To wonder if Mrs T would have been loathed less if she was a man?

(106 Posts)
Lucyellensmum95 Wed 10-Apr-13 08:53:32

I was a teenager in the Thatcher years, many of my school friends were the children of miners and they suffered serious hardship. Then there was the poll-tax, reposessions, etc etc....... So, im not saying she was great. But no worse than Tony Blair following bush blindly into iraq to look for non existent weapons of mass destruction, no worse than Cunty Cameron (who actually i dislike quite deeply because his incompetence and indecision is destroying our country), but I am sure that when he dies no one will be dancing on his grave, he will probably be long forgotten (hopefully - like a bad dream).

It doesn't matter which party is in power, there will be people who dislike them, people who like them.

I think it is wrong that Mrs T is to be given a state funeral, i thiought it was wrong that Diana got one - its a waste of tax payers money and well, a bit naff really.

Does anyone else wonder if it is because, regardless of her policies, she was a strong woman (no one can deny that) that people hold her up as such a hate figure - I think it is unfair. I didn't like her - but all this glee at her death is quite frankly, embarrasing.

Lottashakingoinon Wed 10-Apr-13 08:57:44

I bow to no-one in my full on hatred lack of regard for Thatcher, but I have a nasty feeling you may be onto something there Lucy. I remember a woman Labour MP speaking after Thatcher resigned saying of course she was evil and divisive and all the rest of it but that there was something uncomfortably gleeful about the reaction of male MPs that would not have been there if Thatcher had been a man.

Oh well...

AliceWChild Wed 10-Apr-13 09:02:38

YANBU. This dawned on me a few years ago. Depressing it took so long to spot it. Very useful to have a woman scapegoat on so many levels.

Nancy66 Wed 10-Apr-13 09:04:40

Yes, I believe she definitely would.

As much as people say they hate Cameron I can't see there being parties in the street and people banging on about their joy when he croaks.

BoneyBackJefferson Wed 10-Apr-13 09:18:51

I am somewhat amazed that you think that anyhting that cameron has done and what blair did are anywhere near the scale of what thatcher did.

niceguy2 Wed 10-Apr-13 09:20:44

Yep, i'm glad I'm not the only one thinking the same.

I can't help but wonder if given prevailing attitudes of the time that the likes of Scargill and the other union leaders who were used to being King Cock around the country thought that the little woman would cave in.

HollyBerryBush Wed 10-Apr-13 09:23:42

We can pretend society has moved on but it hasn't. On the whole men don't like powerful women, and women don't like them much either.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 10-Apr-13 09:25:00

YANBU, I think it would be very different if she had been a man. For lots of reasons.

I certainly don't think that anything she did was worse than sending us into an illegal war for no good reason. I'm someone that thinks that Blair was a good PM on many things, but without a doubt, a war with Iraq was far worse than Thatcher doing things that needed to be done.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 10-Apr-13 09:25:02

Yes, I think you're right, OP. It's disgusting really to scapegoat anybody but the unconcealed revelry in Margaret Thatcher's death is obscene. I keep reading such ill-formed rantings from people who don't even know why they 'hate' her. So sheeplike and embarrassing.

I also can't help feeling that standards of behaviour are plummeting... people used to keep their counsel where death and funerals were concerned, it was the 'done' thing. Those brakes aren't in place anymore it seems and, if idiots can blurt out whatever silly thoughts are in their heads for one person, they can and will do it against others too because code of decent conduct is either there or it isn't.

Lemonylemon Wed 10-Apr-13 09:25:19

"I can't help but wonder if given prevailing attitudes of the time that the likes of Scargill and the other union leaders who were used to being King Cock around the country thought that the little woman would cave in."

Totally agree with that one. We're talking 20 years since she left Downing Street and 30 odd since she came to power. Things have changed a lot since then.....

I actually like the fact that she took them on.....

Maggie111 Wed 10-Apr-13 09:28:09

No you're wrong - she was in power for 3 terms and was the figurehead for a lot of poverty and civil unrest... Whether she was right or wrong for all that is different. I don't think it has sod all to do with being a woman.

Tony Blair and Cameron are still miles away from upsetting as many people.

It's probably more that she was a Tory than a Woman if anything.

