London - Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died yesterday. Her achievements are too long to list here, but I guess for me, the most important one, by a mile, was to have significantly contributed to bring communism down. For me, a guest in this country after all, it is the perfect opportunity to contrast how death of a phenomenal political leader is dealt with by Brits. When Hugo Chavez died over a month ago, various BBC programs called to request my comment. The utter shock of BBC staff upon hearing that I was somewhat joyful upon learning about Hugo Chavez's death was something to behold. The accusatory silence and recriminatory gazes that followed my comment were quite uncomfortable and I had to explain the reasons why I was in such mood.
But contrast that with the passing of Thatcher. In the last day or so a battery of Thatcher critics have been given tribune on all British media outlets, and they, let me inform you dear readers, have not had the slightest remorse, the flimsiest compunction to express, quite angrily in some cases, that they are overjoyed by Thatcher's death. The interesting thing is that such stances did not cause any negative reaction on the part of interviewers / moderators, no disapproving looks, no odd silence, nothing, a stance not only well accepted but encouraged and shared by most of the ever so left leaning British media.
Expressing blinding hatred for Margaret Thatcher is perfectly fine, but criticism of Hugo Chavez is met with disapproval.
And the above brings me to highlight not only the sheer hypocrisy of the Left, but its racism, embodied by postures that on the one hand condemn any joy of Chavez's passing, and on the other see no problem in expressing more radical views on Thatcher's death. It's OK to hate Thatcher, to wish her death, to be disheartened by the IRA's failing to assassinate her while hearing terrorist Gerry Adams give his "verdict" on her legacy. But woe the one who dares to say that Chavez's death is actually a very good thing for Venezuelan democracy. The majority of the Left in this country seems impervious to such impossible-to-reconcile positions, but then again, the Left was never something characterised by consistency and principles, was it?