OK, let's get the sensibilities out of the way first.
If you had only nice things to say about someone you knew personally when they were alive, it is not wrong but probably it is unpleasant to say nasty things about them when they are dead, presumably because they can't respond.
As I didn't know Mrs Thatcher personally and I rarely said anything nice about her when she was alive, I see no particular reason for doing so now that she is dead.
What do I feel? Well, nothing. I wasn't even going to write anything about her until Panda Paws indicated that she hoped I would.
Mrs Thatcher was a divisive character one of the most divisive I can think of. Although it's fair to say that a poll in 2011 (above), showed that more people felt she had been good for Britain than thought she had been bad.
That she changed Britain there is no doubt. That it needed some change at the time, there is also no doubt. But in my opinion her change was all wrong. And perhaps in a way, this poll illustrates at least one reason why Scotland should be an independent nation. I cannot recall ever, not once, hearing anyone in Scotland say that they were a fan. Ruth Davidson, said that it was time to forget Thatcher...so presumably even she wasn't much of a fan. Thatcher may have been relatively popular in England; she was largely hated here.
And although now she's gone, as at 87 she might reasonably expect to be, her evil lingers on in the form of Blair, Brown, Lamont, Duncan-Smith, Cameron, Hague, Fox... and far too many more to mention...including the odious Osborne. It is unlikely that this government could have done what it has done without the start that she made.
She privatized ruthlessly. Everyone could and should own shares in the utilities and in much more. But she must have known that little people would buy shares and make a quick profit by selling them to the big boys, who would then make a profit by selling them off to even bigger boys, sometimes her husband's friends, sometimes from America or China, which is why water, gas and electricity is so expensive. She sold off council housing, without a thought as to what might happen if the housing bubble burst...precipitating the disastrous affordable housing shortage of today.
And what did she do with the money? Any ideas?
She shut down industries, closed down towns, ruined people's lives, and threw whole communities on the scrap heap. For someone who was as clever as she clearly was, it was strange that she thought that she could replace mines, factories, mills and foundries with call centres. In doing it she destroyed a great manufacturing base with heavy and light engineering skills equalled only by those of Germany (which had the good sense to retain its industry) and she wrote off a generation of young people.
She insisted that the only way to progress was to become a low wage economy, but with high rewards for the best managers. Heaven knows that went wrong on both sides!
She favoured an economy based on service industries: finance, insurance banking. And that wasn't the best idea, was it?
She encouraged greed. Loadsamoney was more than a comedy character; it was what 1980s yuppies were all about. Reaganomics cut and pasted from America, with no thought to whether it was suitable or not for Britain.
She revived hereditary titles to give her husband a Baronetcy so that her beloved Mark, the arms dealer and revolution funder, as he would never amount to anything much on his own, could be a "Sir!" when his father died.
Recently it was revealed that she was complicit in the police cover up of their own incompetence at Hillsborough.
One thing that she might have done, as the first female leader of a political party in Britain, and the first female prime minister, was to further the cause of equality for women. But she promoted very few women, whether because she didn't think them competent, or because she wanted to be the only woman amongst all these men, I don't know. In the end I imagine that she probably set back the cause of women in politics, at least in the UK, although not in Scotland.
Craig Murray, who knew her personally says that as an individual she was clever and charismatic. However he tells a story on his blog about how, after she stood down and was acting as a paid consultant to a cigarette company, she was prepared to risk lives for money.
Did she do any good?
As far as i can see, yes, at least one thing. She did more than most to further the cause of independence for Scotland and for that, and that alone, I thank her.
I said earlier that I felt nothing. That's not quite true. I heard somewhere that we are to pay for a ceremonial funeral for her. I have no idea how much that will cost, and of course we will not be told, but I am furious about this waste of money at a time when so many have to go without and that I will personally have to contribute.
I take comfort though, from the fact that it can only do even more good for the YES campaign.
My friend, James, has managed to find some creditable aspects of her career, and, like the much nicer than me guy that he is, he has chosen to highlight them!
I know that Thatcher is an emotive subject and that feelings run high when talking, or writing about her. Can I respectfully remind you that this is a family blog, read I know by some children, and say that I really would appreciate it if you would moderate the expression of your feelings accordingly. Thanks in advance. :)