Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Rust In Peace

Well, Margaret Hilda Thatcher has finally succumbed, and from the clamour on both sides, you'd think it was a current serving prime minister who had popped her clogs in office.

I look at the right and I see beatification of someone who ultimately believed that the state had a purpose, even if it was a different purpose than what Gordon Brown or Ed Miliband would expect. From the left, it's like Adolf Hitler had been toppled by people beating him to death with rolled-up copies of the Socialist Worker.

Her policies broke the mould of a nation that was still, 35 years after the event, shaped by the attitudes and experiences of a war that everyone else in the world had left behind.

Today, Britain is still largely defined by what she did. For all the talk that I hear from "the left", the only way Labour came to power was to embrace Thatcherism and evolve it very slightly.

I think Thatcher's real legacy is not her considerable achievements for both good and bad as a politician, her immense climb to power at a time when sexism was still rampant and she was not of the Eton / Bullingdon elite or the strength of the mutual bond that she forged with the US that no subsequent PM matched, or indeed anything else that she did.

Her real legacy was to show the poverty of British politics, where leaders who are not merely mediocre dross, leaders with actual ideas and the will to take them forward come along only once in a lifetime.

Before Thatcher, everyone was still living based on the war, weak, tired and stultified while the rest of the world surged past. Thatcher may have broken the old, comfortable, "clubby" Britain, where your club was either the Bullingdon or the local working man's club, but she also opened Britain up to the rest of the world again.

How depressing that people on the left and the right have got nothing better to offer than evolutions of, or rebuttals to, Thatcherism. It was nearly a quarter of a century ago that she was in power, more than a quarter of the average person's life, and still politicians have nothing more to offer us than what she had.

Ultimately, by dishing up increasingly hair-splitting variations on what Thatcher left behind, British politics is starting a massive race to the bottom.

The empire is over. Britain's first world status is severely at risk and old ways and reversion to some golden era are just not going to happen. Stop dwelling on what's been and start looking to the future, or another 35 years will have gone by and Britain will become an irrelevant museum again, this time the museum of Thatcherism.

1 comment:

gitane said...

Hello! Hello! Is there anyone out there. Will someone talk to this sad cunt?