Margaret Thatcher dies….

In lieu of something more substantial, here’s a link to probably the most generous thing I’ve ever written (or thought) about the self styled Iron Lady…

Such generosity does not come easy… She came to prominence the same year I first got the vote, and I came to England just as she was in the latter stages of an almighty asset strip of much of Britain’s industrial base…

But, she was a force to be reckoned with, and not all of the problems she provided solutions to were all of her own, or her party’s making…

More later… Usual rules apply to commenting. Keep it controlled please!!

  • John Ó Néill

    Unfortunate typo from the Margaret Thatcher, the former British Prime Minister, has died from a strike at the age of 87.

    [now corrected]

  • Zig70

    As someone who chose a career in manufacturing, I don’t have much time for her.

  • JoeBryce

    The Anglo Irish Agreement was surely an astounding achievement, that could only have been done from the right. It laid the foundation for the GFA.

  • Blue Hammer

    Anglo-Irish Agreement notwithstanding, Margaret Thatcher is perhaps second only to Churchill in the pantheon of great UK Prime Ministers.

    She was a political giant, and that fact is drawn into sharper focus by the quality of the political pygmies we are currently saddled with. The hysterical reaction from the left and Irish Republicans 22 years after her departure from Downing Street speaks volumes about her success in defeating both.

    We are unlikely to see her like again.

  • FDM

    Ultimately this woman went to war more than once, at home and abroad, to stay in power.

    She had no empathy with those who opposed her and was only ever reduced to tears when her own downfall took place.

    Elvis Costello got it about right.

  • De mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est.

    But we can make exceptions.

    As for the 1985 (dis-)Agreement, Thatcher resiled —

  • BarneyT

    Seems we did well to get out of the 80’s in one piece. Thought Reagan was the one to watch….

    François Mitterrand May 7 1982…..”With her four nuclear submarines in the south Atlantic, she’s threatening to unleash an atomic weapon against Argentina if I don’t provide her with the secret codes that will make the missiles we sold the Argentinians deaf and blind.”

  • Alanbrooke

    Zig 70

    Blair killed more manufacturing jobs than Thatcher and yet no-one of the Left cares.

  • BarneyT

    Was Blair not Thatchers finest accommplishment?

  • tacapall

    Good link Malcolm, it just proves that even in corporate UK and their American counterparts, government policy is dictated by hidden shareholders with an agenda of their own. Politicians like Mrs Thatcher simply rubber stamp decisions made by the employers of thon unelected geezer who sits behind the speakers chair.

    She was a good puppet who put profit before life and career before integrity, she will be missed by the ruling class and her death celebrated by the working class.

  • Greenflag

    The British economy would’nt be where it is today without her .

    For now I’ll second Malcolm’s – De mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est.

  • kells

    T Shirts being worn on The Falls now read.RUST.IN.PEACE. Iron Lady.

  • Let us all sing, “Ding dong the witch is dead”.

    Do you think Maggie was a good enough lawyer to get out of her contract with old Nick?

  • Kevsterino

    I have to admit the smirk I got from the ‘died of a strike’ miscue, but I’ll join the chorus of restraint regarding speaking ill of the recently deceased.

  • Morpheus

    If you have nothing good to say then say nothing at all. So…

  • Once when working as a community development officer in a rural community in North Antrim I was in a low key committee meeting. The discussion turned to potholes and how the road to Ballymena was pockmarked along its length with different sized holes. Out of nowhere the chair of the group launched into a monologue – “I blame Maggie Thatcher” – this was more than 10 years after she had left office. He remarked how the men who dug the sheughs at the side of the road had been removed because of cutbacks implemented by herself and as a result the roads had been degrading steadily over the following decade. he mentioned how it was a symbol of a wider social malaise she had set in train.

    It was an interesting apportioning of blame and demonstrated how she infected the spirit of communities who had never met her.

    It will be interesting looking at who eulogises over the coming days and who finds the clever words to dam her with faint praise.

  • Barry the Blender

    I’m no Thatcher fan…nor a absolute opponent.

    I just find it difficult to accept that as soon as someone dies then people with strongly felt views are supposed to substitute them for platitudes.

  • Mick Fealty

    I asked for control, not platitudes… 🙂

  • ThomasMourne

    I assume that Malcolm’s – De mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est – is another way of putting the advice I often got as a youngster ‘Do not speak ill of the dead’. So I’ll not say what’s in my head.