Nancy66 Wed 10-Apr-13 09:34:29

Tony Blair dragged the country into an illegal war that a million people protested about not wanting - the biggest ever demo in this country.

He lied about the reasons for the war which led to the deaths of thousands. And god knows what the true story is behind the death of Dr Kelly.

I'd say he was far worse.

gordyslovesheep Wed 10-Apr-13 09:43:54

Not to me - I dislike because of her actions and her policies and her legacy of selfishness - her gender has nowt to do with it - I dislike the current lot as much

CloudsAndTrees Wed 10-Apr-13 09:46:04

Tony Blair and Cameron are still miles away from upsetting as many people.

As many people in this country maybe. But I expect all the people who lost their lives or their loved ones would have take the chance to be an unemployed miner over what they suffered any day.

dizzyhoneybee Wed 10-Apr-13 09:48:09

YANBU. I think there is some truth in what you say.

HollyBerryBush Wed 10-Apr-13 09:48:09

Blair is like the Teflon Man. Nothing quite sticks to him or that wife of his.

thermalsinapril Wed 10-Apr-13 09:48:54

YANBU. Tory men get away with exactly the same kind of things all the time.

LifeofPo Wed 10-Apr-13 09:49:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PrincessFiorimonde Wed 10-Apr-13 10:00:29

I think Thatcher was a dreadful prime minister and that we are still living with the ghastly legacy of her premiership (e.g. deregulation of banks, sales of council housing and a ban on building new council properties).

Nevertheless, I've always thought there's a special level of vitriol reserved for her because she was a woman. I think Lottashaking put it well earlier.

Tanith Wed 10-Apr-13 10:01:21

I don't think it's helpful to compare Prime Ministers, since they are in power under different circumstances.

Had Norman Tebbitt been Prime Minister at the time instead of Deputy, I believe he would have attracted exactly the same responses.

I think a man would have been loathed just as much, but probably in a somewhat different way. IMO because Thatcher was a woman, and had to face down a parliament full of men, she encouraged a sort of Gloriana cult like Elizabeth I that caused some of her male colleagues to develop a kind of crush on her. When she fell from grace, they were merciless as a result.

I live in NZ which endured the same reforms in the 1980s. If that government is reviled any less than Thatcher, it is only because people here are more likely to believe there was no alternative.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 10-Apr-13 10:08:57

There's a very interesting thread on this same theme in feminism.

mindosa Wed 10-Apr-13 10:12:08

Nothing to do with being a woman, more to do with her policies

inde Wed 10-Apr-13 10:13:04

For that theory to be correct you would have to explain why as many women hated her as men. I am male and the one think I liked about her being Prime Minister at the time was that she was a woman and proved that women where capable of doing the job. Previous to the seventies I think a lot of people thought that it was a man's job and always would be. Whether she did much for women or not we can't take that away from her. She proved to any doubters that a woman could do any job.

Lucyellensmum95 Wed 10-Apr-13 10:23:00

Maud - the feminists scare me smile

inde - that is an interesting response, but i actually find that women actually do very good job of disliking powerful women - jealousy?

Did she prove it though inde? She didn't do a very good job did she?

HappilyChatterly Wed 10-Apr-13 10:24:48

I think when George W Bush dies there will be a similar reaction in America. They were similar in some ways, causing recession, against socialism,starting a war that was very polarising and very expensive for the country. Or to be a bit more objective, they were both loved by the right and held up as the saviours of freedom, and they were hated by the left and called evil, with blood on their hands.

So no, I dont think its because she was a woman, if anything I think that would cause people to take her less seriously.


EuroShaggleton Wed 10-Apr-13 10:31:05

I think you are right OP, and I put it down to expectations. She did some very harsh and unfluffy things. She acted in a way that was much further away from what was expected of women at the time. With a man I don't think there would have been such a gulf between the expectation and the reality.

Branleuse Wed 10-Apr-13 10:33:07

no, i think many men are loathed. I Hate Cameron too

BoneyBackJefferson Wed 10-Apr-13 10:38:29

"*Tony Blair and Cameron are still miles away from upsetting as many people.*

As many people in this country maybe."

I think that this is a major point, Thatcher upset people in ths country, as an international politician she was very good.

