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THATCHER, Baroness Margaret Hilda – IN MEMORIAM

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 08/04/2015

THATCHER, Baroness Margaret Hilda – IN MEMORIAM

Posted by Greg Lance-Watkins on 08/04/2013

THATCHER, Baroness Margaret Hilda – IN MEMORIAM
Born: Roberts 13-Oct-1925 – Died 08-Apr-2013 Aged 87
A Personal In Memoriam!
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IN MEMORIAM

THATCHER, Baroness Margaret Hilda

nee: Roberts

Born:13-Oct-1925 – Died 08-Apr-2013

Aged 87

Thatcher hailed for changing political landscape of the world

World leaders remember Margaret Thatcher

as woman of indisputable resolve & patriotism

Mon, Apr 8 2013
Member of the European Parliament, Nikki Sinclair, places a floral tribute outside the home of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher after her death was announced in London April 8, 2013. REUTERS-Suzanne Plunkett
An Admirer of Maggie Thatcher
Places a floral tribute at Baroness Thatcher’sLoved or loathed in death as in life, Margaret Thatcher left no one indifferent, finding some of her most ardent admirers among her political opponents.

Very few leaders get to change not only the political landscape of their country but of the world. Margaret was such a leader,” said the odious and self serving Tony Blair, the centre-left Labour leader who brought his own party back to power not least by heeding the lessons of “Thatcherism“.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader whom she famously declared she could “do business with”, said their mutual understanding “contributed to a change in the atmosphere between our country and the West and to the end of the Cold War“.

Thatcher’s warm relations with Gorbachev’s direct adversary, U.S. president Ronald Reagan, and their shared espousal of the free market and individual liberty, along with her readiness to provide a base for U.S. nuclear missiles, gave Britain greater influence in Washington than it has normally enjoyed.

“The world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend,” said U.S. President Barack Obama.

Here in America, many of us will never forget her standing shoulder to shoulder with President Reagan, reminding the world that we are not simply carried along by the currents of history – we can shape them with moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will.

Pope Francis recalled, with appreciation, “the Christian values which underpinned her commitment to public service and to the promotion of freedom among the family of nations“.

At home, Conservatives mourned the leader who set a free-market agenda in Britain and Europe and famously announced “there is no such thing as society” as she put individual enterprise and self-reliance before the state and the social safety net.

David Cameron, the prime minister who led the Conservatives back to power but without the absolute majority Thatcher enjoyed throughout her premiership, said: “We’ve lost a great prime minister, a great leader, a great Briton.

As our first woman prime minister, Margaret Thatcher succeeded against all the odds, and the real thing about Margaret Thatcher is that she didn’t just lead our country, she saved our country. And I believe she’ll go down as the greatest British peacetime prime minister.

THATCHER AND THE EU

Thatcher is remembered in Britain for resisting the idea that the European Union should move ever closer to political union, but, at a time when Britain is once again agonising over its role in Europe, EU leaders much keener on closer integration had warm words for her.

The unelected European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said “she would be remembered both for her contributions and her reserves to our common project“:

She signed the Single European Act and she helped bring about the single market. She was a leading player also in bringing into the European family the central and eastern European countries which were formerly behind the Iron Curtain.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a fellow conservative who grew up in communist East Germany and went on like Thatcher to become the first woman to head her country’s government, said:

The freedom of the individual was at the core of her convictions; in that sense Margaret Thatcher recognised the strength of the movements for freedom of eastern Europe early on and stood up for them.

“Margaret Thatcher was not a women’s politician – but by asserting herself as a woman in the highest democratic office at a time when this was not yet a given, she was an example to many.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thatcher was “a pragmatic, tough and consistent person” and that these qualities had enabled her to help pull Britain out of economic crisis, for which people should be grateful despite the criticism she faced.

Putin, who once called the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century“, said Russiawill always be thankful” for the contribution Thatcher made to British-Soviet and British-Russian ties.

It was left to Vaclav Klaus, former Czech prime minister and president and a self-proclaimed “Thatcherite”, to set her vision against Europe’s current crisis. He said the European Union’s ailing economic and social model was “exactly what she, as the first woman in the post of British prime minister, fought against since the end of the 1970s“.

Her voice is also missing in today’s discussion on European integration,” Klaus added. “Many of us will never forget her famous speech in Bruges, where she clearly said that the suppression of nation states and concentration of power in Brussels will destroy Europe.

LINGERING RESENTMENT

But there were plenty of voices in Britain ready to express the resentment that still lingers against a woman who broke the power and self serving scams of the trade unions, ran down or privatised many subsidised and heavily loss making state-run utilities and institutions and eroded the excesses of post-war welfare state.

Margaret thatcher halted the downward slide of Britain into a quasi Communist and anarchic control by Union blackmail & Labour’s economic illiteracy and missrule. Sadly it was largely little more than a delay as so often happens a stron leader can break a party by failure to consider the future leaving weak and incompetent leadership and structures behind them.

Betrayed by the personal ambitions of low grade rivals incompetent to take on the leadership role like Hesseltine, Major and the like we suffered the open door for 13 unlucky years of dishonest, corrupt, economic incompetent self serving New Labour ambitions and lies, war crimes and betrayal.

