Maggie: The Passing of Part of Britain

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Whether you agree with her policies, or have, or not have not, been affected by her actions, a woman has died. Understandably, many people of this Nation take a strong stand, one way or the other, because of how Thatcher affected their lives. I would be the last person to discredit, or detract from the raw anger still felt by the people affected by the decisions made by politicians. What I find hard to accept is that so many people are using the day, and subsequent days of someone’s death to dissect and analyse their policies. Surely, this is not the time to question whether a woman was right or wrong in their individual actions twenty years ago, but to allow a moment to pass; to acknowledge that a woman has died. Right or wrong, Margaret Thatcher was a woman, a mother, a grammar school girl, and as big a part of our history as you can get, for better or worse.

In the first few moments after I heard the news, I clicked on the Twitter hashtag for Margaret Thatcher, and found it almost entirely swamped with messages relating to Hillsborough, and a petition called No State Funeral for Margaret Thatcher. I was flabbergasted. Leaving aside whether it is right or wrong for people to attach this issue to the Hillsborough tragedy, making it more about that than the woman who is dead, why shouldn’t Margaret Thatcher have a state funeral? She was the first woman prime minister, longest serving prime minister in living history, she was part of this country for a very long period or time. Right or wrong, she is part of Britain. Why should she die and be carried away without dignity, and the acknowledgement any historical figure deserves? Because she is that, if nothing else. Right or wrong, we all know who she is, don’t we?

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To see the images and slogans ‘rot in hell’, bandied all over the social media sites, and indeed the world, and press, to read the passionate vitriol directed at this figure, often by people who have no idea what she did or didn’t do, let alone were affected by it, saddens me. Can’t we allow a moment of respect? Be angry, be indignant, hurt, furious, vengeful, but ‘rot in hell?’

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I heard today that ‘Ding Dong, The Witch is Dead’ by Judy Garland is Number 1 in the download charts. Villain she may be, but witch?

It has also been debated whether or not Maggie is a feminist icon. Long ago, when I was about seventeen, and I first created my Myspace profile, my heroes were listed as Oscar Wilde, Oskar Schindler, and Margaret Thatcher. After I wrote a pontificating piece to a local newspaper about the downfall of the town, a family friend gave me the nickname Maggie Thatcher, one which I hold very dear.

Feminism isn’t defined by what you believe, or which policies you support, it is something much more than that. Isn’t it be possible for a woman who argues in favour of staying at home to cook, clean, and look after the children, and a woman who argues in favour of a career, both to be feminist? They are both arguing for their own choice. Feminism is about the power of women, and the respect they are given, and how many women in history have won as much power and reverence as Thatcher? How many women have stood on such a high pedestal of their own accord, not as a wife, or daughter, but as themselves? How many women have been heard by the world?

Margaret Thatcher walked into Parliament amidst a sea of suits, and polished shoes; her own heels the lone click on the marble floor. She stood shoulder-to-shoulder with men, looked them in the eye, shouted them down, argued her corner. She stood in a room full of powerful men, and held her head every bit has high as they did. If Margaret Thatcher did one thing, she fought. She fought while they made jokes about her handbag, and tried to break her spirit. It only made her stronger.

Isn’t the emblem of everything English a lion? Margaret Thatcher fought for what she believed in with the heart of lion. Many politicians conjecture limpidly for what they think will win votes, or what is in the best interest of a particular agenda. Margaret Thatcher, right or wrong, fought for what she believed was right. How many politicians can we think of, to hand, that have fought as she did?

Maggie is a feminist hero, for me personally, because she equalled men. Someone said of Sylvia Plath that she was one of the only women to write as well as a man. It may sound very un-feminist to say that, but in a man’s world, it takes a big woman to stand with men. Men have innate confidence that doesn’t need to be learned, or fought for. Men have the security of being in the dominant position from birth, from the cot, to the playground, to the office. Few women have come along who haven’t asked for an allowance for being a woman, or to be treated differently. Margaret Thatcher stood with the men, not against them, or under them, or above them on a pedestal. She stood alongside them. She also, in my opinion, showed that a woman politician doesn’t fight with an agenda, she fights like a mother, to protect what she believes is right. She fought for every policy like a mother.

I think we should put aside what has gone before, leave the analysing of policies, and debating, and take a moment to acknowledge a great force in our history. Take a moment, each of us, to find the good. For everyone, there must be something to admire.

