Many of us saw Thatcher as the embodiment of evil. OK well that’s a little exaggeration, but the damage she did to the British culture and its people is irrevocable. In my view she released the demons of greed. She told us it was OK to embrace them; that there was no such thing as society, therefore nobody to be responsible for, except us.
Every person who believed the state should protect the weak and disadvantaged fought against her. But why did we? Did we really care about people? Did we fight because we only saw a war of ideologies, of our class against their class? Or did we fight because of the humanity we saw in others?
Often we become so concerned with political tactics, attempting to convert people to our own view point, looking for power, and defending our own perception of truth, that caring for people, the real reason behind it all, gets lost. We can see it happen not only with politics but with religion too.
Living in Ghana, I have come into contact with people that I would never have met in the UK but would have identified as ‘the enemy’. In my naiveté, I have found them to be really nice people, even if I disagree with their ideologies. I discovered that even they care about people but have an approach to society’s problems that is different from mine.
Someone on facebook said he would dance in the streets when Thatcher died. I won’t. In fact I will probably feel a little sad. He would probably say that Thatcher was a nasty, evil, bitch. Well, OK, but do we want to be the same? Do we want to deny the humanity of Thatcher and in doing so deny our own humanity? How human would we look dancing because of the death of another?
I want to search for those values of compassion, empathy and kindness which I feel got lost when I was political. And I won’t allow the death of Margaret Thatcher to obstruct me in my journey to become more fully human.