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By Louisa Hadley (auth.)

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Additional info for Responding to Margaret Thatcher’s Death

Example text

Because I think it’s a hopeless situation”. However, the futility of the protests in these songs partly results from the focus on the person of Thatcher. The critiques of Thatcherism are overtaken by the personal and gender-based attacks on Thatcher, which seem to misunderstand the wider power structures at play and negate the influence of Thatcher’s all-male cabinet colleagues and advisors. The resurgence of these songs in the days after Thatcher’s death, then, can be read as an expression of misdirected rage that prevents a fuller engagement with the more complex forces that have sustained Thatcher’s legacy and influence beyond her time in power.

This narrative marks Thatcher out as a singular and exceptional woman who managed to succeed against the odds. In this respect, her achievement as a woman in politics is actually removed from a broader historical context, in which women had been making gains in the political arena, and is implicitly associated with her personal qualities. 0005  Responding to Margaret Thatcher’s Death tribute, then, distanced Thatcher from party politics by emphasising her position as a national leader and focusing on her personal achievements.

However, the cultural taboo surrounding speaking ill of the dead prevented him from dwelling too much on political differences. Although there was some consideration of Thatcher’s politics, Miliband’s speech focused on the personal in assessing Thatcher’s “personal achievements [and ... ] style of politics” (Hansard). 0005 Political Responses to Thatcher’s Death  ground, with Miliband emphasising the extent to which she “broke the mould” of available options for a woman most obviously, but not solely, within the male-dominated world of politics (Hansard).

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