The death of Margaret Thatcher is announced.

It is unseemly to speak ill of the dead. An old lady, in poor health for some years, has passed away. It would be courteous and customary to find something positive to say.

Margaret Thatcher had many praiseworthy attributes. She was undoubtedly hard working and I think it is true to say that she worked in the interests of her country (as defined by her.) No whiff of scandal or corruption, either sexual or financial, was ever associated with her. She was not lacking in personal courage, grit, endurance or determination. Apparently in private life she could be a kind, warm and generous spirited person. She was always very elegant and appropriately dressed. She is described as an able woman, with a mastery of detail, and with drive and conviction.

I have never been a friend or admirer of Margaret Thatcher. I am however prepared to admit that some of her least popular actions – such as the grasping of the nettle of the undemocratic stranglehold then exercised by the Unions, were desirable and necessary. But though I would not dance in the streets, or say – as I heard an old lady from a mining town say somewhat sadly this morning, ‘Thank goodness for that,’ I do not find it in my heart to sum her up with any positive endorsement.

I was asking myself why I was so ungenerous. And then, watching on TV the scenes from her years of government, I saw the answer. You view these really dreadful scenes of the confrontations between the police and the populace, with police horses charging the crowd and lone police officers picked off and brought down by picketers, and you think, Yes; this is the charge against her. It’s not about Europe, the poll tax, the Falklands war – though I disagreed with her policy on each of those issues.

The charge is that she was an instrument of division within our country. She too had watched those disgraceful, shameful scenes, and she did not step forward to heal the breach. These divisions are always present in our society and we, if we wish to live and prosper, have to reach across them, and treat one another with respect and kindness. She never said, let us be good to one another. The miners, the shipyard workers, the steel workers, – they may not have been correct in their positions at that time, but they were our own people, and on their sweat and labour much of our prosperity had been built. She referred to them as ‘the enemy within’ and set out to destroy them; and she did so with crusading zeal, without conscience or regret.

Margaret Thatcher…. Enemy of the people.

About adhocannie
I am a good natured woman with a long memory and a swift tongue. I like loooking at things and thinking about them. Also food, clothes, travel, reading, sewing. I try to see the ridiculous in things, but sobriety of reflection keeps edgting in. I have husband, children, grandchildren, friends... I feel rich in things that matter. I am a happy exile. I like writing. I do not like talking about me (though I do.). You willl be much more interesting.


  1. Kate Kent says:

    She is the only PM who prayed on the steps of Downing Street with a Prayer to St Francis that she so ably recounted when she was elected. She really did mean – “to be loved as to love” “for it is giving, that we receive”. It was the militant that she saw as “the enemy within” and she was right.

  2. adhocannie says:

    Thank you for this comment, Kate.

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