    Just hope I can survive the bucket loads of hypocrisy raining down over the next few days.

  • JR

    I suppose she did sign the Anglo Irish agreement. Small though that step was it was the first time since the foundation of the state Unionists didn’t get their way.

    Reading some quotes Unionist politicians made at the time it is hard to believe what seems in todays context their massive over reaction to the smallest of concessions. Some of the quotes are so hysterical, incoherant and disgracefully bigoted.

    It is strange reading coments from pro Good friday agreement unionists who are still anti Anglo Irish agreement given that the GFA goes much much further.

  • keano10

    I was always brought up to maintain dignity in the passing of any human being. No matter who they were or what they had done.

    As an Irish Republican, it is hard to comprehend the pain that she inflicted on many individuals. She never destroyed the cause though. God only knows how many people joined the ranks of the IRA after the Hunger Strikes. How much support was given to the Republican Movement by many who would never have done so beforehand. How many of her own security personnel who subsequently lost their lives as a direct result of her policies and actions.

    In the words of Robert Gerard Sands;

    “I believe I am but another of those wretched Irishmen born of a risen generation with a deeply rooted and unquenchable desire for freedom. I am dying not just to attempt to end the barbarity of H-Block, or to gain the rightful recognition of a political prisoner, but primarily because what is lost in here is lost for the Republic and those wretched oppressed whom I am deeply proud to know as the risen people”

  • 6crealist

    Looking forward to when the real story of Thatcher’s involvement in the negotiations around the 1981 Hunger Strike emerge.

    Gerry mightn’t be quite so smug then.

  • Donal Davoren

    Word in the street around West Belfast has it that there was a very heated meeting today in Connolly House with Martin McGuinness claiming that as deputy First Minister he was politically obligated to attend the funeral of Thatcher with Peter Robinson.

    Adams in no uncertain terms warned him that to do so would sound the death knell of the party.

  • Mick Fealty

    Whether that’s true or not, Adams statement could have been designed to prevent such an eventuality…

  • Dec

    ‘Word in the street around West Belfast has it that there was a very heated meeting today in Connolly House with Martin McGuinness claiming that as deputy First Minister he was politically obligated to attend the funeral of Thatcher with Peter Robinson.’

    I think we can safely file that statement away in the ‘Bullshit’ folder.

  • Dixie Elliott

    I suppose it was bullshit Dec that the same McGuinness attended the Tory Party Conference on the 30th anniversary of the 1st Hunger Strike or that he shook the hand of the Queen who decorated Colonel Wilford and General Mike Jackson for the murders on Bloody Sunday?

    Nothing would surprise Republicans as to how low that person could stoop.

  • DC

    Buy one, get one free night in the Felons?

  • FDM[2.28] I believe it was Mitterand who said of MT that she had the mouth of Marilyn Monroe and the eyes of Caligula [or did Chirac say that?]. More to the point it was with a brass neck that she recited the prayer of Francis of Assisi in 1979 and kept a straight face while saying ‘Where there is discord, let us bring harmony’ which was rich of her knowing the policies she intended to bring about afterwards.

  • Alias

    Few politicians are worthy of admiration and respect – and virtually all of them are as worthless as they appear to be when contrasted with politicians such as Thatcher.

    The sad aspect of such decline of quality among the political class (or, rather, our own ability to stop electing worthless tossers and chancers to political office) is that she wasn’t even great. She had good instincts but she didn’t always trust them (such as when she let euromuppets push her into supporting the Single European Act). Despite the mock attempt to invent a doctrine for her (Thatcherism) she never actually had any convictions insofar as they were never applied with the consistently required to be convictions. What you’re left with is a powerful personality who didn’t give the impression that she would take no for an answer when it came the national interest even though the impression was not the reality.

    It’s probably a good time for her to die, obituary-wise, given that she looks good when contrasted with the current crop of tossers and chancers who infest the political systems of the world – and given that the UK public now lament the passing of a political class who actually had something approximating political convictions.

  • FDM

    Just watched the programmes that BBC1, BBC2 and UTV had prepared describing Mrs Thatcher, her career and her legacy. Not a great watch must be said.

