I bet you didn’t expect to read that as an opening line on here, but it’s about right for me. I’ve never been particularly interested in politics or politicians and as I get older I think rather than taking an interest and understanding more as I probably should, all I see is a bunch of overpaid, jumped up buffoons each trying to find ways to disagree, shake fists and posture at “the other side”. (Sometimes even the same).
Today though it seems we all have no choice but to “take an interest” as it’s the funeral of “The Iron Lady” and it will be a media frenzy from dawn until long after dusk, including my own meagre offering of course..
In brief, my memories of the Maggie Thatcher era are not pleasant ones. I come from a mining family and attended many a rally back in the day to support miners and their families, not due to any political motivation, just because I thought what was being done to them was wrong. Under her leadership our government destroyed an industry along with it’s communities solely to crush the trade union power-mongers leading them at any price.
Maggie’s lot also had me in front of a judge, for refusing to pay the Poll Tax. From memory it was only a couple of hundred quid back then, I’m paying five or six times that now and getting less for it.
I also had the misfortune of being in Wiltshire during the period leading up to The Battle Of The Beanfield.
Although not part of “The Convoy” itself, a few friends and I were on the way to the Stonehenge free festival in a clapped out Ford Escort Estate (cacky brown in colour for the record), packed to the gunnels with camping gear and beer.
We were followed by a police helicopter until stopped. Four very bemused lads then being searched at the roadside and our belongings strewn across the lay-by to make sure we weren’t political activists carrying anything (we weren’t), terrified pacifists is more likely.
There are more examples, but those moments are a permanent but much faded scar on my psyche.
For each of those of course there will be many folks out there with conflicting tales and opinions of the supposed good things Maggie did and I respect that too, although I may not agree wholeheartedly.
You may then at this point be wondering why I chose to “share my experiences” (bore you with my life) about the sad demise of an old woman on my beer blog so I’d better get to the point before I lose you forever and that is this. Today is a funeral, a bloody expensive one we, as a country can’t afford, but it’s still a funeral and we should respect that. It’s not a reason to smash-up cities and have a punch up unless perhaps you are in your late forties early fifties and were there, although in which case it probably will run out of puff in about 30 seconds anyway.
Anyway I have a suggestion, instead of protesting maybe crack open a beer as soon as the opportunity presents itself and raise a glass to the Thatch, you need say no more or nothing at all if you like, but inside you’ll know whether it’s because you’re glad or sad she’s gone.
That way no one gets hurt and we can all get on with it tomorrow…
Very well said!
I was a local newspaper journalist at the Battle of the Beanfield. And teetotal at the time! Never met Mrs T but did once interview Edward Heath. I was 21 at the time and I he treated me with complete indifference, no courtesy at all. Ah, the memories…
Couldn’t agree more, well put and respect is due to anyone that passes. Whether or not you agree with her politics, all that aside that is a person with a family and deserves to be respected.
Very well put sir, agree as a 40 something myself that remembers the dark days but fully agree to be respectful of what was someone’s mother and grand mother especially.
Having family does not entitle you to respect. I wouldn’t equate Thatcher with any of them, but Stalin had children and even great-grandchildren, Gaddafi had children and grandchildren, Hitler had nephews and a niece, and Osama bin Laden had 20+ children and probably grandchildren by now.
Politicians get judged on their records. Beyond that, Thatcher deserves only the respect of one human being to another – which is ironic, as it’s more respect than she gave to most of the country!
I just went odwn the pub, and had a few beers. I don’t think the Thatch was even mentioned, tbh. Cool post though bud. With you on your (almost) opening sentiments about actually caring less of a shit about politics as I get older. It’s all posture and counter-posture. Kinda like being at work, really!