Margaret Thatcher: witch or saviour? (warning, I share some political views here, if you don’t like that, don’t read it!)

Margaret Thatcher in 1982.

Well, unless you’ve been living in a hole the last couple of days, you may have noticed that Margaret Thatcher died on Monday, and, as far as I can see, since that time not a single person has spoken a word of sense on the subject!!

I found out by posts on Facebook, while stood in Gulliver’s World watching my youngest playing at the park.  The posts I saw made me sick, things like:

Finally she cracks it, dance on the grave.

Ding, dong, the witch is dead.

Hope she rots in hell.

You get the idea.  My immediate response was to post this status:

I hated Thatchers politics and believe she damaged this country more than words can say, but I refuse to celebrate in the death of anyone and am finding some of the comments of Facebook quite sickening!

Since then you can find this type of thing continuing, with parties being held on the street to celebrate the death of an old woman.  The song “Ding, dong, the witch is dead” is currently number 1 in the charts, and if you’re sick enough to watch it, you can see videos of the song dedicated to her death on youtube.

I felt the same disgust when I saw people partying when Osama bin Laden died.  I will not celebrate the death of anyone.  I pray for their redemption, their salvation … not their destruction.  I will rejoice if bad people lose power, when the pain they cause people comes to an end, but not, NOT in their death.  And I find the suggestion that I should causes me great sadness.

An old friend on my Granddad’s, Bishop David Sheppard, once met Margaret Thatcher and said to her, as they tried to communicate the pain and suffering her policies were causing in Liverpool, “Don’t you have any compassion?”  Her reply?  … “Compassion is not a word I have in my vocabulary.”  I will not greet her death by making the same mistake!  Compassion should be in all our hearts, even for those who failed to have compassion themselves.

However, unfortunately I can’t leave it there!  Because of some of the nonsense which is now being plastered all over the media, with seemingly no-one (or very few!) telling the truth!

When bin Laden died I was sickened by the parties that were thrown, but that doesn’t mean I think everyone should have started saying what a great leader he was, and how he stuck to his principles!  That would be to make a grave mistake.  And yet, we suddenly have politicians, in parties which always fort against Thatcher, suddenly singing her praises!

Refusing to celebrate someones death does not mean we suddenly need to start celebrating everything about their life or what they stood for!

Madness suddenly seems to be sweeping the media, everyone who loved her policies can say what they like and everyone’s too afraid to point out what nonsense they’re spouting.  So people can declare her the champion of freedom, without anyone pointing out her stubborn support of Saddam Hussien, or Augusto Pinochet.  Without anyone pointing out how she condemned Nelson Mandela as a terrorist!

Now you might think I should have stopped before, after all, you shouldn’t speak ill of the dead.  And, ordinarily, I’d agree with you.  BUT this reaction is dangerous, especially at this time.  Make no mistake, the policies now being driven through government grow directly out of the policies advocated and pushed through by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980’s.  If we don’t point out what was wrong with what Thatcher did, we silently fail to speak against what is happening today.

It is directly because of what Thatcher did that this country is in a mess.  The fact that the poorest in our country can no longer survive on one job, the lack of affordable houses for first time buyers, the fact that the poor are being charged for having a spare bedroom … all this and more grows directly out of the policies of Margaret Thatcher.  The fact we live in a country built of greed and selfishness, instead of mutual care and compassion, begins here!

I stick wholeheartedly to what I wrote at the beginning, I will NOT celebrate in the death of anyone.  But please, if like me you ardently disagree with Tory policies, please, please, don’t stay silent as Thatcher is declared a hero.  Too much is at stake.  Let’s calmly and respectfully, remembering that a real person, with a real family has died, speak against bad policies made in the 80’s, because it will effect policies today.

So was Margaret Thatcher a “witch” … Of course not, she was a real person, made in the image of God.  She has a family, and friends.  For goodness sake, have compassion.

BUT, that does not mean she was a saviour!  She wasn’t!  And we mustn’t allow people to declare she was, as it silently implies that the way to save this country is by doing what she did, and nothing could be further from the truth!

My thoughts go to the friends and family of Margaret Thatcher, I’m sorry for your loss.

About David

I'm the curate at St. Anne's Church, in the parish of Shevington, Standish Lower Ground and Crooke. I'm married to Carole and have two beautiful daughters called Sarah and Anabel
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