    Thank the Lord I know the comments are mostly rose-tinted garbage and that this will not deflect me from the fact that I am going to have to get on my knees tonight, which I will, to pray for her soul and that this is an absolute necessity in this particular case.

    May she rest in the peace she afforded no-one else.

  • GavBelfast

    Did anyone else hear or see Blair earlier?

    I knew he had a thing about Mrs T, but talk about glowing – he was fulsome in his praise.

    I had to laugh when he talked about being “from the Left”.

    Still, they did have war with Iraq in common (his the illegal one ..)

    Every time I hear him, the stranger it all seems.

  • GavBelfast

    As to Adams’ ramblings on her death, has he finished his set-piece yet?

  • Harry Flashman

    “I am glad her death was prolonged and painful. Well-deserved.”

    Dave I’ll make allowance for the late hour but that is quite possibly one of the most repulsive things I have ever read here on SoT.

    You really wish an agonizing, prolonged death on an old woman you never met simply because you didn’t like her political philosophy?

    And no don’t come back with the nonsense that somehow as a political leader she was in some way uniquely evil compared to others, that is hyperbole. There was nothing in Margaret Thatcher’s record that couldn’t be matched in just about every other world leader’s of the 20th Century, and she was a lot better than many leaders adored today by the Left.

    A contemptible remark Dave, I’m surprised at you.

  • Harry Flashman

    In the light of the truly vile and repulsive grave-dancing that seems to have taken hold of people, here and in the wider British society, an outbreak of spittle-flecked hatred that I imagine many of the people who are indulging in it will later ponder on and regret (I hope). I would like to ask the people who are gleefully celebrating the death of an old lady they never met, this question (and as there appears to be three threads on this now, I’ll post in all three);

    What is so unique about Margaret Thatcher’s political and government record that has your hearts filling with such sheer delight at her demise?

    Compared to contemporaries like Brezhnev, Castro, Adams, Bush, Mitterand, Mubarak, Galtieri, Deng Xiao Ping, Andropov, Zia al-Huq, Ghaddaffi, Honeckker, Caucescu, Ortega, Saddam, Pinochet, Suharto, John Paul II, Mugabe, Begin, Indira Ghandi, Ayatollah Khomeini, Giscard D’Estaing, Mobuto, or their successors like Blair, Clinton, Putin, Bush (again), Chirac, Chavez, Netanyahu, Ahmadinajad, Assad, Osama Bin Laden, most of whose passing would merit a mere “oh such-and-such is dead”, what was so uniquely evil about Margaret Thatcher that has you expressing such personal and shameful glee at her death?

  • Alias

    I don’t think they really hate her, Harry. As Dylan said, “You were just doing what you were supposed to do.” The ‘republicans’ and the ‘lefties’ feel obliged to express such sentiments because that sentiment in regard to Thatcher because it was laid down as a ‘marker’ for their respective conditions. You couldn’t be a good left-winger if you didn’t hate Thatcher. So all they’re really saying is “Look at me, I’m a true republican” or “Look at me, I’m a true left-winger”. Just vanity and fraud, basically.

  • Rory Carr

    You couldn’t be a good left-winger if you didn’t hate Thatcher…Just vanity and fraud, basically.

    Can we take it that the corollary also applies ?

  • Harry Flashman

    I think you might be on to something there Alias.

    One odd thing that I saw cropping up in a lot of the reports on the pretty despicable cavorting was milk, people carrying cartons of milk or leaving them at certain points. I couldn’t work it out until the BBC (of course) helpfully explained that Mrs Thatcher was reviled as the milk-snatcher because she was responsible for ending free school milk in 1974.

    So are we seriously supposed to believe that a great groundswell of anger was waiting to burst forth over a minor cost-cutting action by a junior minister forty years ago?

    From that point I think we could safely ignore the so-called “spontaneous” demonstrations, the fact that Socialist Worker were also able to get their posters on to the street and in front of willing cameramen pretty damn quickly would indicate that these eruptions of “popular anger” were completely manufactured but nonetheless repulsive for all that.

  • GEF

    “I am glad her death was prolonged and painful. Well-deserved.”

    “Dave I’ll make allowance for the late hour but that is quite possibly one of the most repulsive things I have ever read here on SoT.”

    Harry, I agree with you were respect should be given to the dead. But I am sure there are many Unionists and others who won’t have anything respectful to remark if and when well known leaders of SF/IRA pass away.

