Margaret Thatcher and Augusto Pinochet

Courtesy Photo

Margaret Thatcher and Augusto Pinochet

Thatcher a British Hero?

Depends on Who You Are

“With the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend.” – President Barack Obama

Thatcher was no hero to the working class people of the United Kingdom. Poverty increased 10 percentage points during her tenure as prime minister. She dismantled the trade unions and killed the manufacturing industry, leaving millions unemployed. The rich got richer, and the poor got poorer. She was a hero to the aristocrats, the bankers, and the rest of the 1%.

She was no hero to Ian Mckellan and homosexuals throughout the UK. Her government passed a bill that forbade local government councils from doing anything that would “promote” homosexuality. She was a hero to bigotry and intolerance.

There’s a good reason that “Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead” hit the top of the charts on the BBC last week. Thatcher was despised by many, not just in the UK, but throughout the entire world.

Margaret Thatcher was no hero to Stephen Biko. She was a hero to the colonial mentality and the racist regimes of Pieter Willem Botha  and Frederik Willem de Klerk, which she refused to sanction. She was no hero to Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress, whom she referred to as terrorists:

The ANC is a typical terrorist organisation … Anyone who thinks it is going to run the government in South Africa is living in cloud-cuckoo land’ – Margaret Thatcher, 1987.

She was no hero to the supporters of democracy in Chile. She was a hero to the ruthless dictator Augusto Pinochet, who tortured and murdered his opposition. She lifted the arms embargo against Chile and supplied his regime with armaments. She called for his release when he was arrested.

She was no hero to the million or so victims of genocide in Cambodia, nor to the additional hundreds of thousands who died of starvation and malaria. She was a hero to Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, which Thatcher’s SAS (Special Air Service) armed and trained. Her government complied with the U.S. in giving aid to the deposed Khmer Rouge who hid in Thailand, and she championed their continued participation in the governing of Cambodia.

How many people died in the Falkland Islands as a result of her eagerness to bring back the days when the sun never set on the British empire? What a callous waste of life. She was a champion of pointless war and military aggression.

Margaret Thatcher was no hero to Bobby Sands and the nine other hunger strikers who died in the Long Kesh prison in northern Ireland. She was no hero to generations of Irish who fought for freedom and independence from British rule. One of her solutions to the troubles in Northern Ireland was to evoke the strategy of Oliver Cromwell, which was basically to wipe the Catholics off the map. No hero to those who sought human rights and recognition, she was a hero to the unionist thugs whom she colluded with through the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary), the SAS, and various covert branches of the British military.

She was no hero to me.

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