Lady Margaret in hell

Lady Margaret in Hell

… where no doubt she will be batting her rather striking eyes at Don Juan. She was quite a flirt, or so one is told. That other late unlamented, Christopher Hitchens, tells a droll story about her.

All my lefty mailing lists are full of abuse for old Lady Margaret. I suppose it’s understandable, in a way, since everybody who is anybody, from the God-Emperor on down, is hastening to lay posies on her grave, even before she’s in it. The impulse to set the record straight is elevated and correct.

And yeah, sure, she was a bad person, no doubt about it; as bad as you like. Lay on the untiring minions of Tartarus, with their incandescent whips, to the top of your bent; she deserved it all, and more than your punitive imagination can begin to frame.

But really — doesn’t all this posthumous vindictiveness make us Lefties seem a little … small?

Surely here if ever was a foe worthy of our steel — worthy, and then some, since she whupped us six ways from Sunday. She, and Richard Nixon, seem like the only halfway interesting political figures to bestride the world stage in my lifetime. Come on. Credit where it’s due.

This is not about being nice, or respecting the dead, or any such Pecksniffery as that. There are graves on which I would cheerfully dance — though I seldom dance, and don’t do it well.

But somehow, Tricky Dick’s and Lady Margaret’s graves are not among the ones I would dance on, though they themselves, in life, were the worst of the worst. They were so bad that they attained a kind of diabolical dignity, which it’s simply vulgar not to acknowledge.

It’s as if one were sent as ambassador to the court of Beelzebub. Who wouldn’t want to meet the old arch-reprobate? And who wouldn’t be polite to him, once met?

11 thoughts on “Lady Margaret in hell

  1. Beelzebub, Satan, or whatever other figure of evil you like is in an open rebellion against goodness, with clearly-outlined and proudly stated philosophical differences. What makes Margaret worse is that she feigned goodness. She is the abusive parent who’s doing it intentionally, claiming it’s for your own good; she is the un-fallen angel who still poisons the river where children’s souls play, then blames it on the Morningstar. Come Sunday, she’s in the front row, crying crocodile tears over the wispy caskets and singing hymns louder than everyone else.

    Even if you found strictly the techniques she used interesting–like admiring the handiwork of someone who hacks electronic locks on bank safes, or who extracts toenails–she was only following a script. There’s certainly room for improvisation, but praising Margaret or Richard for the ten-thousandth version of post-industrial murder-manager is down to the level of nitpicking whether the guy who played Mufasa in the 2246 Broadway production of The Lion King did appropriate credit to both William and Walt.

  2. “It’s as if one were sent as ambassador to the court of Beelzebub. Who wouldn’t want to meet the old arch-reprobate? And who wouldn’t be polite to him, once met?”


    Anyway, I laughed when I heard that this song from the Wizard of Oz is getting popular play in Great Britain.

    Ding dong the witch is dead, the Wicked Witch is dead…

    That’s funny.

  3. Satan is a misunderstood character in a fictional book. He was never anywhere near the prick that Yahweh was. Thatcher was a devil here in the real world. Her body count and record of pure nastiness certainly exceeds that of Satan, though that is a surprisingly low bar to pass and should not be confused with talent.

    I’ve been enjoying all the pitchforkery, myself. The last thing we need is more paeans to her alleged “greatness” as either fascist savior or leftist foe. She was a two bit hack in the mold of Reagan and there have been dozens like her since, many a lot worse. There was/is no shortage of milk snatchers in the Labour party or Democrats then or now who would have been happy to perform her role and do it better. Can anyone deny that Bush, Blair or Obama outdid her in the evil department? What made her special? Hillary could out-Thatcher her without breaking a sweat.

    She was just a rubberstamp. not a leader. Where was her opposition? The right wing steamroller has been a success these last few decades because what passes for the “Left” in NA and Europe is as heavily coopted as she was.

    Where were all the puritans when Chavez’s corpse was being dragged through the mud just a month ago? No finger-wagging or tut-tutting over breaches of decorum then.

    I’ll save my praise for those who’ve earned it:

      • I loved it. She made those two stuffed shirts, MacNeil and Lehrer, look like idiots. This is a person used to dealing with PMQ in the House of Commons. No two wind-up toys from NPR are going to make the least impression on her.

        Who was it that said she has the eyes of Caligula and the lips of Marilyn Monroe?

        • Yes, the spanking began immediately, with her putting them in their places with smarting bottoms over why she didn’t fly back to London as scheduled. MacNeil, as perpetual schoolboy, looked like he enjoyed it, missing only the cap and short pants.
          But the lies and hypocrisy got under my skin after about 5 minutes and I had to stop. Not interfering with the internal affairs of El Salvador! Rich.
          If you sat through the whole thing, congratulations. You are indeed a fan.

          • Oh, all those lies about El Salvador and so on are old news. Everybody who isn’t a complete ignoramus even knows they’re lies. That’s history now.

            I did love hearing her talk about how bad it was for anybody to occupy Afghanistan. Life’s little ironies.

            I’m not exactly a *fan* of old Maggie — au contraire, I really loathed her, loathed her as much as anybody, when she lived at Number Ten. But now she seems kinda period, and one can see the rather remarkable personal qualities. Not to mention the drollery, and the weird twisted sexiness.

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