'Iron Lady' boycott in English ex-mining towns

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'Iron Lady' boycott in English ex-mining towns

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Meryl Streep may be tipped for an Oscar, but the Iron Lady is not universally popular. Memories of Margaret Thatcher’s era have been revived in the UK with the release of the film biography of Britain’s first woman prime minister.

She is revered by many, but for some in former mining towns in northern England, the Iron Lady is synonymous only with pit closures and pain.

One woman in Derbyshire said: “I don’t think that Hollywood are the right people that would put over the true facts of what Margaret Thatcher was about.”

A man said: “The damage that she did, particularly in the coal mining areas… and the fact (is) that she wasn’t an icon for women.”

Another middle-aged woman said: “She had no compassion whatsoever for families or people in difficult circumstances or in poor health.”

Thatcher’s battle with the unions over mine closures in the early 1980s was the defining moment of her leadership in that period. It also fundamentally changed the political landscape in the UK.

These memories would rather be forgotten for some in the areas affected, who are boycotting the Hollywood movie.