1. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    RIP Margaret Thatcher and my youth

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by madhoca, Apr 10, 2013.

    I guess for the many younger people on the forum, many of you from the US, Margaret Thatcher is just a name that you may know little (or nothing) about. For my generation (mid 50s) she WAS Britain all through my student years and time working in London as a young adult. The past few days, I can't stop thinking about those times and what a profound impact she had (for good or bad, depending on your politics, I suppose). And I'm feeling a bit nostalgic for those days.

    Reagan, Thatcher and Gorbachov together (and Girl Power with Bananarama and the Spice Girls)--it seems that they symbolise the late 80s and early 90s. Is this a purely British idea?

    I don't want this to become over-political...I just wondered if there were 3/4 people/groups you think could symbolise the millenium years, say, 1995-2010? I don't see Blair having a ceremonial funeral in St Paul's Cathedral when he goes, somehow. Maybe it's events more than people that will represent that era?
     
  2. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    There were and still are a lot of Thatcher -haters out there, too. Like Ronald Reagan, she's particularly romanticized right now, as part of this booming nostalgia for the 1980s we seem to be experiencing. The feelings about her, as opposed to Reagan, however, are even more mixed and complex, given that she was the first female PM.

    As far as who might represent the late 90's and first decade of this century? Hard to say. The information age has really changed things -- it changed with television in the 1960s, and the distrust of government and oil upheavals in the 1970s, but these days, there's not one iota of information about any public figure that's private, anymore. It's not as easy to hold up a single figure as really heroic or even emblematic.

    I thought this even with respect to our celebrities -- when Michael Jackson died, I realized kids didn't really have a good idea about who he was or just how famous he was. There are more famous people these days, so there aren't many people who have a level of fame that truly exceeds the level that could be attained by almost anyone.

    I'm not sure political figures would truly symbolize the time period. I'd suggest maybe technology-related entrepreneurs -- Gates, Jobs, Zuckerburg. Hard to limit it to 3 or 4, especially world-wide.
     
  3. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    RIP Thatcher. I'm more sympathetic to her policies than most of my age group appear to be. I'm from that generation born just after the 1980s. I can't say I'm her biggest fan, though, RIP all the same. Politics is one thing, but it still is the death of a person.
     
  4. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    has there ever been a western leader's death that sparked street parties up and down the country? I'm not sure even Hitler's demise was as celebrated.

    80's political nostalgia, hmmm... miners, trade unions, riots, Northern Ireland conflict, pinochet, malvinas, aparthied, live aid being taxed, stolen baby milk, oh to be back in the good old days of Thatcherism...
     
  5. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't believe Hitler was even afforded a state funeral. Different age, generations, I suppose
     
  6. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thatcher isn't getting a state funeral either - I think they are calling it a military funeral.
     
  7. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not sure everyone was even convinced he was really dead. I don't think you can even compare the two. The chaos at the end of the war would pretty much have ruined the feasibility of such a funeral.
     
  8. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know your age Liz, or the coverage on TV that US news channels afforded the Thatcher years at the time but youtube will show you Northern Ireland, the English mining strikes, the riots in London, Liverpool and Glasgow - I think Germany was far less battle-scarred and far more organised come the end.

    As far as we know Hitler committed suicide in a trench and torched by a comrade, bit like being told Bin Laden was dropped in the sea...
     
  9. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    A couple of differences, though -- Thatcher didn't die in office, so funerals wouldn't be quite the same. Also, she'd been ill for quite some time, so this wasn't really unexpected.

    As bad as things were in the 80s, and the criticisms many have of Thatcher and her policies and handling of issues, I really don't think you can compare Britain in the 80s with Germany in 1945. You might argue the damage was in some ways as bad, but it's just not the same. Germany was in a terrible state at the end of the war. Hitler saw the handwriting on the wall when the Allies closed in. Britain and the U.S. were okay with allowing the Soviets to exact their own revenge on the populace. If you were to be picked up and dropped into any year in any place on earth sometime in the 20th Century, 1945 Germany would well merit consideration of the list of places you'd want to avoid.

    And yes, Hitler's demise did lead to quite a few conspiracy theories.

    (BTW: I'm 43.)
     
  10. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    maybe not mainland Britain but Northern Ireland was an absolute warzone, 3000 dead in 20 years with Thatcher ruling over 11 of those years and the other 9 in the cabinet - compare populations of Europe during WW2 and Britain during the 70s/80s and the percentages might add up.

    43 this year
     
  11. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hitler

    Hello ChicagoLiz, Erebh

    Yes, was fatuous comparison.

