Lady Thatcher herself, had class. Sadly, the same cannot be said of all of her supporters. It saddened me to hear one of her admirers, a media personality in my own country, speak of Britain’s traditional “class society” with the same sneer in his voice that one ordinarily associates with Marxists. The man in question is no Marxist. I often agree with what he says, and I agreed with most of what he had to say about the rudeness and ignorance of Lady Thatcher’s detractors and in defence of her ideas and policies. Yet for some bizarre reason, he chose to turn the death of the great lady into an opportunity for class warfare.
She was a classy lady and she will be missed. May she rest in peace.
(1) Margaret Thatcher, The Path To Power (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1995) p. 28. This is her second volume of memoirs, although the events recorded within it take place prior to those in the first volume, The Downing Street Years, which was published in 1993.
(2) Margaret Thatcher, Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2002), pp. 250-254. In the sentence after the last one quoted, Lady Thatcher quotes from Edmund Burke, the “father of conservatism”.
(3) The conservative view of society and the individual was expressed by Enoch Powell in a 1992 interview with Naim Attallah thus “Society is in the end normative, and politics is about the management and governance of a society. Society is prior (in a logical sense) to the individual; the individual in the last resort is an abstraction. Nobody has ever met an individual, we didn’t start as individuals, we don’t live as individuals, we only know ourselves as members of a collectivity.” (http://quartetbooks.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/no-longer-with-us-enoch-powell/)
(4) The Path To Power, p. 46.
(5) For Cooper and Waugh’s views, see Christopher Sykes Evelyn Waugh: A Biography (London: Penguin, 1975, 1977), p. 446. For Anthony Burgess’ views see Little Wilson and Big God: The First Part of the Confessions of Anthony Burgess (London: Vintage, 1987)
(6) Wyndham Lewis, Rotting Hill (London: Methuen, 1951)
(7) For her own account of this action, see Statecraft, p. 267-274.