    If it makes you feel any better elderly people who have Alzheimer’s disease do not suffer “A prolonged and painful death” Even cancer which is painful is treated by extremely strong drugs to prevent suffering in death.

    However her death will not prevent her being remembered as a “figure of hate for many Britons”

  • Harry Flashman

    That vindictive, personalised, hatred is something I fail to understand GEF, I completely understand vehemently opposing a politician, feeling that most if not all of their political decisions were wrongheaded or harebrained. I understand being happy to see that politician lose office to be replaced with someone more to your liking, that is natural and completely unremarkable.

    But this demonisation of Thatcher, this stomach-turning delight to the extent of posting on websites your happiness at the death of that politician or worse yet dancing in the streets (admittedly an insignificant number of obviously political activists being given too much airtime by the media) this bewilders me.

    I think Jimmy Carter was a disastrous US president, I can’t abide Tony Blair and think he was a very devious and cynical politician who caused many problems in Britain and abroad, to me Vladimir Putin is a very dangerous and corrupt world leader and Charles Haughey caused dreadful damage to Irish political life, but under no circumstances, none whatsoever, could I imagine myself publicly expressing my happiness and pleasure at their deaths.

    Has the British Left really become that desperate and degraded today?

  • GEF

    Harry, Unfortunately many citizens of this country don’t think like you. They have other extreme emotional feelings driven by strong, religious, political and class rules. Likewise the former leader of the DUP who is 87 has his views as well.


  • GEF

    Harry, I forgot to add, Ian Paisley (sen) didn’t say Thatcher was great when she was alive did he?

    Rev. Ian Paisley says “Never!”

  • Harry – apart from Tony Blair – of that long list of googled infamous global leaders (with Adams added in for local baiting purposes), none have been in active in this Parish therefore the views on their contribution to our lives is more removed.

    However Margaret Thatcher spent 12 years in our faces. She spoke to and for a whole tribe of people who are right-wing, capitalistic, monetarist, individualist (“there’s no society”). She didn’t just oppose her opponents – she vilified them, she danced on graves (albeit couched in diplomatic speak). She upheld and endorsed despotic regimes run by some of the people you have listed. She defended (at the very least) the sinking of the Belgrano. She dismantled the UK’s industrial manufacturing base to replace it with spivs in London and in doing so sowed the seeds of the crap we are in today.

    She did little to “sow harmony” in Northern Ireland and to hear her described as the “grandmother” of the peace process is very funny and revisionism that will I am sure be polished up more and more as the years proceed. Her hyperbole ratcheted up pressure at key times, she oversaw the dirty war, her legacy is not yet understood.

    No one can take away from her that she was a strong and forceful personality and did brilliantly to become the first woman prime minister and for holding the job for so long. She had a lot of tough jobs on her watch many of which she brought on herself with extremist positions.

    It is interesting to see some of the devotion to her – in time she may even take on some super-natural status for sections of the nation. Maggie – Goddess of Discord.

    She is divisive in death as she was in life. I think she might even be proud of that.

  • Harry Flashman

    I don’t think Thatcher ever danced on anyone’s graves Michael, either literally or figuratively, and to make such an allegation against her when people are actually dancing in the streets celebrating her death seems to be a bit of far-fetched rhetoric.

    She has been out of office for a quarter of a century, no one under the age of 40 has any recollection of having her “in their faces”, and actually most of her most contentious policies at the time have become common place now and are regarded as economic good sense around the world. No one under the age of 60 in the UK can remember the economic world in Britain before she came to power.

    She did not simply defend the sinking of the Belgrano, she ordered it and was perfectly justified in doing so and would have been derelict in her duty had she not done so. I don’t for one second believe that any of the hatred expressed against her has the least bit to do with one military engagement in a minor war three decades ago.

    The UK is still one of the biggest manufacturing nations in the globe, last year British car production was the highest ever recorded. It’s simply that like farming which is also still thriving in the UK fewer people are employed in that sector. She did encourage the financial services industry that is true but that was at a time when it seemed that the workers in every other industrial sector in Britain couldn’t be arsed to actually go in and do a day’s work.

    As for supporting dictators, what like Brezhnev, Caucescu, Honnecker, Ghaddafi, Galtieri etc? If she was supporting them she had a funny way of showing it. In actual fact as a direct result of her foreign policy stance (along with Reagan) hundreds of millions of people around the world were freed from dictatorship.

