(First published on my Wikinut blog on 14th Oct 2015)
I am not sure what to make of British Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent claim that Jeremy Corbyn hates Britain.
Is it deliberate, deplorable, party political demagoguery or does it point to a profound, authentic failure of insight and empathy?
Which man loves or hates Britain more?
I offer a brief study of Margaret Thatcher’s love for Britain to settle the score.
Mother Maggie – fabulous, fallible humanity
This article was posted in a heated Facebook discussion on Margaret Thatcher.
The discussion was started by Clive Ó Mocháin a member of the group British Politics, who posted a picture of Baroness Thatcher and below it the words “Hate figure or effective leader”.
I counted more than 480 responses, many peppered with obscenities, in the first 24 hours of the post.
That Thatcher, like Jeremy Corbin, divides opinion is beyond question.
I posted the following essay in a bid to find a middle-ground.
Nobody’s perfect, and ‘Laddy’ Thatcher may be said to represent humanity at its most fallible and fabulous.
Both her weaknesses and strengths were amplified by the socio-political system that created, sustained and sabotaged her.
She enthusiastically aided and abetted that sabotage by her hubris and vanity.
And the main cost was to her immediate family, especially her children.
Mark Thatcher’s ill-fated imperialist adventure in Africa and Carol Thatcher’s racist behaviour attest to this.
Among her extended family, her ideological “sons” Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Michael Gove, Theresa May and others are especially tragic statements of the folly she accomplished: the perpetuation of an unhealthy, feudal-lords-favoured (and favouring) “Great Britain” myth.
Probably against her maternal instincts and better judgment, she has perpetuated a parasitic, predatory paedophile-like formal and informal “education” system – in which the role of the BBC and other media houses in suppressing open and honest debate and critical thinking are critical.
Contrary to her best intentions she poisoned the milk of human kindness even as she sought to deny murderous, misguided misanthropes the oxygen of publicity.
Britain, at its greatest, is a space in which people are valued on the basis of their humanity, irrespective of their “public” office or status.
It is a country where we all make time for each other, not just for “celebrities”.
Our “greatness”, is best measured by our capacity to care for others, just as we care for ourselves.
Whether British, American, Canadian, Barbadian (like me) or any other nationality, our “greatness” corresponds directly to the level of responsibility we are willing to bear.
It is fundamentally linked to our willingness to bear responsibility for humanity’s
failures in the same way we applaud and identify with its successes.
Lady Thatcher’s American “cousins” George W Bush and Mitt Romney apparently have trouble understanding this Christian “do unto others as…” theory.
Her pragmatic, Indian “brother” Sir VS Naipaul apparently missed the class that explained this nation-building methodology while he was at Oxford University.
Barbadian academics Sir Hilary Beckles, Afrocentric poets Edward “Kamau” Brathwaite and others clamoring for trans-Atlantic slavery reparations from Britain, France and other European nations but not from African nations or tribes that prospered (at least temporarily) from enslaving and trafficking workers seem to have been “educated” just as shallowly.
Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe once seemed to have learned this lesson, apparently forgot it for a while, but may be re-learning it again now, if some reports out of Zimbabwe are an accurate indicator of a change in his “blame anyone but me” mentality.
They and the “Iron Lady” apparently missed the memo that explained how all of us – male and female, rich and poor, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jew, Muslim or atheist, capitalist or communist – are all part of the same human family.
They apparently missed the message that because we are all fallible flesh and blood we all need to have humility and show empathy.
So, hate figure or effective prime minister?
The humane, humble and empathetic among us would know that’s a false dichotomy.
Misanthropic mother Maggie was a bit of both, clearly.
From my vantage point though, as a student of gender theory, she will lamentably be remembered mainly as a fundamentalist feminist fantasist: a self-destructive Talibank thinker who in the name of British “greatness” undermined her household’s and her own humanity.