THATCHER‘S OTHER FACE & HER U TURNS!
Prime Ministers 1945 to 2002
1945 to 1951
1951 to 1955
1955 to 1957
1957 to 1963
1963 to 1964
1964 to 1970
1970 to 1974
1974 to 1976
1976 to 1979
1979 to 1990
1990 to 1997
1997 to 2002
there is little doubt in my mind that Baroness Margaret Thatcher was THE most notable and competent British Politician during my lifetime – since World War Two.
Elected to lead the Conservative Party in April 1976 replacing the catastrophic leadership of Edward Heath that did such appauling damage to these United Kingdoms. It was not until she won the 1979 election removing the sometime communist and utterly incompetent so called Chancellor Denis Healey and his Labour cronie the prime minister Jim Callaghan that she became Prime Minister.
Margaret Thatcher’s rule was very much formulated by the venal weakness and utter incompetence of Ted Heath with not just the criminal betrayal of Britain aided by his lies about the then Common Market which rapidly followed its aim of political union without any moral mandater, but also his complete incompetence in dealing with the unions which led to the crippling 3 day week.
We then had the then the catastrophic second term of the dogmas of Harold Wilson that had led to devaluation of the currency and such disasters as the incompetent David Owen who he had to fire as Foreign Secretary over the debacle of Rhodesia and the Tiger Talks, the dangerous and damaging communist Barbara Castle and her proteges Jack Straw & Presscot who were to come back to wreak further damage a generation later!
They were not alone in forming Thatcher’s policies and her reign as Prime Minister as the mess left by the incompetent Welsh school teacher Jim Callaghan and his chum the even more incompetent Chancellor Denis Heally who despite having his budget speeches and policy written for him by The IMF left Britain in economic ruin, much as Gordon Brown & Blair did a generation later.
Even so it was the communist ideals and showboating of imbeciles like Red Robbo & Arthur Scargill who determined the course she was forced to take to try to first halt the rot and then re-establish the National Finances – closing the massively loss making deep coal mines and trying to sort out the car industry and the steel industry, all of which had been used by Labour to mask the true state of the economy and hide the unemployed in non productive jobs.
The apparently more extreme actions of Margaret Thatcher’s government were clearly the product of the damage to Britain of her predecessors and opponents – let us not forget that it was she who dominated her cabinet and ensured a period of delay in the rot and she also divised one of the fairest tax systems for local government where those who could afford to pay did and those who earned less did not but she lacked the competence in her mionisters who were unable to politically sell the concept as Labour mobilised protest to pander to the extra voters and destroy the tax system and reward the earners at the expense of the less able!
Likle so many strong leaders Margaret Thatcher raised a number of weak and largely useless people in her wake like Pryor, Hurd, Jenkins, Hesseltine, Gummer, Major, Clark and Howe who in personal ambition engineered her political demise for their gain – though to be fair, brilliant as she was in her first two terms it was clear she had no comprehension of the dangers and damage emanating from the fraud of Continental Union and her Ministers consistently lied to her in their advice on the matter.
Clearly her third term showed her contempt for most of her opponents which included many in her own Cabinet and her resultant hectoring began to grate on all despite her very clear dominance that won her position against the political ambitions for an outside distraction of Galltierri’s Argentina and the betrayal of democracy by the likes of Belgium, France and some, such as the US representative Albright her leadership and commitment were the force that ensured retention of The Falkland Islands for its peoples against the expansionist distraction politics of the failing Argentine juntta.
It is claimed her efforts in dealing with the EEC of the day and its move to The EU saved Britain some £76Billion yet the niggardly whomshe exposed and dismantled their scams and those they had duped reitteration of the dishonest quasi communist propaganda which Thatcher’s mediocre team were inadequate to refute, using more force than was needed had they had the wit to use reason was not only her downfall but left the door open to the economic illiteracy of Brown & Blair and their lies and criminality as a government both hugely enriching themselves and corruptly engaging in war crimes and crimes against humanity in two wars where Britain was eventually thrashed in Iraq & Afghanistan due to their idiocy and ambitions!
all her virtues, one should not forget that the then Mrs Thatcher led
the Conservative Party “yes” campaign in the 1975 referendum, with the
evident approval of Ted Heath (above). She saw the light eventually, but not before she had assented to the Single European Act.
