Why are people in Britain celebrating the death of Margaret Thatcher?

Thatcher death party

If you find the scenes of celebration in Britain at the death of Margaret Thatcher confusing or distasteful, it may well be helpful to remember some of the less well publicised aspects of recent British history.

Thatcher’s economic policies are strangely remembered as being successful and bold when in fact, they were largely destructive and counter-productive, When she was elected in 1979, Her government more than doubled unemployment through extreme Monetarist policies (which they abandoned quietly in the mid-eighties when they clearly weren’t working, even to the Conservatives). Over two million manufacturing jobs were ultimately lost in the recession of 1979-81. By 1983, manufacturing output had dropped by 30% from 1978. Employment in Britain has never fully recovered.

4048459696_313b959673_o

The War against Argentina.

While for some the Falklands conflict was Margaret Thatcher’s ‘finest hour’, and popularised the title ‘The Iron Lady’ (given to her in 1976 by a Soviet journalist ), it should be remembered that she personally gave the order to sink the Argentinian battleship Belgrano when it was  far outside of the ‘Total Exclusion Zone’ declared around the Falklands. In doing so she over-ruled the Navy’s own rules of engagement in sinking a World War 2 vintage battleship that had offered little threat against the modern Royal Navy.  The sinking of the Belgrano seemed to be more of a political gesture than a military necessity, designed to show her strength and resolution, needlessly killing 323 sailors.

She also supported and was a close personal friend of General Pinochet, who in turn, supported and aided her in the Falklands conflict. The Rettig Report found that at least 2,279 persons were conclusively murdered by the Chilean government for political reasons during Pinochet’s regime, and the Valech Report found that at least 30,000 persons were tortured by the government for political reasons. Thatcher’s response to this was to invite Pinochet to tea.

The War against the British people

Thatcher’s culture of using the Police as paramilitary shock troops against the people of Britain started with the heavy handed and overtly racist policing that helped contribute to the Brixton and Toxteth riots and was developed in the Miner’s Strike of 1984-5.

miners-strike-orgreave1

The Battle of Orgreave.

This culminated in shameful incidences like the 1984 Battle of Orgreave, which the South Yorkshire Police has recently voluntarily referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) over.  At Orgreave. the Police provoked violence, charged the retreating miners, and then systemically lied about it. Ninety-five picketers were charged with riot, unlawful assembly and similar offences after the battle. A number of these were put on trial in 1987, but the trials collapsed, all charges were dropped and a number of lawsuits were brought against the police for assault, unlawful arrest and malicious prosecution. South Yorkshire Police later agreed to pay £425,000 compensation and £100,000 in legal costs to 39 pickets in an out of court settlement. Nevertheless, no officers were disciplined for misconduct. Michael Mansfield QC described the evidence given by South Yorkshire Police as “the biggest frame-up ever”. The media reported the Police’s version and public opinion turned irreversibly away from sympathy for the Miners.

beanfield[1]

The Battle of the Beanfield.

Thatcher’s war against the British people then moved onto New Age Travelers’, especially ‘The Convoy’, a large aggregation of travelers that had formed around the Stonehenge free festivals. In a co-ordinated, pre-meditated attack, the Battle of the Beanfield was initiated by the Wiltshire Constabulary after a stand-off lasting several hours, when members of the police attacked the procession by forcefully entering the field in which the vehicles were contained, methodically smashed windows, beating people about the head with truncheons, used sledgehammers to break and damage the interiors of their vehicles, dragging a pregnant woman out of her vehicle and arresting the convoy members.

The Battle of Trafalgar

Thatcher’s undoing may have been instigating the Poll Tax, or ‘Community Charge, a deeply regressive tax levied ‘per head’ that meant that a typical millionaire living alone in a mansion would pay less than a working couple, or family. This created more widespread protests that culminated in the riot in Trafalgar Square, or ‘Battle of Trafalgar’. After having waged campaigns against organised labour, the miners, ravers ( through ‘The Criminal Justice Act’ that criminalized gatherings ‘wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats’) and hippies, a general attack on the poor proved to be a step too far. It also demonstrated a deep ignorance and disregard for British folk memory which still remembered the hated reputation of the Poll Tax of 1380 and its association with the subsequent Peasants’ Revolt. Far from being the ‘patriot prime minister’, she was a sworn enemy to many different segments of British society, especially the working classes, poor and disadvantaged.

