and Wales, feelings have always run very high concerning Thatcher.

Perhaps ensconsed in their cosy little metropolitan existence, the real, raw, heartfelt feelings of the populous don’t touch these exalted and overly-privileged types. They professed shock at the plain truth of MP Glenda Jackson’s tribute to Thatcher in the House yesterday – which were amongst the only true words spoken about the reality of Thatcher’s legacy.

Do these people genuinely not know how Thatcher affected ordinary people’s lives, as opposed to yuppies and fat cats and barrow boys in the City?

They seem to feel they have the right to CRITICISE normal, ordinary, decent folk in the North and elsewhere for daring to express real emotion. Perhaps ‘hatred’ is a bad word to these liberal types – but HATRED is the only word that can be used to describe the emotions of many decent people towards the woman who did her level best while she was PM to destroy their lives, their livelihoods, their communities, their children’s future.

While she enjoyed friendships with the likes of Jimmy Savile and General Pinochet…..

If you didn’t live under Thatcher’s deprivations, didn’t have to deal with the suffering she inflicted on whole communities, especially in mining areas, then you have no right to criticise those who did, and who are choosing now, after 30 years, to seek to vent those feelings.

Personally, I am shocked at the restraint most people are showing towards Thatcher. Some of the things I have heard said about her over the years would likely turn a delicate liberal commentator’s hair white. Absolutely decent, normal people declared their intention to dance on her grave. These are honest people, who I am certain would never say such a thing about anyone else. They are good people and KNOW it is a terrible thing to say really – but such is the enduring hatred that awful woman engendered. People need to vent their spleen.

The reality of Thatcher was to destroy the social fabric of the UK, to tear down the post-war Social Contract that had worked so well to improve the quality of most people’s lives. She legitimised and made socially acceptable the bad side of human nature – extolling greed and selfishness at the expense of caring and sharing. She turned moral values upside down in this country – as someone said yesterday on Twitter, what had always traditionally been vices now became virtues. It became a dog-eat-dog world, survival and thriving of the most amoral, an “I’m All Right Jack, sod you” mentality. The poor and the old and the sick went straight to the wall, as Neil Kinnock said they would in his famous speech.

Worst of all, she did her best to kill hope for the future in so many devastated communities, to poison the future of their young people. Totally unforgiveable.

Thatcher was a divisive figure in British politics, perhaps like no other before her. You loved her or you loathed her. She was a typical lower-middle-class woman, who carried all of the snobbery, malice and small-mindedness of her class with her. With an extra dollop of cruelty all her own.

It wasn’t even so much what Thatcher did that have made people hate her viscerally for 30 years– it was the joy, the delight, the sheer revelling in causing damage and hurt and pain to people that we cannot – and will not forgive. We simply wouldn’t be human if we didn’t hate Thatcher as we do.

The reaction to Thatcher’s death on Monday by so many in the North and elsewhere was genuine and it was heartfelt. Many truly did feel that ‘Ding Dong, the witch is dead’ was very apt. Thatcher was an evil, hateful woman who gave no quarter and asked for no quarter. In the end, she reaped what she sowed.

Some Thoughts on Danny Boyle’s London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony

  • Posted on July 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm

ok, so here I am, over 2 years later, back with the Blog…. Blush….

I admit, I fell hopelessly in love with Twitter & have devoted nearly all my scribblings to it. I knew it would be compulsive, addictive and obsessive, but didn’t realise just quite how powerful a calling it would have over me!

However – today I have been inspired by an amazing tweet from @BienSoeur which I recreate here: “…. I think Danny Boyle’s show gave us permission somehow to be really angry with this govt – gave us courage”.

I thought about it a moment, and realised I totally agreed with her. This led on to an excellent and inspiring Twitter discussion involving a number of people. As we were talking, it really struck me what an important cultural and even historical event could have played out on Friday night. This Blog is essentially based on my comments during that discussion.

Danny Boyle’s fabulous-beyond-words Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on Friday has already inspired goodness knows how many words of praise from many people across the world. It was a truly mind-blowing experience and one that surely no-one who witnessed it will forget in a very long time. Indeed, I expect it is already indelibly imprinted on the brains of many – one of those rare events that genuinely affects the lives of those witnessing it.

