Tuesday, April 9, 2013

An opinion on the death of Margaret Thatcher - Scheenagh Harrison reacts to the news of a political icon.


Recently I decided to invite others to contribute to my blog - becoming 'guest bloggers'.  Initially the response was very slow but after a few days I became swamped.  I had come to thinking that everyone the world over has had event/s occur in their lives and that, perhaps, some just might like to share.  I know many others already do this - I have contributed to many other blogs and hope to continue.  So I decided to make the offer.  As is widely known, my blog began life as a platform for my fight against bullying but has evolved to include pretty well anything and everything else in my life.  Quite a few of the people who have responded to my invite have been victims of bullying too and appear to be relieved to have somewhere to write about it - get it out of their systems.  Some have also decided to share personal stories with me, but not publicly, which is also fine - it is still therapeutic for them.  

Before I continue, please note that the views expressed by the contributors to this blog are not necessarily shared by the owner.

One of the first pieces that has been submitted arrived less than five minutes after I heard about the passing of former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.  Well done for being so quick off the mark, Scheenagh and James Harrington and I do thank the Harringtons ofor the following:

"Scheenagh Harrington reacts to the news of a political icon.

It's been on the cards for some time, but when news broke today that former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had died aged 87, following a stroke, it took me a moment to decide how it made me feel.

I am a child of the Thatcherite era, when the TV was filled with images of bemulleted blokes in bad jeans doing battle with police during the miners' strike, and the Falklands War opened my eyes to the fact that conflict can break out anywhere over what seemed (to an 11-year-old-me) to be absolutely nothing.

As I grew older, Thatcher and the Tories hit a lot closer to home - politicising me for the first time with their loathed Poll Tax.  I had me and some of my student friends so furious that we all piled into a coach and headed to London for the day, bellowing 'Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, out, out out' at the tops of our voices (while at the same time, a headline-grabbing riot broke out in Trafalgar Square).

She was, I always believed, someone who could have done so much for women in politics, furthered the cause for gender equality in what had been, and still was, even at the height of her premiership, very much a man's world.

Instead, I believed she put us back generations, with her iron-clad hairdo and even harder stance on bread-and-butter politics.

I never saw a lady, whether she was for turning or not.  I saw someone who refused to give even the tiniest concession to the working classes (of which I'm still firmly a member, even if I have middle-class aspirations).

But after she fell from grace, booted out by ambitious and rapacious colleagues - I remember smiling and thinking at the same time 'good riddance' - Margaret Thatcher never really entered my thoughts, save for the odd mental argument with my other half, or if she popped up, looking increasingly frail on occasional news bulletins.

My opinion of her softened a little thanks to Meryl Streep's Oscar-winning turn in the 2011 Hollywoodised examination of her life 'The Iron Lady', but that was mostly because Streep turned her from the stern, unlikeable carping figure I was used to hearing and seeing, to a flesh-and-blood person, with thoughts and feelings, hopes and fears.

It didn't change my opinion of what I perceived as her damaging policies or her party's practices, but it did make me realise there was a real woman behind the office of Prime Minister.

As the obituary writers get to work today, I won't be mourning Margaret Thatcher.  And yet, while I'm neither heartbroken nor delighted that she has died, I know for certain that the anger and hatred she once sparked in me is no longer there.

Perhaps, for such a devisive politician, that's the best we can hope for?"

By Scheenagh Harrison of Black Mountain Editorial.
E:  blackmountaineditorial@gmail.com
Website:  http://www.blackmountaineditorial.com

Again my sincere thanks to Scheenagh for writing this piece and to both James and Scheenagh for contributing and authorising me to use it in my blog.

I hope that, perhaps, the Harrisons might like to make further submissions as time progresses.

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