|The colour of her coat didn’t match her politics – but her demise is welcome nonetheless|
|The infamous Sun headline that celebrated the deaths of hundreds of Argeninian conscripts|
I was active as food collections organiser in Brighton during the Miners’ Strike of 1984-5. We collected for the 3 pits in the Kent coalfield. They are no more. Members of Brighton Miners’ Support Group visited Armthorpe in Yorkshire, which the Police had laid siege to for 3 days before going on the rampage. It was the home of Markham Main colliery. Markham Main is no more. It wasn’t immigrants or refugees or Bulgarians who took those jobs, it was the monetarists who Thatcher led. The Fred Goodwins of this world.
|Meryl Streep as Thatcher – she couldn’t have done more damage|
As part of her plan to destroy the power of the working class, she pursued a mad policy of power stations running on gas rather than coal, an enormous waste of a commodity that is fast running out. All to defeat trade union power and let her friends in the City let rip.. Regulation for financial services and businesses were lightened (a job that Blair’s monkey Gordon Brown completed) with the results we see today.
|Unfortunately the celebration is marred by the sexist banner|
If Thatcher was the enemy then the trade union leadership were the scabs who ran for cover, as they did in 1926. Instead of solidarity action they offered words and I can remember one large miners’ meeting, that the then General Secretary of the TUC Norman Willis spoke at where, unknown to him, a noose was dangled from the balcony until it was resting a few feet above him. I remember the bravery and selflessness of the Women Against Pit Closures and the woman in whose house I stayed, Aggie Currie. They helped lead the strike defying the middle class feminists in London who thought all violence was ‘macho’ and women’s main concerns was their own sexuality.
|The Tory Press pays tribute to their idol – she ‘saved’ Britain for the wealthy|
The tragedy was that despite the brilliant leadership of the now discredited Arthur Scargill, the Nottingham Miners in their majority didn’t strike. Very foolishly Scargill failed to support a ballot of all the membership. But regardless the Nottinghamshire miners believed the promises of Thatcher and her PR guru Tim Bell. They paraded with their union jacks and formed a scab Union of Democratic Miners, which was riven by corruption and nepotism. The Notts. Miners were duly stabbed in the back as their pits were closed when they had served their purpose.
The kids who die from heroin on the estates of Yorkshire and Wales, those without hope of employment in Northumberland or Derbyshire can thank Thatcher for this.
Thatcher came to power in 1979 with a majority of about 20. In 1983 this was increased to about 144. Why? The Malvinas/Falklands war. Thatcher gained enormously from the patriotic jingoism that was about. When Argentina invaded the islands, Britain imposed a 200 mile exclusion blockade. When a rusty 2nd world war naval ship, the General Belgrano was sailing in the exclusion zone away from the Malvinas it was sunk, at Thatcher’s explicit command. Next day she told people to ‘Rejoice, rejoice’ and that disgusting rag, The Sun had a headline ‘Gotcha’ over the deaths of hundreds of men.
Now that the evil hag has finally died of senile dementia, a condition she suffered from since a young girl, we should take her cheerleaders at their word and indeed rejoice. It’s not every day that good things happen.
Tribute from Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Fein
|Gerry Adams – President of Sinn Fein|
Here’s what Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein president, said about Lady Thatcher:
Margaret Thatcher did great hurt to the Irish and British people during her time as British prime minister. Working class communities were devastated in Britain because of her policies. Her role in international affairs was equally belligerent whether in support of the Chilean dictator Pinochet, her opposition to sanctions against Apartheid South Africa; and her support for the Khmer Rouge.
Here in Ireland her espousal of old draconian militaristic policies prolonged the war and caused great suffering. Her failed efforts to criminalise the republican struggle and the political prisoners is part of her legacy. It should be noted that in complete contradiction of her public posturing, she authorised a back channel of communications with the Sinn Fein leadership but failed to act on the logic of this. Unfortunately she was faced with weak Irish governments who failed to oppose her securocrat agenda or to enlist international support in defence of citizens in the north.
Margaret Thatcher will be especially remembered for her shameful role during the epic hunger strikes of 1980 and ’81. Her Irish policy failed miserably.’
And from George Galloway:
Thatcher described Nelson Mandela as a “terrorist”. I was there. I saw her lips move. May she burn in the hellfires.