(and I should comment here that Churchill the politician tends to get subsumed within Churchill the Battle or Britain, but get him away from his old enemy Adolf and the man turns out to be a rather mean, narrow-minded, intolerant, harrumphing fusty old imperialist. His refusal to accept that white Britons weren't designated by God to rule the "lesser Breeds without the law" doomed the Empire to a decade of nasty anticolonial wars and rebellions. Thatcher's Irish and South African policies were as bad as anything Winston imagined without the redeeming defiance of a looming fascist empire.)and I was never able to summon much more than contempt for her whilst alive. I have no more affection for her now that she is food for worms.
But I will give her this; she managed, along with her counterparts in this country, to turn the tide of social and political opinion that had been running strongly against "her sort" since the trainwreck of the Great Depression. She liberated the malefactors of Great Wealth from the social and political exile and made it acceptable to be a greedy, selfish, irresponsible bastard. She revived the notion of the Unworthy Poor, that same vile screed that excused the brutality of Victorian capitalism and fired the rebellions of communism and anarchism. She made it acceptable to not care about anything but your own greed for gain and that has not changed, and that may well be her greatest victory, the guerdon she carries down to her grave.
And that is at the same time her darkest evil.
For if the industrial democracies are to mean anything more than scraps of colored cloth flying over splotches of land and sea, more than just empty words in lawbooks and histories, they are and should represent the greatest hope for a decent life for the most people. They must stand for those freedoms that FDR talked about; freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom of speech, and freedom of - and from - worship and those freedoms must extend to every citizen from the wealthiest and proudest to the poorest and humblest.
The freedoms cannot be simply the privilege of the wealthy and the well-born. And they cannot be mere words that can be set aside by "the free market"; the breaker boys and match girls, the poor broken on the wheel of labor and cast aside to die destitute are and should be a shame and a hissing to any society that calls itself a "republic" or a "democracy".
The deepest evil of Thatcherism is that it comforted the comfortable and reassured the wealthy and powerful that the hardships their actions visited on their fellow citizens were not sins and shames but merely happenstances.
And though it were in another country, and besides, the wench is dead the evil that she did lives after her. Because of that I cannot but hope that there is indeed a Hell.
And that when I arrive there I will find Baroness Thatcher chained, far below me in its direst pit, so that even in my own torment I may still savor the sweet sound of justice; her screams of unbearable agony.