Just a couple of reminiscences about Thatcher. And by the way yes it's quite okay to party at her demise. The politicised contest about how to remember her is not about the past it's a battle over Britain's present and future. Read Jonathan Freedland in today’s Guardian. The only reason the expression “state funeral” isn't being used, he says, is to avoid a vote in parliament which would give opportunity for dissent. Palace and government are working hard to make the funeral create the illusion that Thatcher has a cherished place in the nation’s memory.
|Michael Foot lost the 1983 election. |
A decent cove.
The other reminiscence is from the day of Thatcher’s departure in November 1990. Geoffrey Howe’s speech in Parliament had triggered a Conservative leadership election, and though it seemed to be about Europe I think everyone knew it was really about the poll tax.
|Poll tax demo in late 1980's|
When it became clear that she wasn’t going to win the leadership election, Thatcher resigned. Joy all round. The day was Thursday 22nd November 1990. Eileen and I were due in court within the next the few weeks for poll tax non-payment and we prided ourselves on having contributed in a small way to her downfall.
At that time my Dad was alive and living in Bristol. Every Sunday we used to talk on the phone. He was a big Thatcher supporter, he really loved her, I think that can be said of a lot of her supporters. So on Sunday 25th I didn't ring. I knew he would be sore about her going, and we would have a destructive quarrel. And I'm very glad I didn't, as it would have been our last conversation. A few days later he died suddenly of a heart attack. Those are my Thatcher reminiscences for what they are worth.