Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Thatcherism Sells – But Who’s Buying?

Given that the former UK PM Margaret Thatcher is up for auction next month, will it sell better than 1980s era Thatcherism? 

By: Ringo Bones

By December 2015, the late former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s wardrobe – about 150 lots in all – will all be up for auction at Christie’s. And given that Thatcherism was an easy sell – both politically and economically – back in the 1980s when the capitalist West was still toe-to-toe with the Warsaw-Pac countries at that stage of the Cold War, will “Thatcherism Memorabilia” in the form of his iconic wardrobes worn at the time, be an easy sell? 

Proceeds of the auction next moth will primarily benefit the former UK PM’s immediate family after the Victoria and Albert Museum declined to display the items for public viewing but inexplicably, it managed to generate overwhelming interest to everyone old enough to both remember and actually lived through Thatcherism. One of the items to be auctioned off was Baroness Thatcher’s iconic handbag which during her stint as the UK’s Prime Minister got her detractors accusing her of “hand-bagging” her political opponents. Another iconic item on the block was Thatcher’s pale beige raincoat by Aquascutum which was made famous as the “tank dress” that she wore when at the helm of a British Challenger tank during a NATO training maneuvers in the then West Germany as part of her campaign to gain global support for the Falklands War back in 1982 is estimated to go as high as 20,000 UK£. Given that the auction is a perfect example of Thatcherism par excellence – is there any change that it would be as “popular” as Katharine Hamnett’s “58 % DON’T WANT PERSHING” T-shirts of 1983? 

Since she passed away two and a half years ago, Margaret Thatcher did manage to generate interest to both of her critics and fans alike. Even the UK’s Official Secrets Act had to bare Thatcher’s “hair secrets” back in 2014 in order to allay the public’s “unanswered questions” with regards to Britain’s “Iron Lady”.