Sunday, June 04, 2006

I'm not dead yet

Things are hotting up in England now that an increasingly out of touch Tony Blair is planning a state funeral for the generally despised battle-axe, Margaret Thatcher. For a Brit's perspective on this, check out Kel at Osterley Times, who has no kind words of remembrance for the Iron Lady. It is a particularly odd announcement from Blair, considering that Thatcher is still alive and well. As well as can be expected, that is, for someone with as grisly and black a heart as Thatcher's, what with her mean-spirited outlook on those less fortunate. Some view Blair's suggestion as a parting shot to his now maligned Labour party, a party Blair himself has led down a rather Thatcheresque path these late days.

There is a remarkable difference between American sentiments surrounding Ronald Reagan, as was demonstrated rather sickeningly during his funeral last year, and those of the Brits regarding Thatcher. The British media has been far less inclined to romanticise the old bat than has the US media with respect to Reagan. Though the two had remarkably similar idealogies, resulting in policies that were mirror images across the pond, the US media, ably staffed as it is by accolytes who refracted their memory of Reagan through the prism of the collapse of the Soviet Union -- a feat that was, to them, single-handedly accomplished by a man who seemed unable to remember much of anything -- has managed to suppress much of the dreadful behaviour of the Reagan administration and of the man's own devisive views and comments (for god's sakes, Oliver North has his own television show). From Iran-Contra, to the S&L scandal, to massive Star Wars deficits that did nothing but enrich defense contractors, to his infamous "welfare queen" demagoguery, to his abominable ignorance of the rising HIV/AIDS epidemic, Reagan's actual record was, if anything, more horrendous than Thatcher's. But the huge US economy didn't really begin to suffer the blows of Reagan's agenda until he was nearly gone and it was Bush I who would pay the price for Reagan's dismal domestic agenda.

But the smaller UK economy was unable to buffer the blows dealt by Thatcher's agenda, which is why, I suspect, she is rather less fondly remembered than Reagan is in the US. That, and the fact that the UK press, in general, are considerably less beholden to right wing interests than are the US press these days.


Blogger Kel said...

I'm glad you express scepticism at this right wing view that Reagan single handedly brought down the Soviet Union.

I've always thought this a particularly foul piece of right wing revisionism. They certainly weren't talking of it's imminent collapse at the time.

And they also coveniently manage to remove Gorbachov from this analysis.

3:58 AM  
Blogger theBhc said...

The Reagan-brought-down-the-Soviet-Union canard has always been annoying.

Have you seen James Carroll's article Deconstructing Cheney? There is an interesting passage in it:

"As Mikhail Gorbachev presided over the nonviolent dismantling of the Soviet Union, Cheney warned Bush not to trust it."

check it out.

9:54 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home