22-savilethatcher-gt

‘Comfortable’ with apartheid … and paedophiles

She was also ‘comfortable’ with Apartheid, refused to sanction the South Africa government and according to Geoffrey Howe, one of her closest allies, Mrs Thatcher regarded the Nelson Mandela’s ANC as a ‘typical terrorist organisation’, as late as 1987. In addition to this one of her closer friends, who spent 11 New Years celebrations with her, was the serial paedophile Jimmy Savile, responsible for hundreds of cases of rape and sexual abuse, including abuse of the mentally ill and prison inmates. Savile’s abuse was ‘common knowledge’ at the BBC and at other institutes that he worked at. That MI5 hadn’t vetted Savile, or did not know of his activity, beggars belief since he was also friendly with members of the ‘Royal Family’.

A legacy of division

Margaret Thatcher’s legacy, as the former London Mayor Ken Livingstone has pointed out, is a divided nation that still suffers from economic and social ills of her failed policies and unparalleled aggression towards her own people. She lived into old age, supported by the state and never faced trial for any of her crimes against the people. The celebrations of many British people are not generally aimed at her as a private person, but as a public figure who was culpable for creating a culture of division and conflict. Her legacy, unfortunately, still endures, (albeit in a sanitized form) within the current government, who are currently enforcing wide cuts to state benefits that are the economic punishment for the failures and excesses of the runaway banking culture and the ultimate product of her free market policies of deregulation.

 

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57 comments

  1. Ben

    Nobody’s saying she wasn’t a hateful, awful prime minister. What I don’t get is why people are glad she’s dead- what’s changed from a week ago? She had already stopped participating in politics. She hasn’t been punished for anything. There’s no justice here. We should be remembering and reminding people about her crimes, not celebrating her death. It’s pointless.

    • 2012fm

      Here’s the best response I’ve read to that argument: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/08/margaret-thatcher-death-etiquette

      If we don’t respond to the Thatcher legacy right now, the history books will be rewritten by the likes of Obama and Cameron and a whole new generation of people will never understand what she did and why it caused such division and conflict in British society. I am not saying her death should be celebrated, I’m attempting to explain why some people feel they way they do and to highlight some of the criminal and immoral actions that she was responsible for.

      • jonathan c

        some people are celebrating hmmm she won every national election she took part in and moved the labour party to the right, This makes me think her policys were quite popular and the people protesting were losers who couldnt beat her when she was alive and want to make up for the fact now shes dead

      • 2012fm

        This is an examination of her legacy of divisiveness and your attitude towards the ‘losers’ demonstrates the success of that legacy. Believe it, or not, Britain was a much more equal nation before Thatcher, with far fewer ‘losers’.

      • Phil and Midge

        Mrs Thatcher won three elections, some by huge majorities. While she certainly alienated some groups it would be irresponsible to rewrite history in such a way as to suggest that she was not wildly popular with huge numbers of people. I remember the seventies, before her first election victory. Rubbish piling in the streets, power cuts. More equal, or equally worse off?

      • 2012fm

        ‘wildly popular with huge numbers of people?’ To be honest, it is statements like this that seem intended to rewrite history. This article just sets out to explain why she is widely hated still in many communities. Thatcher was popular in the south of England and that was about it.

      • Phil and Midge

        She won the 1983 election with a majority of 165 and 42% of the vote, the most decisive election victory since 1945. Many people, not just in the south, believed her steadfastness helped win the Falklands. Among many. she was seen as defeating unions which had become too powerful. She is also credited with a major role in supporting Gorbachev and the changes in eastern Europe. You and I may or may not agree with these assessments, but they explain my contention that she was “wildly popular with huge numbers of people”. To suggest that she was only supported by people in the south of England is to misread history.

    • James Castle

      Thatcher’s death is a symbol and that is why some people are apparently celebrating. These so called celebrations are marking the ocassion and are also (obviously) about the venting of anger and making sure that there is a counterpoint view that will be recorded historically – the same argument pertains to all history. The Nazi death camps are the best example of the ‘lest we forget’ principle.

