Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Tragic Send Off

Having watched Meryl Streep's Oscar deserving “uncanny impersonation” of the woman who was elected to 3 terms as Britain’s first female prime minister, it was natural to want to read the book of the same name as the movie. It was sheer coincidence one copy of "The Iron Lady" was available for loan on the National Library shelf on the very day she passed on, at age 87 years.

World leaders like Obama paid tribute to Margaret Thatcher on Monday, reminding us that "she stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can't be shattered." Streep said her subject had been a pioneer – "willingly or unwillingly" – for the role of women in politics, allowing females from across the globe to dare to dream of leadership. Thatcher expressed her resolve in her own pugnacious parlance, "We must show men that we’re better than they are."

With such provocative conviction, she must have garnered her share of detractors. And they did not mask their vitriol. In the London neighbourhood of Brixton, people toasted her passing by drinking and dancing to hip-hop and reggae songs blaring from boom boxes. "I'm very, very pleased. She did so much damage to this country," volunteered one. In Scotland's biggest city of Glasgow, some shouted, "Maggie, Maggie, Maggie" as the crowd responded, "dead, dead, dead". Socialist Angela McCormick explains: "I'm here for a generation that didn't have a future when they left school and didn't have jobs. I'm here for the members of my family who have been devastated by the economic policies or the economic crimes of Margaret Thatcher." The hero of the Falklands War was also labelled "extraordinary but heartless", accused of festering inequality through a "culture of greed". In defence of her intolerance and imperium, apologists claim it is impossible to achieve change without anguish.

Thatcher was not the only politician who insisted that she did not care about her poll ratings, pointing always instead to her unbeaten election record. “I have never been over concerned or obsessed with opinion polls or popularity polls,” Lee Kuan Yew once said, echoing a sentiment that he has conveyed throughout his career.  “I think a leader who is, is a weak leader.”

Lee’s policies have elicited great criticism over the decades. While some may hail him as a visionary, others denounce him as authoritarian, fascist, or worse. Let's take a leaf from the Guardian report on the polarisation about Thatcher's demise: "How should we honour her? Let's privatize her funeral. Put it out to competitive tender and accept the cheapest bid. It's what she would have wanted."

20 comments:

  1. And LKY was her idol and she thought LKY was one of the most intelligent politician in the world. In fact, many of her policies were copied from Singapore. Like taming the unions.

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    1. One of her quotes about Singapore was, "Singapore is the best run police state in the world," guess she let something slip..

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  2. What Singapore need is an analogy of a powerful team of relay cyclists in a group match, not continues flow of foreigners?

    A powerful cyclists team, are each individuals take turn to lead to face the head wind, as the leader got tired, another come forward to lead, the previous tired leaders go to behind the pack?

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  3. The last para epitomizes singapore too.

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  4. Kuan Yew, Kuan Yew, Kuan Yew

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    1. dying, died, dead

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    2. ....damned !

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  5. //I have never been over concerned or obsessed with opinion polls or popularity polls//

    When you rule with iron fist, knuckle -dusted all oppositions, libel suits and a total submissive presstitute who will write and brainwash to your whims, plus election dept under your wings, why should you care about opinion and popularity polls!? Any one can be a king under those circumstances.

    I challenge ANY of our PM to do that today under the same conditions Thatcher had! Like Maggie would say after she quit politics watching by the sideline, she will start a "rent-a-spine" service for those modern day politicians. That very much include ours.

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  6. http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/108103

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  7. http://isthatcherdeadyet.co.uk

    Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead.

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  8. I think she had done what is necessary at that point of time and under the circumstances. That is the only way to rescue the countryfrom falling under the union rule. I am not saying I support all her policies but taming the union and fighting the Falkland war was necessary.

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    1. "Fighting the Falkland War was necessary", just like shooting hellfire missles at Afghan children a base holed up in kentucky while munching yankee hotdogs. Politicians love imbeciles.

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  9. Stroke, Stroke, Stroke.

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  10. Even if LKY is her idol, she did not copy wholesale and con people of their freedhold land and make people live with an unaffordable 99 rental flats and crowded untimely public transport.

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  11. God is fair, everyone no matter how powerful, smart, dumb, useless have to die.

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  12. I wonder how today's Britain is better than pre-Thatcher. Has all the privatization stopped the decline of Britain's industrial base? Last I read, Jaguar is owned by Tata, UK universities rely on chinese students' money to help fund their reserach labs, and the NHS is condemned by the old fart when his wife had her first stroke. She privatized utilities but does anyone find these utilities more efficient than before? UK trains are far worse than Swiss, French or german state-owned train services. She destroyed Arthur Skargill's Union for sure, but at its place she allowed private banks to become monsters thru soft regulation, banks became monsters like Lloyds, RBS HBOS which went kapput, and taxpayers had to bail them out. The saddest thing is all your scholars and leeders in the admin service grew up and studied in the Thatcherite UK of the 1980s and 1990s, and they know of no other 4 letter word except "TINA". If you wonder why there has been such a sharp turn to the red dot govt's policies since 2004, all you need to remember is Thatcherism. And the fact that old fart and her are mutual admirers of each other.

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  13. IS a $10m pound send-off. with 2/3 (57%) says it should be paid for by the family, not the taxpayer. Think that is the tragedy.

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  14. 40% will celebrate, 60% will miss her.

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    1. LKY will probably score lower, lucky to have 30% who will miss him.
      But on the otherhand, oldfart lives longer, collects a lot more tax payers money doing nothing and eventually secures climax with a state funeral....

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  15. Anyway to know if the subsidies for the fees are also given to FT children and how many of them are enjoying handouts by the FAP to FT at citizens' expense.

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