Why the Iron Lady remains so Divisive...

Some Catholics love Margaret Thatcher and some cannot stand her. This lady was so divisive that Telegraph blogs have closed all comments because, apparently, opinions are explosive.

A Facebook friend of mine says she hopes she is in Hell. I don't think the individual actually believes in Hell (I told her if we knew what Hell was really like we wouldn't wish it on anyone) but it goes to show the depth of feeling against her.

From my own perspective, Margaret Thatcher was a bit frightening. She taught a doctrine of self-reliance and individualism that is, to me, let us say, 'challenging'. In some ways her doctrine was quite Christ-like in as much as she refused to give any credence to socialist collectivism and laid down the gauntlet to everyone to 'make something of himself'. In Thatcher's world view, I am totally responsible for all shortcomings and failures in my life. I'm under-employed. Why am I underemployed? Because I haven't searched hard enough for work. That is scary, but that is also quite true. I suppose I should get on my bike. Similarly, if I go to Hell it won't be because nobody told me about it, nor because the mercy of God did not work towards my salvation, but because I am responsible for choosing Heaven, or refusing His graces and choosing Hell.

This is, however, a spiritual/moral dimension that the Iron Lady rarely discussed and one reason why I still cannot get on with her ideology is not because she did not have deep courage in fighting communism, but because her own ideology was, in some respects, no less brutal. I don't particularly like being defined by my wealth, income or job or lack of it. There was an edge of social darwinism (the survival of the fittest) that seemed to run through her politics and a carelessness and indifference to those who suffered the huge economic changes that can only have been because she was blinded by the need to clamp down on collectivist action and the threat of communism spreading into the UK. To a point this is fine, since it was and is not up to politicians to be Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta nor to preside over the State's protection of business and industry, nor the indiscriminate handing out of cash to people who become dependent on it as their sole source of income. I quite like the fact that she believed that the care of the poor and sick should be something for the voluntary sector and/or Churches to do.

No, what still gets me about Lady Thatcher is the culture shift that happened in her wake. Yes, mines were closed and we lost our manufacturing base, but that's not quite it. Under Thatcher, British people were taught not just to save money, but to worship it. Sunday trading seemed to flourish in her time as the nation was urged to spend, produce and consume in a combined effort still touted by today's leaders but which is reminiscent of any ideology that places value only on work and production, like, er, communism.

Under Thatcher, every man, woman and child was taught that they were a consumer and a producer and that their social worth came from how much they were producing and consuming. This was the age - continued unabashedly under New Labour - when wealth and riches were seen to be the source of happiness instead of marriage, family and community cohesion. Thatcher and the Mandelson/Blair PR stunt that followed her ensured that Britain would forever be a country that had sold its soul to the City of London while the same City spat on the citizens who relied on its 'wealth generation'.

Thatcher left the country and the economy more prosperous and free than it was before she took office - as prosperous and free as any country owned by a banking cartel headed by the Rothschilds can be. She left the country as one in which men and women were both workers and economic cogs in a machine driven by the dynamic of the City of London and oversaw the next phase of the destruction of the family while the same industrialists who have exploited this country for centuries benefited out of the privatisation of its public services. Thatcher put the breaking up of public utilities to be sold off to Lord Rothschild and his friends. That's how 'in touch' with the 'common man' this lady was, but then, that's how in touch with the 'common man' all of our elected leaders are.

To the lady's great credit, she had great courage in facing down socialism and communism and its great threat to the United Kingdom, the USA and to Europe.  Unfortunately, both socialism and communism won by vanquishing the family, murdering marriage, decimating generations of unborn children and leaving our school children a massive group of drug-addicted, sex-addicted, under-educated, STI-infected, irreligious louts. Perhaps, in the end, the Left was too big for one woman to take on since they had, let's face it, infiltrated every government department and institution in the country, including the Church.

The more silent work of Fabians and their ilk has always been far more deadly than a small rabble of out and out Socialist Worker newspaper sellers. That is, I expect, why they are the ones rejoicing at a principled woman's death, while forgetting that today's political leaders could not hold a candle to this valiant woman's stand against the terrible errors that have seen humanity enslaved in the East and may yet see humanity enslaved in the West. Raw capitalism can be just as dehumanising as raw communism and even more so when tenets of communism are incorporated into the framework of captialism.

May her soul and the souls of the Faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace and may Our Lady, Exterminatrix of Heresies, bring this poor, bankrupted, sick nation back to the Sacred Heart of her Divine Son. No ideology can serve to save this nation now. Only Catholicism can do that.

Comments

Patricius said…
Thank you for an excellent attempt at a balanced assessment. Without Thatcher I doubt whether we would have had the Blair project.
Thanks Bones, best post i've seen today (IMHO).

I'm in two minds about the late Baroness but I am today sick of reading young 'rad-trads' (who were all far too young to remember her premiership - I am not!), as they canonise her. It must be some badge of honour as they try to 'out-tory' one another.

Whatever her rights and wrongs - she goes to her Judgement as surely as all flesh must.

