This is a commentary, and in no way political, although some would say that even mentioning a politician makes things political. I am not stating views here today. I am talking about how views are altered by one's global positioning. As in where the heck you are changes views.
Well. You will see what I mean if you choose to read on today!
Margaret Thatcher (Baroness Thatcher) is being buried tomorrow. Or rather, it is the day of her funeral. Her death has given rise to countless diverse comments/stories in the news media, Facebook and heaven knows where else. Ironically, some of the most vociferous, hysterical voices seem to be from people who were not even born when she was the Iron Lady, First Woman PM here in the UK. Or the voices belong to people who were mere children back then. What could they have known? Really?
There have been appalling songs celebrating her death. There have been great celebrations - parties in some parts of society. There have been accolades and tributes and there has been sorrow.
Now, I do not believe that celebrating someone's death is in any way acceptable. Nor do I believe that spending £10million on a funeral is appropriate, but that is beside the point. She was, by any standards, a remarkable woman, who rose to the top, in what was then very definitely a man's world. She definitely earned her place in history, for many reasons, both good and bad.
But here's the thing - I can only comment as a foreigner.
She left 10 Downing Street as we arrived here to live, and what astounded me back then was the way people here absolutely loathed her.
You see, to the outside world, ie everywhere except the UK, she was a star. A strong world leader. A woman much admired. Outside the UK, things like British trade unions were irrelevant. Unimportant. All we saw was how amazing she was. Strong. Powerful. Call it spin or whatever you like. Internationally she was a roaring success. The world stage was her stage.
Not so much here at home, and it took all of 24 hours to find that out.
Isn't it amazing how world views vs home views differ?
The same can be said (as I duck for cover) about the current US leaders. And others too, of course. They work fine internationally, but at home, it is a different story. The world view of President Obama is radically different from that of a great many home US citizens. I would have to be blind and deaf not to see that. And everyone is perfectly entitled to their own opinion, of course. But we tend to only see him on the world stage, not the home one.
Do you see what I mean about Mrs Thatcher?
So, it is with interest that I have watched the reaction to her death here. And deep sadness that anyone's death should be celebrated. And sorrow for her family. And incredulity at the cost of the funeral. And remembering the Iron Lady leading a nation to war (Falklands) - even though it was her removal of the military presence there which led to the invasion in the first place.
Everyone born on this earth is human. We all make mistakes. We never get everything right. But she was elected by the voters in Britain. She was not a military dictator. The people of Britain overwhelmingly elected her to power, just as we have elected the Coalition which is bumbling through draconian legislation here right now. (The alternative is just as bad.)(Sigh.) (Groan.) But that is another story.
So what I am trying to say is that it is vaguely surreal to be both.
A foreign observer and a home voter.
Maybe it is because I tend to look at the "what are they good at" instead of "what are their faults". I am a born optimist. I try to see the good. But nothing outweighs the fact that she was still a mother, and a granny. And all the vitriol is going to do just what? There is talk of people protesting, as is their right in a democracy, on the funeral route. That will change what?
And given the appalling bombings in Boston yesterday, it would be in order for the mood to be sombre.
It is a sad world we live in, where some people think it is just fine to destroy the lives of ordinary people. To instill fear. To strike at the heart of nations. It is right to have diverse opinions. It is right to feel great emotion.It is not right to try to enforce them on others. To do harm.
It is not right to celebrate the death of an old lady. Nor is it right to excuse any form of carnage in the name of protest. Intelligent, educated argument is one thing. Singing Ding Dong the Witch is Dead from the Wizard of Oz and having it shoot up the charts here in the UK because Baroness Thatcher is dead is a disgrace - a totally different thing altogether. I am ashamed of my countrymen.
My heart breaks for all those who are hurting in Boston. For all the pain, the suffering and the sadness. I wish there was more good in our world. I wish that evil wasn't around every corner - oh wait, that is why I am a Christian..........one day there will be a world like that, won't there. Evil will be defeated and good will triumph. It has been promised, and won for us.
I just have to hang on till then.