The left’s vitriol and violence was predictable.
In Bristol and Brixton, hundreds took to the streets to drink champagne, vandalise a Barnardo’s charity shop, burn council property and attack the police as part of their celebrations of Margaret Thatcher’s passing.
Left-wing pin-up, MP George Galloway, blogged: “The wicked witch is dead. Tramp the dirt down."
Former London Mayor, Labour’s Ken Livingstone said “every real problem we face today” is her legacy.
The National Union of Miners issued a press statement saying “Good Riddance.”
In New Zealand, prominent left-wing blogger Malcolm Harbrow wrote: “Her victims will rightly be lining up to piss on her grave.”
Radio New Zealand reported that she had won three elections, never lost one, and had been Britain’s longest-serving prime minister of the 20th century. But the news-writers couldn’t help but add oxymoronically that she was always very unpopular, despite British polling showing her to be the most popular prime minister since 1945, ahead of even Churchill.
Bryan Gould – who failed to win even 4% of the union vote, and less than 3% of the membership vote when he stood as the Bennite candidate for Labour’s leadership in 1992 – was trotted out in the New Zealand media. He declared that Baroness Thatcher lacked empathy, something at odds with those who actually worked with her and somewhat unlikely given she was able to convert such a big chunk of the skilled working class to the Conservative cause for the first time.
Baroness Thatcher was always lucky that her opponents were so truly awful.
The first were the wet Tory toffs who loathed her working-class background and conviction that free markets deliver growth and social mobility.
The second were the unions and Labour left, represented again so eloquently this week on Bristol and Brixton’s streets.
What bound the landed gentry and left together was their common belief that someone else should pay – middle-class taxpayers – for them to live in an economically unsustainable way.
This is what the haters refuse to acknowledge: that by the late 1970s, the economic model in the UK, Australia and New Zealand had become utterly unsustainable.
The UK had already had to be bailed out by the International Monetary Fund. It was failing to produce things that others wanted to buy. Strikes were endemic. The dead were going unburied.
Baroness Thatcher’s opponents wanted that world to be maintained. The left’s message is and never was anything more than: Give me stuff for free.
That the left’s hatred of Baroness Thatcher is personal rather than policy-based is evident from examining her actual record. It does not support their narrative of a heartless, conservative warmonger.
On personal morality, she was always a liberal, being one of the few Conservatives in the 1960s to vote to decriminalise homosexuality and legalise abortion.
As education minister, she established more comprehensive schools than anyone before or after and doubled the number of students attending them.
For all the left’s wailing of cuts to Britain’s welfare state, total government spending during her tenure as prime minister rose in real terms and fell marginally as a percentage of GDP only because economic growth was faster.
Home ownership went from 55% to 67% and share ownership from 7% to 25%.
Union membership fell from 13 million to 10 million, consistent with the global trend. But there was no calculated attack on unions except for the National Union of Miners, which was funded by Libya and the Soviet Union and whose 1984/85 strike was not about improving pay and conditions but seeking to overthrow the legitimately elected government.
Perhaps surprisingly, Baroness Thatcher was an early warmist, arguing nuclear power should be used to save the planet from carbon dioxide.
On military deployments, she was conservative. Even in the Falklands conflict, she vetoed plans to attack airfields on the Argentine mainland, worrying that would dangerously escalate the situation.
She fell out with Ronald Reagan over both his intervention in Grenada and his raid on Libya, arguing they were inconsistent with international law. Had she and President Reagan been in power in 2001, it is extremely unlikely they would have invaded Afghanistan and unthinkable they would have considered George Bush and Tony Blair’s adventure in Iraq. She was first to pursue peace with Mikhail Gorbachev.
The baroness did, of course, refuse to deal with Gerry Adams, Bobby Sands and other Irish terrorists when they were killing people in central London.
There is really not much here that any thinking leftist should get too upset about.
In 1975, Baroness Thatcher said: "I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left."
She has won the final victory because, 34 years after she took charge of a country ruined by socialism, her repulsive opponents don’t.
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