The reason why people arn't clambering over anyone to get to blair is because his war didn't affect the local population, I can't think of any politician that has done so much damage to the UK infrastructure and community before or since Thatcher.

I also think that saying that people hate her more because she is a woman belittles what they went through.

I was too young to vote when Mrs T was in power so don't remember much about her - and have watched the documentaries about her over the last couple of days with interest. From them I honestly cannot see why she was so hated by so many. I know there is probably no such thing as a completely un-biased summary of her time in Office, but from what I have seen, the country was in one hell of a state before she came to power - the unions did hold us to ransom, and the heavy undustries were unsustainable long-term.

From what I've seen and read, Mrs Thatcher only pushed ahead with policies that were inevitable and had, in some cases, already been started by the previous government.

So I can't help wondering if the fact that she was a women had plenty to do with it.

Grammaticus Wed 10-Apr-13 10:44:24

There is definitely truth in what you say. Also lots of the gleeful people have no idea what they are talking about, as the Daily Mash points out :

ComposHat Wed 10-Apr-13 10:44:48

It is a moot point as no other politician - male or female- has wrought so much misery during their leadership. Blair had the political good sense to wreck other people's countries woth his illegal and immoral wars.

niceguy2 Wed 10-Apr-13 10:46:59

Exactly flump.

Those industries which died were already pretty much dead. They were zombies being supported by taxpayers money. Literally billions were spent propping up unprofitable industries because politician's were too scared of the unions. It literally bankrupted the nation. And what did the unions want? More subsidies, higher pay and someone else to pay.

The unions literally held us to ransom and much of the venom seems to be because Mrs T refused to pay the ransom. The miners stupidly and blindly followed a man who had his own political agenda. It's Scargill who should be blamed. Not MT.

If a man holds a gun to your head demanding a ransom and you refuse to pay. Who is the unreasonable one? You or the man holding the gun?

chibi Wed 10-Apr-13 10:54:48

she had a lot of hateful policies. the language used about her is interesting- she is vile, a bitch, a witch. people feel sorry for her children.

i can't remember similarly gendered language used about other leaders, and there have been much hated one, if not here then elsewhere.

i think hatred of her is understandable, and justifiable, for some.

however the way people talk about that hatred says more about themselves, than it does about her

BoneyBackJefferson Wed 10-Apr-13 10:55:15

Thatcher had tried to put forward a different way of closing the pits that would have been less destructive.

Scargill turned it down flat.

The difference between scargill and Thatcher is that scargill is seen as trying to protect the community.

If we are going to use a Kidnapper reference we may as well use freedom fighter/terrorist because its all about perspective.

Genuinely chibi - what do you see as her 'hateful policies'?

TroublesomeEx Wed 10-Apr-13 10:58:24

I agree.

The thing is, other male PMs might well be equally unpopular, but is the level of vitriol and hatred levelled at them so many years later still as strong? No, because they have been and gone and replaced by a number of other men.

She stands alone not only because she was a woman, but because she was the only woman.

KatyTheCleaningLady Wed 10-Apr-13 10:58:55

I noticed Russell Brand's editorial spent a lot of time on the topic of her as a mother, how maternal she may have been, etc.

That's definitely unfair. A "good mother" would almost certainly be seen as unfit for leadership.

lljkk Wed 10-Apr-13 10:59:24

Her Gender inspired as much devotion as loathing, it worked both ways. Many men found a woman in power extremely sexy, hence part of why she had such unreserved loyalty and open admiration from many colleagues.

I loathed Ronald Reagan. Nothing to do with gender, he was just a bastard.

lljkk Wed 10-Apr-13 11:04:13

Did anyone watch the Jon Snow rerun, Maggie & me? I especially loved the story about how the Queen & Maggie would squabble over who got to do the washing up: they saw it as a rare privilege. But it was exactly the sort of thing they couldn't let get out among the gossip-mongers or it would have undermined their positions as women in power.

There won't be quite the same reaction to GWBush death because Americans have too much respect for the Office of President. Heck, we didn't even have much to say when Tricky Dick died. Hence why the folk who hated RR didn't get heard from after he died, even though so many of us thought he was an incompetent fool controlled by the worst forces of his political party.

