Friday, April 12, 2013

On The Day That Thatcher Died . . . An Epitaph of Tweets

On the day that Thatcher died there were millions of tweets pouring into cyberspace. This selection of them is an archive for anyone who didn't really understand the feelings of the majority of people in Britain about Thatcher.
How dare politicians tell us we must respect Mrs Thatcher - she ruined our society - she was as loathed as Saddam Hussein, she really was. -- Julie-Ann (@BienSoeur)

Best thing the left can do after Thatcher's death is resist the coming hagiography & ensure her shameful political record is fully contested -- David Wearing (@davidwearing)

Thatcherism is undead. -- Daniel Trilling (@trillingual)
Whatever we blame Blair or Cameron for; they're only continuing that woman's work. The destruction of the welfare state is her epitaph. -- Dan Thompson (@artistsmakers)

Nothing to celebrate. The battle continues. -- Thee Faction (@TheeFaction)

@PhilosophyExp @stefanstern civility? she fucking sold it along with our other national assets -- e_p_smythe (@e_p_smythe)

@BienSoeur I can't believe the number of people mourning her loss given the social injustice and inequality she promoted. So much hypocrisy. -- Sue Hill (@SusieSpur)

The death of Thatcherism would be something to celebrate. The death of Thatcher is just... the death of an old lady. -- Holly Robinson (@holbolrob)
Watching TV news I feel like a North Korean as government and media put a spin on events that clearly doesn't reflect opinions of population -- Steven Dick (@dickmagician)

If you didn't live under a Thatcher govt pls don't get upset with those of us who did and who are NOT feeling griefstricken right now... -- Charlie Moores (@charliemoores)

Any and all Thatcher defences will be met with blockings, no exceptions -- Jim (@jcw163)

I think the hand-wringing folk fail to see that we aren't just crowing, we're all genuinely pleased -- Jim (@jcw163)

Think of her children. Her racist, disgusting children. -- Murray (@muzrobertson)

RIP, Mrs T. "Do not stand at my grave and weep; I am not there; I do not sleep; I am the thousand benefits cut; I am the A&E department, shut." -- Stuart Houghton (@stuarthoughton)

My dad: "I feel very sanguine about it. She may be dead but we've got these bastards instead and they're even worse." -- Ellie Mae O'Hagan (@MissEllieMae)

I have two nice, well dressed ladies in their 70s here laughing that mrs thatcher has died. She wasn't loved, she was loathed by most. -- Julie-Ann (@BienSoeur)

Busy day for Mephistopheles today. -- Drac Noise Person (@Dracnoiseperson)

Thatcher is DEAD! At last, the miners and heavy industry workers whose lives she destroyed can rejoice. -- Steve (@Cadrieu)

What bitter irony in a week when many are suffering further division & humiliation the women that started this strain of conservatism dies! -- Elizabeth (@lizzjones18)

#Thatcher may have died, but we should not be distracted from the need to fight her rancid ideology which still prevails. -- Jack Darrant (@JackDarrant)

I hope people took no happiness from the deaths of Pol Pot, Hitler, Pinochet, Marcos or Franco. That would be wrong. -- Otis B. Driftwood (@DocHackenbush)

The greatest peacetime British Prime Minister of the 20th century was Clement Attlee. -- Jacob Richardson (@jjarichardson)

As Davina would say, "Let's have a look at your best bits." To start with "No sanctions - Nelson Mandela is a terrorist." -- Mark Steel (@mrmarksteel)

As a member of society, can I just say: "There is no such thing as Margaret Thatcher." -- Pete Sinclair (@pete_sinclair)

#Thatcher's legacy was destruction of the economy,& ppls livelihoods,3 generations of destitution & individualism over community. #NoTears -- Ed Pomfret (@EdPomfret)

I'm feeling oddly elated, and I don't know why. ;-) #NotReally #IActuallyFeelMorbidlyIndifferent #Thatcher -- Lee Hyde (@anubeon)

Interesting taboo around reactions to death. Why is it ok to have sadness reaction but not happiness? Is the dead person supposed to care? -- the greener grass (@TheSilverGreen)

So I'll try some mindfulness. I feel sad for her friends/family in mourning. I feel glad for the symbol of a tyrant's passing. I move on. -- the greener grass (@TheSilverGreen)

It shows how pathologically split we are as a culture that we can't tolerate *both* responses. Also how immature that we fear death so bad. -- the greener grass (@TheSilverGreen)

Observation: "the left" being warned re family in grief. "The right" allowed to parade Thatcher's legacy in front of every family she broke -- the greener grass (@TheSilverGreen)

Thatcherism has led to the tragic premature and ignored deaths of many thousands of people over 30 years. Let us remember them today. -- AdamRamsay (@AdamRamsay)

     *      *     *     *    *

This was surely the sweetest and most innocent tweet of the day -

Am I the only one who doesn't know who Margaret Thatcher is or what she's done wrong? -- Carissa Fairhurst (@CJFairhurst)

And finally, whilst I have some respect for Phillip Blond - the Red Tory - this is ridiculous. It's probably the vaguest and blandest thing he could think of saying about Mags:

The thing I liked most about Mrs Thatcher was that she had a global vision for Britain - she knew we mattered and wanted to make us matter -- Phillip Blond (@Phillip_Blond)

Here's the thing, Mr Blond - everybody on this earth matters. Thatcher didn't think the working classes mattered because they didn't, on the whole, like her, agree with her, or vote for her. So who is this "we"? As for her aspirations for Britain - she was full of ridiculous and untenable "global visions" - none of which were rooted in any kind of reality. Thanks to her privatisations, deregulations, etc, Britain and its financial system, as well as its manufacturing sector, became completely busted.


Suzanne Moore's thoughts this week:

At least in Thatcher's day we knew what we were up against

She and her spawn clung like zealots to the idea that the market would somehow step into towns stripped of industry. And the ultimate free market did fill the void all right. Heroin flooded into decimated "communities".

This nostalgia is to do with activism being thrilling. She was all you wanted in a hate figure: pro-apartheid, a shrill-voiced, demi-wigged prig whose veins flowed with some repulsive idea of respectability.

She absolutely performed gender as it suited her, switching from housewife to warrior queen to grandmother. The whole housekeeping model – though incorrect – still underpins the logic of the cuts.
Thatcher, though, did not invent Thatcherism: Keith Joseph, among others, shaped it and credit must be given to cultural theorists such as Stuart Hall, who deconstructed this mixture of post-Fordism, aspiration and hegemony. I was working at Marxism Today when this was happening and many of those people became ultra–Blairites, for the analysis of Thatcher's appeal resulted in New Labour. When I started working there, "the project" was revolution. When I left, "the project" was New Labour.

What matters now is that in these ultra-conservative times, oppositional culture bafflingly appears to have little to coalesce around but tax and toffs. Maybe because what remains of her agenda is privatisation that is so internalised, it is immoral. By this I mean that a loathing of those who have little, who are weak or uncertain is justified by a political discourse which says we can longer afford the weak. The Thatcherite fetishisation of strength enables the coalition to trample on the already broken. We are saving money apparently because some humans are not worth saving. That's just housekeeping.

Cameron will exploit her in death; grief, like nostalgia, is a commodity after all. A politics of utter selfishness, certainty and greed is meant to have won the day.
Thatcher dies alone. But in the Ritz. Joyless.

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