It was Mike Cliffson (a frequent commenter on this blog)'s mother who told me in 1983 how pleased she was that for the second election in a row there was a clear ideological choice to be made: Thatcher versus Foot; capitalism versus socialism.
It's easy to argue that we should avoid extremes, but in fact, in a parliamentary democracy, the extremes are left to take care of themselves and parties attempt to appeal to the centre.
Appeals to the centre from a defined ideological position, though, whether left or right, are so much more refreshing than people eschewing ideology altogether. Foot versus Thatcher: you can work out for yourself where you want to be along the (long) line which separates them. Cameron/Clegg versus Milliband (or Milliband/Clegg): where is the line? Who is drawing it?
Politics actually matters. And I'd rather people remembered the ideologically opposed days of Thatcher and Foot than pretended that consensus was a goal to be fought for. I'd rather hear Ken Livingstone explain why he thought Thatcher was wrong, than hear Ed Balls tell us what a towering figure she was.
But I can't help feeling that people in their thirties celebrating her death with parties have lost the plot: not just of politics, but of humanity.
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