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Author Topic: Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke, aged 87  (Read 2615 times)

Dark Midnight

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Re: Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke, aged 87
« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2013, 12:40:45 am »
Quote from: sailor;105710
Wouldn't you say though that Dame Thatcher made as many important changes as Churchill & Gladstone? (not familiar enough with UK history anymore to comment on Palmerston or the Duke of Wellington).

 
Oh, hell yes.

I didn't agree with a lot of her policies, but she's important for at the very least two reasons-
1) She was the longest serving PM of the 20th Century and
2) She was the first and only female PM in UK history.

She should have a big funeral. She had a lot of admirers (otherwise she would not have been elected, BY THE PUBLIC, 3 times in a row!). I agree with Rocquelaire- people want to protest, do it at Downing Street.
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Re: Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke, aged 87
« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2013, 10:07:52 am »
Quote from: Dark Midnight;105714
Oh, hell yes.

I didn't agree with a lot of her policies, but she's important for at the very least two reasons-
1) She was the longest serving PM of the 20th Century and
2) She was the first and only female PM in UK history.

She should have a big funeral. She had a lot of admirers (otherwise she would not have been elected, BY THE PUBLIC, 3 times in a row!). I agree with Rocquelaire- people want to protest, do it at Downing Street.


I completely agree that there is a time and a place for protest, and that personal funerals are neither the time nor the place. And, were it just a personal funeral, I'd be protesting the protestors all the way.

But it's not just a personal funeral. It's been funded by the taxpayer, during a period that the Conservatives keep referring to as a time of "austerity". Austerity for the most vulnerable, but not, it seems, for rich people (who get tax cuts a-plenty) - nor apparently for former prime ministers who instituted policies whose continuance mean that everyone from poor families to disabled people are in dire situations today.

The same day Thatcher died, PIP came into operation for disabled people - designed to take as many people off support as possible, in the name of saving money. The 'bedroom tax' is another disturbing example of the 'austerity measures'. Meanwhile, the Conservatives cut the top rate of tax for the richest and don't bother with the mansion tax they promised. And this is apparently a good time for a publicly-funded funeral for the woman who, in my opinion, made such policies acceptable today.

I don't deny that she had many admirers, and it was certainly an achievement to be the UK's first (and, thus far, only) female PM. Not an achievement that deserves a state funeral that is basically a slap in the face to those people who keep being told that the country can't afford them, in my opinion.

So while I disagree with protesting private funerals, I don't disagree with protesting this one. I'm not sure the protests should happen *at* the funeral - I think I agree that they should stay at Downing Street. But I hope people don't forget, come election time, that the government that can't afford disability benefits, tax credits for ordinary families, or housing benefit for the poor can find the spare cash for a huge funeral for the woman whose legacies include homelessness, the ever-shrinking welfare state, and the selfish materialist culture of the Thatcher generation.
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A Disgruntled Scotsman

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Re: Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke, aged 87
« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2013, 05:24:49 pm »
Quote from: Sophia Catherine;105730
I completely agree that there is a time and a place for protest, and that personal funerals are neither the time nor the place. And, were it just a personal funeral, I'd be protesting the protestors all the way.

But it's not just a personal funeral. It's been funded by the taxpayer, during a period that the Conservatives keep referring to as a time of "austerity". Austerity for the most vulnerable, but not, it seems, for rich people (who get tax cuts a-plenty) - nor apparently for former prime ministers who instituted policies whose continuance mean that everyone from poor families to disabled people are in dire situations today.

The same day Thatcher died, PIP came into operation for disabled people - designed to take as many people off support as possible, in the name of saving money. The 'bedroom tax' is another disturbing example of the 'austerity measures'. Meanwhile, the Conservatives cut the top rate of tax for the richest and don't bother with the mansion tax they promised. And this is apparently a good time for a publicly-funded funeral for the woman who, in my opinion, made such policies acceptable today.

I don't deny that she had many admirers, and it was certainly an achievement to be the UK's first (and, thus far, only) female PM. Not an achievement that deserves a state funeral that is basically a slap in the face to those people who keep being told that the country can't afford them, in my opinion.