    Much bombast these ways with the tributes broadcast from both Chambers of the House. Couple of good speeches - Malcolm Rifkind delightful wit, Tebbit withering, combative. Ashdown windbag as ever. SNP guy - in his spurs - 'the people of Scotland will never forgive the poll tax.' Mmm. So you see, domestic scene. Internationally end of cold war, Reagan, Gorbachev much significance, granted.
     
  12. Dante Dases
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    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't try to compare Thatcher to Hitler, nor Britain in the 1980s to Germany in 1945. Completely different things, and utterly unsuitable comparisons. If I see another comparison, fatuous or not, I will remove the offending posts.

    Keep this thread civil. Thatcher gets passions raised on both sides and polarises opinion to the point where people don't argue and instead conduct slanging matches.
     
  13. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Delete to your heart's content

    I didn't contribute to, or see anything uncivil. Passions weren't raised and there were no slanging matches.


    I thought writers were above that on this forum...
     
  14. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Except that Reagan had a better publicist, he and Thatcher could have been separated-at-birth twins. What I find most intriguing is how people could see the same evidence and come to such completely different conclusions. As you say, Dante, "Thatcher gets passions raised on both sides and polarises opinion." The question that continues to boggle is, how does that work?
     
  15. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I didn't see that, either. Being an American, with no particular connection to Britain, I don't have any real passionate feelings about Thatcher. I have much more concrete and very definite opinions about Reagan. Love her or hate her, she was a significant figure of the late twentieth century.
     
  16. Ian J.
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    Ian J. Active Member

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    Every other forum I'm on which has had a 'Thatcher' thread has had it locked due to disagreements over respect and vitriol, so I wonder how long this one will last?
     
  17. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    that's the thing Ian, I am quite passionate about the effects Thatcher had on my country however, this is one forum where I've held my whist.

    I thought this thread was quite calm and controlled for a subject that has caused such outrage and vitriol while still garnering enough love/praise/respect to last for almost 3 terms in office.

    Maybe Dante is worried about Godwin's Law but like I said previous, shouldn't writers be able to talk about any subject? Isn't philosophy and discussion the lifeblood of the written word? The ability to touch on taboo without fear, without damnation. Shouldn't we be encouraged to share emotion and study reactions to different subjects from people of different backgrounds. Thanks to free speach and the gift of the internet the planet has been shrunk to the size of a laptop and views are shared within seconds across the globe. Should this be taken away from us?

    This thread has been nothing but courteous but if there are certain topics not to be discussed or certain comparisons that can't be made, maybe they should be in the forum rules.
     
  18. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Being born in 1989, and in the wrong country entirely, I don't really know that much about Thatcher or her policies. From what I heard, she was not one to compromise on anything.

    Well, RIP, Thatcher. At least you're free from the dementia. :[ What a horrible way to go.
     
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  19. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Not just Dante, me too. Being responsible for an international community as we mods are, we have to take precautions. What Dante meant was not that this thread has not been uncivil, just a friendly request to keep it that way.

    As Ian J. has pointed out this is a divisive issue. So we cool k?
     
  20. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    yeah, we real cool bro
     
  21. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Really? Comparing the Iron Lady with Hitler?

    Shameful.
     
  22. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    comparing celebrations in death...

    and as you mention Iron Lady; Iron maybe but lady?
     
  23. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    That was what they called her. A woman who would never compromise, never budge an inch.

    And I'm fairly confident there were a lot of celebrations at the end of WWII by the Allies when Hitler, the Japanese, and Mussolini were all defeated.

    But their celebration was justified, as it was literally a fight to bring down evil regimes. Celebrations over Thatcher's death? What the hell does that solve? To quote a post from another forum, it does not revoke her policies, it does not undo any damage she may have done/did do. All that "YAY THATCHER DEAD!" song and dance is doing is celebrating that an old lady died of dementia. If they wanted to celebrate, they should've done it when she left office in 1990.

    As unpopular as she likely was, it does not make anyone a better person to go dancing up and down the streets celebrating her passing. It makes them look like a colossal asshole. If you want to celebrate, fine. Celebrate in the privacy of your own home, but don't do it in public.
     
  24. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    Dude, not necessary.

    Ad hominem attacks have no place in a debate. Leave them to the politicians.
     
  25. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Mrs Thatcher was more like an American Libertarian than a traditional British conservative. Comparing her to Hitler just does not make sense. This is something I can't stand about people jumping on this anti-Thatcher bandwagon. It's making her seem worse than she really was. it's making her seem like a devil, and she just wasn't.

    Oh, and before someone says I don't know what I'm talking about, I'm a Northerner. I know exactly what the effect of her policies were on my region.
     
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