Margaret Hilda Thatcher has caused more uproar, spawned more column inches than any other woman in the United Kingdom apart from the women in the Royal Family, and to fair she was the first, and at the moment, the only female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom – surprisingly worldwide there are, or have been, lot of women Prime Ministers / Presidents, of the top of my head – Australia, Israel, France, Pakistan, Argentina, Germany, and Iceland, and I am sure many more; Golda Meir was Prime Minister in the early 70’s leading Israel during their perennial conflicts, so Thatcher was not even the first, so why the fuss?
She didn’t even break the mould of British politics, Barbara Castle was as strong and feisty as the Iron Lady it was just that she didn’t become Leader of the Labour Party (unfortunately), but she did become Prime Minister for an awful (literally) long time, and because of the experience of this country I do not think we will readily vote for a woman Prime Minister for a few years yet – she has certainly wrecked the chances of female politicians aspiring to move into Number 10 for a long time.
I am of two minds of wanting to go and see ‘The Iron Lady’ – on one hand it looks brilliant, a great actress playing the lead role, a strong social storyline, strong characters, and relevance to me (I entered adulthood under Premiership), but I would end up shouting abuse at the screen and probably throw things as well, she has that effect on me, from her ‘Francis of Assisi’ speech about where there is ‘discord let me bring harmony’ when she proceeded to do exactly the opposite by wrecking whole communities, creating mass unemployment and delivering the United Kingdom into the hands of the Bankers – yes we are living with her legacy today – it wasn’t Labour who made us dependent on the Financial Sector and wrecked society – Mr Cameron we had ‘The Big Society’ before the Thatcher era, it just got terminally ill under years of ‘greed is good’ policies.
The film shows Thatcher has a woman fighting the system and leading the UK back into some kind of Renaissance, a Gloriana of the 20th Century, whilst in fact for the South it was a renaissance, living in the North it was dire, the Steel Works in Sheffield closed one by one, to be replaced by Meadowhall Shopping Centre where you could see former Steel Workers sweeping the floor for something approaching a pittance, the Mines closed making villages, not just households, unemployed, after the manufacturing jobs went along with the Railway Works in Doncaster – she left Sheffield a shadow of itself, and worse left it to become a parody of the South.
The film does nod at the Miners Strike – to me one of the proudest moments of Thatcher era, we lost but we stood together and defined my stance against injustice and Tory politicians; I remember watching the March down Commercial Street from my office on Bridge Street, and thinking
WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER
On the bus back to home from work I passed the Orgreave Coking Plant and passed by the site of the ‘Battle of Orgreave’ like any good battle it was people fighting for what they believed in and fighting for survival, the entire community & the Churches got involved in the Miners Strike with people delivering food parcels to the Strikers’ families, women, traditionally the ‘homemaker’ – though generally ruling the household with a fist iron that would have had Thatcher green with envy, got out and became politicised, they took their anger outside the home and into the street. I suppose living in a Mining Village – Swallownest – between two Pits, Treeton & Brookhouse I was surrounded by the effect of Iron Lady. Whilst the battel for Orgreave was lost, it was never forgotten and they never broke our spirit; and as long as we had ‘spirit’ they had never won.
Not content on demonizing hard-working people fighting for their jobs her Government was also responsable for the introduction of the most repulsive anti-gay legislation, the infamous Clause 28
Thatcher truly was the most destructive Prime Minster ever, and that is something that is not addressed in the film – the misery. Perhaps it should be shown as double-bill with Brassed Off or The Full Monty to give some balance, it wasn’t just life in the Prime ministerial entourage that she mastered.
Another thing this film ignores Thatcher’s total failure to assess the situation in the Falkland Islands, though I still believe that for her to ignore it and have a war was ‘convenient’ and maintain to this day she gor re-elected on the blood of the soldiers that died, her stance on South Africa also flew in the face of the calls from Bishop Desmond Tutu to boycott the regime until it ended Apartheid, branding Nelson Mandela as a terrorist yet giving sanctuary to General Pinochet betrayed her politics, right-wing, divisive and ruinous.
… the evil men do lives on after them, the good oft interred with their bones, so let it be with Thatcher ~ Julius Ceaser
Unfortunately the film “The Iron Lady” inters the evil she did, and glorifies the this woman who, to this day, divides the country and that is why I am not going to see this film – it is historically inaccurate and romanticized version of reality that did not happen.