Thatcher herself failed to see its significance, declaring to the
Commons after she had returned from Luxembourg, where the treaty had
I am constantly saying that I wish they would talk less
about European and political union. These terms are not understood in
this country. In so far as they are understood over there, they mean a
good deal less than some people over here think they mean.
But if Thatcher was not on her guard, neither was Parliament. When the
Act came to be ratified, the necessary Bill amending the European
Communities Act 1972 was pushed through a thinly attended Commons in
just six days.
The main debate was scheduled to begin on a Thursday, in the knowledge
that MPs would be reluctant to see it prolonged lest it encroach on
their weekend. After only three sessions of the Committee Stage, the
Government abruptly curtailed any further discussion by passing a
On the final reading, so few MPs turned up that the Bill was passed by a
mere 149 votes to 43. Apart from a tiny minority from both Labour and
Tory benches, few MPs appreciated that this was what even Hugo Young
would later agree was a “major constitutional measure”.
Peter Tapsell, an unrepentant eurosceptic who within a few years would
be prominent in opposing the Maastricht Treaty, later spoke for not a
few of his colleagues in recalling how they had eventually become
“ashamed” at having voted for it. “We really didn’t give it the
attention we should have done”, he said.
& now perhaps one should consider The Iron Lady’s More Notable U Turns!
Saturday 13 April 2013
Millions of words have been written and spoken in recent days, writes Booker trying to pick out the good, the bad and the ugly in the record of the prime minister who dwarfed all others in modern times.
one soundbite was used again and again to symbolise what seemed to make
her such a dominating force of nature in the shifting sands of our
politics – her line in 1981: “You turn if you want to, the lady’s not
It was meant to convey the unshakeable conviction and indomitable will
that allowed her to push through all those extraordinary changes that
transformed Britain from the “sick man of Europe” she inherited in 1979
into the infinitely more confident, competitive and prosperous country
it had become when she was ousted from power in 1990.
Ironically, however, one thing missing from all the tributes paid to her
since last Monday – along with that ludicrous upwelling of hatred so
eagerly seized on by the BBC – has been any recognition of how, on two
of the most momentous issues with which she became identified, she
herself ended up making a massive U-turn.
Although in each case it was too late to undo the damage done earlier,
before she came to understand the real nature of the problem, she ended
up with a view diametrically opposed to that she began with.
first of these was her entanglement with “Europe”. In the 1975
referendum, as the Tories’ new leader, she was happy to front the Yes
campaign, fondly imagining that “Europe” was no more than an idealistic
and prosperity-boosting move towards closer cooperation and freer trade
with our neighbours.
As prime minister in 1979, she embarked on a painful learning curve,
beginning with the five years she spent wrangling with her new European
colleagues over the peculiar deal whereby Britain was about to become
the largest single contributor to the Brussels budget.
But from 1985, she awakened to what had all along been the real agenda of the
“European project”: that drive towards full political and economic union based
on handing over ever more of the powers of national parliaments to a wholly new supranational system of government.
she was ambushed into accepting a new treaty, the Single European Act,
she tried to pretend that it was about little more than creating a more
effective “single market”. In fact, as its name indicated, this was
another major step towards building “a single Europe”.
From now on, she found herself increasingly isolated in her opposition
to the relentless integration, as was reflected in her Bruges speech of
1988. In 1989, this became still more obvious as her fellow leaders,
driven by Jacques Delors, prepared for the ambitious leap forward to be
embodied in the Maastricht Treaty, including that supreme symbol of a
“single Europe”, a single currency.
Knowing she would have a veto, the Europhiles saw her as the last huge
obstacle to their ambitions. We recall in October 1990 her impassioned
response to Delors’s hubristic claim that within ten years Europe would
be ruled by a new government, with the Commission as its executive, the
European Parliament as its chief lawmaking body and the Council of
Ministers as its Senate. To each of his points she famously replied “No,
Both abroad and at home, the Europhiles now knew she had to go. Two
weeks later, Geoffrey Howe’s poisonous resignation speech, designed to
allow his ally Michael Heseltine to challenge for the leadership, had
done the trick. It was not the poll tax that brought her down but
“Europe”. From that time on, her contempt for the “European project” and
all it stood for knew no bounds.
