The response to Margaret Thatcher's death has been mixed. But whether you loved or loathed her, nothing seems to have rankled the people who leave comments on our website as much as people who weren't sentient when Thatcher was in power having an opinion about her.
And, to some extent, these people have a point. Since Monday, a large section of Britain's youth have used Thatcher's death as fuel for (usually pretty shitty) gags. Blindly hating on a dead grandmother because you've heard other people do it doesn't make you politicised or intelligent, it just makes you someone with ears and a mouth who can regurgitate the tedious anti-Thatcher rhetoric you've overheard in the sixth form common room/on public transport/on Mock The Week.
However, who's to say that you can't appreciate and understand something that happened before your time? Or that you don't deserve to comment on events that predate your birth when you've spent your life living with the ramifications? And hey, shouldn't you at least be allowed to join in on the conversation surrounding the biggest domestic news story of 2013 so far?
Jack Buckby, leader of the National Culturists, in happier times.
One opinion of Thatcher that definitely comes backed by a life time of worship is that of Jack Buckby, founder of the National Culturists. If you're not aware of who he is or what he does, the National Culturists are a kind of far-right youth club calling for an end to multiculturalism in Britain, a mini BNP. We've interviewed him a couple of times now and we've never really agreed on anything. For his part, Buckby denies that he's racist or Islamophobic – on the group's website, they claim they are "making anti-egalitarian and socially conservative politics accessible for younger people for the first time" – but he doesn't believe that people from different cultures should or can live together in the same country. Which does sound very fascistic.
I'm personally not a huge fan of Thatcher or her policies, but I thought it would be interesting to hear from a young person who actually loved Thatcher. And the "Boy Wonder of the British Far-Right" was the only one I could think of.
VICE: Hey Jack, how did you react to the news that Margaret Thatcher had passed away?
Jack Buckby: With total disbelief. I was immediately on the phone to my Tory and UKIP friends. I’m really quite upset about it, though at least she had a long and influential life. She was an incredible woman, and her legacy will live much longer than she did.
I hope you're doing better now. What lasting effect has she had on British politics and the right in particular?
I think her success and influence go to show the feminazis of today that their ideas about gender are totally backwards. Margaret Thatcher is the perfect example of how women succeed when they want to succeed, just like men. There isn’t a "system" trying to hold women back. And not only was she stubborn, but she was intelligent. Being stubborn is pointless if you haven’t got the brains to back up what you’re doing. In the face of being unpopular with some, she ultimately did what was best for the country and for the economy. But the most important thing she's done is to show that your ability to succeed lies solely in your own belief, not in government initiatives and funding. If you want to succeed, you have it in yourself to do it without the help of "affirmative action" or government quotas.
What would you view as Thatcher's greatest accomplishment?
I think she showed the working class that they have the ability to succeed. She helped in areas that made sense – i.e. the right to buy – but didn’t provide any more than was necessary. Her economic model was frankly superb, too. I’m a Thatcherite and always have been a Thatcherite, despite the media calling me "fascist". The fascist claims are hilarious. Her greatest achievement, though, was easily destroying socialism and the liberal left for as long as she did. She’s the kind of lady who the liberal women of today should be looking up to.
Do you have any criticisms of Thatcher?
Perhaps while fighting inefficient industry she could have planned better for the future of British manufacturing.
What do you think of the news that people are celebrating her death, particularly in your native Liverpool?
I can understand why they hated her so much, but I wish that they could look a little deeper into why she had to do what she did. Her economic decisions were important, particularly when the coal mining industries were proving to be a burden instead of a benefit. A Prime Minister and cabinet can’t please everybody all the time, and sometimes tough decisions have to be made. If the people of Liverpool feel they've been let down, they should be looking into what Tony Blair’s Labour Party did to them. Mass immigration has caused nothing but trouble for our economy.
Do you think a return to Thatcher's brand of conservatism would benefit modern Britain?
Of course, yes. Thatcher was the last leading Conservative figure I can think of who promoted real social conservatism. Economically, that’s a little more complicated. I’m sure she’d have something to say about the billions we give away in foreign aid to countries that use that money for space programmes. I’m sure she’d also have something to say about Britain being the most overcrowded major nation in Europe, and our huge levels of immigration.
Do you think your culturism movement fits into that way of thinking?
Easily, yes. I’ve always been a traditional Tory, and we have a lot of traditional Tory and modern Tory members. The reason I joined the BNP, which I've now left, was because the Conservative Party wasn’t and still isn’t conservative in the slightest. And as for UKIP, I don’t trust them or their left-wing members. I don’t belong to any party now.
How have Thatcher's beliefs specifically influence your own culturist beliefs?
As a culturist, I believe in Britain’s right to self-determination, and that's something that Thatcher always promoted. She signed us up for economic co-operation with Europe, which is understandable, but she never signed up for what became the European Union – a dictatorship whatever way you look at it. She was an incredible woman with her heart in the right place, and her values fit perfectly with what culturists want. We want Britain to have pride in itself.
Follow Matthew on Twitter: @matthewfrancey
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