it’s that day at last

for a long time i thought i would be elated today. when the witch was finally gone i would celebrate for and with all my people. and yet…

how can you celebrate the release of a baffled old woman from dementia? punishment enough for most sins. if that wasn’t enough, perhaps it was fitting that she was punished by becoming an irrelevance and knowing it.

i hope that what i felt as hatred has now changed. but this post isn’t about her; i will try to keep this space free of all that nonsense a little longer. this is about compassion.

gone are the days when i stood on the picket line. that all feels a long time ago. i haven’t been to a march or demonstration since the invasion of iraq. these days i can try and fight for my clients but i wonder if the bigger picture tends to escape me.

but on a day when the minister for persecuting the disabled introduces changes that makes one woman say ”genuine people with genuine disabilities are terrified’ (and i assume she wasn’t sitting in that wheelchair just to amuse herself) if there is one thing that can save us it’s compassion. active and powerful, a real feeling for and with the needs and lives of those around us – the opposite of everything the cult of the now late thatcher glorified. a simple human feeling that joins us all. if anything can dance – maybe not on her grave, but at least on her legacy of despair – it’s compassion.

i hope i can find in myself some of that compassion for her and the human suffering of her demise. i hope that love and care for my fellow humans will keep driving me forward now that my hatred has fizzled out. and i hope that if enough of us realise that compassion is power not weakness we can fight for fairness and make changes that will erase her legacy as completely as if she had never existed.

great thing, hope.


5 responses to “it’s that day at last

  1. it has been interesting to read the responses of my blog pals since the news broke this morning. yours has been one of the most thoughtful. yes, sugar, compassion is power. xoxo

  2. yeah, i dunno… he said eloquently. i think i’ve been hating and waiting for so long it may just have fizzled out. or maybe i grew up a bit and realised you can’t allow them the power of defining yourself in reaction to them (which is what the british political scene has done of course). and the way things are in this country and the attacks on the poor and weak coupled with the demonisation of anyone who even looks like claiming a benefit, we are going to need to work hard to restore even basic levels of humanity.

    i saw lots of ex-miners being overjoyed and i know exactly what they were feeling. they were more directly involved of course and to anyone criticising them for dancing on her grave i would just say they need to have their communities torn apart, to know the police are now an enemy, to be arrested for the offence of being one of four men in a car driving up the A1, to be trampled underfoot and beaten in a way we associate with dictatorships and then hear her say it is in defence of freedom. i think most people treated like that would have little sympathy with her.

    i was impressed by the measured but realistic view of ken livingstone on the damage she did to british society. i was struck very powerfully by what was actually said when a certain country praised her as being much more helpful than brown and blair – the country was zimbabwe and the comment came from mugabe’s spokesman. telling? hell yeah! and the son of oliver tambo said the following, which is so good i quote it in full:

    ‘My gut reaction now is what it was at the time when she said my father was the leader of a terrorist organisation. I don’t think she ever got it that every day she opposed sanctions, more people were dying, and that the best thing for the assets she wanted to protect was democracy.

    Many lives were lost. It’s a shame that we could never call her one of the champions of the liberation struggle. Normally we say that when one of us goes, the ANC ancestors will meet them at the pearly gates and give them a standing ovation. I think it’s quite likely that when Margaret Thatcher reaches the pearly gates, the ANC will boycott the occasion.’

    me, i’m not so sure she’ll be waiting at the pearly gates… satan must be relieved he is just a construct designed to keep the little people in awe of their masters because otherwise he would have his hands full today.

  3. Very measured. Hope you will forgive another point of view.What politically polarised folk never realise is that the vast majority of politicians are doing their best for the people of this country according to what they believe. Mrs T was no different, and although I hear what you say about the mining communities, I think it is wrong to characterise her as evil. It is true that she was very successful in achieving her aims through the single minded pursuit of them, and that in that success she brought great suffering to some communities. But was she any more evil than any other free market Tory? Not in my book. Was she more evil than Stalin or Lenin or Trotsky? Not in my book. Was she more evil than Blair or Brown? I don’t believe so. I believe she was doing what she perceived to be the best for the people and country of Britain. In Poland she is regarded as one of 3 people to bring them freedom-the other 2 being Walesa and Pope John Paul II (another icon of hate for the left). Don’t tell them about the ANC boycott!

  4. doc – you know you are welcome here any time; no need to be forgiven for expressing a view. nice to have you back. now …

    …just a few points on what you said.

    i agree i would fall into the category of ‘politically polarised’. (i may even be some kind of dictionary definition for it and cross-referenced under biased and polemical – though as so often i probably flatter myself)

    i don’t know whether i accept she was ‘doing [her] best for the people of this country according to what she believe[d]’. however even if she was i certainly don’t believe that excuses the damage done by someone acting in that way. (we probably disagree about damage but that’s not the point here).

    if your views are hateful and wrong how can it be a defence that you believed in them?

    if your views are right, how can it be a defence that by pursuing a good end you caused chaos and destruction? if you are to be judged (and i believe all political figures ARE there to be judged – it goes with the job) then surely you must be judged principally on what you do rather than what you intend. mick philpotts was quite rightly judged on what he did not what he intended. that’s a bit unfair and i’m not saying there is a comparison.

    i say your logic is weak there.

    and to ask whether she is any more evil than any other free market tory isn’t the strongest defence. and to ask whether she is any more evil than stalin? well i wouldn’t want to be ruled by him either thanks. i think that’s pretty damn evil.

    on the polish question, she was notoriously selective in her views on which kinds of people deserved freedom – good in poland, bad in south africa and south yorkshire. we all deserve freedom. and some of her actions, notably (but not only) the politicisation of the police during the miners’ strike, trampled on freedom, destroyed basic human rights and threatened the rule of law. lech walesa was the only trade unionist she ever had time for. trade unionists are much more convenient when they are demanding their rights somewhere else.

    john paul II a hate icon for the left? not that i’ve noticed. i imagine many lefties were (like me) concerned by what we see as the conservative repressive character of the catholic church especially as epitomised by the vatican with its fabulous wealth. i imagine we were opposed to (inter alia) its views on homosexuality, women, reproductive rights especially in the world’s poorest nations. he did appear to hold back the church from a more modern ‘sensible’ viewpoint, but i don’t really see him as a hate icon. beyond my usual mistrust of anyone connected with organised religion he kinda became part of the scenery. and he did seem to play a part in the democritisation of poland. which is cool.

    and now a really unfair point. i didn’t say – or even imply – in that post that thatcher was evil. i bet i have elsewhere though… so i’ll give you that.

    anyway you see what happens when you accuse me of being measured.

    really nice to have you back, though. thanks for taking the trouble to comment.

  5. and just struck me that dryouknowwho is a pretty clever handle. have a round of applause.

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