I remember vividly as a 6 year old when school milk was abolished by the then Education Secretary Margaret Thatcher, then as a 16 year old in 1983 when the school leaving options were a Youth Opportunities Scheme until 18 or the dole. My husband was a teenager in Liverpool in the 1980's when Boys from the Blackstuff was not only a TV programme, but reality, for many once proud working men on Merseyside whose lives were put in "managed decline" by the PM of the day - Thatcher. So you could say that my generation of 40+s are more than qualified to talk about the new proposal for our August Bank holiday; a proposal submitted as a bill in the House of Commons by far right anti EU fanatic Peter Bone MP. His bill which gets a second reading on January 17th is to rename our bank holiday as "Margaret Thatcher Day".
Just putting the obvious to one side for a moment, many socialists would feel equally angry, shocked, and downright insulted if the left attempted to afford Tony Blair the same honour if they were in power. No Government, Tory or Labour has the divine right to seek to rename a public holiday after a socially divisive figure such as Margaret Thatcher. A woman who turned a blind eye to facts and made it her personal mission to desecrate the coal mining industry and destroy the communities around them: because she could, and for no other economic reason.
For an MP like Peter Bone whose anti EU policies, stand on strict abortion limits and stance in opposing same sex marriage as "totally nuts" to even get this bill to a second reading is laughable. This same MP whose wife has been employed as his own "executive secretary" and has earnt £40k p/a seriously wants more than half of the electorate to have this abomination of a day foisted upon us. An MP whose own party sees him as a total clown and a sheer embarassment to the frontbench. His views are more akin to the extreme right of Ukip, views that the backbench 1922 committee felt were no use in modernising times, and so booted his executive backside out in 2012.
I am sure the people waiting in vain for a council house on the waiting list that fails to materialise,due to Thatcher's council house sell off, the miners who saw their lives and communities destroyed, the once proud shipbuilders thrown on the scrapheap, the mums who saw their child benefit frozen in consecutive years in the late 80's and the children who sat in classrooms with rain pouring through the ceilings ,will certainly not want a Margaret Thatcher Day.
Thatcher deigned to die under the rule of this Coalition Government. Nick Clegg could have done so much more in opposing the sheer opulence of her funeral, but decided to follow his Tory masters every wish. While the Tories mourned her passing, the rest of the electorate remembered the hardships she put us through, the hiding of truths under her watch of the Hillsborough disaster, the "managed decline" of our once proud working class communities thrown to the wolves and lives of poverty, while she glorified in a war that should never have been fought in the Falklands.
"Margaret Thatcher Day" cannot and must not be allowed to happen. Our public bank holidays belong to us: the public. MPs like Peter Bone have no right to even attempt to hijack a Bank Holiday in a woman's name who was so reviled by large sections of society. We need to voice our opposition and lobby our MPs to prevent this bill going any further. "Margaret Thatcher Day" is not only an insult to millions of impoverished working class people, it is one abomination too far from this arrogant nasty Government. We the public insist on protecting our Bank holidays. A day of rest, free from the reminder of the tyranny Margaret Thatcher was.