    • Jessica

      I completely agree. Leave aside all the suffering she may have caused in the past, I don’t see her death as reason to have a ‘party’, Let us not forget she had children who are still alive, is this not just another form of ‘internet trolling’? I was equally bemused when Times Square broke into an impromptu street party when Bin Laden died. It was a time to remember his actions and respect all the innocent people he killed…not a time for balloons and dancing.

      • Harry Robertson

        Before you pay the “she had children who are still alive” card please remember one is an outspoken racist who has continously caused problems with her outspoken remarks and the other was an arms dealer who had to get his mother to exert power to drop the charges. Both of them had deserted the UK and their mother in later life. The people celebrating are people who had their lives, their livelihoods and their human rights stamped on by this woman and are celebrating the end of that.

    • Stephen Dodds

      In response to Ben, what’s changed since a week ago is very clear. The media is taking the opportunity to try to gloss over her crimes and immoral views to show how wonderful she was, and how Britain as a nation mourns her passing. This makes it absolutely necessary to demonstrate how much she was hated, and if celebrations invite publicity, then all the better.

  2. tristan brady-jacobs

    You forgot the deregulation of banking in the City of London which led to an explosion in business in that sector creating an unstable charlatanism which ultimately leads directly to our current credit crunch. Freeing up the movement of monies, so that offshore banking and asset stripping of the country became so much easier and of course the right to buy which removed vast swathes of housing from the public sector and into the hands of private landlords – pushing the welfare costs for housing benefit through the roof as these landlords took advantage of the poor and helpless and exploited the government. These landlords are the real benefit cheats in this particular equation.

  3. A.P Jenkins

    What I cannot believe is that there are actually people out there still defending the old trout and her policies. You just need to talk to someone in a blue-collar job in the eighties or read Irvine Welsh or Escobar Walker to remember just how much she brought this country to its knees. Her legacy unfortunately lives on, and will do for many years. Not that I think Tony Blair was much better right enough…..

    • 2012fm

      The essential problem in British politics seems to be that Thatcher was so successful in her project that her policies and approach to politics have been seen as irreversible. Witness Ed Miliband’s fauning eulogy.

      “When asked what was her greatest achievement, Mrs Thatcher replied…’New labour’ ” – Tony Benn

  4. hippydex1

    I agree that it’s pointless celebrating her death. I hated her with every fibre, etc., but I wouldn’t wish death on her.

    • 2012fm

      I think that’s very much the point of view of the vast majority that opposed her. She was left to live her old age out peacefully (albeit surrounded by a massive security operation). She wasn’t deposed, or tormented. I think many people sympathised with her slipping into dementia. That’s not something you would wish on anyone.

  5. Scotty 2013

    I am no supporter of Margaret Thatcher or her policies but in all of this, people need to remember that none of what she did was directed at one single person in a personal fashion- all of the vile, hateful and despicable bile on the Internet now IS a personal attack. Dancing on someone elses grave with such obvious glee reduces us to no more than a wild, ravenous animal…in fact, they would treat their dead with more respect. Nothing and no action taken by one person, entitles us to become inhumane heathens. Where is common Human Decency and compassion nowadays…

    • 2012fm

      This is provably untrue. Witness her venom towards Arthur Scargill, for example and read more about the Orgreave trials and how they police operation was planned as a set-up against the miners. Margaret Thatcher’s hateful attitude was very clear to view and was often very, very personal. This article doesn’t dance on ‘someone else’s grave’, nor does it condone that, it attempts to explain the root causes of the anger and hatred that is still felt by many people and communities in Britain today towards her and her policies. As for ‘Human Decency and compassion’. These are wonderful qualities that Margaret Thatcher seemed somewhat short on. I’m not really sure who, or what, you are criticizing here except for the ‘internet’. But for an excellent critique of the differences between examining the legacy of a public figure and ‘speaking ill of the dead’, please read this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/08/margaret-thatcher-death-etiquette

      • Phil and Midge

        Let us also remember David Wilkie, a taxi driver killed by having a lump of concrete dropped on his car from a motorway bridge by striking miners. Arthur Scargill refused at the time to condemn this action.