Margaret Thatcher, an enlarger of British freedom

By Sir Harold Evans
Sir Harold Evans

Sir Harold Evans is editor-at-large at Reuters. He was the editor of The Sunday Times for fourteen years, and is the author of two best-selling American histories, as well as two memoirs about his experience in the media business.
Original article published at CLICK HERE
April 8, 2013

My immediate and lasting  memory of Mrs. Thatcher — Maggie as we called her — is sitting next to her in the late sixties at a dinner table as she scorched a bunch of City of London financial types. I was astonished. She wasn’t yet the Iron Lady. She wasn’t  in government. Labour was in power. She was  an obscure back bench Conservative MP, elected only in 1959, noticed in those sexist days (has much changed?) as much for her hats and aggressive hair style as for  her passionate defence of grammar schools under threat of closure from Labour.

What she did with the City of London men  was later characterised as a  “hand-bagging.” A black Asprey bag she always carried was metaphorically wielded against people she saw as standing in the way of the greatness of Britain as Boudica, the leader of a British tribe, wielded a lance against the Roman occupiers. I suppose that as a new national editor (of The Sunday Times), and with normal male presumption , I had expected to lead the questioning of the ten or so big names and the table. I didn’t stand a chance. Maggie pounded and pummeled them all by herself for an hour. I can’t pretend this is verbatim but it went something like this: “All you people are interested in is moving paper around, making money not things. What are you doing for British industry? When are you going to help business stand up to  the unions?”  They murmured, they shuffled, they were outclassed. British elections — six weeks to  a vote and no paid television ads — have never been as corrupted by money as much as American, so she was not turning off a potential source of funding as an American candidate would fear to do. Still these were  men — all men of course  — who were influential and articulate and used to reverence not rebuke.

Maggie could be seductive in private conversation one on one, more so as she matured,  the strident voice of the public halls giving way to a softer, more seductive style, hand on an arm, intent eye to eye in persuasion. She was afraid of nobody, respecter of no convention she considered archaic. The British custom at dinner parties was always for the host to murmur “coffee?” which was signal for “the ladies” to leave for the powder room while the men, over cigars and port, got down to serious business. It was  a small sensation — regarded in some circles as a grave breach of etiquette — when at a dinner party I attended thrown by her egregious confidante Woodrow Wyatt, Maggie stayed in her seat unabashed, uninvited,  and unfazed by the  arguments over the cigars (in this case by a couple of captains of industry who wanted to be part of Europe and she defiantly raised the Union Jack).

The trade unions at the time were busy wreaking havoc on industry. The far left had infiltrated Labour constituencies; Labour candidates were as scared of the militants then as primary Republicans of the Tea Party candidates today.  Local union chiefs called wildcat strikes, disrupted production.  The union movement, with some Labour ministers in support, threatened a closed shop in the press which would have curtailed free speech. I’d spoken out against it as had the  then editor of The Guardian, Alastair Hetherington. At another of those endless London dinners where Maggie  was the speaker and still not in government,  she referred to me as “one of us.” I wasn’t. I was just expressing a view on an issue. We had many things in common, both from the north, both educated in state schools, both brought up in a grocer’s shop, in my case one my mother started, in hers one her father ran. I admired her.  I was one of the millions of voters in the 1979  general election  which put her into power as the first woman prime minister. The country  was in dreadful shape, fearful and anxious during a winter of discontent in which trade union militants blocked cancer patients getting treatment and garbage piled up in  the center of London.

She saved Britain from anarchy and immediately restored a sense of purpose. She could be rough. As Prime Minister,  she had a limited tolerance for dissent and an infinite regard for personal loyalty. If you were not with on her everything, she  regarded you as disloyal, as unreliable, lacking conviction.  I suppose it was the reverse mirror of her indomitable courage. How valiant she was when the IRA terrorists blew up her conference hotel; they tried to murder her and almost succeeded.  She was often vindicated. She was impatient with excuses for inertia and woolliness — vividly represented  in Meryl Streep’s representation of her cutting off a Cabinet member in mid speech.  I disappointed her by giving space in The Times  to critics, especially one of them, Edward Heath,  whom she’d ousted as Prime Minister. The imperatives of news meant we published  news stories she didn’t like: she’d  sunk in the polls and recession deepened. Relations became a little chillier. As an editor, I’d never sought to cosy up  to political leaders,  but I now understand more of what she was up against – the Tory snobs in the counties,  the plotters in the party who eventually betrayed her, the “wets” and the “wimps”  who would yield on a principle she considered vital.

When she became Prime Minister I was editor of The Times. We backed her a hundred per cent on trade union reforms, on holding the line on pay, especially in the public sector and  on advocating more competition in the banking industry, on free trade, on resisting terrorism in Northern Ireland. I told her I  thought she moved too slowly against trade union anarchy, but she bided her time and planned well.   She won a famous victory against the coal miners, badly led by a firebrand who took money from Gaddafi, and it was thanks to her stalwart support  of Rupert Murdoch, whom she admired as a free-booting entrepreneur , that he was able to win the battle of Wapping which ended the guerilla warfare of the print unions.

Margaret Thatcher, whatever the missteps, will  take her place in the pantheon of heros – sorry, heroines – who enlarged British freedom.

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Regards,

Greg_L-W..

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