The Thatcher Crisis Years

1980s politics blog from TV historian Tony McMahon

The imagery often used to attack Thatcher was pretty brutal. Even at the time as a Marxist, I was uneasy about some of the sexism that wafted over some of these cartoons. Thatcher didn’t advance the cause of women particularly and she rejected the idea of being a feminist. But her gender did seem to stoke the vitriol in ways that crossed a line on occasions.

I recall a discussion at a college Labour Club meeting in around 1982 where the slogan “Ditch the Bitch” was hotly discussed. Some felt it summed up the anger of people in working class communities and we had no right to criticise that. Others argued that there was no place for that denigrating word. Passions ran very high and needless to say, nobody changed their mind.

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