Sunday, January 06, 2013

The Iron Lady

I watched tonight for the first time the film "The Iron Lady" which is about the life of former Tory Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

It was an historical drama and not a documentary. While I would certainly not agree with all the political interpretations it made, I enjoyed watching it.

Thatcher today is very much still a divisive  figure: a hero to some and a hate figure to others.

Under Margaret Thatcher, male unemployment in my part of North East Wales, following closures in the local Steel works and textile factories reached 33%. It was an horrendous time and she seemed to give the impression as PM that she didn't care and just a price worth paying!

So I should really hate her, but I have always preferred to dislike rather than hate. The key thing in politics is to attack what politicians do and say rather than their personalities.

Forgetting the politics (if you can) I was pretty uncomfortable with the scenes in the film around her current  supposed mental health and the involvement of her children, grown up or otherwise. It was more than a bit off I thought and it was simply wrong in my view of the film to bring this up.

The actual acting by Meryl Streep was simply superb and incredible. She was Margaret Thatcher.

As regards to any lessons we can learn from this film for the "left"? Well, yes there is. We all know that there are many working class Tories such as Thatcher and we cannot just ignore them and pretend they do not exist.  It is no use just knocking people who share these beliefs we have to find ways to win them over.

The real lesson from the film is that the "left" needs to learn from Thatcher (of all people) that if you have real self-belief and self-confidence in your arguments it is possible to succeed and bring about fundamental change.  
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