Margaret Thatcher dies

Since Thatcher died, there have been acreages of news coverage.

So, coming to write this on Thursday, there’s already been numerous feminist perspectives, commentary by those on the left and the right, and arguments about just about any aspect of Thatcherism, from the poll tax to the Belgrano to the miners’ strike, Hillsborough, Northern Ireland and, well, just about everything she ever did when she was in office.

There are already loads of reflective pieces out there about growing up under Thatcher. My abiding memories are of my father heading out to go on strike one dark morning, my older brother and sister struggling to find work, having to bring 5p into school for milk. The 5p would inevitably be lost, found, lost, re-found, and so used to buy milk only when it was covered in fluff and snotters. Through my childhood, Thatcher, although no-one liked her very much, seemed immoveable.

There are very few areas where Thatcher, and her legacy, isn’t controversial. In fact, one of the few things that everyone generally agrees on is that she’s “divisive”. You could probably also agree that she led from the front, and had more of a rigid ideological belief system than any politician in government since.

Other things that you can agree on are the matters of public record – birth, death, votes, legislation. Just about everything else about her record in government are up for debate. Most people in politics have very fixed views about Thatcherism – so much so that one of her legacies is probably that helped to define the beliefs of generations of activists, in that people still feel that they either largely sign up to her creed and that of her political heirs, or would be and are against it. Unless they’re Nick Clegg, in which case, they’re both.

She’ll generally be remembered with less fondness in Scotland and the North than in Southern England. Although Scots may have benefitted from council house sales (although one of their results is that it’s very difficult for many young families to get a long term, affordable lease), we remember her more for unemployment, the poll tax and the inequalities her policies generated.


Better Together donor row

National Collective recently published a story about one of the businessman who had donated money to Better Together, alleging that some of the money came from unsavoury sources. The story was picked up by some of the dailies, including the Herald and the Daily Record.

The businessman, Ian Taylor, vehemently denied the story and threatened legal action against National Collective. The upshot is that the National Collective website has, at the time of writing, been pulled.

The Flag doesn’t have any more information than that. Given that we’re updated weekly, we suggest you keep an eye on Wings Over Scotland, to see if any news if forthcoming from there.