      • 2012fm

        It’s a fair comment. The Miner’s Strike was an ugly conflict. However, the Battle of Orgreave, pretty much the turning point of the dispute, has now been shown to largely have been engineered by the Police, a story which is far well less known than the excesses of the Miners, which were all of the media. All of this results from the politics of conflict and division, which Margaret Thatcher was pre-eminent in. We can debate Thatcher’s legacy in infinite detail, but you have to accept that she was widely hated, hence the celebrations, which is the point of the article. For the record, I am not publishing any comments from those supporting, inciting or encouraging those actions. I would like nothing better to see these wounds be healed and the politics of class conflict left to the history books.

    • Harry Robertson

      let’s also remember how many cover-ups she instigated. oh and not to forget her punching the air with glee after the totally needless sinking of the Belgrano and the loss of life involved. Her policies legalised so many violations of basic human rights and together with her actions were based on her lack of compassion or respect for any other human being . That is her legacy that still remains.

  6. steve danks

    CIRRHOSIS IN CHILDREN
    In November 1982, a prospective study of hepatitis in haemophiliacs who
    were first-treated with Factor VIII or IX concentrate was planned. It was stated in a draft of
    the trial protocol that the only sure way of assessing the risk of transfusion hepatitis
    associated with new brands of concentrate, was by use of chimpanzee inoculation
    experiments, or TRIALS of each heat-treated or ultra-violet light-treated product compared
    with an untreated product in a group of subjects – human subjects.
    They used children.if that does not chill you to the bone then nothing will .this was in the u.k ,kids were cheaper than chimp,s, 10 k for a chimp ,nothing for a kid .Thank margaret thatcher may you god have mercy on you as it was her department of health that rubber stamped this. .. ,Of the 13 patients, 9 of them were in the age range of between a 3 month old
    baby and 15 years of age. Five of these subjects were each only 1 year old babies. In fact,
    there were only 2 patients who were over the age of 18.

  7. LK

    As much as I appreciate the sentiment of education around the issue, I think this article would benefit from being properly referenced and sources named. I have no strong opinions either way on the topic of Margaret Thatcher (I was just a baby), but there’s no obvious evidence within the article to support assertions about police brutality, etc. I’m not saying any of it isn’t true or didn’t happen, but without external references there’s no way to make one’s own mind up about it.

  8. Steve Burton

    In the olden days, when villagers wanted to show mass disapproval of an individual, they would “tin-pan” them. This involves everyone turning up with a pair of saucepans, or a pot and wooden spoon, and banging them together to make as much noise as possible. Seems they’ve revived this in Canada recently.
    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2012/06/02/quebec_student_movement_turning_more_to_graying_crowd.html

    I’d like to suggest that when they wheel that woman’s corpse through the streets of our capital, at our expense, we take the opportunity to tin-pan her to her grave. Don’t forget, it won’t just be our media watching, but the world’s media. We have a final chance to show what we thought of her.

    • 2012fm

      The problem here is that so many younger people haven’t really understood Thatcher’s legacy, or the recent history of their own people, that treatment like this just looks cruel and disrespectful to them. Perhaps the real issue here is bringing to light all of the harm and hurt her and her policies inflicted. A truth and reconciliation committee for Thatcherism, so that those who didn’t actually experience the eighties might learn how bad things were for many, many British people.

      • Raven

        I agree 2012, if anyone feels the need to go to the funeral (and I don’t, even as a ‘leftie’… I feel that picketing funerals is too similar to WBC tactics), then why not take a placard showing a photo/newspaper headline to highlight some of the damage done by Maggie (e.g. pic and headline of brixton riots/miner’s strike/closing of large state industries), also, please someone play ghost town by the specials… considering the occasion it would be appropriate.

      • Phil and Midge

        We owe it to future generations to present the legacy of Thatcher as fully and accurately as we are able. That includes her culpability in causing the social divisions which resulted in riots, and her tacit support of people like General Pinochet. But it should also recognise why many people think of her as a “saving the country” – her role in the Falklands, her support for Gorbachev, her efforts to give more people the opportunity of becoming home-owners. She did not win three elections and change the landscape of British politics just by being an ogre. History is complex, not black and white, and we should avoid describing Mrs Thatcher with platitudes, good or bad.

  9. Zarnie

    This isn’t controversial comment. If you’re against conventional thought you’d be writing the opposite point of view.
    FYI, ‘iron lady’ was coined in 1976, in the Soviet press. Nothing to do with the Falkland’s Conflict. And is this condescending history lesson a justification for celebration? Something is deeply wrong with society when people are prepared to defend bile, dancing on graves and not feel any compassion for those who have lost a member of their family…but wait don’t tell me that’s her fault too.

