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Margaret Thatcher: we disliked her and we loved it

Publié par Clifford Armion le 04/09/2013

Ian McEwan

"Maggie! Maggie! Maggie! Out! Out! Out!" That chanted demand of the left has been fully and finally met. At countless demonstrations throughout the 80s, it expressed a curious ambivalence – a first name intimacy as well as a furious rejection of all she stood for. "Maggie Thatcher" – two fierce trochees set against the gentler iambic pulse of Britain's postwar welfare state. For those of us who were dismayed by her brisk distaste for that cosy state-dominated world, it was never enough to dislike her. We liked disliking her. She forced us to decide what was truly important.
In retrospect, in much dissenting commentary there was often a taint of unexamined sexism. Feminists disowned her by insisting that though she was a woman, she was not a sister. But what bound all opposition to Margaret Thatcher's programme was a suspicion that the grocer's daughter was intent on monetising human value, that she had no heart and, famously, cared little for the impulses that bind individuals into a society.
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"Margaret Thatcher: we disliked her and we loved it", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), septembre 2013. Consulté le 04/03/2021. URL: http://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/archives/archives-revue-de-presse/margaret-thatcher-we-disliked-her-and-we-loved-it