What was Thatcher’s greatest crime?

An epitaph for Margaret Thatcher, the grocer’s daughter from Grantham?
“Reactionary, vindictive, mean-spirited, philistine, cruel, quintessential little Englander.”
High points of her cold brutality included the war over the Malvinas (Falklands), crushing the miners’ strike and the Fleet Street print workers (for her ally Rupert Murdoch) and planting US cruise missiles in England after brutally suppressing the Greenham Common women’s movement.
For me, she perpetrated her greatest crime against the Irish nationalist movement.
In the early 1980s Irish political prisoners in the Long Kesh (Maze) internment camp began a campaign to gain political status so they could wear their own clothes and be entitled to other rights.
It escalated into a hunger strike to draw attention to their illegal treatment and the brutality of the Thatcher Government’s internment system.
One of the hunger strikers, Bobby Sands, stood for parliament and was elected to the House of Commons. Still the celebrated “Iron Lady” refused to grant them political status. Bobby Sands and nine other prisoners starved to death. Sands’ funeral brought 100,000 mourners onto the streets of Belfast.
His death gave worldwide notoriety to the British army’s occupation of the north of Ireland and her reputation was trashed forever.
A brilliant film called Hunger starring Michael Fassbender has retold the story. It confirmed her ignominious place in history as a violent functionary during the death agony of British capitalism.
Shawcross’s relentless striving for a peerage
Sir Hartley Shawcross, the first Attorney-General in Britain’s post-war Atlee Government, quit the ministry when he felt it was going “too socialist” and sat on the crossbenches.
He immediately became known as Sir Shortly Floorcross and the rest is history. He went to work for the giant oil companies, the City of London and was elevated to his natural home, the House of Lords, where he represented everything that was reactionary and regressive.
his son, William Shawcross, is following in his father’s footsteps.
Young Willy has just been promoted by David Cameron’s Government to the chairmanship of the Charity Commission, an appointment which draws him closer to a seat in the Lords.
Shawcross visited Australia earlier this year as a guest of the Sydney Institute, the rest home for clapped-out followers of Menzies, Howard and the DLP.
His message to the geriatrics in the audience was bizarre even by the standards of Gerard Henderson, the institute’s Inquisitor-General.
Shawcross, who wrote a truly appalling biography of the Queen Mother, told them that the administration of President George W Bush was a marvellous success story, particularly his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Surely he can do no harm as chairman of the Charity Commission? No so. One of his duties is to decide which organisations receive charitable (tax-free) status and which don’t.
One of his earliest decisions will be to decide whether Eton, his old alma mater, should retain the charitable status it has enjoyed since the reign of Henry VI (1421-1471).
Prime Minister Cameron is an Old Etonian so it can be assumed that Eton – as well as every other English private school, i.e Harrow, Charterhouse, Rugby, Shrewsbury, Winchester etc– will remain tax-free institutions to educate the sons of the super rich and the “born to rule” crowd.
The cultural cringe is alive and well when the Oz media, including the ABC, flop before social-climbing toffs like William Shawcross when they arrive on expenses-paid tours.

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