RIP Margret Thatcher


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rick sumner

Trad climber
reno, nevada/ wasilla alaska
Apr 8, 2013 - 11:55pm PT
If somehow we could resurrect the Iron Lady in her prime, and install Donini in her cluthes, i bet he would be singing a different tune, or else....

Social climber
Apr 8, 2013 - 11:57pm PT
So Reilly,
When you 'were there during the troubles', what did you think of the 'bloody horrorshow' that was the apartheid imposed on the catholic majority by the British establishment? That which Bobby Sands and the others so bravely gave their lives to end. Do you wish Nelson Mandela would 'rot in hell'?
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Apr 9, 2013 - 12:25am PT
Margret Thatcher was loved and hated deservedly equally along political lines.

Her crowning achievement was not in policy of the day but by causing a sea change in perception.

Leftist ideology has struggled to recover from this comment and it's affect on the world, from Thatcher:

"And you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people and people must look to themselves first. It's our duty to look after ourselves first and then to also look after our neighbor. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There is no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has met an obligation."

I don't mourn Thatcher at all. She chose the path of triumphal small mindedness in gleefully savaging anyone who stood in her way. She had no compassion for divergent opinion, or the wretched she saw as "wets". Inclusiveness could have elevated her beyond what was ultimately using the world stage as a mask for what was local British politics.

We are living with the social echoes of her individualist agenda. It's become cool since the early 90's to see others having a lack of money as having some kind of character flaw.

Big Mike

Trad climber
Apr 9, 2013 - 03:35am PT

A great piece a brit buddy of mine shared today on crackbook

those who admire the deceased public figure (and their politics) aren't silent at all. They are aggressively exploiting the emotions generated by the person's death to create hagiography.

Demanding that no criticisms be voiced to counter that hagiography is to enable false history and a propagandistic whitewashing of bad acts, distortions that become quickly ossified and then endure by virtue of no opposition and the powerful emotions created by death. When a political leader dies, it is irresponsible in the extreme to demand that only praise be permitted but not criticisms.

Whatever else may be true of her, Thatcher engaged in incredibly consequential acts that affected millions of people around the world. She played a key role not only in bringing about the first Gulf War but also using her influence to publicly advocate for the 2003 attack on Iraq. She denounced Nelson Mandela and his ANC as "terrorists", something even David Cameron ultimately admitted was wrong. She was a steadfast friend to brutal tyrants such as Augusto Pinochet, Saddam Hussein and Indonesian dictator General Suharto ("One of our very best and most valuable friends"). And as my Guardian colleague Seumas Milne detailed last year, "across Britain Thatcher is still hated for the damage she inflicted – and for her political legacy of rampant inequality and greed, privatisation and social breakdown."

To demand that all of that be ignored in the face of one-sided requiems to her nobility and greatness is a bit bullying and tyrannical, not to mention warped. As David Wearing put it this morning in satirizing these speak-no-ill-of-the-deceased moralists: "People praising Thatcher's legacy should show some respect for her victims. Tasteless."

London, UK
Apr 9, 2013 - 04:12am PT
When Maggie became PM unemployment in GB exceeded even Obama levels at 13.4%

When she left office it was a bit over 5%

I'd be interested in the source of that data because it is wrong.

Here is UK government data:

Note the more than doubling of unemployment from when she came into power in 1979 to 1984. It still had not returned to 1970s levels when she left office in 1990.

This mass unemployment was directly responsible for the flowering of Brit. climbing talent in the early 1980s. When there is 30% youth unemployment (and far higher in the North of England) throwing your energies into climbing seems a lot more productive than looking for work. Read Andy Cave’s book 'Learning to Breath' for some insight into this. Some of us even washed up on your side of the pond (you can come home now crusher!).

I wouldn’t be surprised if something similar is happening in Spain right now (current epicentre of world rock-climbing, youth unemployment now around 50%).

Social climber
Falls Church, VA
Apr 9, 2013 - 06:38am PT
maggie: the last of the grown-ups

we need fewer "puerile" politicians

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Apr 9, 2013 - 07:52am PT
Duncan...You will have to excuse some of our posters here whose world news comes from Fox news and fear...RJ

Social climber
Falls Church, VA
Apr 9, 2013 - 09:32am PT
celebating her death?

"What exactly were they celebrating? Thatcher hadn’t been in power in over 22 years. An entire generation has gone by since Thatcher left office, and the Tories have held power only briefly since. If these people are so miserable and put her in the center of that misery, perhaps they should ask why their lot in life hasn’t improved since she left office.

Normally, this kind of celebration takes place when brutal dictators die while still clinging to power, not when elected leaders pass away 22 years after they honored the will of the electorate. That’s a key point, too — Thatcher didn’t seize power and rig elections to keep it, like the mullahs of Iran or (arguably) Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. The voters of the UK made her Prime Minister, and kept her in place as she rolled out the policies that returned the British to economic, military, and diplomatic strength. If these ghouls want to protest, they should probably protest their own people instead of a long-retired popular leader whose place in history won’t be threatened..."

