Today an old lady with dementia called Margaret Thatcher was cremated amid a media circus and very limited interest from the general public. The crowds were more or less gone from the capital by 11:30 in spite of the hype.
Meanwhile in the former mining community of Goldthorpe, South Yorkshire Mrs. T was cremated in effigy. These people showed far less respect than did the likes of Cameron and Osborne for the woman they blame for the destruction of their little community.
And yet I can’t help but feel uncomfortable at the idea that a death, anyone’s death is a cause for celebration. Don’t get me wrong, I hated Thatcher. I hated her policies and I hated what she did to working people, especially in the North. I rejoiced when she was kicked out of office by her own party and again when the tories were defeated in ’97. But that was about removing an aggressor. The death of an old woman with dementia is different. I won’t mourn her but I can’t celebrate.
I can’t blame those who do though. Thatcher was cruel and vindictive and the hypocritical, sycophantic eulogising by ConDem MPs and others over the last week has stirred up some very bitter memories. Not that all our politicians tried to rewrite history. Some were much more honest.
Although I can’t celebrate, I do object strongly to the waste of public money on a funeral that very few people thought appropriate. Crowds were sparse for the spectacle and many that were there turned up only to protest.
Many more people protested the bedroom tax in Glasgow recently than watched Maggie Thatcher’s state funeral. More people bought copies of ‘Ding dong, the witch is dead’ than turned out for the ‘send off’ and social media is awash with people complaining bitterly about the whole travesty.
So before you fall for the misleading hype spilling out of the sycophantic BBC stop and think for a moment. No truly great stateswoman would have engendered such hatred that it spans the generations and left whole communities devastated for decades.
This was the scene in Leeds and Edinburgh today where the service was televised live for the ‘benefit’ of locals. Not the most compelling viewing, it seems.
For my own part – I wore red. That was my protest. ‘Wear red Wednesday’ wasn’t a celebration of death but a low key, dignified protest at pointless extravagance that really seems to be little more than an extended party political broadcast for the conservatives. Others pointedly turned their backs as the gun carriage bearing Mrs. T.’s corpse trundled past. No cheering, no rejoicing there – just a dignified rejection.
Margaret Thatcher has been described as Britain’s best peacetime Prime Minister. So here’s an opportunity to test that claim. The image below compares her legacy with that of Clement Atlee (“That nice Mr. Atlee” as my late grandmother described him). Go on – judge for yourself.
Yesterday’s ATOS/Kitten post was a hoax – an April Fool’s Day joke.
If you believed it that’s because it’s exactly the sort of callous stupidity so many of us have come to expect from this cruel, disgraceful government.
Just so you know.
Here we are again. The Easter weekend is almost over, British summertime has begun (allegedly) and the internet is awash with April Fool japes of every description. Some of these jokes are really witty, some satirical and some downright nonsensical but all are good-natured and light-hearted. Well… I say ‘all’…..
There is one particular prankster who seems to have missed the point completely. Actually it’s a group of pranksters known collectively as the ConDem Coalition. This unholy conglomeration of parasites, the apparent fruit of some monstrous coupling in Hell seems to have missed the memo about everything being a joke – a hoax – not real.
So when they they say that they’ll remove legal aid from the weakest and most vulnerable they’re not supposed to mean it;
When they impose a new bedroom tax that will drive even more British citizens into poverty it’s supposed to be a joke;
When they starve the Citizens’ Advice Bureau to prevent effective assistance that should be a hoax;
When they drive the final nail into the coffin of the NHS they’re not supposed to be serious about that either;
And when they give massive tax cuts to multi millionaires (including their own cabinet ministers)… well you get the message.
Of course they might be holding on until tomorrow before they come clean and admit their jolly jape to the nation. Maybe it is just another April Fool’s Day joke. Perhaps the government’s sense of humour really is so well-developed that they just can’t bear to end the joke early.
What do you think?
ATOS, the hated French firm responsible for denying benefits to more disabled and incapacitated people than you can shake a stick at, have done it again. This time they’ve come up with a money-saving scheme that looks set to save the Department of Work & Pensions a veritable fortune without having to deny the health needs of claimants.
Previous attempts to victimise seriously ill and disabled Britons involved declaring them fit for work so that they could be denied benefits. The basic idea was that once these unfortunate former taxpayers had starved to death the government would save a few quid looking after them – money that would be better spent elsewhere. After all – relieving hard-pressed multi-millionaires of their financial responsibilities to the welfare state is far more important than keeping their less fortunate compatriots alive to leech off the wealthy.
Recently it has become clear that ATOS’ original approach of denying medical evidence and just ignoring the hardship of claimants has been more bother than it was worth. Thousands of claimants have appealed against their judgements and the subsequent exposure of ATOS’ cynical cruelty has been damaging not only to the French firm of venture capitalists but to the beleaguered UK government as well. So ATOS has come up with another, less obvious suggestion and the government has been grateful enough for their inspiration to pay them handsomely. ATOS executive Pierre Le Chat has been paid an undisclosed 6 figure sum for the idea which the government claims will save billions of pounds for the independent health providers now profiteering in the newly privatised NHS.
Instead of merely pretending that people are healthy ATOS suggests that the mode of treatment changes. A classic example of this is the newly recommended treatment for cardiac patients. Previously such people have been treated with a range of drugs and exercise-based physiotherapies, none of which come cheap. And yet, as Le Chat pointed out in familiarly superficial style, they all do essentially the same thing. They are all intended to lower blood pressure.
Lowering blood pressure isn’t particularly hard to do. Exercise works. So does stroking and cuddling pets. So the solution is easy – at least so far as the Dept of Work and Pensions is concerned.
From tomorrow, new cardiac patients will not be prescribed medication at all. Instead they are to be given a kitten to stroke. The kitten will be provided free on the NHS although it will be the responsibility of the individual patient and their family to feed it and pay any associated veterinary bills. It is expected that patients will have their kittens sterilised as soon as they are old enough but should this not happen and more kittens are produced they can be returned to the NHS for redistribution to other workshy malingerers.
Obviously some patients will need more than just a new pet cat to resolve their physical health needs. Monsieur Le chat wasn’t available to comment on provision for these people but junior health minister, Kitty La Merd, perhaps in a bid to rise above her hitherto obscurity has been prepared to comment. In a truly stunning illustration of her government’s callous stupidity this inept Lib Dem turncoat, a latter day version of Judas Iscariot, told the BBC:
“When there’s no money for health care some people will die. That’s a shame but at least it’ll be the undeserving poor that leave us. That will save precious resources for those who are prepared to work for a living.”
Oh well. So long as the nice Tory and Lib Dem voters stay around to vote for their right wing heroes next time who cares? I mean really, who cares? Do you?
La Merd was equally unsympathetic when asked about cardiac sufferers who also experience pet allergies, itself a major contributor to elevated blood pressure. In the now familiar style of this callous, divisive government she replied:
“All medical interventions have side effects. We have to accept that not everyone will respond to treatment. However the new regime won’t start until after the bank holiday.”