If you hadn’t noticed, she died yesterday. If the media (yes, them again) are to be believed, here in the UK we should all divide neatly into two groups: those huffing and puffing about how disgraceful it is she’s not going to have a state funeral— as if St Paul’s cathedral, gun carriages and military salutes are not enough— and those who broke out the champagne and partied hard all last night.
So when I try to decide what I think about her passing, it’s with half-hearted surprise that I conclude— pretty much nothing.
It’s not that I don’t think she was a hugely influential figure in national, and arguably global, 20th century politics, society (yes, it does exist) and culture.
It’s just that she was in power through most of my childhood, and like most background things you grow up with, she was just there. Being brought up in a middle class household in the south of the country, her policies didn’t appear to have any direct, immediate impacts on my family. According to my understanding, she did some necessary things early in her premiership, such as facing down the unions— although she did them in what appears to be a notably divisive and compassionless way. And much like an over-ripe cheese or Tony Blair, she stuck around far too long at the end.
In all, I struggle to marshal any strong feelings towards her one way or the other.
It’s always sad when a family member or friend dies, even when peacefully at the ripe old age of 87. So my condolences go out to those who knew her personally. As for her long term impact on the world, history will pass judgement in due course. I suspect it will be a mixed verdict.
That’s it really.