Statement on the Death of Margaret Thatcher

(April 09, 2013)

steve-rotheram-looking away

Lady Thatcher's passing is perhaps news that many had been expecting and some, it has to be said, were even looking forward to in recent years. With deteriorating health and a limited number of public appearances, Mrs Thatcher closed her office in the House of Lords and finally bowed out of British politics.

Thatcherism as her politics become known around the world, was predicated on the idea that unemployment was a price worth paying and that each individual, regardless of their socio-economic status or educational attainment, should simply look after number one - and the state had little or no role to play in mobilising the talents of society.

Her death has triggered a mixture of reviews. Inevitably there are those that grieve the loss of their ideological hero. Others see this as the end of a dark chapter that will still require a generation to recover from. However, one thing is for certain; Margaret Thatcher left an indelible mark upon our country and its citizens.

The Iron Lady was one of the most divisive figures in British political history, celebrated by big business and the rich and powerful, but reviled by huge sections of a 'society' she didn't actually believe in. Far from being the saviour of Britain, the people of Liverpool have long recognised that it was that warped view of society that compounded many of our city's greatest problems. Her legacy for Liverpool and virtually every other city and town outside of the traditional shires and rural England, was one of acute misery.

So as Mrs Thatcher is laid to rest in a quasi-state funeral, she will leave behind a Liverpool and a Britain that is still reeling from her eleven and a half years in office and divided on her legacy.

Those too young to remember the hurt and misery she caused during her grip on power might have only seen a frail old lady suffering the ravages of a horrible disease, however, those old enough might remember the pious comments of her first day in Downing Street when she quoted Saint Francis of Assisi's famous prayer.

The prayer was designed to set out what she hoped would become her legacy for the country; love, hope, faith, light and joy. Instead; division, doubt, despair, darkness and devastation were more apt descriptions of the Britain she created - and has now left.

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