Monday, 8 April 2013
Exceptionally quick thoughts on the death of Thatcher
I'm sure somewhere in the Lao Tzu there must be something quick and sensible on the wisdom of gloating over the death of an enemy. Without having my Lao Tzu to hand, or off the top of my head, I'll go for something marginally longer than a sentence.
Today, I fear that all over the UK, people who define themselves as 'Left', will demonstrate to those who define themselves as 'Right', why Leftists are generally seen as a bunch of losers. When you celebrate the death of your adversary, you help make of them a hero. As is being widely pointed out, the politics of Thatcher (and Reagan) is alive and well in governments around the world, it is alive and well in the heads of voters around the world; helping to make a legend out of the architect of such politics is no sensible way of going about dismantling these ideologies.
Mortality has finished off Thatcher in a way that the Left is failing to do her legacy. Celebrating her death is, as expected, to be a sad and temporary emblem of what it means to have social-minded politics in this country... and after that... then what? The Left will go from berating a frail woman with a scummy legacy to fighting a myth that, in death, will be made further larger than life. The reaction unfolding at present will help in this process, and the Left will perhaps play an even greater role in doing so than the Right.
Thatcher was possessed of ideologies, of a disregard for community, and for human beings, that I personally find disgusting. She obviously had the same sense of mission that comes with most politicians, and which makes most politicians bad politicians. As idiotic as the Left's swift response will be the Right's rush to talk of a great and noble Briton, both were to be expected, but it's that of the Left that I find more depressing. When you rely on another individual's death for a sense of victory... it's truly then that you have lost.
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