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The Market Thatcher Something

The cartoon below is my comment on what’s been going on this past week in Isn’t-It-Great-That-Great-Britain-Is-Great-Again. Actually, it’s not my comment as you can see and I’ll probably get fined or jailed for copyright infringement. During the Reagan/Thatcher years I visited Nicaragua and found this cartoon in a Managua newspaper (I did not note which newspaper or the exact date, but I was in Nicaragua in February of 1987). I cut it out and kept it and found it this week when, while trying to avoid the news, I remembered seeing it in the Roosevelt Hotel all those years ago. While Ronald Reagan, a partisan party politician (as they all are, of course) who divided the country, was granted a state funeral and was elevated to the status of national hero during his funeral week, it is now Market Thatcher’s turn.

It’s estimated that the non-state state funeral will cost the taxpayers between £8mil to £10mil in this time of austerity. An official state funeral must be sanctioned by Parliament which would also include an agreement to use public funds to pay for it. The Tory/Liberal Democrat government avoided the parliamentary debate and vote but nonetheless insisted the public pay for the event. Rather cowardly I thought. Some people suggest that the best way to honour this particular free market warrior is for the government to put the entire funeral out to tender, accepting the lowest bids, of course. Kind of like what it’s doing with the NHS. Who knows, the military of Equatorial Guinea might have won the contract to put Market Thatcher on their wagon and escort her to the church.

Market Thatcher supporters allow no criticism of the Iron Lady who died in the London Ritz and their tone of voice, perhaps more than their actually words, implies that any and all criticism is blasphemous. So, the cartoon is just a gentle reminder that not all people considered Ronald Reagan and Market Thatcher to be great saviours.

By the way, I call her Market Thatcher because just as the death news was breaking, a young person on Twitter not realising everyone was talking about an actual human being thought instead the news was about a “market thatcher something to do with our Queen.” Though obviously humours, mistaking the person for the ideology, the name really is appropriate. Market Thatcher was a capitalistic free market ideologue who could be considered a saviour – of the rich, of course. And we must not forget it was Ronald Reagan and Market Thatcher who got the free-for-all ball rolling, which kept rolling faster and faster until it hit the wall in 2008.

Oh, one last thing. For the record, having great conviction as a politician isn’t in and of itself a reason to be elevated to sainthood. There are a number of politicians who had great conviction that most of wish had never been born.



Copyright © 2013 Dale Rominger

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