Of course she was only one person. Whoever had won the 1979 general election would have done the same – that was simply the stage that capitalism was at. There was a crisis of falling profits, and a ruling class counter-offensive had to be launched.
But for those of us who are ‘Thatcher’s children’, and grew up or suffered during her time in power, there can be no question of not celebrating. Effectively, she tried to destroy us – she did destroy many lives – and yet we live on. The mere fact that she has had her time reminds us that nothing is permanent, not even the ruthless “there’s no such thing as society” ideology she propagated.
It was fitting that I was at an anti-bedroom tax demonstration at a housing association when the news came through via text message. No doubt, she would love the fact that the council housing her government inherited is now on the verge of being fully privatised, as a result of the Cameron government’s latest attack. She would love workfare. She would love the fact that the NHS is now just a brand name.
But she would not love – in fact she would rightly fear – the way these attacks are bringing working class people together once more. On Merseyside in particular it seems, we are building a movement which has the potential to prevent any and all bedroom tax evictions. From there, the potential for a wider movement against austerity is within reach. The conditions for similar fightbacks exist in every place Thatcher ravaged.
So if you are out celebrating tonight or over the next few days, look to the people who are celebrating with you. The fact that they are also joyous over this particular old woman’s demise is proof that you share something crucial. Don’t just celebrate – organise! We’re living in Thatcher’s heaven – let’s create her hell!