It’s taken me exactly 15 months since my initial blog on Margaret Thatcher to watch the film The Iron Lady, and ironically she died the following day.
Don’t worry, I’m not drawing too much from this coincidence, but my reaction to the film was much as I feared.
The whole experience felt like we were watching it through tinted glasses. I guess we were – the glasses of an elderly woman.
I did get angry at the film, and I shed a tear – at the riots, the poverty, the destruction of so much that was once Great Britain.
But what’s so interesting about the timing (watching the film and then her death) is that people are talking about her again and it reinforces more than ever how much she divided the country.
That division is also voicing itself around the world.
Here, in Brisbane this morning, two ABC radio producers (both originally from the UK) got into a very heated discussion, then there’s all the articles, columns, blogs and social media updates – it’s all rife with either adoration or extreme bile.
In the UK last year I finally saw some of the old Great British pride returning – with the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
The last time I remember really seeing that was when I was a child celebrating – as part of a street party – the Queen’s Silver Jubilee – that was in 1977 – before Thatcher became Prime Minister.
Interestingly, even in death, she’s managed to polarise the country again.