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Memento mori

This is long, but please read this. And, if you like it, please pass it on.

I have said this before: I have said this for years, if Baroness Thatcher is given a state funeral, I will leave the country for the day, because what her policies did, what her belief did, what her legacy did, is doing to this day are things that are anathema to me.
But we must not speak ill of the dead. (Not unless they are poor or powerless or long gone or far away. Not unless they are of no use to our masters, the oligarchs of wealth whose trans-national networks run our world.) And I did not, in her declining years, wish Baroness Thatcher harm -- dementia is harsh enough. I wished her only obscurity. It was her legacy I wanted -- I still want -- to see dead.
And that legacy lives on, on blunderbuss, cudgel limbs, on heavy crushing feet marching one and on over the poor, the disabled, the disenfranchised, the outsiders, the misfits, those with mental health issues, the disadvantaged, the underprivileged, those without important friends or influence, women, QUILTBAG people, people without UK citizenship, the powerless. The hunger of holy free market capitalism for new flesh is limitless, and it has no feelings. It has no empathy. It has only the drive to acquire, to grow, to possess -- and the devil take all but the winners.
Alive or dead, Baroness Thatcher doesn't matter any more, because this great devouring ideology outlives her, infests the policies and actions of our masters on all sides of the political spectrum. It gave birth to the over-heated banking bubble and its consequences. It trailed our double dip recession on its wings. It lies heady on every word uttered by Cameron and Osborn and Gove and Duncan Smith, just as it pervaded those of Blair and Blunkett. It handed over utilities and hospitals, newspapers and infrastructure to the moneyed few and left them free to treat those things as simply sources of profit. It left them free to plunder, to cheat, to evade taxes and responsibilities -- and to publish as truths self-serving (power-serving) lies about benefit claimants and immigrants, trans-people and asylum seekers, lone-parent families and people with serious mental health issues.
It tells us that there is no money for schools, to help the poor and those who are socially, physically or psychologically disadvantaged, though there is money to help banks. There is no money for compassion, for help, for support, but there is money for tax cuts for the rich. There is no money for low earners or the unemployed -- and these groups must be pursued and measured and harassed to ensure they get even less, whatever the cost --- but the cost of pursuing those individuals and companies who evade and avoid tax is far too high.
And there is £10 million available to pay for a ceremonial funeral for a multi-millionaire.
And we must not complain or protest, because we must not speak ill of the dead. We must accept censorship, because we must not upset or offend.
Though it's fine to upset and offend the relatives of the dead poor, the dead weak, the dead powerless. It's fine to upset and offend those who still live in the communities that Thatcher's policies, Thatcher's legacy have destroyed. It's fine to upset and offend those who have suffered through care in the community, lost relatives to superbugs created by the outsourcing of hospital cleaning, lost people to poverty, seen sisters, daughters, mothers abused and killed because the refuges were closed. It's fine to insult and offend victims of domestic abuse, asylum seekers, the homeless, the unemployed, those driven to illness through year-on-year 'efficiency gains' and institutional bullying in the public sector, those burdened with debt due to student loans and fees, to wages that are below the living minimum.
Those people don't matter. They aren't influential. They need to remember their place -- which is in silent acceptance, without protest.
I am not downloading songs. I am not dancing in the streets. There is nothing to celebrate in this death. But I am protesting, loud and clear. But not about the memory of Baroness Thatcher. I'm protesting about the insult this ceremonial funeral represents to all those her legacy has harmed and still harms.

This is how.
I don't have £10 million. I don't have anything approaching it. But I can find some spare money, and, on Wednesday, when Cameron is trying to ensure he stays in power by pandering to the right, I'm going to make a donation to a charity that works to help those groups that Thatcherite economics and Thatcherite lack of compassion is harming, day on day. And I'd like you to join me. You get to choose your charity -- there are many to choose from -- Shelter, MIND, Help The Aged, women's refuges, charities that work with underprivileged children, MENCAP, charities that help those with physical challenges, charities working with asylum seekers, any group anywhere that is fighting to undo or at least mitigate the effects of Thatcherite 'I'm All Right Jack, Greed is Good, cut help for the weak and give more to the strong' policies. I'm going to be donating to MIND, because Care in the Community was wrapped up as inclusive but turned out to mean little more than abandonment and abuse, because mental health services have faced 30 years+ of cuts and these cuts kill.

Please join me.

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Comments

( 46 comments — Leave a comment )
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sartorias
Apr. 15th, 2013 02:59 pm (UTC)
Beautifully said.
la_marquise_de_
Apr. 15th, 2013 03:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I'd be grateful for a signal boost, if you think it's appropriate.
(no subject) - sartorias - Apr. 15th, 2013 03:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - la_marquise_de_ - Apr. 15th, 2013 04:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
cmcmck
Apr. 15th, 2013 03:24 pm (UTC)
I don't have much hate in my make up, but I'm of working class origin and the granddaughter of colliers and worked on the WSG's during the 84 Miners' Strike so you'll know what I think of Thatcher and her ilk.

