Margaret Thatcher and the Celts

Today 17 April 2013 the funeral of ex-British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was held. She was seen as a very 'English' Prime Minister who did not receive the level of support in Celtic areas that she gained in certain parts of England. In Scotland she appeared out of step with public opinion and is associated with industrial decline, the poll tax and also a failure to understand the desire by the Scottish people to gain more autonomy. Many would say it was the experience of the Thatcher governments that encouraged many doubters in Scotland to seek self-government.

In regard to the north of Ireland the effects of her premiership are viewed negatively by many. The death of the hunger strikers was considered brutal and infuriated nationalist opinion. Her disdain for the Irish continued when she left office. This is summed up by the advice she gave to Peter Mandelson in 1999 when he became Northern Ireland Secretary. He is reported in the New Statesman on 17 April 2013 as recalling that Mrs Thatcher told him: "You cannot trust the Irish. They are all liars".

The leader of Plaid Cymru (The Party of Wales) Leanne Wood marked the death of Margaret Thatcher on their website

Where I live in the valleys, people's chief memory of her time in office is that of the closure of the pits. The bitter miners' strike changed industrial policy - and we are still paying the price for that today. Margaret Thatcher's deliberate switch to a service based economy from a manufacturing economy reaped rewards for London and the South East of England, but threatened to sink us here in Wales.
My grandmother, who was a very wise woman, always told us that we should never speak ill of the dead. That is sage advice. Plaid Cymru has issued a statement of sympathy for her family.

In her statement Leanne Wood goes onto to talk about learning the lessons of the past in order to make a better future for Wales.