And so it has come to pass, yet another towering political figure of the not-so-distant past is gone, her questionable legacy shielded from scrutiny by the buffer of a couple decades spent decaying into pitiful senility.
I hear it is bad form to speak ill of the dead (some disagree), so I will just let her give us some highlights in her own words:
- On Nelson Mandela’s liberation movement: a “typical terrorist organization” (in 1987).
- On Augusto Pinochet, her indefectible friend: “it is you who brought democracy to Chile” (in 1999, yes ninety-fucking-nine).
- On the gays: “[a local authority] shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship” (Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988).
- On the immigrants: not keen on them at all (“If you want good race relations, you have got to allay peoples’ fears on numbers”), but “less objection to refugees such as Rhodesians, Poles and Hungarians, since they could more easily be assimilated into British society”: you know, the white ones (in 1979).
- On feminism and women rights: “I hate feminism. It is poison.” (to her advisor), “The battle for women’s rights has largely been won. The days when they were demanded and discussed in strident tones should be gone forever. I hate those strident tones we hear from some Women’s Libbers.” (from a 1982 lecture).
All that without even getting into the disastrous economic legacy1, the annihilation of the British working class and the crushing of anything resembling solidarity or compassion (you can see the wince on her face at the mention of such horrible marxist concepts) in most aspects of British social policies.
I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.
- As a bonus: the emergence of financial institutions with no checks or responsibilities, let free to run the world’s economy into the ground 20 years later. [↩]