Occasionally, yes it’s true, ole Bill the Bard got it wrong.
Take when he had Mark Antony, bemoaning Caesar’s passing, say, “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.”
As we are seeing with Thatcher’s passing, often the opposite is true.
Our media pundits, particularly those of the Right persuasion, picking over the bones of history, come up with stuff like this line from Lionel Shriver in today’s The Age, “She fought for what she believed in.”
Yeah, well, so did Osama Bin Laden.
Fighting for what you believe in without ever questioning those beliefs and without a shred of empathy for those whose lives are being ruined by the insistence on fighting, is hardly something to shout about.
The truth about Margaret Thatcher is that she was – not to put too fine a point on it – sucked in by a flim flam man.
The one good thing that Thatcher did was to forcefully administer medicine to an ailing UK.
But let’s face it when she took over, the UK was one sick puppy. Practically any medicine forcefully administered would have done the trick.
Unfortunately, the medicine Thatcher chose was the particularly reprehensible set of economic nonsense so beloved of the far Right peddled by an economics shyster named Milton Friedman.
Here in Australia, btw, Friedman, with his insane belief in the infinite goodness and wisdom of the ‘market’, is a stand in for God at the Institute of Public Affairs, a bunch of Thatcher wannabes with delusions of intellectual and economic adequacy whose sole reason for existence is to turn Australia into a kind of mini me exhibiting the worst aspects of American corporate despotism. Little wonder then that Tony Abbott, Cardinal Pell, Gina Rinehart and Rupert Murdoch are all acolytes of the unholy church of the IPA.
Now let us turn our attention to Thatcher’s unwavering support and defense of General Pinochet, the serial mass murderer who led Chile and who, in his effort to implement the same economic nonsense as Thatcher endorsed, had hundreds if not thousands of his own people executed.
Thatcher couldn’t have cared less. He was a fellow economic traveler and for Thatcher, that made him an okay guy.
A great irony is that Thatcher went to war with the Argentina, the only place other than the UK and Chile where Friedmanism has been tried – it was just as great a disaster there as it was in the UK and Chile – but of course her war was not over economic theory.
No, Thatcher confected a war for domestic consumption to help her re-election.
However, if it were so that Mark Antony’s phrase has not been reversed and the good that Thatcher did will be interred with her bones, then it will add precious little to the weight of her coffin.
I shall not mourn her passing.