Monday, 8 April 2013

The Death of the Ferrous Female

In an inevitable turn of events that has still managed to take many people by surprise; the fearless ferrous female known as The Right Honourable Baroness Thatcher has suffered a stroke, and died. If I'm the first person to break the news to you, I apologise, but I'm not here to talk to you about her death as much as I am here to talk about people talking about her death.

If for one moment I can digress in order to illustrate my point, I would like you to stretch your memory back to the merry month of May in the year 2011. At the time I was editing The Thought Report 2011, and was subsequently engaged in most of the big stories of the time - one of which happened to be a big deal. On the second day of month in Pakistan, a group of armed men broke into the house of a 54 year old man and shot him in the head at point blank range - his name was Osama bin Laden, and the general consensus around the world was that he was a very evil man.

But perhaps the most interesting element for me - and one that came up a few times in news stories that year - was the way in which people responded to his death. The citizens of hundreds of American towns and cities took to the streets in celebration of one mans death; it was a turning point and an almost symbolic retribution for the population, and people celebrated as such. This was to be expected, but at some points the celebration seemed too jubilant - almost vitriolic in it's nature. There were burning dummies and gore-filled banners, something that I personally didn't expect from a Western culture that reveres death in a usually very respectful manner.


All opinions aside, it was strange, and I think a lot of people learnt a lot about themselves and others at that time. But the thing is, almost within an hour of Margaret Thatcher's tiny teeth biting the dust, my social networking feeds were subjected to a tirade of jokes, I was asked how I was going to celebrate her death, and invited to like a friend's page - duly entitled 'The death of Margeret Thatcher'.

When it comes to events like this, you can often tell what side of thinking you're most subscribed to - through social networking as well as through the media - but when it comes to The Iron Lady I've never needed, wanted, or had deep-set opinions about her. I'm stuck between a right-thinking Father who was very well looked after by her, and a group of friends who seem to have extremely negative views of the woman despite not actually being alive whilst she was in power; and thusly I've never thought about her too much.

But the thing is this - let's not let it be another Bin Laden. Of course, a lot of the joviality is simply in the British nature of getting over topical stories by poking fun at them, and I have seen a lot of people express themselves intelligently on the matter but for anyone who was really beginning to genuinely enjoy the death of an 87 year old woman, I'd like to end this post with a quote shared on my Facebook by a friend:

"I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives
but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy". - Martin Luther King