The death of Margaret Thatcher has sent a cacophony of sound, a kaleidoscope of colour and a feel good factor that could have us confuse this Monday morning for a Friday evening at the beginning of a bank holiday weekend among the working classes worldwide.
The mainstream media outlets will eulogise a tyrant in both British and (semi-British) Irish media outlets that will have little reflection on how the masses viewed the greatest narcissist in World politics in the last half century. But it will not reflect the general feeling of the masses who greeted the news of her demise with a huge,
‘Thank f@#k for that’.
In South America she is hated for her resolute support for the detested Chilean dictator, General Pinochet, her support for right-wing Contras in Nicaragua and of course the abdominal sinking of the Argentine Navy light cruiser, the General Belgrano. The Belgrano was sailing away from the war zone of the Malvina’s in 1982 when she was sunk on the orders of Thatcher with the loss of 323 souls. The action was a war crime.
In other notable International affairs she labelled Nelson Mandela a Terrorist and supported covertly the Apartheid rule in South Africa. Given her support for Pinochet and the right wing Contra’s and her recourse to label the ANC terrorists, it’s a relief to note Ireland’s best shared the same stable with the ANC, PLO etc. Thatcher failed to hide her racist tendencies.
In Ireland there will be those who uncompromisingly support the actions of Thatcher throughout the 32 counties. They are some of the few individuals who done exceedingly well from her neo-liberal policies that destroyed the lives of millions from the working classes, destroyed the welfare state and ensured greed, ‘loads a money’ and a mentality of ‘me first’ took over from the need for collective wellbeing.
But when the book on Thatcher is authored by the enlightened, it will make difficult reading for those who fought Thatcher only to surrender and embrace her political philosophy in the pursuit of that age-old fiendish crime, preoccupation with self.
In Ireland, few in politics are immune. The demolishing of the welfare system has been resumed by her greatest advocate, David Cameron and delivered with alarmingly little fuss by his contemporaries in the N.I Executive.
The closing of Residential Care Homes, Vulnerable Adult Day Care facilities, Specialist Care facilities, longer waiting lists for healthcare, Social housing, bedroom taxes, the removal of thousands from disability living allowance schemes, public services run into the ground etc. can be traced directly to Thatcher’s policy of attacking the working classes and the poor. It is Thatcher’s economic policies via her ‘chomp’ Cameron that the present Stormont Executive is administering.
Some of the great moral and intellectual capacity that once inspired the more heroic in the political mainstream has evaporated like a puddle in the Sahara. Ireland no longer enjoys visionaries like Connolly or Larkin.
While we have watched the appallingly ignorant diatribe of bombast and crocodile tears flood from the eyes and mouths of representatives of the five party Executive, only a complete failure to grasp the most basic in economics could prompt this strange inversion of logic while attempting to support the parties that administer these cuts. To be fair the shallowness is not evenly distributed and some members are beginning to question policy. But on the day of Thatcher’s ultimate demise, it is important to show where the ‘Left’ resides.
The one question we all must ask ourselves, and we may wish to ignore the answer, Did Maggie Thatcher defeat Republicans & Socialists in Ireland?