So while I disagree with protesting private funerals, I don't disagree with protesting this one. I'm not sure the protests should happen *at* the funeral - I think I agree that they should stay at Downing Street. But I hope people don't forget, come election time, that the government that can't afford disability benefits, tax credits for ordinary families, or housing benefit for the poor can find the spare cash for a huge funeral for the woman whose legacies include homelessness, the ever-shrinking welfare state, and the selfish materialist culture of the Thatcher generation.

 
Apart from the "stay at Downing Street" bit (I doubt the protests would be that effective since the people who would they were aimed at would be at St Paul's) I agree with this.

If they, the Thatcher family, chose to hold the funeral in the public sphere and made it as extravagant as it was; as well as forcing the taxpayer to foot the bill in a time when the government is cutting spending on services & facilities provided to the less well off then I believe they lose any grounds to complain about 'respect' or 'decency'.

I won't be surprised to see riots occurring this year as a result of - or influenced by - this elitist nonsense.
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Aster Breo

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Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke, aged 87
« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2013, 05:48:13 pm »
Quote from: Aranel;105644
I disagree. My main problem is that it is being publicly funded. To the tune of £10 million. This is from the same government that said the taxpayer could not afford £11 million to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our society ( see: here).

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Vale

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Re: Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke, aged 87
« Reply #34 on: April 17, 2013, 06:57:51 pm »
Quote from: Dark Midnight;105714
.

She should have a big funeral.

I don't begrudge the money spent on Margaret Thatcher's funeral half as much as I resented the amount spent on  Will and Kate's wedding.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 06:59:10 pm by Vale »

Jabberwocky

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Re: Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke, aged 87
« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2013, 08:54:51 pm »
Quote from: Dark Midnight;105714
Oh, hell yes.
She should have a big funeral. She had a lot of admirers (otherwise she would not have been elected, BY THE PUBLIC, 3 times in a row!). I agree with Rocquelaire- people want to protest, do it at Downing Street.


60% (according to polls) of who didn't want it funded by the state.

Three other points.

1.  The reaction to this (especially the "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead") campaign was in response to a narrative from the current government that attempted to enforce a "time of national mourning" narrative on the nation as a whole.  Even her most ardent supporters accept she was divisive so that was always going to lead to people kicking back.  Without the demonstrations, that narrative would have gone largely unchallenged.

2.  You can't tell people that Thatcher's death should not be reacted to personally when her policies personally affected so many of them.  There are still places that are decimated as a direct result of her industrial policies.  Expecting people to be 'respectful' when she attacked them is a lost hope.  She doesn't become less of an enemy just because she'd died.

3.  This is the first prime minister whose death has been met with spontaneous demonstrations since Spencer Percival.  That doesn't appear out of nowhere and it can't be put down entirely to the 1970's donkey jacketed Trotskyist agitators the Daily Mail has brought out of retirement.  Thatcher wasn't just disliked by a lot of people.  She was despised.  As such, having this kind of public spectacle is a big "fuck you" for a lot of us.  We just returned the favour.
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Dark Midnight

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Re: Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke, aged 87
« Reply #36 on: April 19, 2013, 12:51:20 am »
Quote from: Jabberwocky;105989
60% (according to polls) of who didn't want it funded by the state.

Three other points.

1.  The reaction to this (especially the "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead") campaign was in response to a narrative from the current government that attempted to enforce a "time of national mourning" narrative on the nation as a whole.  Even her most ardent supporters accept she was divisive so that was always going to lead to people kicking back.  Without the demonstrations, that narrative would have gone largely unchallenged.

2.  You can't tell people that Thatcher's death should not be reacted to personally when her policies personally affected so many of them.  There are still places that are decimated as a direct result of her industrial policies.  Expecting people to be 'respectful' when she attacked them is a lost hope.  She doesn't become less of an enemy just because she'd died.

