Britons Party as some ‘Rejoice’ at Thatcher’s Death
According to reports coming from Britain, not everyone was that heartbroken over the death of the Britain’s first and only female Prime Minister, Baroness Thatcher.
The former Prime Minister died from a stroke on Monday morning at the age of 87, at her suite in the Ritz Hotel in London.
As the world leaders sent their condolences to the Britain, and the tributes poured in from many countries following the death of “Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher, some Britons took to the streets to party and celebrated the passing of a woman they said had “ruined millions of lives”.
The Conservative leader was among the most influential and divisive political leaders Britain has ever seen. Thatcher, remembered for her achievements as well as her failures, was a powerful politician with a love of political combat. She is known for her stubbornness, her reluctance to listen to advice and a scorn for consensus that set her apart from almost all her predecessors and from those who came after.
Her success in turning the UK economy around is still up for a debate, as some supporters say she saved the UK and her critics say she made it unbalanced and unequal.
Thatcher came to power when UK economy was in shambles with inflation topping 25%. Thatcher’s neoliberal approach has narrowly worked at the expense of the trade unions and the working class. The balance of power in industrial relations decisively shifted in favor of employers. Many nationalized industries were privatized, and the result was a move in the economy away from manufacturing towards financial services.
Her foreign policy initiatives were also controversial. She supported the brutal regimes of Pinochet in Chile, Suharto in Indonesia, and Hussein in Iraq. She was one of the biggest cheerleaders for both wars in Iraq, and called Nelson Mandela a “terrorist.” At the same time she decided to fight against the Argentinean dictator General Galtieri when he took over the Falkland Islands in 1992. With that decision, she was seen as the Prime Minister who didn’t go for the easy option, and despite all advice to the contrary and numerous attempts by the American and Peruvian governments, would not simply accept the situation and leave the British inhabitants at the mercy of General Galtieri’s regime.
The funeral will be held on Wednesday next week and will be attended by the Queen. Meanwhile impromptu street parties, taking place across the UK to celebrate the death of Thatcher, continue as the polarized British society is working through grief and jubilation.