After Thatcher: the 'Don't Hate, Donate' initiative

By staff writers
April 8, 2013

"Don't Hate, Donate: Be the society Thatcher said didn't exist". That is the message of a website (http://donthatedonate.com/) established in the wake of news of the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher today (8 April 2013), following a major stroke and long-term illness.

The aim of this initiative is positive, creative and compassionate: to encourage those who wish to continue to stand in solidarity with the victims of Thatcherite policies, and who wish to respond to their progenitor's death in an honest way (but without rancour), to support actively the causes and campaigns of homeless people, miners' families, Hillsborough survivors, victims of apartheid, gay teenagers, and many others.

The practical sentiments behind all this are well expressed by the site's creators (Alex Higgins and Tasha Harrison), and we at Ekklesia warmly endorse them:

Margaret Thatcher has died. We want to take the moment when our country is remembering her legacy, to remember the people her government hurt - people who don’t get pull-out supplements in national newspapers. People who don’t get [Ceremonial] funerals in St Paul's Cathedral. The people her apologists forget, or want to forget.

Margaret Thatcher's last years were spent coping with dementia, a terrible illness. If, like us, you were disgusted by how she treated the least well off in Britain and around the world, the old line about not wishing something on your worst enemies still applies. We can’t help but think it’s pretty lousy to celebrate or gloat over anyone’s suffering and death and we don’t want anyone else to do it either.

We just want to place front and centre people who had no place in the Thatcherite worldview. And we want to do that in a way that can actually do some good. You can help us by donating to the excellent charities we have chosen to represent a fraction of them.

Others are encouraged to take the spirit of this idea forward in their own ways. We will think about how Ekklesia can help with that. The fact that a major Christian cathedral will be conducting the funeral of Baroness Thatcher might suggest some ways of doing so that engage Christian (and other communities) in serious conversation and response to her legacy.

* Don't Hate, Donate: http://donthatedonate.com/

On Twitter: #donthatedonate #thatcher

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.