Thursday, 11 April 2013

ON THE PASSING OF THATCHER . . . I've just heard former former Tory Party Deputy Chairman and ex jail-bird, Jeffrey Archer, on Sky News . . . quoting Shakespeare in elegiac praise of his former boss. I didn't catch it in it's entirety but it ended with " . . . unparalleled ". I assume that it was: " Now boast thee, death, in thy possession lies A lass unparalleled." from 'Antony & Cleopatra'. " Unparalleled " in what way, one might ask? Well, she was certainly unparalleled when it came to the destruction of nationalised industries, the abandonment of 'One Nation' Conservatism, the brutal attacks on the miners and all unions, with the resultant rolling-back of workers' rights - and the introduction of 'paramilitary-style' policing, only previously seen in the South American dictatorships; turning the British police into State 'enforcers' and destroying, forever, the proud tradition of consensual policing in the U.K. Yes, all of that was unparalleled. Equally 'unparalleled' was her short-sightedness in selling off the nation's stock of Council Houses which has led, with logical inevitability, to the hated 'bedroom tax'. Yeah . .thanks for that one, Maggie ! Also 'unparalleled' was her hectoring & rather 'nannying' condescension; latterly combined with delusions of grandeur and her use of the Royal 'we', normally reserved for the Monarch. When she finally left office, after 12 long years, I felt a great sense of relief that she would no longer be appearing on T.V., 'telling us all off', the whole time ! I have friends who have always promised a 'Party' to celebrate Thatcher's passing. She has actually out-lived at least one of them, so I guess she has the last laugh on that score! Personally, I am completely disinterested in her passing and I shall not be wasting any of my time watching her totally uncalled-for 'State' funeral. I extend my sympathies, of course, to her family and to those who knew Lady Thatcher as a friend. She certainly was a 'mixed-bag' (no pun intended) but - at the very least - she was occasionally witty, she spoke engagingly at P.M.Q.s, and she looked and acted 'statesman-like', when representing us abroad; qualities I have yet to witness during 'Head Boy' Cameron's tenure at No. 10. In closing, perhaps I might proffer a rather different Shakesperian quote which comes to mind. " Proper deformity shows not in the fiend, so horrid as in woman. " - Shakespeare, King Lear. I don't wish to be unkind but let's just reflect on the 'whole' person, and the ripples she sent out into our nation, before 'spin' and 'sentimentality' irrevocably muddy the waters.