One of this blog's most faithful readers called my attention to this article in the Guardian about Mrs Thatcher that takes a few snipes at the lady on the basis of what there is on the newly posted private papers. The truth is that even the Grauniad finds it hard not to be overawed by her.
Once we get past all that stuff about her diet (actually, it does not sound all that unabalanced though the lack of carbohydrate makes one wonder) we come to the Guardian's main complaint.
The papers also show that her 1987 "no such thing as society" remark, which for many critics defined the immoral truth of Thatcherism, was not off the cuff but was her view as early as 1979.It takes a Gardianista to call an assertion of personal morality immoral but the way that phrase has been quoted out of context has confused many people.
Here we have the real comment, though it was not used in the 1979 conference speech, more is th pity:
Morality is personal. There is no such thing as collective conscience, collective kindness, collective gentleness, collective freedom. To talk of social justice, social responsibility, a new world order, may be easy and make us feel good, but it does not absolve each of us from personal responsibility.It remains true that people glibly talk of new world order and social responsibility without ever wanting to shoulder personal responsibility. That remains too difficult.