Tuesday, September 29, 2009

And Another Thing-Margaret Thatcher, the death of the British Empire

'When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag, and carrying a cross...'
Sinclair Lewis-1935

Fifteen years ago, an intransigent, extreme and archaic, dictatorship was ousted from office by her own party, following an elected third term in the UK.
Though its true to say, that the beginnings of Margaret Thatchers terrible reign, brought an end to a period in the seventies of union discontent, it also brought with it a harsh and cold winter which lasted twelve long years.

During her term in office, Britain endured the Falklands war, The Westland Aff air, the end of the coal and the shipping industry, the privatization of the railways, the telephone lines, the electric and water boards, the beginnings of the end for the NHS, a reinstated Tax (Poll Tax) abolished in the sixteenth century, eight million unemployed (conservative estimate after the book cooking of training schemes), inheritance tax (a tax which ensures you still pay after your death) Education cuts and Mad Cow disease (CJD), censorship, the moral guardianship of the nanny state, Hillsborough, Dunblane, Charring cross, race and poll tax riots in the streets and a further polarization of negotiations with the IRA.

And whilst the maggots flourished and grew complacently bloated, the poor became more emaciated, and what they call the class divide in England became a chasm.
As the country descended further into the bowels of Hades however, the machinations behind number ten maneuvered, and I watched as a tearful Thatcher was removed from Downing street. It was the only emotion I ever saw her betray.
The dark days of the right were numbered, and there was a sense that the working class-through music, through art and culture, were on the move.

Its hard for me to reminisce the hope and promise of those times-but when Labour swept in again after so long, with D-reams song 'Things can only get better', it felt like watching life reanimating a corpse.
Of course, history has shown that hopes are in vain, that the mess left in the Thatcher years was too far reaching -lopping o ff a limb is no good when the cancer has spread, but at the very least, the Conservatives were viewed as an aberrant joke-a terrible wrong footing that was the catalyst for the end an empire, a country were it was twenty five years too late for its terrible former premier to be diagnosed with dementia.

I annotate this, because in the insanity of the birther movement, the spitting sloganeering of the teabaggers, the endless, impending, end of days fervor of the evangelists, the death panels
vindicators-I see all too well, the failings of my own countries past.

The dark unwillingness for change-an unwillingness, that comes spitting the vitriol of judgment, cloaked between the pages of the bible and a pocketful of race hatred. An angry mob, without a taste for irony, resembling the fascist diatribes of the 30's, much more than the institution and leader elect, they are demonizing, all stoked by their own ignorance and those special interests, who balk at change simply because they may end up a little light on change in their pocket.

Perhaps its as Churchill once said, a country does elect the leader it deserves, but having seen the terrible legacy of the Thatcher years, and those still being cast by the long shadow of Bush, it doesn't behoove one to imagine the demagogue borne from the bastard offspring of Limbaugh and Beck.

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