In the end there appeared to be relatively few protesters out on the streets of London, far outweighed by supporters keen to express their respect and remembrance for a powerful leader and former Prime Minister.
So many comments have already been made, that it is difficult to say something new. I think though that I would like to add, that coming from a part of the UK where her emphasis on allowing the freer movement of both labour and capital, resulted in a near twenty year decline, I have always felt able to see “both sides” of her impact. It is with this knowledge, indeed – experience – that I say quite categorically her impact, though divisive, was powerfully for the good.
We forget the regular blackouts, resulting from inefficient State control of the Electricity Grid (CEGB). We forget the rampant and fickle destruction of incentive caused by secondary picketing and the overwhelming dread many public sector workers felt in heading to a job where a foreman could call “Strike!” for little apparent reason.
We do not forget the strife of honourable workers, determined to defend their rights, but whose time, whether they were accepting of this or not, was fast being chased down by the rolling waves of globalisation, rendering inefficient business redundant in the face of international competition…and we forget, at our peril, where we would be in that great counter-historical possibility, had we allowed Michael Foot to become our Premier. History has a way of righting itself, but in this instance the price would likely be our place in the twenties or thirties of GDP per head, instead of sixth or seventh – and far above this in the prestige and regard in which our international diplomacy and military prowess is held.
There are winners and losers in all games of participation, let us not lose sight of the significant raising of the board that Baroness Thatcher presided over, and those who followed her seek only to refine.