It is so easy to be swept along, onto the bandwagon, and quite often we’re arguing for untruths and axiom anathema. Most of us feel positively or negatively without even knowing the full facts. The red tops are hard to fight against. Let’s leave aside all the politics, and mourn the death of a great woman.

I hesitate to quote Harry Potter, but as it was said of Voldermort; ‘You Know Who did great things; terrible! Yes! but great’. Whether for good or bad, Maggie made a difference. How many politicians have done that? How many politicians, prime ministers even, have faded into insignificancy without making impact or memory, or even marking their name across the world?

Let’s mourn the passing of a British force; a woman with backbone, and balls, and big hair. A woman who fought hard, took no shit, and made people respect her as an equal. A woman who looked people in the eye.

Let’s allow a moment to remember Maggie, rather than Thatcher.

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10 Responses to “Maggie: The Passing of Part of Britain”


  1. 1 The Dude April 10, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    So much cringe on one page.

  2. 2 FellTM1 April 10, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    A very good article, and as objective as it should be.

    Thatcher was definitely a great woman, in the sense that, as you pointed out, she did incredible things that not a lot of people would have done. (A ridiculous pedant could argue that Stalin and Hitler achieved ‘great’ things in the same way Voldermort did; let me quash this immediately by proposing that we should only hold respect for those were not abhorrent murderers.)

    Being born in the late ’80s, I don’t believe I felt a direct effect of Thatcher’s politics. Of course, her legislation and policy shaped the country I would live in, but so has every government before and after. What I’m saying is, I never felt supportive or damning of her, because she was a non-entity to me.

    While those that I share political and social ideologies with tend to hold a strong opinion of her as being a terrible person/leader, I actually can’t care.

    A terrific achievement for women, Thatcher was the country’s first (and so far only) female Prime Minister. Yes, Thatcher allegedly said feminism was ‘poison’, but the meaning of feminism in its truest form equates to women being given the same rights and opportunities as men. She certainly knocked that sucker out of the park, and that is indeed commendable, regardless of further politics.

    And, yes, she fought with the heart of a lion. She had passion and drive, a quality long since absent from government. Put aside what she did, it was how she did it that was good.

    However, I’m going to disagree with you Vikki and say that Margaret Thatcher should definitely not have a state funeral.

    Her death should not be celebrated and lauded. ‘Ding, Dong, the Witch is dead’ is tinted with dark humour, but don’t let it offend you. Whether you agree with it or not, remember that humans have spent the last two millennia proving themselves to be incredibly horrid and deplorable creatures. Shocking and provoking each other is what we do best (after slaughtering), so let all that kind of nonsense be water of the proverbial water-repelling surface.

    I don’t believe Thatcher should have a state funeral because I believe they are a great waste of resources, and will just be an opportunity for this country to do what it does best, and fawn over itself for trivial purpose (see Royal Wedding, Queen’s Jubilee and Football).

    Regardless of her achievements, she divides a nation, and so it is unfair to enforce a celebration of her onto the whole, which it will when you bring it to the forefront. Give her a television program, give her a book, give her an objective obituary. Those that dislike her can choose to avoid these things.

    She was tenacious, she had balls. She led well. But you’d expect that of the leader of a country, it’s their job. Cameron is a smarmy shit-stain, whereas Thatcher was the Iron Lady. I have more passion for hating the one that is doing a crap job than for the one that did what they were expected to do.

    Plus, let’s be completely realistic. With all due respect, she’s a dead body. How and where you put her rot is irrelevant. If you want her ideology to remain a beacon, then fine, but the palaver of a state funeral is not the way to do so for her, or anybody.

    So let us mourn the death of a woman, let us give her the dignity that is due with that. But let us not care about whether others do too much.

    • 3 Vikki Littlemore April 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      Thanks so much for the brilliant response, Tom. I really appreciate it. It’s hard to put into words exactly how you feel about someone like Maggie. I don’t think any of us even knows, unequivocally.

  3. 4 Hayley April 11, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Excellently written Vikki. I agree with you on many parts, as I (born in ’89) was not directly affected by her leadership.
    You know scousers… Love jumping on the bandwagon and will find an opportunity to show themselves up almost anywhere.

