Monday, April 8, 2013

margaret thatcher

I feel very torn, when I contemplate Mrs Thatcher's death today.  On the one hand I have this image of an elderly woman with dementia, living out her last months in the Ritz, of all places - a sad ending (though what do I know?) of a life, and in such terms, she becomes, I guess, once again the mother of someone who was a year ahead of me at school (which meant, of course, that she was an occasional presence around the school - I definitely remember her being at a school prize giving, and I hope that it wasn't her to whom I had to curtsey, but the Chairman of the Mercers' Company - i.e. the Chair of the school governors).  But - Margaret Thatcher the politician?  My teeth still went right on edge when I heard her voice on the radio as I drove in to work today.  I still feel so much anger towards her - and in part, still, that's feeling let down by the first woman to become Prime Minister, let alone for her involvement in the first Iraq war, or the miners' strike and the dismantling of the unions, or the Poll Tax - in general, everything that lay behind MAGGIE MAGGIE MAGGIE OUT OUT OUT.  I'll never forget the day that she stepped down - and, back in Oxford, the College Bursar went and flew the college flag from the top of the college tower, and I shared a bottle of pink champagne with my practical criticism class.  

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