    No it just won’t do. I don’t believe that this so called anger is anything more than posturing and manufactured outrage designed to display a “right on” political viewpoint. She was just a political figure, just like Tony Blair or Harold Wilson. To pretend to be so happy at her death that you would disgrace yourself dancing in the street is narcissistic posturing of the worst kind.

    It’s akin to and just as nauseating as the self-indulgent people who wept for the TV cameras at Princess Diana’s funeral.

  • derrydave

    No apologies for honestly stating what I feel about her Harry. Pure hatred – nothin more, nothing less. The open contempt with which she treated those with whom she disagreed, and the manner in which she looked down her nose at those to whom she obviously felt superior, make her stand out from all her contemporaries. I grew up in the Thatcher years and hated her all my life, both for her policies, and for who she was and how she acted. She dominated British politics during my youth and had a direct impact on my life and my childhood and that is the source of my hatred of her.
    So now she’s an old woman and has suffered a very prolonged, drawn out death. Good. Karmas a bitch. Good for you that you do not hate anyone enough to be glad at their death – I’m sure that makes you a much better person that I am. It might not be pretty, it might in your mind be contemptible – I don’t really care. The witch is dead, and there’s a lot of people on this earth who are happy about that fact like it or not.
    PS maybe you’re right in that all the hatred of her and the joy at her death is simply a contrived, politically motivated, attention-seeking act. Or then again maybe she was simply hated for being a nasty, horrible, monster of a person and politician.

  • GEF

    The Tories want a state funeral but that will not happen. She was never a Nelson, a Wellington or a Churchill who the general public admired. Princess Diana, the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret were royalty and entitled to state funerals at St Pauls. The only thing different, Ms Thatcher wont lie in state for the usual 2/3 days Royalty have. But the sooner the old lady’s remains are buried or cremated the better. During the present political climate I cannot for the love of me see that this former leader of the Tories demise will do the Tory party well at the next general election.

  • derrydave

    And just as a further clarification – her economic policies, or even her awful treatment of her own people for example the miners, the british working class, are none of my concern really. They didn’t affect me as such and they are other peoples issues / concerns.
    It was purely her involvement in Irish affairs, and her mean, nasty, horrible character that made her a hate-figure for me. It is rather telling however that she made bitter enemies wherever she went (for a variety of different reasons).

  • FDM

    @Harry Flashman

    You seem to have gone into overdrive on the defence of Margaret Thatcher on this forum for 2 days and in doing so are exhibiting the same mawkish indulgence that you condemn the Diana funeral people for.

    Margaret Thatcher supported terrorism as long as it was right wing terrorism. She was a great friend of General Pinochet who deposed a democratically elected socialist government to be replaced with a right wing fascist dictatorship. A dictatorship that just like hers used extra-judicial killing as government policy. She was a friend of Reagan and supporter of the usurpation of the marxist Nicaraguan elected government by the Contra terrorists.

    She went to war in the Falklands to win an election. Going from being the most unpopular prime minister of all time to the most popular at the cost of just over 1,000 lives. You stated she never danced on anyones grave but asked all us ‘Brits’ to join her in ‘rejoicing’ in their victories in the Falklands including the sinking of the Belgrano. An instance where she breached her own rules of engagement. The entire Falklands affair was preventable before and after the fact with negotiations and diplomacy. In the process she threatened President Mitterrand with the nuclear attack of targets within Argentina if he did not give key French weapons secrets to the British government. Mitterrand said he capitulated and provided the information, which was actually in breach of international treaties as I understand. Thatcher sacrificed all those 1000+ to stay in power.

    You say that manufacturing is in a healthy state in the UK? How many of those car companies you eulogise about are actually owned by UK nationals? Given in the 60s there were over 130 car marks large and small manufacturing in the Birmingham area ALONE.

    Her well documented interventions in Ireland probably extended the war here for about 15 years. How many deaths is she ultimately responsible for here?

    Her destruction of the social fabric of large swathes of England and Wales is similarly well known and accepted. The impacts of those nihilistic policies are still felt to this day.

    Ultimately Harry you aren’t going to convince anyone that this persons impact was other than that of an angry person, convinced of their own vision of right and wrong and devoid of ANY empathy [like you] with contrary points of view.

