Margaret Thatcher est morte

If you wonder what we make of the legacy of Lady Thatcher (as Fox and Rush Limbaugh and every TV anchor in the United States can’t stop saying), this will suffice: In 1984, she invited South African dictator PW Botha on a state visit to No.10 Downing Street. With this Botha became the first leader of the Apartheid regime accorded the privilege of a state visit to UK since 1961–the year South Africa left the Commonwealth over their refusal to end white minority rule. That same Margaret Thatcher called Nelson Mandela and the opposition to white minority rule in South Africa “terrorists.” In other news, the last Apartheid leader FW de Klerk (still a defender of Apartheid as late as May 2012) defended “his friend” Margaret Thatcher. That’s just South Africa. Colm Tobin, from Ireland, tweeted: “Not a lot of love for #Thatcher in Ireland. As an enemy of the state she sits somewhere between Cromwell & Thierry Henry.” Even Manchester United agreed: The club is not having any minute of silence for Mrs Thatcher this weekend. The last word goes to the American writer and journalist, Barbara Ehrenreich, who said: “I thank Margaret Thatcher for putting to rest the essentialist fallacy that women are inherently more moral than men.”


10 thoughts on “Margaret Thatcher est morte

  1. Sean, it’s a good idea that, before you comment negatively on something, you ensure your nose is clean. So who did the last word go to, Ehrenreich or Kuti?
    One (the only one) good thing she did do was break the coal miners strike which was negatively affecting the whole country and more so the families of the striking miners. You will recall (if you were around then) that even the miners’ wives eventually when on strike – a sexual strike – no work, no nookie!

    • The miner’s strike was ‘negatively affecting the whole country? Ha. I don’t think you know what you are talking about.

  2. I loathed her; as a Brit suffered 12 years of her rule…and all those since. I have written about British entrenchment with Pretoria between ’48 and ’94 and like many others, recognise the deep-set political economy that underpinned UK business – and hence parliamentary- backing of the National Party particularly under Tory leadership, but in fact through much of the second half of the 20thC.

    But, but, lets not, please, keep quoting Thatcher’s notorious terrorist remark and indicting her for this (we’ve so much else to choose from, not least in her dealings with apartheid South Africa). It’s shoddy of us to do so (and results perhaps from our continuing hagiography of Mandela, whom I too much admire). It’s also very poor history. The ANC as they said themselves, were prepared, in the absence of all other avenues for political communication, to commit acts of terrorism, by their own admission and explanation. So yes, they were terrorists. They had to be.

    • So you are saying to be a terrorist is to be a terrorist? Your explanation gives credit and authenticity to what people like Thatcher state. You hinge your argument on what constitutes “legitimate politics” verses “terrorism”. That is really quite a shallow analysis. I doubt the ANC thought of themselves as a “terrorist organization. That word was not a politicised word in the 1980’s. They were freedom fighters, a vastly different interpretation.

      • Is it not true that one man’s terrorist is another’ man’s freedom fighter? Anybody who uses action of destruction as a way of terrorising a population in order for a political objectivity to come about is acting out terrorist methods of fighting.

      • One could say that or one could say they were fighting their defined freedom. Either way the notion of using terrorist tactics has been with us for many centuries – be it partisan groups or government backed groups. Those in favour of apartheid would say they were fighting to keep their freedom as they knew it. Those who were fighting apartheid would say they were fighting for their freedom as they wanted it. As warfare is termed conflict and visa versa in contemporary parlance one has to conclude that States starts wars and groups in both the aggressive State and the defending State start up acts of terror to counter the situation. That is why the Nazi’s would say freedom fighters were terrorists and the British say the IRA were terrorists. To me it seems one uses the word terrorist if one is commenting on the opposition and freedom fighter if one is commenting on ones own group or country.

  3. The ANC were indeed freedom fighters who were prepared to use violence, if they had to resort to this in their fight. And yes, actually, there is usually a division between ‘legitimate politics’ and ‘terrorism’ that is indeed exactly what I was saying. ( I also stated why.) You may say this is shallow but it is the way of the world. If it is the word ‘terrorism’ you object to jarredpurdy then we’ll drop it in favour of ‘freedom fighter’ which is more sympathetic and certainly sounds more understanding of the adoption of violence. I was not actually meaning that there was necessarily anything perjorative in the word ‘terrorist’, am arguing for an avoidance of a knee- jerk reaction to it, and was simply saying that in desperate times people are forced into desperate measures ( In any case, all terrorists have legitimate claims in their own terms, whether we agree with these or not.) The IRA were/ are freedom fighters AND terrorists, I don’t have a problem with their being both (thanks efgd, I am British and totally see the legitimacy of wanting to escape London dominion). All I was saying is that I sympathise with the ANC’s proclamation of their willingness to use violence if all other means had failed. I do not like the lack of nuance associated with Thatcher’s remarks and the failure to understand what motivates acts of violence, that is all.

    • Yes, Margaret Thatcher did not want to equate State violence [legitimate?] with violent action by those affected by State interference be it political or economic. It is always easy to say “they” are wrong when doing the same action yourself.

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