Two for Mrs T

Milk snatcher or unique character? A debate over Britain's first female Prime Minister

I never liked her.

No! God no! Well, you couldn’t, could you . . .

No way.

The unions and everything . . .

That’s right.

She completely destroyed the unions.

Apparently. And then of course there was . . .

. . . Well there was the poll tax wasn’t there?

Goodness, yes! The poll tax! . . . Oh dear . . .

You had to hate her.

Everybody did.

Imagine turning up at the Poly one day and suddenly saying, “I love Maggie!”

Or “I heart Maggie” as the kids say! . . . I don’t suppose they even know who she is, now.

They’re not really into politics, are they?

Not like we were.

That’s right . . . Because you had to hate Maggie. Didn’t you? It was sort of a “rule”. If somebody actually “liked” Maggie-

They were completely uncool-io! Persona non grata and everything!

I told my kids Maggie Thatcher had died-you’ll never guess what Leo said. He gave this little confused frown. He said, “Was she something to do with Jimmy Savile?”

Jimmy Savile?

Well. It’s all history, isn’t it? To the kids. It’s all in black and white!

Maggie wasn’t as bad as Jimmy Savile!

No. But you know what I mean. She was one very old lady. Who died. Just somebody b-o-r-i-n-g, who Mummy and Daddy seem to be nattering about this week. Kids don’t really care, do they?

They don’t. 

She was a character, though. Old Maggie Thatch. If I can say that . . . I’m not saying I supported what she did . . . with the poll tax and everything. I’m just saying . . .

Oh. She was certainly a character! The handbags!

That’s right! Maggie and the handbags! . . .  What were they supposed to signify?

Well-I think they were sort of . . . feminine. A sort of quote-unquote “reminder” that she was a woman. Running the country.

Woman, my foot! She was a man in a dress.  Really. That’s what we used to say. She wasn’t a woman at all.

Well-

And when you get down to it, that’s what really bugs me about her. Never mind the-racism and everything.

Was she racist?

I think so! She absolutely despised that chap-y’know-the old guy. In prison for ages. Coloured.

You can’t say coloured, Tamsin! 

I don’t mean coloured-I mean-Oh God-the South African gentleman. Ever so elderly. Nelson Mandela.

Well, she was super pro-apartheid, wasn’t she? Barclays Bank and all that . . . remember?

The thing was-and this is what I really can’t forgive her for-she just didn’t support women.

She didn’t. No.

Instead of saying, Look, I’m a woman. Let’s actually promote women-and support them. . . and support the mums . . .

With playgroups and things.

She simply refused to do that. Didn’t she?

Thatcher the milk snatcher.

What’s that?

It’s what they called her. Before she was PM. Remember when kids got milk at school each day?

Oh God. Do I remember? They used to literally force it down our throats.

Right-that was something she very much didn’t do for mums. Took the milk away.

Ha! Well if you ask me, that’s the first positive thing I’ve heard about the old bag all week. God rest her soul. Or whatever. RIP.

Be sensible, Tamsin. For a second. I’m saying-if just once, in all those years, she’d gone into that cabinet room-or whatever . . .

With the handbag . . .

. . . And said: Guys! Gentlemen! You’re going to have to be patient with me today. I’m having one of those days . . . 

Oh yes . . . I see where you’re going with this!

Be it PMT. Be it “a bad hair day” . . . Be it, “I’m just not-in-the-mood!” . . . I swear, I would have gone to the end of the earth for her. I would have believed in her. I would have known she was one-of-the-girls.

So would I! 

And that’s what I can’t forgive.

Our first female Prime Minister. And yet-

She just carried on . . . like “a person”.

Stupid cow.

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