In 1996, I and my family were with her at a house party in Scotland. She
suggested one evening that the teenagers present, including my son
Nicholas, should be given a chance to ask her questions. Nick asked her:
“Lady Thatcher, do you think we should leave the European Union?” She
replied: “There are five reasons why we should leave it”.
Ticking them off on the fingers of her hand, she spent 20 minutes
outlining them. When this flight of oratory ended, Nick said: “Lady
Thatcher, you’ve only given us four reasons. What is the fifth?” “You’re
quite right”, she said, holding up her little finger. “The fifth reason
why we should leave” – dramatic pause – “is that THEY STOLE OUR FISH”.
Six years later, in her last book, Statecraft, she couldn’t have
put her view more succinctly. She wrote: “…that such an unnecessary and
irrational project as building a European superstate was ever embarked
on will seem in future years to be perhaps the greatest folly of the
modern era. And that Britain, with her traditional strengths and global
destiny, should ever have become part of it will appear a political
error of the first magnitude”.
The second momentous issue on which Mrs Thatcher played a far more
influential role than is generally realised was global warming. When the
scare erupted in 1988, she was the first world leader who not only
adopted it as the last great cause of her premiership, but made moves
that helped to push it rapidly towards the top of the international
agenda. She made passionate speeches to the Royal Society and the United
Even more significantly, she gave full backing to one of the most
fervent evangelists for the belief that the world was threatened by
human emissions of carbon dioxide, Dr John Houghton, then head of the
No one played a more crucial role than Houghton in setting up in 1988
the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This was the body
that was to become the central driver in promoting the worldwide scare
over global warming through a series of mammoth reports, the first three
of which Houghton did more to shape than anyone.
Without their influence, we would not have had the Rio Earth Summit, the
Kyoto Protocol, and all those political responses to the scare that, in
the past two decades, have had such a dramatic impact on international
energy policy – nowhere more disastrously and at greater cost than in
the European Union, with Britain’s suicidal Climate Change Act
potentially the most damaging consequence of all.
The fiasco of that mammoth Copenhagen conference in 2009 may have marked
the moment when, politically, the panic over climate change finally
began to crumble apart, as it became clear that the fast-growing
countries of the developing world, led by China and India, were simply
not going to buy into a treaty that would have landed mankind with the
biggest bill in history.
But seven years before that, again in her last book, Lady Thatcher had
already written, under the heading “Hot air and global warming”, what
amounted to a complete recantation of her earlier views, voicing
precisely those fundamental doubts over the warming panic that were
later to become familiar.
Pouring scorn on what she called “the doomsters”, she questioned all the
main scientific assumptions that had been used to drive the scare, from
the conviction that the main force shaping the world climate is CO2,
rather than natural factors such as solar activity, to exaggerated
claims about rising sea levels. She mocked Al Gore and the futility of
what she recognised as “costly and economically damaging” schemes to
reduce CO2 emissions.
She cited the 2.5 degree rise in temperatures during the Medieval Warm
Period as having had almost entirely beneficial effects. She pointed out
that the dangers of a world getting colder are far worse than those of a
CO2-enriched world growing warmer. She recognised how distortions of
the science had been used to mask an anti-capitalist, Left-wing
political agenda that posed a very serious threat to human progress and
Thus, long before it became fashionable, Lady Thatcher was converted to
the view of those who on both scientific and political grounds have
become ever more sceptical of the entire climate change ideology. How
odd it is that, even today, so few people realise what a key role she
played in helping to promote that scare in the first place. But even
fewer realise how she eventually came to make as great a U-turn on this
issue as any in her life.
Many people have noticed how, in trying to assess this force of nature
who exploded to the centre of our national life 34 years ago, one so
often has to balance the positives and the negatives in all she stood
for. The upsides in the end far outweighed the downsides.
But the fact that on these two great issues she came so radically to
change her mind is yet another measure of the difference that has set
her apart from all those political pygmies who have followed.
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