December 23, 2011

"'The Iron Lady' locates class as an important and largely ignored element of Mrs. Thatcher's struggle."

Writes Peggy Noonan:
The leftist intelligentsia of her day, which claimed loyalty to and identification with the poor and marginalized, was shot through with snobs and snobbery. Underneath their egalitarian chatter was (and to some degree still is) a hidden, hungry admiration for and desire to be associated with the well-named and well-connected. The top of the right, the Tories, who said they stood for tradition, the rights of the oppressed middle and the greatness of England, was heavily populated by a more familiar kind of snob, those who took more overt pleasure in their titles and pedigree, and wealth. They were not eager for change.

Both left and right looked down on women, especially style-less grinds and grocers' daughters who thought they were the equal of the boys. The movie suggests Mrs. Thatcher's defiance of the snobs while depicting her defeat of the snobs.


edutcher said...

Ms Noonan takes several paragraphs to tell us what we already knew: Lady Thatcher's fight was against the acquisitive Left and they will never forgive her.

She hopes we'll forget how she gave in to the acquisitive Left, just to be in vogue.

Pogo said...

I'm betting none of these Thatcher quotes nor the ideas they embody, are in the movie:

"I owe nothing to Women's Lib.

Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.

Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.

Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.

I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.

I am in politics because of the conflict between good and evil, and I believe that in the end good will triumph.

I don't mind how much my Ministers talk, so long as they do what I say.

I just owe almost everything to my father and it's passionately interesting for me that the things that I learned in a small town, in a very modest home, are just the things that I believe have won the election.

sydney said...

Ironically, Peggy Noonan pulled the same sort of political snobbery on Sarah Palin. No self awareness there.

Pogo said...


For that reason I lost all respect for her and read her only rarely.

I have similar feelings about Megan McCardle, who regularly rages about the policies she helped vote in.

What a coupla dopes.

From Inwood said...


You beat me to it.

Peggy Noonan of all people. A first class snob with little right to be one.

Another example of "The ironic is lost on the moronic"

From Inwood said...


And I agree with your comment too.

Peggy & Megan McArdle expect to get a pass because their heart is in the right place. It doesn't matter to them or their defenders that they made easier the election of a neo-Socialist who, surprise, has attempted, ineptly, to govern as a neo-Socialist, They, Megan & Peggy, have set themselves above the unenlightened.

Dane County Taxpayer said...

During the 2008 elections Ann Althouse was right there with Peggy and Megan. Now they are telling us only a fool would support anyone but Romney because the more conservative candidates can not win.

Alan Adamson said...

Largely ignored?
That is delusional.
During Thatcher's ascendancy it was ALWAYS emphasized that she was a retailer's daughter.
I agree that class was an issue, but it was always right out there.

Paco Wové said...

As I remember, Alan is correct. It may not have been noticed on this side of the pond, but the UK chattering class' disdain and contempt for the 'grocer's daughter' was unmistakeable.

Paco Wové said...

Hmmm. I wonder...

ah, yes.

Moby Dick sighting:

'Dane County Taxpayer' = 'Maximum Twine' = 'Bob from outside of Detroit' = 'Tidy Righty' = moby!.

(This has been a public service announcement from, dedicated to tracking commenters with MPD. That is all.)

Dane County Taxpayer said...

Yes. Anyone not towing the Althouse pro-Romney line must be labelled a Moby. How very Stalin of you.

bagoh20 said...

It's always *those* snobs - never *us* snobs. It may only be a useful concept and nothing more. We're all good guys.

Pogo said...

I am most definitely a snob.

In Defense of Elitism
by William A. Henry III

“It is scarcely the same thing to put a man on the moon as to put a bone in your nose.”

"...the positive side of egalitarianism, the will to tolerance, [must be] coupled with the positive side of elitism, the intellectual suppleness to tolerate and accept diverse elements in society while holding firmly to one's own values
" to sustain the balance.

College is ""No longer a mark of distinction or proof of achievement, a college education is these days a mere rite of passage, a capstone to adolescent party time"

"To speak in defense of elitism is not to tilt the balance of national life, but to seek to restore it."

ricpic said...

The snobs always win in the end. Why? Because snobbism is natural. As is its obverse, servility. What's not natural and always dies - to be reborn again and again - is "a man's a man for augh that."

William said...

OK, I'l see the movie, but more out of a sense of duty than with any expectations of seeing a conservative view vindicated. My guess is that it will feature her brave struggle against the condescension of sexist conservatives. If she does anything right, it will be despite and not because of her conservative principles.

From Inwood said...


Um, depends on the meaning of "snob" one might say.

I realize that you are being a wiseguy here, but still, you are confusing "snobbery" with "quality".

Actually, "snob" or "snobbery" are vague terms but usually meant as an insult.

M-W defines snob as

2: one who blatantly imitates, fawningly admires, or vulgarly seeks association with those regarded as social superiors
3a : one who tends to rebuff, avoid, or ignore those regarded as inferior b : one who has an offensive air of superiority in matters of knowledge or taste

I think that one can, as you are doing, defend quality without, jocularly of course, feeling the need to refer to himself as a snob.

Some friend of mine sent me Dame Peggy's column as something great & was dismayed when I took my two earlier replies on this thread & sent them to him.

He concentrated on the fact that I was criticizing Dame Peggy, unfairly in his mind “& for gosh sakes stop referring to her as “Dame Peggy”.

I explained that (a) Dame Peggy was a hypocrite now, having herself criticized Sarah Palin as infra dig & (b) that the difference between her, Dame Peggy that is, & snobs up the ladder was the difference between “annoying” & “ludicrous”. In other words, it is annoying to see people who were born with a silver spoon in their mouths, who went to the right schools, joined the right clubs, etc. & have the dough to buy the right things (dangerous area here) criticizing Thatcher or Palin (or Joe The Plumber) for being unenlightened or something for not having had these, er, advantages, but it is ludicrous for Dame Peggy or MoDo or other self-anointed savants to do so while glossing over the fact that they themselves did not have these same advantages.

Freeman Hunt said...

The leftist intelligentsia of her day, which claimed loyalty to and identification with the poor and marginalized, was shot through with snobs and snobbery. Underneath their egalitarian chatter was (and to some degree still is) a hidden, hungry admiration for and desire to be associated with the well-named and well-connected.

Wait, I thought this was about Britain. Except for the specificity of the "intelligentsia " part, that sounds like a description of America's of upper and upper middle class leftists.