May she find in Him a merciful Judge.
blondpidge said…
You might like this from David Alton, I love whatBlessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta reportedly said to her:

http://davidalton.net/2013/04/08/margaret-thatcher/
Nicolas Bellord said…
I think there are two things that the media has overlooked in their comments.

First of all it would have been preferable if the problems with coal mining could have been handled differently. But would it have been possible? There was an enormous legacy of doing nothing which exacerbated the problems and there were intransigent unions with whom compromise was probably impossible.

Secondly her rejection by her own cabinet is described as being due to her attitudes particularly towards Europe. What has not been mentioned was that they got rid of her when this country was at war in the Gulf. What if she had persuaded Bush senior to finish off Sadaam Hussein there and then and not go wobbly? Subsequent history might have been very different.

No doubt historians in the future will chew over all this!
Amfortas said…
NB, perhaps the mining industry was doomed to die but it was the seemingly wilful disregard for social cohesion, the negative impact of MT's policies on individuals and communities, which makes her such a divisive figure. To question whether it would have been possible to handle things differently is a council of despair. We are free human beings able to make choices. Different choices could have been made or, at the very least, the whole aspect of social cohesion could have been part of the policy. As it was there is now a legacy of bitterness in some parts of the country. This may take another generation to heal.
Joseph Shaw said…
You write as if she dismantled the welfare state. She didn't - it grew hugely under her leadership.

I also think it is strange to lay these fundamental cultural changes at her door. They were part of a much longer-term trend.
Tony said…
I'm not defending Thatcher and I don't care for her politics, but what you have said is top to bottom idiocy.
1) Thatcher was "Christ-like in as much as she refused to give any credence to socialist collectivism and laid down the gauntlet to everyone to 'make something of himself'." You're an idiot, plain and simple. Christ insisted people leave their families and follow an ascetic collective life in religious communities. I know Catholics don't like reading the bible, but please give the Messiah's words at least some credit. They're much more interesting than your views you know, try living by them!
2) The unemployed and underemployed are not unemployed because they haven't searched for work. As Orwell once brilliantly pointed out, he was never "so ignorant as to imagine that when the loss of foreign markets pushes two million men out of work, those two million are any more to blame than the people who draw blanks in the Calcutta Sweep."
3) Speaking of Calcutta… you mention the other Mrs T, the other cruel cow who destroyed lives. Please do some rudimentary research into Theresa. The Indians she tortured HATE her. She withheld medicine and refused to give Hindus access to Hindu blessings. If you were dying of AIDS in a hospital in Brighton and an Indian/Hindu aid worker refused to let you have the sacraments because she believed it would be better for you to have Hindu blessings, you'd be pretty miffed, right? Of course, you will think, that wouldn't happen here, because we don't expect colonialism on our own shores. Yes, so why isn't it disgusting when she did it in India? For some reason it's fine for some evil old cow to do that in India because, well, because she was told by an international cartel to go do it. Like the troops who murdered in Iraq, when people in power, whether popes or kings, tell you to do something, that doesn't make it right.
4) While we're on communism and catholicism, a final comment from the pen of Gorgeous George Orwell: "One of the analogies between Communism and Roman Catholicism is that only the ‘educated’ are completely orthodox. The most immediately striking thing about the English Roman Catholics – I don’t mean the real Catholics, I mean the converts – is their intense self-consciousness. Apparently they never think, certainly they never write, about anything but the fact that they are Roman Catholics." A true Catholic, Owell continues, i.e. not a convert who is covering up 'forbidden desires', will "not spend his time in brooding on the fact that he is Roman Catholic, and he is not particularly conscious of being different from his non-Catholic neighbours." And again… "There is nothing in Communism except hatred. And here once again you come upon that queer resemblance between Communism and (convert) Roman Catholicism. If you want to find a book as evil-spirited as The Intelligentsia of Great Britain, the likeliest place to look is among the popular Roman Catholic apologists. You will find there the same venom and the same dishonesty, though, to do the Catholic justice, you will not usually find the same bad manners." Amen George, amen.
Nicolas Bellord said…
Dear Tony,

The Bones has written about Thatcher giving his opinions which are interesting. Apparently you disagree but is it really necessary or useful to call him an idiot? Is there not something in the New Testament about what one should not call one's brother?

I find your reading of the New Testament that we should ALL leave our families and live in religious communities is not something I can agree with. Perhaps you could point to us to where Jesus says this. He says we should follow him but that does not mean abandoning wife and children or one's aged parents surely?

Again calling Mother Teresa an evil old cow is simply wrong. There may be things she did with which you disagree but to dismiss all she did because of some particular action is surely over the top? You sound a bit like Christopher Hitchens.

Again I am an admirer of George Orwell but he had his faults. I sometimes feel his upbringing Eton etc left him without a heart and if you read Burmese Days his depiction of the Burmese almost borders on the racist. I think his generalities about Roman Catholics rather strange. I wonder what convert Catholic apologists he was referring to. When I think of Chesterton, Ronald Knox, Newman and others venom and dishonesty are the last things I would accuse them of. Curiously he allows them good manners!