Fact Check: Should we pay for a Museum to Thatcher?
Wednesday 27th January 2016 | MJ
A 38degrees petition to stop public funding for a museum celebrating Margaret Thatcher has almost reached the 40,000 signatures that they targeted, and following PM David Cameron’s commitment to donate 15 million pounds to the installation, if you dig back, talk of this tribute to Thatcher has been going back as far as 2013.
It is no surprise that The Telegraph are in favour of memorialising the first woman PM who held power between 1979, until 1990 when she was forced to quit by her own party.
Cameron’s speech that ‘young people’ will be able to see Thatcher’s achievements are carefully chosen words – the older generation know the damage she did, and if the youth can be misinformed here, the Tories can benefit. This museum is just as much to further support for the Tories as it is to pay tribute to their fallen hero.
However, Cat Boyd in The National takes a surprising stance, suggesting that a museum should go ahead so that we can learn the truth. But it depends who’s presenting the truth as to what we are going to learn…
So who should we believe?
Well that depends on your view of capitalism and politics in general. But in a time of austerity, in no small part caused by the free market era of Reagan and Thatcher, assuming the public will be happy to donate £15 million to lionise a dead PM that already had a lavish (ie expensive) state-funded funeral is a step too far, regardless of whether she was good or bad for the country.
The last Labour government could have spent our money on a museum to Atlee (Labour PM who solidified our welfare state, ensuring social care for all who needed it) but probably felt that the historic achievements of Labour were best memorialised by the fact that we still feel in the UK that we should support the less able in society. The Tory party are doing all they can to dismantle this system. Remember the funding for the blind that was just cut? The cuts to student grants? Try to remember them, because, when they’re gone…