I'll be doing some activist work on the day and I'll be putting a little more money the way of one or more of my causes.

la_marquise_de_
Apr. 15th, 2013 03:28 pm (UTC)
I'm Coventry Welsh. Miners and steelworkers and agricultural workers. I find what she did to South Wales hard to forgive and I was another one who was out campaigning for the miners back in the day.
steepholm
Apr. 15th, 2013 03:27 pm (UTC)
Well said, and I'll be contributing.

My suggestion is that a Thatcher Funeral (Thatchfun or Thatcheral for short, abbreviated to ThF) should from hereon be the standard unit of affordability in public sector spending. Ministers might say, "We would love to keep this school/ward/library open, but it would cost 0.5ThF."
la_marquise_de_
Apr. 15th, 2013 03:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you. And please pass the idea on.
I do like that unit, too.
(no subject) - maeve_the_red - Apr. 18th, 2013 09:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
taldragon
Apr. 15th, 2013 03:48 pm (UTC)
i think this is a brilliant idea, and will try to donate on Weds!
la_marquise_de_
Apr. 15th, 2013 04:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
(no subject) - taldragon - Apr. 17th, 2013 01:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - la_marquise_de_ - Apr. 17th, 2013 02:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
puddleshark
Apr. 15th, 2013 04:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you for articulating so clearly all the things I have been struggling to express this week.

The donations are a wonderful idea - let something good come out of it all.
la_marquise_de_
Apr. 15th, 2013 04:49 pm (UTC)
The cost of the funeral was what really got me going, I think. It feels like such an insult. So I started trying to think of a constructive thing to do.
fredbassett
Apr. 15th, 2013 04:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Very well said. I will be sure to make a donation.
la_marquise_de_
Apr. 15th, 2013 04:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
joycemocha
Apr. 15th, 2013 04:57 pm (UTC)
Well said. I will be doing something on Wednesday to commemorate, as well as donate.
la_marquise_de_
Apr. 15th, 2013 06:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
al_zorra
Apr. 15th, 2013 05:49 pm (UTC)
On Spiralsheep's Dreamwidth she and her commentariart have said all this too.

One of them put it brilliantly about the iron one's reign: " ... groundbreaking public hatred of the poor."
la_marquise_de_
Apr. 15th, 2013 06:42 pm (UTC)
I was pretty sure I would be far from the first to think of this. I'm old enough to have experienced her ideology personally, and to have had family members and friends lose jobs and futures due to them. The idea that the taxpayer is footing the bill for this ideologically driven insult made me see red, and then start thinking of constructive things to do. There's also a campaign called Don't Hate, Donate (http://donthatedonate.com/) but they don't cover mental health, which is a cause that's very important to me, and an area where Thatcher did huge damage.
(no subject) - mevennen - Apr. 15th, 2013 06:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - al_zorra - Apr. 15th, 2013 10:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - la_marquise_de_ - Apr. 16th, 2013 11:24 am (UTC) - Expand
uitlander
Apr. 15th, 2013 08:02 pm (UTC)
I think this is a splendid idea.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 15th, 2013 08:15 pm (UTC)
dead thatcher woman
I did not vote for this woman so why do I have to pay for her feckin funeral.
la_marquise_de_
Apr. 16th, 2013 11:20 am (UTC)
Re: dead thatcher woman
That baffles me, too. I suspect it's to do with Cameron's rather precarious position in his own party -- the right think he's weak and UKIP are eroding his base with the electorate -- so he's trying to identify himself with Thatcher, who is an idol to that section. The fact that there are many many of us who find this degree of ceremony hurtful and offensive is irrelevant to him -- we weren't going to vote for him anyway, we're powerless in his eyes and thus can be ignored. Which is... Well, it's howe oligarchs behave, I guess.
kittenmommy
Apr. 15th, 2013 11:18 pm (UTC)

Jesus, I knew she was awful, but I didn't know the full extent. No wonder she and Ronnie got along so well!
la_marquise_de_
Apr. 16th, 2013 11:20 am (UTC)
Peas in a pod, and similar levels of damge caused.
gillpolack
Apr. 16th, 2013 03:25 am (UTC)
I love your response. What I most love about it is that you're not letting anger rule, but finding a way to express your feelings that will actually help repair some of the damage. It's the positive response to bullying. Enough of this and some of the damaged culture can be restored, but even a little brings hope.

la_marquise_de_
Apr. 16th, 2013 11:21 am (UTC)
Thank you. I am furious in private, but I needed to do something constructive alongside spitting nails.
(no subject) - gillpolack - Apr. 17th, 2013 12:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - la_marquise_de_ - Apr. 17th, 2013 03:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
woolymonkey
Apr. 16th, 2013 11:03 am (UTC)
Agreed. And will do.
la_marquise_de_
Apr. 16th, 2013 11:21 am (UTC)
Thank you.
dorispossum
Apr. 16th, 2013 06:27 pm (UTC)
It will be a normal working Wednesday for me, so will be paying no attention to 'event'. (Successfully kept clear of the Diana circus in the 90s, and have no intention of dignifying another political cabaret by changing a jot of my routine.)
la_marquise_de_
Apr. 16th, 2013 07:04 pm (UTC)
I shall be wearing red, but otherwise ignoring the circus by not listening or watching.
(Deleted comment)
la_marquise_de_
Apr. 17th, 2013 02:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
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