    Interestingly this complete lack of empathy and total conviction in their collective ‘right’ vision were identified as the main defining and common characteristics of the Nazi leaders, by the psychiatrist who was put this task in Spandau prison prior to the trials.

    Not being a British flag-waving fascist, right-wing extremist or rabid capitalist I don’t think you are going to be convincing me today of the ‘qualities’ of Margaret Thatcher.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Good grief Harry Flashman, what is it with you Sassenachs and your Stockholm syndrome? All a Leader needs to do is abuse the English people and everyone is clamoring for a State Funeral to thank them. Talk about “the Boots and the Doormat!” Firstly (many threads ago) you commend that idiot poser Churchill who lost your Empire with his woeful performance as an “International Leader” in the last war, and now you feel obliged to defend “that Woman” on three threads, no less!

    While I cannot fault your excellent “Rogues gallery” list of the equally culpable contemporaries and successors you compare her with who also aided and abetted the Globalisation process that has delivered us all into the merciless clutches of the out of control greed of international finance I feel that those who lived through the destructiveness of her terms in office are entitled to vent some indignation at the bizarre media hagiographic splash her death has unleashed on us all.

    I even found myself agreeing (for the first time) with the ex-Gauleiter for “Gau” London, Ken Livingstone, when he spoke of her radical work in destroying the real British economy to further the interests of international banking disguised as a patriotic support for the interests of the City of London. And, to quote Lady Bracknell about another Revolution “And I presume you know what that unfortunate movement led to?”—Where we have all (Britain, Ireland, the world….) ended up today, with massive debts and the need to import almost everything we use without the means to pay for it all other than by borrowing! And can anyone tell me why it is so much better for the banks to own the houses we live in rather than the local councils?

    @FDM: “Her destruction of the social fabric of large swathes of England and Wales is similarly well known and accepted. The impacts of those nihilistic policies are still felt to this day.”

    Here in Norn Iron, too, where the DUP have espoused all of her exhausted and discredited policies en mass, converted from their earlier flirtations with Socialism by the fluttering of hard currency (Euro, Sterling, Dollar, any old notes will do!) under their noses. As we here are well known to be at least fifty years behind the rest of the world that Woman’s national Apocalypse should be continuing here for some time yet…..

  • Mick Fealty

    I think she’s much less hated in NI, and in Ireland than some would like to think. Of course as a physical force Republican it would be hard not to resent the havoc she wrecked on the movement.

    But for everyone else her presence in NI was heavily moderated by Richard Needham who spent public money like it was going out of fashion.

    And for many in the south forced out by high interest rates and a crippling recession she gave serious commercial opportunities in construction, not least, though not exclusively in big infrastructure projects like the Channel Tunnel.

    Outside the relatively small groups mentioned about, there is no brooding hatred for her in the way there is to this very day in Yorkshire, Wales and Scotland…

  • GEF

    “I think she’s much less hated in NI, and in Ireland than some would like to think.”

    I would be inclined to agree Mick. On a much bigger picture world wise the former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher will go down in history and remembered along with US President Ronald Regan and leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev to help bring to an end 44 years 1947 to 1991 Cold War.

  • tacapall

    “I think she’s much less hated in NI, and in Ireland than some would like to think. Of course as a physical force Republican it would be hard not to resent the havoc she wrecked on the movement”

    Why would only physical force republicans resent Thatcher Mick, regardless of what some people might think, its hard for any person to feel anything but animosity toward a person who believed human compassion was a liability in politics, she was a narcissistic individual and an inegalitarian but a great puppet for those who whose ideals she espoused. All republicans physical or not or indeed anyone who believes in equality and right to life would be relieved that a person who went out of their way to promote the opposite of those values is gone from this earth.

  • Mick Fealty


    Because she stuffed the larger NI economy with cash and encouraged entrepreneurs to go out and make their own living by their own efforts.

    I completely accept that micro conditions in Ballymurphy and the lower Shankill were very different (in my first job with the semi state NIES, there were only four catholics in an office of over thirty, and only one of us from west Belfast, which was literally just up the road).

    But most of Belfast enjoyed the fruits of the Thatcherite revolution and not least from huge public sector investment which sustained rather than wrecked the social infrastructure as it did in Britain.

