WHEN I was still quite a hot-headed young man in my 20s, at a time when Margaret Thatcher was breaking families, trades unions and foreign juntas in equal measure â€¦ well, to put it bluntly, I despised the blue-rinsed witch.
It was probably another 10 years, as I became wiser to the unforgiving ways of the real world, that I realised my youthful judgement might have been a bit hasty.
And today, as our spineless â€˜leadersâ€™ widdle our nationhood down the drain of Euro-extravagance, and cower beneath the yoke of equality fascism, I could go down on bended knee and pray for Maggieâ€™s return.
People always invoke the memory of Winston Churchill when recalling the final days of Britain deserving the prefix â€˜Greatâ€™. Well, he was an iconic war leader for sure, but for political willpower, Winston couldnâ€™t polish Maggieâ€™s high heels.
While miners were facing up to charging police horses, Winston would have already been on the wrong side of a bottle of claret. If Iâ€™m being unfair to Churchill, thatâ€™s partly the point â€“ you can only put a massive political figure in proper context by measuring them through the eyes of history.
With Margaret Thatcher â€“ especially if you are a brother who hasnâ€™t spoken to brother since the huge social schism that was the minerâ€™s strike â€“ her death might not have come a minute too soon for your emotional vengeance.
I understand that.
But only when the Britain we grew up in has been finally surrendered â€“ as it is being â€“ will people get decently misty-eyed about our last great leader.
We can argue the toss whether Scargill declared war on Thatcher or vice versa; whatâ€™s unarguable is that both relished the fight and as in any war, the victims are always the innocent, the foot-soldiers, their wives and families.
Does anyone really still think that victory for the Union movement â€“ because the miners were only symbolic of the wider picture â€“ would have been anything except catastrophic?
As Maggie herself said, with remarkable prescience of what Gordon Brown and Ed Balls would do to the country 30 years later, â€œthe trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other peopleâ€™s moneyâ€.
Amen to that.
I wonder what proportion of those morons drinking and smashing windows and singing â€˜ding dong the witch is deadâ€™ this week work for the state, or live off its welfare tit? (and most that I saw werenâ€™t even born when Maggie was elected).
I canâ€™t imagine there were many small business owners and self-employed traders dancing in delight.
Can anyone actually imagine a country in the thrall of a President Scargill or one of his Communist-spy half-brothers like Jack Jones? Len Murray?
Truth: the Union barons were (still are) power-mongers taking a career ride on working menâ€™s backs, just as much as any reviled industrialist or politician â€“ except without the brains, the work ethic, the mandate, and with a more poisonous and ruinous agenda.
Scargill is still trying to financially rape the NUM for his imagined dues. In Derbyshire, three NUM officers are pocketing salaries of Â£250,000 â€“ and thereâ€™s only one Union member!
â€œItâ€™s our dues!â€ they bleated, just this past weekend. Iâ€™m sure it is, brothers.
Those are the people Mrs Thatcher took on. Entire mining communities were the tragic victims but green-eyed ideologists like Scargill and Co were happy to use them as cannon fodder.
But whether miners, steelworkers, the car industry or even newspapers, it was a battle that had to be fought.
And there was only one man with the balls for it â€“ a wo-man.
She knew people hated her and didnâ€™t care. She stared down her foreign contemporaries and when they tested her mettle, won that fight too.
Did the sinking of the Belgrano and Thatcherâ€™s re-taking of the Falklands save her failing premiership? It certainly helped.
Was it a strategic, political act of wanton war in a selfish cause? I think not, but as someone living overseas at the time I will say that she hauled Britainâ€™s international stock out of the dirt and back onto a global pedestal.
We had been a laughing stock and unlike Tony Blairâ€™s disastrous Iraqi venture, and David Cameronâ€™s continued refusal to accept defeat in Afghanistan, Thatcher was at leastÂ defending people faithful to our flag.
I WONDER what a â€˜newâ€™ Margaret Thatcher premiership would mean today?
Her selling off council houses wasnâ€™t the social betrayal it is portrayed â€“ the failure of local authorities to build more housing was.
The disposal of our nationalised industries had philosophical merit, but turned into a scandalous betrayal. Indeed Mrs T herself was reportedly distraught at the greed and selfishness of people she believed shared her sense of social justice.
As such Iâ€™d like to think a â€˜newâ€™ Maggie would re-nationalise some of them.
Upset the City? Do you think sheâ€™d care? Angela Merkel and that French poodle Francois Hollande? Sheâ€™d stare them back down onto their milk stools.
If Silvio Berlusconi passed more than a glance at la Thatcherâ€™s bosom heâ€™d wake up in casualty having his Elton John-weave delicately removed from his jacksy.
The European Court of Human Rights, laughing up its sleeve at our feeble attempts to deport murderers, terrorists and rapists? What do you think?
Police force wimps who sue innocent members of the public, because the clumsy sods tripped up while on duty? I reckon the Police Federation might have had its own â€˜minerâ€™s strikeâ€™ â€“ and come out second best.
And the likes of David Cameron? Heâ€™d still be a fawning aide, hanging off her every word, wishing he possessed half her steel.
Itâ€™s a sad irony that the thousands wickedly celebrating this old ladyâ€™s death are free to do so mostly because of her. She knew that to fix this broken country she would have to be hated, and still had the conviction to act.
Her successorsâ€™ only convictions are to not offend anyone, hence our spiral into the pit.
So farewell Maggie, and for what itâ€™s worth, I never liked you, not one bit.
But I respect strength and conviction, I appreciate passion and patriotism, qualities which you possessed in spades.
Without your like again, this country is well and truly buggered. Which, in short, means this country is well and truly buggered.
I WISH I could get to the bottom of whatâ€™s happening with my little pal Tahir â€˜Terryâ€™ Zaman. The bed company and property â€˜magnateâ€™ and ex-landlord of Shahid Malik, is alleged to be in dispute with his bank over a loan of some millions, while I hear that HMRC and the VAT-man are interested in some of his online sales ventures. Heâ€™s a one, is our Terry!
No oneâ€™s answering the phones at his company Joseph International, which was fined Â£18,000 last year for being a fire and health and safety death-trap, while I notice that his son from a youthful relationship has popped up as a director of a number of Terryâ€™s companies.
According to the Savile Town gossip, bankruptcy and a move to Dubai may be on the cards. If mistaken, please give us a buzz to set the record straight Terry. Weâ€™re always pleased to hear from you. Oh, then you can explain how come youâ€™re still trying to buy up all the empty property in Dewsbury...
THE absence of meaningful political leadership is precisely why unelected half-wits like the ones destroying our local health services can thrive. But we do still have a voice, and on Saturday April 20 people who care about the future of Dewsbury District Hospital should gather in the town centre at noon. If you care, and you should, then be there. It will be too late to complain when the battle is lost.