Posts Tagged ‘Conservative’

H is for….

HILARIOUS

…which is how I consider most people’s reactions to Margaret Thatcher’s death to be. Now I am not talking about the fact of her actual death, as death in any way is not, in my opinion, a thing to be celebrated.

A lot of people celebrating her death are acting as though she were still in power while it happened and thank goodness her reign of terror has ended. I mean, whether she is dead or not, she no longer had an active influence over the way the country is being run so her death or life, is of little relevance to the country at large.

The lady on this morning’s news was talking about how the very fact of her becoming Prime Minister was a good thing for women everywhere. When confronted with the numbers of women in the Conservative Party now (lower than in Thatcher’s time) and whether Thatcher’s legacy of empowering women really exists, this lady, who probably wasn’t alive when Thatcher was in power, said – and I quote – “She wouldn’t want that to be a measurement of her legacy. Yes, there are less women in the Tory party now but she wouldn’t want that to be the focus.”

Ok, there are numerous things wrong with this statement. Firstly, one’s legacy is now of their choosing, is it? Had Hitler said, before he killed himself, “By the way everyone, I’d like my legacy to be one of abiding love and acceptance of all fellow men and more hugging, please,” would we say, “You know what? Hitler didn’t want the numbers of the dead to be a measurement of his legacy. He wanted hugging. So let’s write the history books how he wanted them.” No, unfortunately we do not do this. So, Lady On The News, you are sadly mistaken when you say that we should not measure Thatcher’s legacy by the number of women in politics because she ‘would not have wanted it.’ The legacy you leave is little to do with your opinion of what it should be.

Secondly, o Lady On The News, you of great and infinite wisdom, you must be Margaret Thatcher’s daughter or friend or colleague because you are obviously her greatest confidante. Because you tell me, with such authority, that “she would not have wanted her legacy measured that way.” Wait a minute, you look about twenty. So you were probably born in the early 90s, when she was already a grown woman, had done her thing and was no longer in power. So I’m tempted to think you’ve never even met her and HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT.

I’m not saying she did or didn’t want her legacy to be a certain thing or not. What I am certain of, though, is that you are making a random guess. How can you, o Lady On The News, woman of great opinions, know what someone you have never met, ‘wanted’?

Please, spare me this madness.

And then I logged onto Facebook. I should have known better. The madness continues there.

Now I am operating under two principles in relation to the whole thing. The first is that I didn’t live under her government so it would be wrong of me to weigh into such an emotive discussion to offer my opinions on something I never experienced, especially if the conversation contains lots of people who do have experience of her.

My knowledge is second hand or textbook-based and leads me to think negatively of her. In which case, my second principle comes into play, that if you don’t have something nice to say about someone, you shouldn’t say it at all, especially not if it goes so far as to rejoice in their death, never a good thing.

If she were still in power, that’s different. Then it is important to voice opinions and be dissatisfied and seek better ways of doing things. That’s called progress. It’s what makes us constantly strive for better things for ourselves as a country. But she is not in power any more. She was an old lady who was no longer running the country who had a stroke. Nothing is gained by saying I disliked her policies.

And so, back to Facebook, where the majority of my Facebook friends are my age. For this, read: too young to remember when she was in power.

“Ding dong, the witch is dead,” was a real favourite, as though the fact of her continued life was causing us all such problems.

“Doing more good than bad but still being criticized? The British citizens of this country will never be satisfied.” This from someone who can’t be much over twenty. I was puzzled about this until her father later posted a photo of Thatcher looking all patriotic next to a British flag. Ah, now I understand. I’m glad that it was distinguished that we were talking about the British citizens of this country. As I’ve heard the ones in Spain are constantly satisfied.

It’s just all a bit mad, really. It feels like people are ready to go outside and have a fight, should a differing opinion appear in their news feed. One person said she was having a Facebook cull of everyone who’d said anything positive about Thatcher. Woah there. We weren’t discussing her on Facebook before her death. Why are we now making or breaking friendships based on our feelings about her?

Hating or loving the things she did while in power won’t change them. The best thing is to try and make sure the things that are important to you are heard by the people who are in power now. Surely?

A girl I once lived with

I once lived with a girl who was puzzling, to say the least. I got to know her because she worked near a place where I worked. She seemed really great and friendly. She was moving out of her room in a house in an area quite far away and looking for something closer to work. Someone in the flat I lived in was moving out. It seemed perfect. She moved in and it was going to be great fun.

That’s when I noticed some things which had seemed fairly minor before. The main one was that she didn’t know how to communicate unless the conversation was a) about her or b) something she could turn around so it was about her.

To have a conversation that was about something else, something apart from her immediate situation, for example, about the current situation in the Middle East, or which political party is in power, or how the recession has affected the country, was alien to her. She froze. She’d join in while it was at the stage where she could still offer something about herself but as it drifted further and further away from her and became about something else, she’d freeze. She’d sit there, looking at each of us, panic in her eyes and eventually just slope off to her bedroom.

Occasionally, she’d make a desperate last ditch attempt to bring the conversation back to the earlier subject of herself. The result was as follows….

“So do you think they’ll make a coalition then?”
“Yeh, maybe. But who will they go with, Conservative or Labour?”
“I think Labour. Isn’t it funny how they have the power now because….”
“I’M GOING TO MAKE LEMON CUPCAKES TOMORROW!”

Silence….

Awkwardness….

“Um yeh, it’s funny about how the LibDems have the power to decide now, who they want to team up with…. Um…”
“…Yeh.”

If myself or any of the other flatmates had friends over, she’d come in the room, because she obviously wanted to join in but didn’t know how. So she’d just sit silently watching everyone, trying to figure out how to join in. It was close to impossible to include her in a conversation (unless it was about herself or she could make it about herself) so attempts to help her into things were wasted. She’d just watch for a while, then leave.

Eventually she started coming in from work and running straight from the front door to her room. She refused to speak to me at home for weeks, yet would speak to me at work like nothing was wrong! I’d go in her shop or she’d come and get a tea at the coffee shop where I worked and she wouldn’t mention the fact that she wouldn’t speak to me at home.

If I had stuff to ask her about the flat, I’d ask her at work, money for bills etc.

She once shouted at me because I mentioned something about cleaning, which she seemed allergic to. Instead of responding to my suggestion of making a rota for cleaning to make sure everyone was doing some (she never did), she said: “I’M JEALOUS OF YOU AND ALL YOUR FRIENDS!”

How do you respond to that? You suggest a cleaning rota. She says she’s annoyed with you because you have friends and she’s jealous.

It got to the point where she hated having to be around us so much that she just ordered take away, rather than come in the kitchen for even a second to get food. There’d be a knock, a scurry of feet, the smell of pizza and a scurry of feet back to her room. She also never brought the leftovers to put in the fridge. She’d just keep it in her room, all nice and warm, and dig in the next day.

I feel like I might be making it up because it sounds so odd, but honestly, it’s a true story.