Obama maybe, sadly, will get this kind of reaction after his death. The Zealots truly think he's a Devil Incarnate and his supporters aren't Zealots who will rise in kind.

chibi Wed 10-Apr-13 11:05:04

i am not the best person to ask - i did not grow up under thatcherism. the managed decline of liverpool, and the poll tax come to mind.

someone else could discuss this in more detail.

for me it is not about her legacy or whether people ought to hate her-there have been hated politician before- but the language used about that hate

thebody Wed 10-Apr-13 11:06:43

There is another thread on brands in my opinion mysoginistic article.

Of course Margaret thatcher is reviled more as a woman.

If she had been a man she would have been strong, resolute, determined etc.

As one who can remember the country in 1979 Margaret did much good and much not so good as did BLAIRE and BROWN.

ComposHat Wed 10-Apr-13 11:08:58

I honestly cannot see why she was so hated by so many.

Well count yourself lucky you didn't grow up where I did then. I started school in 1984 and at that point my entire family (with the exception of my Gran) were either unemployed or on strike. One of my earliest memories was them bringing the scab bus through our town.

If you'd seen the pit (which was the sole reason your hometown existed) close despite still being profitable and having huge coal reserves left and your Uncle still not able to make a wage that matches what he earned in 1989 when the pit closed, you might have an idea. (Mind you he was one of the lucky ones, plenty of the people he worked with have been unable to get a permanent job since.(

Or the people of my age, who left school with no hope of ever getting a job that would provide them with a decent living standard or getting a secure place to live as all the council houses were sold off. I don't think it is a coincidence that a load of my ex-classmates ended up on heroin, faced with a future like that.

Or when you go back to your said hometown and the shops are boarded up and you only see old people or the unemployed who have no way out (Like a lot of my peers I left as soon as I could) and realise the town is still in its death throes, you may understand why so many of us cheered the death of Thatcher on Monday night.

niceguy2 Wed 10-Apr-13 11:09:22

The difference between scargill and Thatcher is that scargill is seen as trying to protect the community.

Scargill was trying to 'protect the community' at the cost of everyone else. He didn't care if the mines were unprofitable. As he said, he didn't care if the losses were 'limitless' as far as he was concerned.

Thatcher was PM and had the entire nation to think about. That means she had to consider everyone else who was expected to contribute ever more taxes to support a bunch of miners who had outdated working practices, unprofitable and only still in business because the govt was literally pouring billions of pounds of subsidies into their industry and forcing companies to buy UK coal.

maillotjaune Wed 10-Apr-13 11:10:57

Possibly, by some people. There are people (men and women) who dislike strong women, but there are plenty of better reasons to hate Thatcher than that she was a woman.

I feel the same about Cameron and Osbourne. I hate them all for their policies (and as a politically aware teenager throughout Thatcher's premiership yes I do remember what she did).

Completely agree that the language that surrounds her is unacceptable but would suggest we call all the politicians we hate bastards as it will do for both sexes.

chibi Wed 10-Apr-13 11:13:50

i grew up in an industrial town

the 80s sucked all over sad

i can totally understand the hate and the cheering

it's the misogynist language i can't get down with

miemohrs Wed 10-Apr-13 11:28:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thebody Wed 10-Apr-13 11:33:10

Hi compos, totally respect your post.

It's interesting as I was 15 when maggie was swept to power.

We lived in the midlands. My parents brought their council house, brought shares for the first time and started a business which was helped by maggies policies of free enterprise.( they vote labour by the way)

Me and dh were able to buy our first house with 100% mortgage

I honestly think your attitudes to Margaret thatcher are premised on where you lived in the country in the 80s.

thebody Wed 10-Apr-13 11:34:50

When I mean 'your attitudes' I meant all of ours.

Hate the mysoginistic attitudes to her though.

BoneyBackJefferson Wed 10-Apr-13 11:34:59


I agree that scargill was wrong and that the NUM (and other unions had to be "broken") but it is about percerption.

Thatcher is the villain of the piece
"the destroyer of communities."
"the destroyer of famly values."
"the disassembler of communities." (paraphrased)

The miners are only a small part of what she did, She turned the police in to a political weapon. she attacked the traveller community, she shutdown the free festivals and much more.