I confess, it was something of a shock to me – I’m no fan of the London Olympics, and hadn’t expected anything much of the Opening Ceremony. In fact, I wasn’t even watching until I started to read amazing things about it on my Twitter feed. Clearly something unexpected and very special was unfolding in front of people’s eyes, and I wanted to be a part of it, so I started watching….

What I saw was a monumental event – something incredible. Something meaningful, something moving, and something incredibly SUBVERSIVE. The last thing I’d expected! The genius Danny Boyle was pulling off an event of total subversion, right in front of the British government and the world’s elite! And using the ultimate symbol of the British Establishment, the Queen, to help do it! WOW

This is only the Monday after the Friday, and I know I am still absorbing what I saw and heard, as I’m sure most people who experienced it are. It was an incredibly powerful occasion, made all the more so by its unexpectedness, and really was quite overwhelming.

Its early days yet, and the longer term results of Friday night are still to unfold, of course – but I instinctively feel that Danny Boyle’s show was one of those moments that will go down in history as a critical moment – a defining moment in British history. A moment where nothing will be quite the same again. You cannot plan it, you cannot make it happen – but when it happens, it is a Revelation. A moment of Epiphany.

As @BienSoeur so rightly said, Danny Boyle’s extravaganza has given the British people the ‘permission’ to be really angry with its government. It is as if Brits have finally woken from a long slumber. The Opening Ceremony appears to have unexpectedly hit a huge nerve with Brits – it has suddenly given people back their confidence in being British.

For many years it’s been almost shameful to be proud to be British, it’s something we’re supposed to be ashamed and embarrassed about, if anything. Now Danny Boyle has given us permission to take pride in our country’s huge achievements in many areas, not least culture and the arts – a gift to the whole world.

Many people were jerked into a realisation of what we had, what we have – but maybe not for much longer. You can talk to people till your blue in the face about these things – but the timing has to be right before people are able to take it on board, for some reason. A Critical Mass effect, perhaps. One event to motivate and catalyse, happening in a moment. A moment that can never be put back into the box, a moment that changes everything. Please God.

I’m sure it was a wake-up moment for many – a paradigm shift. We tweeters tend to forget most people aren’t on Twitter, and don’t know how many others think in exactly the same way they do. If people only hear news and views from mainstream media, it must be very easy to feel isolated in your thoughts about the world. You may feel it’s only you who feels like this! So when a major world event comes along and supports your worldview, it could be something of an epiphany for many.

Perhaps now we’ll take a stand for our future. People have realised that we can’t just sleepwalk on and passively allow the goverment to destroy us and everything we hold dear – things that our ancestors worked so hard to achieve.

There is no direction, no relief and no hope coming from the political establishment -

We have to look to ourselves to save us and to save our heritage – including the utterly vital NHS – and I hope people finally understood this on Friday.
PS

Ironically, this is the first Blog post I’ve written since my tribute to Malcolm McLaren following his untimely death 2 years ago. I found myself wondering what Malcolm would have thought of Friday’s show. Could it be said that Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony was a supreme Situationist act? – it certainly was a Spectacle to behold and it certainly was Subversive!

And delightfully – the inspired use of the Queen in her Jubilee year to undermine the Establishment takes us straight back to her 1977 Jubilee and the glorious contribution of Malcolm McLaren and the Sex Pistols to proceedings! Nothing was ever quite the same again!

Here’s to Hoping!

 

To Twitter, to Write on a Forum, or Blog?

  • Posted on April 14, 2010 at 3:34 pm

I suddenly, and most unexpectedly, found myself feeling inspired to start a personal Blog at the weekend.

I was feeling stunned and still a bit in shock from hearing of the death of punk icon and iconoclast Malcolm McLaren last Thursday. It had really taken me aback that I’d been so affected by his death. Although I was hugely into punk in the late 70s, I’d never really liked the man. It was only on learning of his death that I realised what a major effect he’d had on me and the development of my life. And what a vitally important person he was in the cultural history of Britain, and to a whole generation of Brits.