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 9, 2013 - 10:06am PT
Thatcher didn’t seize power and rig elections to keep it,

Like the Bush family did. There I fixed it for you.

Trad climber
Apr 9, 2013 - 11:57am PT
Comments from all over the globe show how polarizing a figure she was. She may get credit for turning the UK economy around but shouldn't a lot of that go to the discovery of North Sea oil? That was one thing that really saved the UK.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Apr 9, 2013 - 12:52pm PT
"People praising Thatcher's legacy should show some respect for her victims. Tasteless."

Thanks Jim and Mike, for bringing some perspective to the table,
most Americans never hear that
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 9, 2013 - 01:02pm PT
My folks taught me long ago to not speak ill of the dead.


Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 9, 2013 - 01:37pm PT
Her "victims?" What about the victims of those she fought? The British coal mines were nothing more than a welfare scheme for a well-connected constituency of Labour, as were so many other government enterprises of the time. Those working in areas that were pulling their weight were being dragged down by the dead weight of those sectors kept afloat in spite of their contributions to the economy. The British economy was heading toward disaster and international irrelevance, because those contributing were producing less than the subsidized were receiving.

Thatcher broke that bondage to the second coming of mercantilism, and that policy shift transformed the British economy's trajectory for the good of the country. Those working in industries that were wards of the state will always hate her, because she forced them to adapt to economic realities, rather than to live off the earnings of others. That will be the case with every leader who ends favored treatment based on non-economic criteria.

National Leftist Radio really outdid itself today on Morning Edition. Its only comment on Thatcher's death was to quote a miner bitter about her insistence that coal mines operate at a profit. He said, in effect "That made it personal," as if the mines' subsidies from profitable industries wasn't personal to the payers.

Meanwhile, we get to watch how the dangers about which she warned, all of which can be summarized as running out of other peoples' money, come home to roost on so many of the western welfare states.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 9, 2013 - 01:50pm PT
She wasn't loved by all--JD

My favorite verse is all of these,

you slimy piece of cheese.

Werner would jump.


Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Apr 9, 2013 - 01:54pm PT
imagine how much toilet paper she used,

Big Mike

Trad climber
Apr 9, 2013 - 01:55pm PT

My folks taught me long ago to not speak ill of the dead.

From the same article

This demand for respectful silence in the wake of a public figure's death is not just misguided but dangerous. That one should not speak ill of the dead is arguably appropriate when a private person dies, but it is wildly inappropriate for the death of a controversial public figure, particularly one who wielded significant influence and political power.

Tellingly, few people have trouble understanding the need for balanced commentary when the political leaders disliked by the west pass away. Here, for instance, was what the Guardian reported upon the death last month of Hugo Chavez:

To the millions who detested him as a thug and charlatan, it will be occasion to bid, vocally or discreetly, good riddance."

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Apr 9, 2013 - 02:09pm PT
Saw her speak in 94'

A great experience.

Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 9, 2013 - 02:13pm PT
BigM,, Yes you make points, but to compare hugo chavez to a Margret Thatcher is stretching it. Hug chavez was a dictator over the worst homicide rates in the world...His own people..

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Apr 9, 2013 - 02:29pm PT
Time for a Ska resurgence!!!
Big Mike

Trad climber
Apr 9, 2013 - 02:56pm PT
Ron, just an article i quoted. No disrespect is intended.

The last point is valid though, the article continues, and says;

Nobody, at least that I know of, objected to that observation on the ground that it was disrespectful to the ability of the Chavez family to mourn in peace. Any such objections would have been invalid. It was perfectly justified to note that, particularly as the Guardian also explained that "to the millions who revered him – a third of the country, according to some polls – a messiah has fallen, and their grief will be visceral." Chavez was indeed a divisive and controversial figure, and it would have been reckless to conceal that fact out of some misplaced deference to the grief of his family and supporters. He was a political and historical figure and the need to accurately portray his legacy and prevent misleading hagiography easily outweighed precepts of death etiquette that prevail when a private person dies.

Exactly the same is true of Thatcher. There's something distinctively creepy - in a Roman sort of way - about this mandated ritual that our political leaders must be heralded and consecrated as saints upon death. This is accomplished by this baseless moral precept that it is gauche or worse to balance the gushing praise for them upon death with valid criticisms. There is absolutely nothing wrong with loathing Margaret Thatcher or any other person with political influence and power based upon perceived bad acts, and that doesn't change simply because they die. If anything, it becomes more compelling to commemorate those bad acts upon death as the only antidote against a society erecting a false and jingoistically self-serving history.
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