  4. 5 Derek Hopley April 12, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Vikki , Thank you for your thoughtful and heartfelt piece on the passing of Mrs Thatcher and I can see that she is an icon for feminists in their continuing struggle for gender equality . I hope I’m a great supporter of equality of all sorts , including gender based , but from my point of view Mrs Thatcher was largely ‘used’ by other often sinister and largely male interests , which is most clearly revealed by the reaction of two of her own cabinet colleagues to her death , see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22118045 for Ken Clarke and the fact that the Tory who brought her down , Michael Heseltine , fresh from writing a report plotting how to decentralise and recreate regional manufacturing in the UK economy , has not even said he’ll attend her funeral yet . As soon as the Thatcher led Tory government overreached itself by the ultimate nonsense of taxing people without income during the Poll Tax , the Tory suits scapegoated her and removed her from office . Hurtful as it may feel I thought she was largely a cat’s paw for unpleasant people such as Rupert Murdoch .
    Your friend Tom really puts it well about the unfairness of asking us all to celebrate her passing as a National event as if it were the Olympics or a Jubilee , and as one subject during a significant part of his working life to the voodoo economics of Thatcherism , including monetarism , the ‘Big Bang’ and a range of inane and unsustainable policies (which have meant for instance that 40% of the UK’s electricity supply is now provided by IMPORTED coal when we have centuries’ worth of our own recoverable coal still available) , I’ve spent a generation watching and waiting for the inevitable denouement . It is provocative to indulge in the level of fuss and hagiography for Mrs Thatcher but I suspect it is a sign of the increasing desperation of the Tory part of the present coalition in trying this on . It is fitting that the Tories have now the responsibility to rebalance the economy which the Thatcher government did so much to unbalance , but unsurprising to me that five year’s on from the ‘credit crunch’ they seem to have so little aptitude for doing so . RIP Mrs Thatcher herself but good riddance Thatcherism ,
    Love Derek

    • 6 Vikki Littlemore April 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      Thanks for the great response, Derek.

      I was really pleased that there was no trouble on the day of the funeral. I think it was very dignified, and I think it was important to allow someone who has been a very important part of our country to have a moment of passing, and acknowledgement. I don’t think it would be right for someone who has run the country to pass away without dignity.

      I think a lot of things are pinned onto Lady Thatcher, and not all of them are true. For example, there has been a lot of talk about her calling Nelson Mandella a terrorist, but surely that’s what he was. I’m not saying he hasn’t done a lot of good, but he was a militant after all.

      Likewise with the mining strikes. I have huge sympathy for the people who lost their jobs, and livlihoods, and whose lives and familes were devastated, but personally I’d lay a lot of the blame on the unions, because it wasn’t Margaret Thatcher who told them to down tools and walk out. She was only guilty of not backing down and giving in. It was Arthur Scargill & Co. who brought the men out.

      Our opinions of so many people are based primarily on the tabloid headlines, and emotive propaganda.

      As the mass public, by nature, we tend to react to situations and people without knowing the full facts, which is dangerous and very sad.

      Thanks for the great contributions, guys, I really appreciate it x

  5. 7 ian burrows April 13, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    🙂 x

  6. 8 Argus July 28, 2013 at 1:45 am

    Being a powerful woman has jack all to do with feminism.

    Thatcher took away the rights of Irish Republican prisoners, disenfranchised Northern Irish voting rights after the election of Bobby Sands, restricted press freedoms, and illegally colluded with Loyalist paramilitaries.

    So no, she was not a feminist. One could argue that she did all of that for the right reasons, and that the Republicans were just as bad, but feminists does not compromise their respect for human equality. Ever.

    And Thatcher did.

  7. 9 Ant August 25, 2015 at 12:30 am

    Are you fucking serious you gang of crazy right wing nazi fuck rats she will be at home in hell being that she was spawned out of the Devils arse she will be in the company of some of her closest freinds saville Heath Pinochet an the rest of the kiddie raping firm. Rot in hell you evil slag bitch


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Sylvia Plath said; "Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences". My aim in life is to find things and people to love, so that I can write about them. Putting words together is the only thing I can see myself doing. This blog is an outlet, and I hope you enjoy reading it. Please feel free to comment on posts, or contact me by the special e-mail I've set up (vikki.littlemore@live.co.uk) with your thoughts.


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