When taken as individual sections they could be seen as small things but as a whole she destroyed more than she made.

inde Wed 10-Apr-13 11:42:04

Did she prove it though inde? She didn't do a very good job did she?

As someone who has never voted Tory and never will, I would say it was most of her policies that were wrong. Not the fact that she was a woman. A man with the same political viewpoint, like for instance Tebbit, would have done just a bad job or maybe worse.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 10-Apr-13 11:43:23

The Brixton Riots, the Toxteth Riots, the Poll Tax Riots, the Miners Strikes, the Hunger Strike, The Greenham Common protests were all a result of Thatcher's policies. It was these policies, not her gender that resulted in her being hated.

Do you think there would have been less civil unrest at the time had Dennis, not Margaret, implemented these policies?confused

niceguy2 Wed 10-Apr-13 11:45:16

I'm not sure what you are referring to with regards to travellers. What did she allegedly do?

And i don't agree that she purposely destroyed communities. The only 'destruction' was of people living a unsustainable lifestyles, didn't want to change because they were on a cushy number and expecting someone else to pay for their 'rights'.

Angelico Wed 10-Apr-13 11:46:19

Yes, her gender is part of the hatred for her without a doubt. I find all the 'ding dong the witch is dead' stuff particularly distasteful - especially because a lot of 'right on' PC friends seem to find it acceptable because it's MT.

LessMissAbs Wed 10-Apr-13 11:47:47

I read on Facebook yesterday a comment from a man I had previously taken to be well adjusted and intelligent. It was "Old woman notices". And I just thought that must sum up his attitude towards women, that no matter what they achieve in life, they are classified
as "old women" in his mind.

Misogynistic under-achiever that he is himself!

Lucyellensmum95 Wed 10-Apr-13 11:48:04

inde i agree, but would he have been so villified?

niceguy - you should take a walk through an old mining town if you want to see a destroyed community - your post is a fucking joke. Mining? A cushy number?? ahahhahahahaaahha, oh stop it, it hurts, no, really! hmm

Lucyellensmum95 Wed 10-Apr-13 11:49:52

Dionee - i take that point and no, the civil unrest would have been the same, i just don't think people would have danced on his grave 20 years on.

I am torn because i could never defend her policies, but as a person? I have to say there is respect.

niceguy2 Wed 10-Apr-13 11:55:19

Lucy...i live in an old mining town.

BoneyBackJefferson Wed 10-Apr-13 11:57:52


Look for the "battle of beanfield"

LaVolcan Wed 10-Apr-13 12:00:04

Had she not been female I would imagine that she would have seen active service during the latter part of the war years. This might have given her a very different perspective. As it stands, closeted away at Oxford, I imagine her life at the time was quite comfortable.

Is she hated because of her gender? Not entirely, because I think Blair is probably hated almost as much.

niceguy2 The only 'destruction' was of people living a unsustainable lifestyles, didn't want to change because they were on a cushy number and expecting someone else to pay for their 'rights'.

Have you ever met anyone who worked in coalmining? Go and speak to someone who was a miner and then come back spouting about 'cushy numbers'.

Lucyellensmum95 Wed 10-Apr-13 12:02:37

Then that makes your post even more idiotic then doesn't it. Of course, the middle classes have probably taken over now - taking advantage of the reposessions hmm That is what has happened around here.

thebody Wed 10-Apr-13 12:04:09

Good post less.

Lucyellensmum95 Wed 10-Apr-13 12:05:17

We do have Something To thank her for though grin

Lucyellensmum95 Wed 10-Apr-13 12:06:37

Its probably why she snatched the milk - now have image of some mad wonka type parody confused

sieglinde Wed 10-Apr-13 12:07:27

YANBU. Look at this RIDICULOUS 'the witch is dead' ranting. Misogyny, pure and simple.

I'm not sure women did hate her as much as men, inde. Since Disraeli more women have voted Tory than men. it was one of the arguments used to deny women the vote.

LaVolcan Wed 10-Apr-13 12:07:44

What's Mrs Thatcher got to do with ice-cream?

BoneyBackJefferson Wed 10-Apr-13 12:12:47


She was on the team that developed the "fluffy" ice cream that you get from ice cream vans.

It reduced the amount of ingredients that making the ice cream needed by increasing the amount of air contained within the product.

