Huffpost UK uk
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Carla Buzasi Headshot

The Week That Was: Death and Destruction

Posted: Updated:

Is there anything left to say about Margaret Thatcher? In a week when one woman, and one face, dominated not only the headlines, but the streets and parliament, too, it seemed everyone had an opinion on the Iron Lady (even those who weren't entirely sure who she was).

I was born the same year Margaret Thatcher became prime minister, which perhaps doesn't put me in the best place to judge the before and after effect of her time in office. A Conservative government was all I knew until I was old enough to hold a driving license (a license I almost didn't get, thanks to a wrong turn during my test when I swapped listening to the directions, for ranting to the instructor about who he should be voting for in the general election, which took place the same day).

But I was a daughter of teachers rather than miners, and so while I didn't grow up in a Conservative home - quite the opposite - our family life wasn't drastically altered by her policies, give or take the introduction of the National Curriculum and Poll Tax.

Talking this week to someone for whom that's quite the opposite - the son of a northern mining family, life altered beyond comparison due to her premiership - the degree to which today's politicians have changed his view of Margaret Thatcher, was perhaps the most surprising.

In an era when the people who lead the country appear to have little conviction in even their own ideas, limpid personalities and even softer backbones, suddenly the idea of another Maggie doesn't sound quite so bad. If she ran against Cameron now, the bets on who'd win would be easier to call than even Sunday's No. 1 chart hit.

Did she advance women's rights? Not a millimeter. Should that have been her top priority? Maybe not. Was she a feminist? Not in the slightest, no matter what Geri Halliwell might think. All that withstanding, becoming the first female PM, and one taken seriously to boot, undoubtedly proved to women the country over there was nothing their gender couldn't achieve.

However, whilst we should at the very least expect to see another female prime minster in the future, what might be less certain is, that in an era when the Conservative party is packed to its well-dressed rafters with ex-Eton boys, the daughter of a grocer would stand any chance to replicate her rise to the top.

Should we recall parliament at a cost of £2million to eulogise her legacy? I'd argue not, but should we, to coin the Guardian's phrase, be 'dancing on her grave', I'd argue not again.

Love or loathe her - and if this week has taught us anything, it is that for most, it's one or the other with no middle ground - no one can deny her influence on British life.

The Herald in Scotland summed it up most eloquently with its headline: 'Thatcher: Passing of a political giant loved and hated in equal measure.'

Around the Web

Essential Margaret Thatcher | Margaret Thatcher Foundation

Margaret Thatcher - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

BBC History - Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher Biography - Facts, Birthday, Life Story ...

Margaret Thatcher Quotes - BrainyQuote

Margaret Thatcher: plans to build museum as permanent memorial

How Should We Rank Margaret Thatcher?

How Margaret Thatcher left her mark on British culture

Margaret Thatcher and her influence on women

A journey across Margaret Thatcher's Britain