The Iron Lady

December 9, 2011 by staff 

The Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher: the mere mention of her name still provokes strong feelings.  Now the Iron Lady is back… not to the dominate the world stage, but the big screen. Hollywood star Meryl Streep sprinkles a touch of cinema magic on one of our most iconic and controversial political leaders, and the events that dominated her premiership.  But not everyone will be rushing to see The Iron Lady.

Inside a community centre at Arkwright in the former East Midlands coalfield, I showed selected scenes from the movie to some ex-Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire coal miners.  They didn’t need a movie to shape their memories of Margaret Thatcher. Their experience of the year long pit strike almost 30 years ago is still too raw.

“I don’t know whether it’s a science fiction film or a horror movie. It’s certainly not a documentary,” said former Derbyshire striking miner John Dunn.  Another former striking miner ‘Snowy Bradley’ winced when he saw Mrs Thatcher, as portrayed by Meryl Streep.

“The film seems to romanticise Thatcher and the events of those days.

“She was divisive and destroyed so many communities and jobs,” he told me.

From Arkwright, it’s 50 miles south to Margaret Thatcher’s home town of Grantham in South Lincolnshire.

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