      • Zarnie

        A critique is a detailed analysis of a topic. You have produced a one-sided account. If you wish to do a critique then you have to include references and points where others do not accept the ‘anti’ views that you espouse here.

      • 2012fm

        True, but a little pedantic. Let’s say ‘criticise’ then, as this isn’t an attempt to critique as you rightly say. The point is to offer an outline explanation of why some people feel the way they do.

  10. jensenred

    being glad she’s dead is personal to who ever is feeling that and different people will have different reasons. However, stating that one is glad she is dead is a way of making sure that tyhere is a debate and that all the gushing a fawning that seems to be de rigeur in the UK since Diana’s death does not hide the fact that she was not universally liked, respected or supported and that her policies were and are despised.

  11. Silver Mohawk

    The Belgrano (sitting North of the exclusion zone) was part of a fleet that had taken up position around the Falklands and was ordered as part of this fleet to seek and destroy the British task force. A message ordering the ship to sail south (into the exclusion zone) was intercepted and a British Admiral requested that the rules of engagement be altered to allow an attack outside the exclusion zone as this large warship could have have caused problems for the fleet with it’s Sea Cat missiles and other weapons. The sinking of ths ship meant the rest of the fleet fled and played no more part in the war. Well that’s what happens in war .. you hit first to protect your troops! You may like to be ‘controversial’ but at least put all the facts in! ooh and you missed out that in 1975, 5% of the population were unemployed, this rose in 1977 to 5.5% …and was stil rising in 1979 .. so where did this ‘Close to full employment’ in 1979 come from?? … next time there’s a really good tool called ‘Google’ you could try using.

    • 2012fm

      I revised the article to more accurately reflect the facts. She more than doubled unemployment from 5 to 11%

      I still feel that the chance of the Belgrano causing any damage to the British fleet was negligable and its sinking unneccesary, especially when it was so far away from the exclusion zone. I stand by this point and that Thatcher was personally responsible for the decision to sink it. Thanks for making a coherent counter argument though, ultimately I would like nothing more than for people to understand why so many people feel the way they do about Margaret Thatcher and to have these divisions healed. The debate is important.

      • Phil and Midge

        The armed forces believed the Belgrano was a danger, rightly or wrongly. Surely it would have been irreponsible for a prime minister to overrule them, and put the lives of British servicemen at risk?

      • Silver Mohawk

        Ok, firstly I have no love of Thatcher, or any other MP’s for that matter as they are all out to feather their own nests and not one of them has the public interest at heart. However yes, unemployment rose sharply, but then, when there is a recession unemployment does increase significantly. New governments tend to be elected when there is a recession happening so the incoming party then has to deal with this sharp rise which will take a while to peak, so I would say the figures are slightly skewed due to this. On the point of the Belgrano, in a time of hostilities you cannot take chances, if there is deemed a risk then it must be acted upon, you have to minimise the risk to your troops. The real time to worry is when a war is brought about due to greed … or Oil .. or the risk to others is made up just as a cover.

    • Marc W.

      The sinking of the Belgrano early in the conflict (neither side actually declared ‘war’) decisively meant attempts to broker a peace rather than escalate the conflict would fail until one side achieved ‘victory’ (and lots of people died). For both sides decisions over the Falklands were made by two governments responding to domestic political circumstance (massive unpopularity) through an appeal to sabre rattling and jingoism. The question of intelligence is moot – no inquiry was held, no evidence produced (even the relevant Cabinet papers released under the thirty year rule are redacted on Belgrano related matters) – when some evidence did emerge into the public eye suggestive of flawed actions and inaccurate reporting to Parliament the increasingly authoritarian Thatcher government sought to repress it (e.g. the Ponting affair).

