Monday, April 8, 2013

Why I'm sad about Maggie Thatcher's death

It's very easy to get caught up in the celebration upon the news of Maggie Thatcher's death.
Maggie Thatcher was a despicable person who caused so much destruction during her time in power. (No need for a recap here it would take too long!)

Still I have to say that in some (very small) ways I am sad that she is dead. Here's why:

For myself personally, her death means nothing to me. Thousands of people die each day.

But it makes me sad that Maggie Thatcher did all of the terrible things she did and never regretted it. I have a belief that everyone has 'good' in them, everyone has the ability to change who they are. To say that Maggie Thatcher was a monster who deserved to die is to say that the career criminal deserves to be locked up for life because they are never going to change. If you've ever met someone who has changed their life around then you will know that's not true.

It makes me sad because Maggie Thatcher has died as a hero to those who believed in the things she did. Her death serves no useful purpose.

And I am sad for Maggie Thatcher's family. Really I am. For most, they have lost a dear relative, which is a hard thing for anyone. To say otherwise is to have a lack of human emotion. It's a lack of emotion and understanding that leads people like Maggie Thatcher to do the terrible things they do. It's also possible that some of her family were estranged from her? They now have to live with the knowledge that she never changed and they will forever be tarnished by her actions. Lastly I feel sorry for her children. They have been brought up with her and her husbands ideals of privilege and power and it shows. The cycle will likely continue with their children, and that is sad.

None of this means that I have to pay my respects by saying nice things, or refraining from talking about the terrible things that she did. Or from joining in with the jokes. Or from saying that people shouldn't celebrate. Death is a time for reflection. In this case it's important to reflect on the terible things Thatcher and others of her ilk did. A time to educate those younger than us who don't know, so we can fight for a better future. I've read some good points about celebrating the idea that we survived her attempt to crush all dissent. That's true, but at the same time Thatcher's death to me doesn't signify anything except that the struggle against neoliberalism is a very long one. It's far bigger than individuals. It was never just Thatcher and there are plenty more who have taken her place. When I hear about the death of neoliberalism, then I'll really be celebrating.