It also had the effect of increasing the price of normal icecream by allowing it to become a premium product (ben and jerry's etc.)

ComposHat Wed 10-Apr-13 12:13:01


if uou think coal mining is so cushy explain that to my granddad. No wait you can't ...because he died of black lung in absolute agony years before I was born.

niceguy2 Wed 10-Apr-13 12:14:05

Try again Lucy. I haven't bought a repossession.

By cushy number I actually was referring more to the protective job for life practices than the actual labour. I grant you mining is/was hard work.

But let's be clear. Mining was losing the country a LOT of money. Literally billions per year was lost propping it up. Billions the country didn't have and billions of pounds in the early 80's was certainly a lot more than now.

I'm not sure what the alternative was? If the miners didn't strike then yes, there would have been an orderly closure of the mines and I'm sure the impact on the communities would have been more manageable. But Scargill took the miners on strike meaning they had no access to any benefits. He was the real culprit.

Even Kinnock himself said on Monday: "I’m much more inclined to blame Scargill for the appalling defeat he inflicted on the coal-mining communities of Britain."

Remember, UK was on its knees. It was hardly a socialist workers paradise. But typical leftie nonsense. You always need someone to blame for the failure of socialism.

Lucyellensmum95 Wed 10-Apr-13 12:14:16

Boney - i love the way you make even her ice cream inventions sound like a bad thing grin

LadyBeagleEyes Wed 10-Apr-13 12:15:50

I can say quite honestly I loathe Cameron just as much as I despised Thatcher.

Lucyellensmum95 Wed 10-Apr-13 12:16:20

There is, sadly, an element in truth in what you say about mining to be fair, but an industry is nothing without its workers, and as such, has a responsibility towards them. The miners were let down, but not just by Thatcher. I do accept that.

Lucyellensmum95 Wed 10-Apr-13 12:16:49

LBE - i hate him more!

Latara Wed 10-Apr-13 12:18:38

YANBU. I'm no fan of MT but i do think that some sexism is at the root of her unpopularity.

Latara Wed 10-Apr-13 12:19:14

And yes, I hate Cameron, Osborne and Blair more.

LessMissAbs Wed 10-Apr-13 12:26:59

Come of it Lucyellensmum, LaVolcan and composhat, plenty of us come from ex mining villages originally. I heard my grandfather, who was a miner, describe how sick to death he was of the attitude in ex-mining villages, once the industry was on its death throws, of how they expected everything to be given to them on a plate, instead of joining the many ex-miners like him who tried their damndest to go on and do something else. Its still that attitude if you go back to many ex-mining villages today - Oakley in Fife is probably the classic example. Yet its only a short bus journey from a thriving electronics industry and the European HQ of Amazon plc.

And its not just the mining industry, its all those unprofitable industries that were propped up by the State, at the expense of the rest of us, which couldn't compete with the rest of the world. Why do you think Germany still has a thriving car industry and the UK doesn't? Because the Germans work bloody harder and make sure their prerogative is to produce goods people want to buy, not to provide easy jobs for life for the boys.

Most of us have grown up having to do jobs where you have regular assessments and reviews and you have to work to a certain standard, so excuse my lack of sympathy for the jobs-for-the-boys generation.

And it was always the boys - you could draw a parallel with certain male-dominated jobs today where similar working practices, union domination and inefficiency are rife - lets think about refuse collection in Edinburgh here - total bloody disaster.

LaVolcan Wed 10-Apr-13 12:29:24

I objected to him calling the job cushy. No job where there is a risk of death is cushy.

BoneyBackJefferson Wed 10-Apr-13 12:32:17


Its a gift smile

niceguy2 Wed 10-Apr-13 12:58:43

Yeah sorry, my cushy comment wasn't directed at the labour but more the working practices as I've said. A poorly selected phrase I admit.

More pits closed in the 1960's than in the 80's and you could buy coal a LOT cheaper abroad than UK coal. Mining as an industry was doomed long before Thatcher came to power.

As for Germany, the key difference there I truly believe is that their unions work with management rather than against. For example why have Germany done so well during the current crisis? Because while the good times rolled, the unions worked with management and agreed to hold wages down. Unlike in Spain, Italy etc where wages rose unsustainably.

