Margaret Thatcher is like Alex Ferguson…

I don’t intend to comment on the putative legacy of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher [Too early to say? – Ed]  Perhaps.  And Mick has it covered…  But I will point to Tom Chivers’ observations on some of the more, erm, extreme reactions.

My own hypothesis, and it’s only a hypothesis, is that she’s hated by some of the less thoughtful elements of the Left in the same way that Sir Alex Ferguson is hated by less thoughtful Liverpool fans: because she won, and won emphatically, and in the process brought her opponents down from lofty pedestals and made them irrelevant. (The analogy works even better because, like Liverpool, the hard Left really sowed the seeds of their own destruction: Fergie didn’t “knock Liverpool off their f***ing perch” so much as Graeme Souness did; a combination of Arthur Scargill, Michael Foot and Tony Benn made the Left essentially unelectable for the 1980s, making Thatcher’s job of crushing them that much easier.) Labour and the Left only became serious opponents again when they took on the free-market capitalism that Thatcher had made normal. The unions and the Socialist Workers’ Party and so on hate Thatcher so much because before her they were powerful, and after her they were not.

None of this is to say that her legacy is overall a good one. I don’t feel in a position to judge. My own instinct is that she did some things that needed to be done, even if some were painful; she also did some stupid, divisive and unnecessary things. Like every politician she is a complex character. But because for some people politics is essentially a football game – my team against theirs, win, lose or draw – and because Margaret Thatcher essentially ended the hard Left as a political force, the supporters of that particular team reserve a special loathing for her. [added emphasis]

Indeed.  And, perhaps, why other erstwhile members of that team would rather we would just move along now.  [But “Her Irish policy failed miserably“! – Ed]  Of course it did…

Donate to keep Slugger lit!

For over 20 years, Slugger has been an independent place for debate and new ideas. We have published over 40,000 posts and over one and a half million comments on the site. Each month we have over 70,000 readers. All this we have accomplished with only volunteers we have never had any paid staff.

Slugger does not receive any funding, and we respect our readers, so we will never run intrusive ads or sponsored posts. Instead, we are reader-supported. Help us keep Slugger independent by becoming a friend of Slugger.

While we run a tight ship and no one gets paid to write, we need money to help us cover our costs.

If you like what we do, we are asking you to consider giving a monthly donation of any amount, or you can give a one-off donation. Any amount is appreciated.