One is sometimes left in awe at the apparent strength of the stuff supped by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his obedient rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog. Nowhere has this been better illustrated than a customarily pisspoor attack on all those rotten lefties for ridiculing the Fawkes folks for attempting to equate Margaret Thatcher with Nelson Mandela.
“When on Thursday night this blog put up a picture of Margaret Thatcher and Nelson Mandela together the abuse from some quarters on Twitter was more self righteous than Guido can ever remember before. It was also wrong” proclaimed the post, mistaking ridicule and derision for abuse. And there’s nothing wrong with a bit of derisive laughter to call out those full of their own crap.
But do go on. “The myth that Thatcher (and her admirers) supported apartheid is one of the core beliefs of the Comrade Blimpish left ... It is a false charge and Nelson Mandela himself was in no doubt – saying of Margaret Thatcher in July 1990 only a few months after his release: ‘She is an enemy of apartheid… We have much to thank her for’”. Comrade Blimp? Who he?
We’ve all heard of Colonel Blimp, the creation of legendary cartoonist David Low and brought to life in a rather more kindly form by Roger Livesey in the Powell and Pressburger film The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (which the Fawkes hero and champion of free speech Winshton tried to ban). But who or what is Comrade Blimp? He’s a figment of the Fawkes rabble’s imagination. He doesn’t exist.
Margaret Thatcher certainly did support the apartheid regime, and moreover denounced the ANC as “terrorists”. She may have opposed the economics of Afrikaner domination, but it has to be remembered that she opposed the imposition of sanctions against the regime in Pretoria, which may not have been unrelated to husband Denis having business interests in the country.
Thatcher’s premiership may be something for which those out there on the right can summon as much enthusiasm as for the relatively smooth transition from Apartheid to a democratic South Africa, but away from the jerking circle of all those clever people who talk loudly in restaurants, it remains a controversial period in UK Politics which the spin of The Great Guido is not going to talk away.
“Comrade Blimp-types just won’t accept the fact that she did more to encourage the end of apartheid than Paul Weller and Billy Bragg” say the Fawkes folks of their hero. But, as ever with The Great Guido, it’s not that simple, and the combination of spin and invention isn’t making it. Nor does inventing fictitious strawmen just so they can be knocked down with the usual mock triumphalism.
Margaret Thatcher won’t be deified by this rubbish. Another fine mess, once again.