Clearly it's wrong to speak ill of the dead... at least it is if you're operating one of the myriad London-based news channels, which are currently hurling a tsunami of rosy-hued (or is that 'balanced'?) tributes at viewers and readers about the death of the notable former UK prime minister, Margaret Thatcher.
It's fair to say Margaret Thatcher divides opinion. Here 'Up North' for example (where there a few reporters and even fewer national media outlets, but where most of the people actually live) there seems to be two schools of thought. Some believe she was a terrible leader and that, through the deregulation of the financial system and privatisation of utilities, she encouraged crippling personal debt and engendered the misplaced faith in the property and stock markets that was the primary cause of the current economic mess we are mired in. On the other side some people think she was the epitome of pure evil.
Ever the diplomat, I'm going to do my damnedest to reach a consensus.
Margaret Thatcher was, unequivocally, a catastrophe.
She was very lucky though, becoming PM at a time when change was desperately needed. She just made all the wrong kind of changes. Prior to the war with Argentina, Thatcher was rightly the most unpopular prime minister since '45, but she rode the populist wave provided by victory in the Falkland to push through a raft of policies that ultimately paved the way for the current global economic crisis.
The society and culture she created has made it impossible for us to address any of the genuine global challenges we face - population growth, food and energy security, climate change - due an inculcation of the false belief that markets can and will sort out every problem.
She did increase wealth. For some people. We are in a recession like no other: GDP is much higher than it was in the 80s - or even the 90s - but the gap between rich and poor has never been greater. And I genuinely believe we will not recover from the current slump without a radical change in political and economic thinking.
The tributes in the BBC and the rest of the almost exclusively right wing media, point to the changes in industrial relations, economic growth and the end of the cold war. I say that would have happened anyway and point to... well just so many things that are wrong with the world we live in, that I'd exceed the HuffPost word limit before I'd really get going.
Other than that, I thought she was brilliant.
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