Who’d be a politician?! Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. Today, one of the most damned politicians of the post-war era (some might say the entire 20th Century), Baroness Thatcher died at the age of 87.
Being born in 1980, just one year into her reign as Prime Minister, meant that I was too young to understand anything or realise that I was being affected by her and her Conservative Party politics. By the time she left office in 1990, I was probably starting to absorb the stuff that went on in the world, courtesy of watching the news with my parents – these were the days before my household became a two-television family – yet I had missed out on the politics, the bitterness, the hate that some sections of society (ironically something the Iron Lady didn’t believe in) developed over those 11 years. The Miners, Poll Tax, Europe, Football Supporters generally, and then the supporters of Liverpool in the aftermath of the Hillsbrough disaster.
Yes, she felt she was trying to do what needed to be done to make her country great and strong – her decision to go to war with Argentina over the Falklands, her attempts to bring an end to the Cold War are two such examples, but all politicians labour under their own convictions and we can never change that, sadly. It comes to something when her own party had to do the dirty on her to get her out.
So, while I have no doubt that certain sections of British society will be cracking open the champagne tonight, I will be looking on blankly, wondering what sort of reception Tony Blair’s demise will garner when the time comes.