Monday, April 08, 2013

My Girls Are The Creme De La Creme

If you believed the Meryl Streep film, she died like she lived - in comfort, delivering rambling, fantastical homilies on personal responsibility to the uncomprehending and the indifferent.

I was a toddler when she was elected, but she must've hit Scotland like a thunderbolt.  The nation never wanted any part of her lunatic revolution - we rejected it at the ballot box again and again, in fact - but by God, we got it good and hard anyway.  Such was the wonder of free choice that we had that of others thrust down our throats by the fistful for a decade.

If you could've called forth Middle England's rampant id in all its virtuous pomposity and self-regard, it would don one of those fruity little dresses and wander around quietly lecturing the less fortunate on the value of thrift.  She came from a sub-species of affluent, frustrated bores who thrill to imagine themselves menaced by the phantasm of some terrible, probably Bolshevik menace, from the safety of their own inviolate Hobbit-holes.

She was the perfect product of a system warped by a righteous belief in its own entitlement and a suspiciously convenient terror that somebody, somewhere, might be nibbling on a hunk of government cheese at its expense.

All of which is ironic really, since she resembled nobody more than that stock figure of Scottish letters -  Miss Jean Brodie, resplendent in her Prime, sermonising to the class like Providence, like the God of Calvin.

She sold the UK on her little home-spun homilies about the path to prosperity but force-fed vast tracts of it grinding misery.  That was the eighties for many of us: endless harangues on hard work and self-sufficiency, delivered by those who were striving daily to make the possibility of either ever more remote.

If she ever suffered a moment of doubt while entire towns were shuttered, she never showed it, certain that God was on her side whatever her course.  So she experienced no difficulty or sense of hyprocrisy in stomping like a stormtrooper on those who resisted her, sending legions of militarised police to spread her message of personal freedom by force.

If our skyrocketing unemployment rate ever gave her a moment's pause, we never saw a flash of it.  In all the broken marriages and deprived upbringings and jobless poor, she saw only more proof of the powerful correctness of her opinions, and redoubled her efforts to kick us all into a shape she found more pleasing.

All of our lives and livelihoods were secondary concerns in the great psychodrama of her personal battles.  The atmosphere she created was like sitting in a classroom copying out lines from the Bible, with no toilet breaks, and the penalty for asking questions is caning.

Most of Scotland didn't hate her because it disagreed with her politics or her style.  It didn't loathe her or the clique of privileged, over-educated sexual deviants around her simply because they might as well have been aliens with flourescent genitals, for all that they understood us or our lives.

We despised her because she made war on us gladly, with a song of joy in her heart, for our own good.  She was certain she knew better what we needed than we did ourselves, and she never missed an opportunity to let us know that she could make us see it her way, any time she liked.

She loomed over our childhoods like a gorgon and bequeathed to us as adults possibly the most offensively cretinous politics ever to stain the tattered ideal of British democracy.  In a more just world, her political legacy would be fit only for slapstick comedy and allegorical children's TV dramas.

She was a fantasist and a mentalist.  She sent us all to fight for General Franco. Her passing comes far too late to offer any comfort to those upon whom she wreaked the worst of her harm, like the death of Stalin.

I'm not glad she's dead.  

I'm sorry she entered politics, and I'm sorry we did such a shitty job of repudiating her that we became a nation that richly deserves to be ruled by her idiot offspring.

Friday, April 05, 2013

That Marriage Argument, In a Nutshell

Lover One:  My darling, I love you.  I want to share my life with you, declare my devotion to you before our loved ones and as an incidental result, entitle you to a significant share of my estate if I die unexpectedly.

Lover Two:  Dearest, I love you too.  I want to share my life with you, declare my devotion to you before our loved ones and as an incidental result, entitle you to a significant share of my estate if I die unexpectedly.

Weirdo Humanist MC:  I now declare you -

(Bang, Crash!) 

Lunatic interloper:  Stop!  You two autonomous individuals cannot order your personal lives and legacies in whichever way you see fit!

Lover One: What?

Lover Two:  What?

Lunatic interloper:  Moral/Religious/Civil law says that you can't do what you're about to do.  You must stop.

Lover One:  Eh?

Lover Two:  (Who's a bit more streetwise about these things)  Keith, gonnae chuck this mentalist out, eh?  He's talking pish.

(Scuffle, Scuffle, Shout!, Scuffle, return to relative peace) 

Lover Two:  Now, where were we?

Lover One: My darling, I love you...