"You may say that I am a dreamer/But I am not the only one" John Lennon: "Imagine"

"So come brothers and sisters/For the struggle carries on" Billy Bragg: "The Internationale"

Elizannie has a reading room at 'Clarice's Book Page' http://www.villiersroad.blogspot.com/

Monday, 8 April 2013

Each [Wo]man's Death Diminishes Me*

The Photograph above is of Margaret Thatcher leaving Downing Street for the last 
time after resigning as Prime Minister, 28th November 1990

Its been a funny old day. Had to be up early and looking tidy because a friend who is also an electrician came to rewire the house. So appearing intelligent first thing on a Monday morning after a week of driving all around the South of England to be with Youngest Daughter who was giving birth to Youngest Granddaughter was a bit of a strain. And then when said electrician cut his head open on our garage door, I couldn't find the first aid kit which was still packed away in one of the many bags which had travelled with us to Somerset the week before last - when we were with Middle Son and Eldest Grandson - and this was a bit of a panic.... The blood drips along the hall on the new wooden flooring was an interesting contrast to the unfinished decor.

However the tenor of the day changed just before lunch when the news broke that Lady Thatcher had died. Two thoughts raced through my mind in quick succession - 'Can I get it onto Twitter before anyone else?' [No - on my timeline @PoliticalScrapbook beat me, just] and 'this is going to mean days of media frenzy basically sanctifying Maggie'. And that has started already.

I am always sad to hear of a passing into the next world, sad for the family and friends left behind. I don't think I could ever imagine saying that I felt glad someone had died*. But  a passing does not mean that the deceased automatically becomes a Saint. Nor does it mean that if one did not like the person in this life, one has to like them now. Yet it seems as if since the news of Lady Thatcher's passing was announced it has become de rigeur to say only nice things about her life and career. She did some remarkable things including first British woman Prime Minister and longest serving Prime Minister in the 20th century. Politically she had many friends and admirers and many political opposers and even enemies. Many would applaud her premiership, others like me would view it as the beginning of a decline in the living standards of the working classes and the strength of the Welfare State from which the country still desperately needs to recover.

I don't need to rehearse all the actions of Prime Minister Thatcher which I deplored. That will be done by many over the next few days, just as many will say why they think she was a good PM. But the electorate and the media have a short memory. I remember how the Conservative party hounded her out of Downing Street when they thought she was no longer a good bet to win them the next election. More than a few are probably singing a different song tonight, now that she is gone for good. I hope she sleeps gently in the next life but sadly am afraid that when she realises how badly her actions spoilt the lives of so many, she may not.

And finally, when Margaret Thatcher stood on the steps of Downing Street and mis- quoted the prayer of Saint Francis of Assissi at the beginning of her first term in Downing Street, I wish she had said and meant the words in the English Version of the Prayer:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

The Heading of this blog is taken from:

*No Man Is An Island

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee. 

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