The many and various ways I pass the time now has a new addition. Usually it involves drinking coffee whilst sitting at a computer keeping in touch with chums, or sipping wine sitting on our tiny terrace catching the sun, and wondering what else I can do to avoid any cleaning or tidying or putting away of stuff and things that aren't even MINE. And now I am going to type this blog. Provided that doesn't become a chore as well, in which case...

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The Grauniad Gets it Spot On

From the NY Times, on UK press reaction to Thatcher's death;

"The liberal-leaning Guardian said: “There should be no dancing on her grave but it is right there is no state funeral either. Her legacy is of public division, private selfishness and a cult of greed, which together shackle far more of the human spirit than they ever set free.”

I guess no-one gets to say what others SHOULD feel during a week like this.  Especially if they weren't actually there at the time, being too young. But the summing up of the legacy is spot on.

I have mostly been watching the coverage and thinking good grief, how did we tolerate the sound of THAT voice in the News for eleven years?  I note that these days, even young Old Etonians (if you see what I mean) up to and including princes of the blood royal do not talk out of the backs of their necks any longer.

The voices of the present cabinet may have changed from semi-strangled hectoring patrician tones to middling, mild, chummy voices, but it is alarming how much Thatcherite content has re-emerged of late.

Some of us remember where it led last time...

I give 'em one more parliament.  MAX.  And maybe not even that. Britain prefers to even itself out like a swinging pendulum.  Not unlike USA for that, except we aren't simply bipartite, and the idea of democratic socialism doesn't petrify the UK.  Some of us are really rather proud of the achievements of past Labour governments, and want more of them reinstated.  Certainly not eroded further.  We will see. 

But if we have any hot weeks in the coming months there could be riots, in the dog days and long light warm evenings of high summer.
  When the fat cats of the cabinet are on holiday, the mice might run into the streets and play Especially if they feel even further ghettoised, marginalised and maligned than they have even heretofore And these days they have technology Social networking can quickly become civil unrest organising. 

That's not a threat, or a promise, or even a prediction.  That is a quiet feeling of unease I have that I cannot seem to persuade myself out of, this week especially.

Worms will turn.


  1. Hari Om
    hhhmm yes...been a long time since I heard 'that voice' but just the thought of it makes the "coes turl". It's so true too, that all this 'loose networking' via mobile telephones is a tool for those who would unstitch the fabric of society.

    However, "1984" came and went despite all similar sentiments. Without at all belittling the state of play, must say I still have faith in the better qualities of mankind. Doesn't mean there will not be some dark days. We can only pray they are few and distant.

    [note to self... must take some time to read the news...!] YAM

    1. It does more to me than curl my toes, Yam. It makes my buttocks clench!

  2. A good summing-up from the Guardian. I too found her voice unbearable and by the end of her premiership couldn't actaully stand to watch her on TV.

    However, I'm not so sure about the pendulum swinging back so soon. Four Tory election victories were followed by three Labour ones and I have a feeling many people still don't trust Labour after 13 years of NuLab. I also have a sneaking feeling that UKIP could steal votes from both sides next time and make an overall majority an impossible goal for Labour.

    As for riots, the impact of social networking means that there were plenty of so-called rioters last time who were just out for some fun and excitement and the opportunity to do a bit of wrecking and looting, and not because they were underprivileged either. The trigger for those riots was primarily police action and reaction, not a sense of grievance at the government's policies or lack of them.

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    2. I meant civil disobedience, people massing and collecting around issues of vital importance in their lives, and feeling choked out of their voice. It may start as as a demonstration (like the students protesting aginst the huge hike in further education fees two years ago) and then erupt into something else. Just as the Poll Tax demonstrations did in the late 1980s and into 1990.

      People are being scoffed at as talking "rubbish" or "nonsense", their fears mocked as "ridiculous", whenever criticism of the dismantling of welfare provision and state education system is voiced. Even measured comments issued by Church leaders are trivialised and poo-pooed.

      The present cabinet members, especially Osborne and Ian Duncan Smith, are being smug and overweening, and blurting out very unwise sound-bite reactions when they are criticised. So is Michael Gove. He will not even meet the teaching unions to discuss their concerns about pay scales, pensions and workload.

      SO, as I say. I think the present climate is polarising opinion again. Thatcher may be dead, but her spirit stalks the land.