    You can’t make money as an entrepreneur off people who don’t have it. As for viewing human compassion as a liability in politics, let’s just say she would easily have been crowded out of the local market in that regard.

    In the 80s real human butchery was all the go in NI, and had little to do with what Thatcher did wholesale to mining communities in Yorks and points north and south west.

  • tacapall

    Mick she presided over one of the most brutal periods in Irish history with a contempt for those around her who urged caution and compromise, you might believe the good people of those mining communities are more worthy of understanding but try telling that to the families of the hunger strikes or Pat Finucane or all those who were killed by plastic bullets etc during that period.

    She also opened the door to poor people being conned into buying their council houses with imaginary money from corrupt mortgage brokers who cared little if they could afford it. The result is massive debt, negative equity homeowners, evictions and of course the rise of the landlords in working class areas where the constant come go nature of tenants leaves these areas at the mercy of all kinds of undesirables.

  • JR

    “Of course as a physical force Republican it would be hard not to resent the havoc she wrecked on the movement”

    I would argue that she drove many into the ranks of physical force Republicanism.

  • tacapall

    “I would argue that she drove many into the ranks of physical force Republicanism.”

    A memo from a civil servant recording a meeting in September 1975 between Mr Wilson, Mrs Thatcher, and then Northern Secretary Merlyn Rees.

    “It concluded that ‘there were certain elements in the police who were very close to the UVF, and who were prepared to hand over information, for example, to Mr Paisley’”

    Says it all really about her moral judgement.

    1975 !

  • Mick Fealty

    Micheal Martin…

    “Unfortunately her uncompromising approach to the escalating crisis in the early 1980s may actually have acted as a major boost for the recruitment efforts of the Provisional IRA at that time.”

  • Reader

    tacapall: She also opened the door to poor people being conned into buying their council houses with imaginary money from corrupt mortgage brokers who cared little if they could afford it. The result is massive debt, negative equity homeowners, evictions…
    The people who bought their council houses under Thatcher normally did well out of it, with the belated realisation that they got to maintain their own home being the usual gotcha. There was a short period of falling house prices in that era, but it would have left very, very few in negative equity, as the houses were sold below the market value in the first place.

  • tacapall

    Reader they of course got a decent discount but if memory serves me right it should be near impossible to get a mortgage while claiming welfare benefit, so most of the mortgages were endowment mortgages, in most cases well over the needed amount was encouraged and offered to people who had no means to pay it back over a lifetime.

  • Harry Flashman

    Good heavens, “sassenach”? Me? First time I’ve ever been called that.

    The “rejoice” thing which like so much else that is twisted about Thatcher shows that I am right in believing that this outrage is utterly manufactured.

    On announcing the recapture of South Georgia, journalists kept badgering her about issues that seemed to irritate her given that she had after all presented some good news, she curtly told them to be glad about the little victory and stop being so negative all the time. If you disbelieve me, feel free to YouTube the incident it will confirm my recollection.

    That was all there was to it.

    For the spittle-fleck brigade to turn an off the cuff remark about a particular minor engagement into the idea that she somehow ordered the population of Britain to rejoice at the deaths in the Falklands shows how desperately the Left has to clutch at straws to justify their repulsive and degraded behaviour over the past 48 hours.

  • Who is responsible for recalling Parliament?
    Someone with a political death wish given the divisiveness that Thatcher generated?
    For which other deaths of PMs out of office for 25 years has Parliament been recalled?
    The mind does sometimes boggle.

  • Harry Flashman

    I’ve just seen a letter in today’s Irish Times that gives a neat little summary of why people are supposedly still so angry about a prime minister who left office a quarter of a century ago that their grandchildren (who never knew life in Thatcher’s Britain) are now staging repulsive dances in the streets.

    Let’s line them up and see who salutes them.

    She “destroyed” British manufacturing. In 1979 Britain was the fourth or fifth biggest manufacturing nation in the world, China was nowhere. Now China is the biggest manufacturing nation and Britain is sixth or seventh. Jesus, Maggie, you wrecked the place!

    I mean if it hadn’t been for Thatcher world-beating British products like the Austin Allegro and the Hillman Hunter would be lining up on the docks of Britain to grace the world’s streets from Karachi to Caracas. British-made washing machines and stereo systems would be out-selling the Chinese and Japanese junk on offer, right?

    Next and connected, she shut down the coal industry.

