Monday was a good day. Not only did my Mum finally find a new house, after being gazumped on another one. Not only did Cher not die. Not only did the internet melt in confusion about Cher not dying. Not only did the sun shine for a bit before the weather went back to being crap. The greatest improvement in UK air quality since the 1956 Clean Air Act occurred; Margaret Thatcher stopped breathing.

Now I am aware that I am late with my comments and all the Ding Donging and Rejoicing has already been done. I apologise for this. The house purchase took priority. I guess this is called growing up. Despite being late, I do have a few things to say.

First up, I am grateful to the St Katharine Docks (not just a location but also a corporate entity, in case you were wondering) for an email warning us about the firing of guns during the Thatcher funeral. While I am pretty sure that any misguided anarchist letting off so much as a firecracker in celebration will be arrested, it seems that the state agrees that loud explosions are the appropriate way to mark the passing of an error^H^H^Ha. As such they will be letting off guns from the nearby Tower of London every minute during the funeral procession. Specifically, the guns will be fired from Traitors Gate (ho ho!). The guns will be using larger charges than usual (plenty of extra sulphur for our Maggie!). Oh, and despite it being a state funeral, we don’t get the day off, we just get to put up with loud bangs while trying to work. Well, its what she would have wanted.

[Update: The guns were not heard from the office after all.]

Secondly, I am greatly enjoying the demented levels of offence being taken by the Thatcher Fan Club (essentially the right wing press) at the mere thought that some of us do not share their views. They don’t think that the BBC should play the Ding Dong Song even though the chart is the chart and the BBC do not make it up (unlike some broadcasters). They moan about the “Is Thatcher Dead Yet” website. They moan about disrespect. They disrespectfully shout down anybody who disagrees. They moan about “propaganda designed to damage the Thatcher legacy” when all we have from them is propaganda designed to gloss over the lumpy mess of history. Thatcher herself said she didn’t care that people still hated her. She said it was proof that she had won. There is probably some truth in that, although not as much as a few years ago. The Thatcher Fan Club clearly feels rather less secure. Much of what ails this country can be traced back to Thatcher’s rule: The housing shortage, the deregulated financial services industry that serves only itself, the crippled infrastructure that costs so much to rebuild. Furthermore, while Blair was very much a child of Thatcher, Cameron is an older style of Tory who doesn’t give a stuff about ideology. The Thatcher legacy is going from tarnished to rusted already. In the face of this we have denials, outrage, revisionism and the basic old fingers in the ears  “la-la-la I’m not listening” shtick. Maybe that is not obviously comedy gold but wait. Where have you seen that before?

  • Demented Fascists marching in Spain holding up pictures of Franco. Yeah, I know things are bad but getting that old bastard back is hardly going to help, is it?
  • Demented Communists marching in Russia holding pictures of Stalin. Yeah, I know things are bad but getting that old bastard back is hardly going to help, is it?
  • Demented Fascists marching Chile holding up pictures of Pinochet . Yeah, I know things are bad but… Hold on. I thought Chile was doing OK without that old bastard.

It seems that every old bastard has a fan club of elderly revisionists who can be relied on to carry their placard in the streets and howl abuse at anybody who disagrees. Discredited old demagogues are attractive to dimwits because they offer the illusion of absolute values and ideological certainty. Some people just can’t bear democracy/history/society/reality (delete as appropriate) with all its lumpy, inconsistent messiness so they cling to a strong figure and the neat, consistent lies they push.

There was a time when I would have found a demented army of Thatcher Fans frightening but now they are just irrelevant. For the rest of us, the real concern is how to get our country back on track. How to build houses, start genuine new businesses (not marketing consultancies or pet beauticians) and rebuild infrastructure when the city boys have destroyed much of the money and taken most of the rest for themselves. That is something that neither the old lags of the right or the left can help us with. We need new ideas not old illusions.

[Please note: Any comments praising Thatcher or moaning about this article will be dropped as spam. If you want to eulogise, do it on your own blog where I don’t have to see it.]


April 13, 2013. Media, Politics, Sensible.

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