I’d become an avid, nay addicted, Twitterer over the last few months, and had more or less abandoned the forums I used to frequent. But I felt that I wanted to write a proper piece to show my respect, to do justice to the memory of Malcolm - and Twitter is not the place for that! So I returned to an old haunt of mine :) to express my thoughts properly – and to my surprise, realised I’d really been missing myself the last few months! It was a real treat to be able to use as many characters as I wanted – it was such a treat to say exactly what I wanted to say, to really, properly, express myself.  And it reminded me that on a good forum, there is a camaraderie, a warmth that is perhaps missing a bit from Twitter. It’s much easier to get into meaningful conversations and discussions than on Twitter, and to really get to know people.

After writing my piece for the forum, I felt wonderfully creative, and had enjoyed myself so much that I decided there and then to start a personal Blog! And determined that as Malcolm McLaren was such a cataclysmic formative influence in my life, it was only fitting that my first Blog post should be about him.

Twitter is fantastic, but I’d forgotten how amazing it is to have such creative freedom on a forum – and even more so in a Blog! I LOVE Twitter, but you are so limited in personal expressiveness. It’s absolutely wonderful for the short, pithy comment, nailing the heart of the matter – but it’s great to have that bit more room to flesh your ideas out on a forum or on a blog. You can’t beat Twitter for the pace and sheer variety of people and communications, and I love it’s quick-fire mental stimulation, but there is also a need for reflection and perhaps more thoughtful and considered posting, which is where a good quality forum or a pesonal blog come into their own.

I’m still addicted to Twitter – I have strong ideas and opinions, and there is nowhere better for proselytising! And for quickly connecting with others of like-mind. It will still be my first port of call when I log on! :)

But I’m really fired up now to make a success of this new Blog, a place where I can really be Me, and let other people know who the real Me is! Be warned: I DO have sometimes controversial opinions and have been known to express them quite strongly :) – but everything I say comes from the heart and is genuinely felt. I value integrity and honesty highly, and will speak the Truth as I believe it to be.

I am an individual first and foremost, and will never blindly follow any ‘party line’.  If you are a free thinking person, who is open-minded and who seeks after Truth rather than being a dogmatic and unthinking follower, you are very welcome here :)

RIP Malcolm McLaren

  • Posted on April 14, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I always referred to him as Talcy Malcy – it was what the music press used to call him, in a sort of love/hate way. There was a kind of unwilling affection there.

I was absolutely stunned to hear of Malcolm’s death the other night – I’m still feeling pretty shocked about it. It seems strangely bizarre that such a total icon for a generation – a true iconoclast in this country, one of the very few who can claim to be so – can actually die.

Malcolm always lived life as a larger-than-life character. I tended to dislike the man, but I find myself really quite upset that he’s gone. It’s only now struck home to me what a vital part of my life he was, how much he shaped my political beliefs and value system, how much of the punk attitude and view of life was shaped by him. Without him, the Sex Pistols would not have existed, and it’s very doubtful that Punk would have been the cultural tsunami it was.

Life in Britain has never quite been the same again since the Sex Pistols blasted their way into public consciousness, hurling abuse at the monarchy and the System – at a time when when to say a word against the queen was to invite a beating. Genuinely. It’s hard to believe now, but to be an individual and stand up for what you believed in was a brave thing to do back then.

The ideals of Punk shaped a generation, certainly the best minds of that generation. It gave this country a kick in the pants into the modern world. A kick that now desperately needs repeating by some young snotbags, bu that’s another story…

One of the true makers of the modern world has passed on. Not a very nice man certainly, perhaps even a bastard, as some have suggested. But he was undoutedly a great man, one of those who have a massive effect on the world. A mover and a shaker, a radical and an eccentric, a visionary and a catalyst – but above all, an iconoclast.

I say RIP in respect, although I guess resting in peace is not Malcolm’s style, and suspect he is already kicking against the traces, wherever it is he has ended up! :)

The world is poorer without him

RIP Malcolm