The Wand


Thatcher's death by Kate Smurthwaite

"Why I won't be celebrating Thatcher's death"


What a strange day.

The television is full of politicians being sad, the internet is full of people I know being happy.


Personally I just can’t get on the bandwagon with the gleeful grave-dancers. Not because I agreed with her policies or liked her in spite of them. No, there is no doubt that her legacy is a shameful one.


But, firstly, that legacy is alive and well. The current government are on a privatisation spree, benefits are being ripped away from those who need them most and who are least able to fight back. Even healthcare and education are being sliced up and handed to the private sector to be run for maximum profit rather than for the sick and the next generation.


(Image is from a mural by Peter Jonas

Without graffiti amazingly after a year, as it was local kids and their parents who worked on it.)

No individual, however much of a figurehead, can change laws and decide budgets alone.


Her party and her ideology continue at full pace.


Secondly no discussion of her life or death seems free from the taint of sexism. People I know who wouldn’t tolerate prejudiced language anywhere else are using terms like “witch”, “harridan” and “ugly cow”. I’m pretty sure the miners in the 80s were angry about her closing the collieries, not her lack of “doability”.


Plus rather than saying that Cameron and Osborne’s policies are similar to Thatcher’s, all I hear is that they “suckle on her teats” and “are the spawn of her fetid ovaries”. The choice of language implies childbearing and breastfeeding are vile, unnatural things. They’re not. Grow up.


Finally the people who are really celebrating the death of Margaret Thatcher today aren’t the left at all. The reality is that headline-grabbing news like this couldn’t come at a more ideal time, taking the heat off the slashing of disability benefits.I am cynical enough to think the coalition might pick a “busy news day” like today to quietly do something awful and hope it slips under the radar.Tomorrow when we wake up still wrapped in the “Thatcher’s dead” bunting we’ll notice it seems oddly quiet and as the hangover fog starts to fade we’ll suddenly realise the government has taken our children.





On the ball fun

I have found lots of interesting poets, thinkers, writers and artists, but still need to find some words that are funny as well as profound. Kate, has been on BBC, as well as Radio 4 discussing women's issues, so it seems natural including her.

That was the first time I met someone over breakfast. Phoenix Street

Another person always on the ball, Peter Jonas, who is the nominee for this year. He makes amazing artwork,but takes himself with a pinch of salt. How come the really good artists are the ones that aren't that serious? The less good want praise all day?

A scene being shot for Peter and Sina's film