      A key distinction between governments in the 1970s and the Tories under Thatcher was the end of ‘full employment’ as government policy – in economics speak where unemployment rates are around 3-5% (people are out of work for short periods of time but jobs are available). It is not, as some here think, literally 0% unemployment. ‘Full employment’ was a priority for ALL governments prior to Thatcher; Tory and Labour. Thatcher’s failed experiment in monetarism saw unemployment skyrocket from under 1 million in 1978 to over 3 million people in 1984 (and that’s ignoring the figure fiddling her government excelled at) as industrial production dropped. The current Tory obsession with the dole scroungers and dependency culture is in part a product of the Thatcher’s legacy – unemployment considered a price worth paying for lowering inflation, or in Osborne speak, reducing the deficit. Such figures and percentages also mask the reality on the ground – they imply some abstract flat space on which the impacts of Thatchers legacy were applied uniformly – yet as we should all know the effects were differentiated – unemployment rates in Northern Ireland and the North of England edged, and in places far exceeded 20% of the working population, whereas in the south east it did not exceed 10%. And that was before she targetted the miners!

  12. oscar smazlen

    HI
    Human decency and compassion, wrung out of the commonweal, by the Chemist from Grantham
    only contribution to science, enabling more air to be included in the Ice cream mix.Only contribution
    to British life vengeance on the class of people at her Grammar school, who actually despised her.
    Osc

  13. gudsport

    even in death she epitomises all that is wrong with this country under Tory rule. Poor pensioners are being forced to sell their houses and use savings to be taken care of in a home – some of which have been proven to be sub-standard and even horror stories of abuse etc. Lady Thatcher gets to see out her final years in the bloody Ritz hotel. The class system still exists in Britain and if you are like me, like the Sex Pistols said “No Future!”. I depair for mine and countless millions more. There will no doubt be countless documentaries made about all the good/bad things she did, depending on the makers’ perspective – I can only hope that something good can come from her death because as far as I am concerned, she ruined so many people’s lives when she was living.

  14. we shark

    I know you’ve been updating this article to maintain accuracy. You might want to remove the Criminal Justice Act and ravers reference as the notorious ‘repetitive beats’ Act didn’t come in until 1994 – John Major’s time.

    As for feelings about her death, this line from Hilaire Belloc seems apt:

    On the Death of a Politician

    Here richly, with ridiculous display,
    The Politician’s corpse was laid away.
    While all of his acquaintance sneered and slanged
    I wept : for I had longed to see him hanged.

    ~ Hilaire Belloc

  15. Harry Robertson

    One other thing i see missing from the list – Section 28 and the increase in demonisation and prosecution of the LGBT community. She used AIDS to spread ignorance and homophobia that is still rife today – whilst she courted the gay community to get votes (mmm neo Thatcherite Blair did the same) she then let her true colours show by villifying the gay community as aberrant scapegoats

    • Phil and Midge

      I agree she was completely wrong to champion section 28. However, the accusation that “she used AIDS to spread ignorance” is unfair. There is no evidence that the ignorance about AIDS and homosexuality that existed in the 1980s was caused or spread by the prime minister.

  16. david adamthwaite

    I can understand the attitude of youngsters to her death mainly because her stand against the unions was to strong and nearly all manufacturing companies were forced to close leaving no work for the young to take up. I lived through the thatcher years and am now 72 and still know a lot of young people who cannot find work.

  17. Pingback: Thatcher’s Dead, Why She Was So Hated, Misapplied Death Etiquette, And How To Villify Without Being Misogynist. | Consider the Tea Cosy
  18. Mick Maguire

    There should be a mention of the sell off of council houses, which has left future generations without the hope of a decent home at an affordable price!

  19. r davies

    I survive the Thatcher years but only just I am a wife of an ex miner we didn’t have the violence here but we only had £5..00 and the childrens allowance to live on and every giro day the utility companies were outside the post office if you didn’t pay they threaten to cut your supply I had to pay £5.00 per week, they moan today about living off £53 .00 try feeding a famly of 4 on £4.75 but that is the past and why so many people dispised her and I’m all right F**** you attitude of the sycophants that surrounded her ok close the mines but she should have encouraged employers of a different ilk to step up to the plate so that jobs could have been found for the ex miners steelworkers etc. for all those youngsters who were not around the FULL MONTY FILM is not a lie!!! I am digusted however with the fact that they want a state funeral with the cost cutting the tories are putting this country through if she died at the RITZ then she and her family can afford a private funeral, to ask the people of this country to pay is adding insult to injury . If they want a state funeral then let the CONSERVATIVE party anf the Thatcher children pay for it

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