3.  This is the first prime minister whose death has been met with spontaneous demonstrations since Spencer Percival.  That doesn't appear out of nowhere and it can't be put down entirely to the 1970's donkey jacketed Trotskyist agitators the Daily Mail has brought out of retirement.  Thatcher wasn't just disliked by a lot of people.  She was despised.  As such, having this kind of public spectacle is a big "fuck you" for a lot of us.  We just returned the favour.

 
The point I was making, like others, is that people are railing against her now that she is dead are angry about her as a person, not her policies. And that is wrong.

Also, please note that I said she deserved a big funeral. I did not say that she deserved a state funded one. I also don't agree with state funded Royal Weddings, funerals, visits to other countries, etc.
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Jabberwocky

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Re: Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke, aged 87
« Reply #37 on: April 19, 2013, 07:40:02 am »
Quote from: Dark Midnight;106008
The point I was making, like others, is that people are railing against her now that she is dead are angry about her as a person, not her policies. And that is wrong.


You can't separate her politics from her as a person though.  If that wasn't the case, you'd need to explain why Thatcher, specifically.  Besides, "not speaking ill of the dead" is rather unconvincing when we're talking about someone whose government smeared and lied about dead football fans.  I'm not sure Pinochet's victims would have agreed either.  

Besides, why should we not speak ill of the dead?  It's an old trope, but one that very rarely gets justified.  Or even applied consistently- nobody would have said it about Bin Laden and very few would have claimed it about Chavez.  See Greenwald on this- http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/08/margaret-thatcher-death-etiquette

For those of us that hated Thatcher when she was alive, to remain silent would be the height of hypocrisy.

We could "think of the children".  There's the one that got fired from the BBC for racism and the other one that illegally funded and assisted a coup.

Somewhat on this subject, Hunter S Thompson's obituary of Nixon was the best thing he ever wrote- http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1994/07/he-was-a-crook/308699/
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Jabberwocky

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Re: Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke, aged 87
« Reply #38 on: April 19, 2013, 07:42:20 am »
Quote from: sailor;105710
Wouldn't you say though that Dame Thatcher made as many important changes as Churchill & Gladstone? (not familiar enough with UK history anymore to comment on Palmerston or the Duke of Wellington).

Arguably less than Attlee I'd say.  Although she did make a lot of major changes- privatisation etc.

ETA:  There's also a historical argument that Attlee was more crucial to the war effort then Churchill.  He was primarily responsible for creating a war economy capable of outproducing Germany in arms and munitions.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 07:48:57 am by Jabberwocky »
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yewberry

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Re: Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke, aged 87
« Reply #39 on: April 19, 2013, 11:26:09 am »
Quote from: Jabberwocky;106059
For those of us that hated Thatcher when she was alive, to remain silent would be the height of hypocrisy.


Or a form of protest...

Brina

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Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke, aged 87
« Reply #40 on: April 19, 2013, 12:47:52 pm »
Quote from: yewberry;106095
Or a form of protest...

Brina

Looks pretty effective to me.
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MadZealot

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Re: Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke, aged 87
« Reply #41 on: April 19, 2013, 01:26:49 pm »
Quote from: Jabberwocky;106059
For those of us that hated Thatcher when she was alive, to remain silent would be the height of hypocrisy.


How does speaking ill of her now, with her being dead, make you less hypocritical?
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Jabberwocky

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Re: Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke, aged 87
« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2013, 02:21:59 pm »
Quote from: MadZealot;106126
How does speaking ill of her now, with her being dead, make you less hypocritical?


Because it means you aren't suddenly talking differently about her.

Or to put it another way, you aren't doing this-
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rocquelaire

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Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke, aged 87
« Reply #43 on: April 19, 2013, 02:40:09 pm »
Quote from: Jabberwocky;106134
Because it means you aren't suddenly talking differently about her.

Or to put it another way, you aren't doing this-

To refrain from speaking isn't the same as to change what you're saying though.
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MadZealot

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Re: Margaret Thatcher dies after stroke, aged 87
« Reply #44 on: April 19, 2013, 03:22:06 pm »
Quote from: rocquelaire;106137
To refrain from speaking isn't the same as to change what you're saying though.

Exactly what I would have said.
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