Margaret Thatcher won 31% of votes, putting her in first place in a women’s role model survey carried out by YouGov and AOL UK. This could be a comment on the state of women’s politics today. But it may be more to do with how surveys are carried out.
I wonder, for instance, how many miners’ wives and girlfriends were asked. Oops, sorry, there aren’t very many of them around nowadays, are there? I wonder whose fault that is.
“Role models: someone to look up to.
“Young women desperately need role models — and what the media gives them is heiresses, sex objects, surgery addicts and emotional wrecks. There must be better suggestions”. This is how the Guardian covered the news of the poll result on its website.
There seems to be something missing from this list of inappropriate people for young women to look up to. Unless Tory Scumbag can be included in the category Heiresses, that is.
Actually, Thatcher was a millionaire heiress, in keeping with a long Tory tradition. The current Tory Cabinet is made up of extremely wealthy, privileged scumbags who wouldn’t know a public service user if one begged them for a fiver and who look to Margaret Thatcher for inspiration as to how to ensure no-one else will know one for much longer either.
If as a role model you want to look up to someone whose government devastated whole areas of industry, throwing thousands of people out of work and then described the unemployed as “moaning minnies”, Thatcher’s your woman.
If you want to look up to someone who closed down huge sections of the welfare state, driving thousands of working class women back into the home or who privatised many of the public services remaining, including British Telecom and British Gas, selling them off to profit-grabbing companies, Thatcher’s your woman. (“If a Tory does not believe that private property is one of the main bulwarks of individual freedom, then he had better become a socialist and have done with it.”)
How about someone responsible for the selling off of council housing, inducing working class people to buy their own, leaving millions in negative equity? Or someone who introduced the Poll Tax, forcing thousands of working people into the courts for refusal to pay?
Perhaps someone who introduced many of the anti-union laws designed to prevent any group of workers from fighting back against these attacks?
Thatcher was a class-conscious Tory who fought for the interests of the ruling class in government. She did a good job from the point of view of the rich, overfed, self-serving, greedy class of leeches who sit on the top of our society and bleed it dry without ever having to do a day’s work.
That such a role model can top a poll today is an indication not of how good she was, but of how poorly we are served by those who should be representing the interests of our class. Any of the groups of workers in the 1980s who were driven onto the dole queues by Thatcher’s government, whether it was the steel, the coal, the docks, the rail, could have beaten her and her government and very nearly did so.
With the exception of one, Arthur Scargill, no union leader took the fight seriously or recognised what the stakes were. She did. For that she should be admired maybe, but not by us.