Russell Brand has written an informative and reflective piece about the death of Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher’s death has had a divisive effect on the nation. Some are mourning and some are celebrating. Others, probably the majority of people, are indifferent. Now, Russell Brand has waded into the debate with a beautifully written and reflective essay.
The comedian has penned an article for the Huffington Post about his experiences under Thatcher’s leadership in the 1980s and how he feels now that the former prime minister has died.
In a typically well-written missive Brand summed up Thatcher’s legacy as selfish, saying: ‘All of us that grew up under Thatcher were taught that it is good to be selfish, that other people’s pain is not your problem, that pain is in fact a weakness and suffering is deserved and shameful.’
He also reflected that it was no surprise that some people were celebrating her passing with street parties, explaining: ‘Is that what made her so formidable, her ability to ignore the suffering of others? Given the nature of her legacy, “survival of the fittest” – a phrase that Darwin himself only used twice in Origin of Species, compared to hundreds of references to altruism, love and cooperation, it isn’t surprising that there are parties this week in Liverpool, Glasgow and Brixton – from where are they to have learned compassion and forgiveness?’
The 37-year-old also touched on the idea of Thatcher as a feminist symbol, quickly blowing that concept out of the water. He wrote: ‘It always struck me as peculiar, too, when the Spice Girls briefly championed Thatcher as an early example of Girl Power. I don’t see that. She is an anomaly, a product of the freak-conomy of her time. Barack Obama interestingly said in his statement that she had “broken the glass ceiling for other women.” Only in the sense that all the women beneath her were blinded by falling shards. She is an icon of individualism, not of feminism.’
While, in no way a fan of the former PM and the changes she made to the UK during her time in power, Russell Brand explained, rather beautifully, why he is not celebrating the death of Margaret Thatcher. He simply wrote: ‘If you opposed Thatcher’s ideas it is likely because of their lack of compassion, which is really just a word for love. If love is something you cherish it is hard to glean much joy from death, even in one’s enemies.’
What do you think of Russell Brand’s take on Margaret Thatcher’s death? Do you agree with his views? Let us know in the comment box below.