Lemonylemon Wed 10-Apr-13 13:35:22

Actually, the only people who had any connection with the miners during the 80's who had a cushy number, were Scargill and his cronies.......

I remember listening to the news in seething frustration because nearly every single industry was paralysed by industrial action. I remember my Dad not being able to work because the newspapers were shut down by strikes. He had to break the strike or be a "scab" because we couldn't afford to eat if he didn't get paid.....

LadyBeagleEyes Wed 10-Apr-13 13:39:15

If you put Cameron rather than Thatcher as the PM then, with all the same policies, the legacy would still be the same.
It doesn't matter to me whether she was a woman or man.

Toasttoppers Wed 10-Apr-13 13:47:52

YANBU, I think she did some shocking things but women are almost always judged more harshly for their actions.

Grammaticus Wed 10-Apr-13 13:53:59

I was at school in the seventies and would have been delighted to see the milk stopped. It was always a bit warm and had solid creamy bits round the top. And you had to drink it. < shudder>

PuffPants Wed 10-Apr-13 13:55:54

100% YANBU

niceguy2 Wed 10-Apr-13 14:29:54

LOL @Grammaticus. That was my recollection too. To this day i cannot drink milk on it's own and I do blame school milk for that. I certainly don't blame Mrs T for that and in fact am quite grateful to her! lol

And LadyBeagle. I understand what you are saying but Mrs T had bigger balls than Cameron ever had or will have. There's simply no way he'd stay the course of what he believed was right no matter how unpopular the sentiment was at the time. One sniff of an opinion poll going south and he'd change tack in a heartbeat.

I think you are right.

LaVolcan Wed 10-Apr-13 14:40:21

More balls than Cameron? Not sure about that, but she had a Willie, and as she said 'Everyone needs a Willie'.

Grammaticus Wed 10-Apr-13 15:03:49

She definitely had more balls than Cameron. In fact I'm struggling to think of aNy politician who has had more balls than her (since the war anyway).

ComposHat Wed 10-Apr-13 15:18:27

But surely doing something pig heatedly just because you think it is right, utterly desf ro the views of others or the consequences of your single minded pursuit isn't an enviable quality in itself?

ComposHat Wed 10-Apr-13 15:28:09

But surely doing something pig heatedly just because you think it is right, utterly desf ro the views of others or the consequences of your single minded pursuit isn't an enviable quality in itself?

OhDearNigel Wed 10-Apr-13 15:39:55

I'm also too young to be able to remember the early days of the Thatcher government (born in 76). My parents remember the mid 70s as being pretty bleak, full of wildcat strikes, shortages of energy and the imposed 3 day week, Unions holding the country to ransom, galloping inflation and a succession of weak and ineffectual governments. My Mum describes Mrs Thatcher as having dragged the country up off it's knees.

Sunnymeg Wed 10-Apr-13 15:42:01

In the midst of all the comments about her (and I can't recall who) said that she ran the country like it was a business and got rid of lots of what she perceived as deadwood. We expected her to boss the country about like a mother bosses her children, and exhibit the care and compassion we associate with mothers. When she failed to do this she was villified. If it hadn't been for the Falklands she would have struggled to win a second term.

niceguy2 Wed 10-Apr-13 17:38:05

If it hadn't been for the Falklands she would have struggled to win a second term.

Yep, i agree. And I do believe the UK would have been poorer as a result.

usualsuspect Wed 10-Apr-13 17:40:53

I hate Cameron just as much as I hated Thatcher.

sieglinde Wed 10-Apr-13 18:28:38

niceguy2, she won in 1983 not only because of the Falklands but because of the breakaway of the SDP from Labour. She STILL didn't get a majority of votes - they went to her opponents.

cory Wed 10-Apr-13 21:56:49

My loathing of Tony Blair does nothing to diminish my loathing of Margaret Thatcher- and I can manage to rustle up a fair bit of negative emotion about David Cameron too whilst I'm about it; in fact, I am not sure I won't end up loating him worst of the lot. The one does not affect the other. And sex has nothing to do with it.

What I remember of the 70s and 80s was a country where common decency was gradually eroded and it became accepted to give free rein to the basest, vilest, most selfish sentiments because there was no longer a shared sense that some things were too shameful to be admitted. I can see those times returning...

