I'm Sorry, Did I Hear You Correctly????!!!!!!!!

I have just been listening to a discussion on Newsnight, the BBC current affairs programme, in which the consensus seemed to be that Margaret Thatcher was coming to be regarded by analysts and historians as a great prime minister. As memory of the deep divisions of the period fade, so the suits on tv were saying, we were starting to realise how she turned an archaic and failing society into a thriving, modern democracy of which we can all be proud. The pain that she caused, it was felt, was necessary.

I have never been closer to throwing a steel-toe-capped boot at the television. But the last time I slung a boot, on one of the occasions when my lover dumped me (remember, she got four goes, I only got one), I put a hole in the back of my guitar and I've regretted that ever since.

I don't think I could even begin, tonight, to explain to those with short memories what an absolute unmitigated f****** disaster Margaret Thatcher was for this country, all the people that she crapped all over, all the lives she destroyed. And moreover, what a nasty, bigoted, superficial, STUPID little island hell England became while she and her minions had control. You think this is rhetoric? Cast your minds back, if you were there.

I would rather Tony Blair came to be regarded as a peacemaker, historically, than surrender to the lie that Thatcher was anything other than a malevolent witch who wrecked lives.

But perhaps I'm being unfair. I mean, at least we get to choose between 150 types of mobile phone that we can't afford thanks to the deregulation of telecommunications. At least we get to wait an extra hour for buses with ever-increasing fares since transport was opened up to the markets. At least we have access to hundreds of new television channels that show nothing worth urinating over in our new modern Thatcherite democracy, as opposed to the three or four we had to put up with in the dark days of the Seventies. At least our children get to leave universities saddled with huge debts thanks to the ingenious abolition of student grants. At least as workers we get to work increasingly long hours under increasingly autocratic employers with no right of redress because Margaret took the visionary step of breaking the backs of the unions.Without Saint Thatcher we never would have experienced any of those wonderful social benefits.

Basil Bunting described the 80s as "a terrible decade to have lived through." Who are you going to believe, him or her?

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