I know arguing about the “information” in those “cleverly” captioned pictures on Facebook, tumblr and everywhere else is utterly pointless, but they’ve been annoying me for too long, so I’m going to indulge my inner pedant and start rebutting the odd one. Today I shall be starting with two relating to Margaret Thatchers demise.
This one rather annoys me as it tries to excuse the deeply unpleasant celebration of Mrs Thatcher’s death by trying to claim that November the 5th celebrations are rejoicing in Guy Fawkes death. Now let’s just ignore that even if that was the case for most people (as this image proves) the meaning and reason behind Bonfire night has been totally forgotten. We can even ignore the 407 years between his death and today, during which time we’ve in theory become more civilised and thus it’s just a quaint tradition. Instead for those claiming that Bonfire night is the same as celebrating the recent death of an individual and consider that if we were celebrating Guy Fawkes’ death we’d be doing so on January the 31st (1606) which is when he was executed not November the 5th which was when he was caught. The celebrations on November the 5th are for the fact that the plot failed. It is the continuation of an act of thanks that the kings life had been spared and that a papist terrorist plot had been foiled.
“Already on the 5th, agitated Londoners who knew little more than that their King had been saved, joyfully lit bonfires in thanksgiving.”
So likening the celebration of the death of an old lady with with the celebration of the sparing of the king’s and other lives is well just a little misguided.
The other equally misguided image is this one:
As a protest against Margaret Thatcher this one is so misguided that it’s actually awesome, as they’re proposing to prover her very point by acting as individuals to the betterment of other individuals. The problem is of course that her “no such thing as society” quote is always taken so far out of context as to hardly count as a quote. the oh so often quoted line is of course:
“There is no such thing as society.”
But the more complete quote is:
“There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.”
Which is rather saying something completely different to what her detractors would like to think. If they didn’t claim on the image that Mrs Thatcher didn’t believe in society, I can think of no better tribute to her than large numbers of people turning round and by their own efforts helping others. For those that are interested a fuller transcript can be found here.