As for the Major years, I remember a sense of hysterical despair when privatisation after privatisation turned out disastrously wrong; a you-have-to-laugh-or-else feeling descending on the nation.

ParadiseChick Wed 10-Apr-13 22:20:07

I'm getting a bit fucking annoyed at being referred to as an uninformed, unintelligent, emotionally incontinent, clueless, sexist sheep because I really, really hate her.

My dislike for her is valid. It's not just that 'I'm no fan of her' it's a hate for a leader who treated my country like the dirt on her shoe.

I'm on uninformed, I lived through, survived, her time in charge. I know the facts, read the books, have grown up around her fucking 'legacy' of heroin addiction, joblessness, hopelessness, health inequality and injustice.

So don't tell me I'd hate her less if she was a man and all you bleeding heart 'she's someone's mother' people please, credit myself, and others, with the intelligence to know why we hate her. In life or death.

ParadiseChick Wed 10-Apr-13 22:24:53

Yes, she ran the country like a business, forgetting her decisions impacted on real, actual living people, families and communities. It might have looked good on paper and I understand it must be a struggle for those who were far removed from that impact, or those who got richer, to comprehend just how awful it was in reality.

Individualism - great for the powerful, proactive, fit and capable, for those not reliant on someone else to provide your wage. God help anyone left behind.

grovel Wed 10-Apr-13 22:34:37

Thatcher had an advantage over Cameron. She had real "enemies". Things were polarised - there wasn't much room for compromise. You could win. Scargill could have won. The Argentinians could have won. Thatcher mostly "won". When you have winners and losers you have division and people feeling jubilant and people feeling sore. Cameron, Miliband, Merkel, Putin, the Chinese leadership broadly want the same things. They argue about the means - not the ends.

WallyBantersJunkBox Wed 10-Apr-13 22:36:02

For the years I've been alive and aware of politics it seems like a cycle. Labour bring the feel good community support factor to the UK in terms of developing policies, but unfortunately they seem to go beyond the scale of us ever being able to afford to pay for it.

The country then gets into trouble and harsh measures are brought in to cut costs and generate money to bring us back from the brink. This is where the Conservatives step in. Social interaction - nope, trying to promote wealth and reduce deficits tends to be their focus. I wonder when we will ever get the correct balance.

When Thatcher came into power the country was on it's knees financially. It took extreme measures to turn around the economy. I'm not saying all her decisions were correct, but she walked in at an extremely controversial time.

I think her sex definitely played a part against her, Thatcher the milk snatcher was even more pertinent as she was a mother etc. But looking back why was I entitled to free milk, both my parents worked and we had our own house and disposable income? Yet I still remember my mother slating and belittling her decisions "as a woman and mother" in our kitchen.

Pilgit Wed 10-Apr-13 22:50:58

All the focus for what happened in the 80's is on her. It wasn't just her - everything would have gone through cabinet or parliament and more likely both - we live in a democracy not a dictatorship. Blair and Brown aren't blamed in the same way - it's New Labour. YANBU.

grovel Wed 10-Apr-13 22:51:36

WallyBantersJunkBox, interesting post. My Dad (I think) accepted Thatcher. She was "that bloody woman" to my Mum.

ParadiseChick Wed 10-Apr-13 22:54:55

The buck stops with the prime minister, it's sort of the point of the job.

MoreBeta Wed 10-Apr-13 22:59:11

I was a teenager in the 1970s so I rememebr it well.

Margaret Thatcher had the guts to do things no man would ever do.

She was not bound by the inbuilt considerations men have for other men. She was not part of the cosy old boys club of Westminster.

I well remember Heath, Wilson, Callaghan. All grey men and interchangable - totally unwilling to do what was necessary.

It was because she was a woman outside the coterie of men that run politics that she could do the thinsg she dis. She is hated for what she did and she did them precisely because she was a woman who could.

She was not hated for being a woman though.

katrinefonsmark Wed 10-Apr-13 23:09:24

It's not possible to consider whether she'd have been loathed less if she was a man. If she'd been a man, she wouldn't have been her. She felt she had to be strong to compete with men. She felt the need to chastise the men around her for their spinelessness, she was feminine in so many ways.
She was a woman and what she was and the decisions she made were bound with her sex.

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