    Apparently Lanarkshire and Yorkshire coal fields operate to a different economic system than anywhere else on earth. Coal mined by a British miner earning today’s equivalent of a thousand pounds a week is still more economic than coal mined by an Indonesian miner who earns five quid a week.

    The Labour party knew this and that is why in fifteen years in office they reopened all those extremely viable coal mines. Oh, wait.

    What’s next? Right she cosied up to right wing dicatators, unlike Harold Wilson who had Nicaleau Caucescu knighted. Apparently it was acceptable for the West to reach detente with the Soviet Union and its satellites and Red China and Vietnam. But Margaret Thatcher should have had no truck with Pinochet who was in power for six years before she took office and who was no worse or better than any of the other thugs around the world.

    Against this should be recorded that hundreds of millions of people who lived under Communist dictatorship idolize Margaret Thatcher for her help in their liberation.

    No, still not getting what all this faux outrage is about.

    The Falklands, oh, the big one, she sank the Belgrano. Nobody on the Left seems to hate Galitieri for sinking the Sheffield, the Atlantic Conveyor, the Sir Galahad, the Ardent, the Coventry etc, why is that?

    Barack Obama launches drones nightly on Pakistani villages killing men women and children. Will you all be drinking champagne when he dies? Bill Clinton and Tony Blair launched airstrikes on Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Do you have such personal, I mean personal, hatred of those men or do you save that for Maggie Thatcher?

    Just for the record the Argentine Navy was the driving force behind the Dirty War, cowardly fascist bastards the lot of ’em, time was when the Left would have been drinking champagne at the thought of killing 300 of those bastards.

    OK I think that’s the main points, she also allowed people to own their own homes instead of being forced to rent from local governments, the bitch!, and allowed the City of London to prosper, which it did until centre-left Labour man Gordon Brown became chancellor.

    Seriously lads, is that it? Is that the reason behind your screeching hate-filled rants against a woman who hasn’t been prime minister for over twenty years? Is that what is getting your knickers in such a twist that you lose all sense of dignity and decorum and induge in repulsive acts of grave-dancing?

    Wow, and the Left used to believe they were the compassionate caring types.

  • FDM

    @Harry Flashman

    More mawkish self-indulgence Harry? You will be weeping the roadways and throwing flowers a la Diana’s ghoulish followers.

    “Just for the record the Argentine Navy was the driving force behind the Dirty War, cowardly fascist bastards the lot of ‘em, time was when the Left would have been drinking champagne at the thought of killing 300 of those bastards.”

    Dear dear. Restrain yourself dear boy.

    You are coming across as some flag-trailing little-Englander right-wing extremist fascist. Or is that the intent? You tell me.

    You ask for “dignity and decorum and induge in repulsive acts of grave-dancing’ after inviting us to drink champagne at the death of 300 Argentine conscripts sentences before? Hypocrisy?

    “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” has shot to number 1 and number 2 respectively in the United Kingdom amazon and itunes download charts.

    Margaret Thatchers greatest impact on the UK population seems to have been to engender a deep loathing of her. Only Jimmy Saville could really rival her at the minute for such.

  • gendjinn

    Harry the hypocrite,

    a divisive, unpleasant political thug has left the stage was Harry’s statement about Chavez on the recent slugger thread discussing his death.

    The whole thread is worth reading, as those currently yammering on about how wrong it is to criticise Thatcher didn’t feel quite the same way when it was Chavez’s death…..

  • Harry Flashman

    Oh dear gendjinn, you’ll really have to try harder.

    Go through my posts on the multiple Thatcher threads and then point out where I said it was “wrong” to criticise Thatcher. I’ll save you time, you won’t find it.

    I have no difficulty with people criticising her policies and leadership, her personality, her choice of handbags whatever, however I find it repugnant that people would celebrate her death. By all means dislike the woman, shed no tears, but have a shred of decency when referring to the recently departed.

    Read my last line on Chavez if you need to know how that’s done;

    “May he rest in peace but let’s not get all teary eyed about his passing.”

    See how easy it is?

    Anyway what I am mostly asking is what lies behind the massive outpouring of threads on Thatcher? I still don’t get it, did the big bad scary Englishwoman frighten you all that much that you had to wait till she was dead (but not buried) before you could all crawl out and shriek your hatred?

    That’s what intrigues me. The emotional incontinence of it all.