Monday, April 8, 2013

Britain’s First Female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, Dead at the Age of 87.

Margaret-Thatcher-2004.  Image courtesy of Sunday Book Club.

Margaret Thatcher, the most dominant British prime minister since Winston Churchill in 1940 and a global champion of the late 20th century free market economic revival, has died….
…The first woman elected to lead a major western state, Lady Thatcher, as she became after the longest premiership since 1827, served 11 unbroken years at No 10. She was only overthrown by an internal Tory party coup in 1990 after her reckless promotion of the poll tax led to rioting in Trafalgar Square.
Thatcher who was 87, had been in declining health for some years, suffering from dementia. The death of Sir Denis Thatcher, her husband of 50 years and closest confidante, intensified her isolation in what had proved a frustrating retirement, despite energetic worldwide activity in the early years….”
As reported by the
“….Margaret Thatcher was the only British prime minister to leave behind a set of ideas about the role of the state which other leaders and nations strove to copy and apply. Monetarism, privatisation, deregulation, small government, lower taxes and free trade — all these features of the modern globalised economy were crucially promoted as a result of the policy prescriptions she employed to reverse Britain’s economic decline. ….
“….she was a transformative leader who reversed conventional wisdom that Great Britain's national decline was inevitable.
She will be remembered for curbing the trade unions, privatising state-owned industries, leading Britain to victory in the Falklands War, and as US President Ronald Reagan's staunch ally in confronting the Soviet Empire.
Mrs Thatcher is now ranked alongside Sir Winston Churchill (her hero) and Clement Attlee as one of Britain's most important 20th century prime ministers, but the "Iron Lady", as she was nicknamed, was a deeply divisive figure, openly hated by many, especially those from industrial heartlands, which she sent to the wall….. (Obituary)
“There has been no other leader quite like Margaret Thatcher in post war Britain. No other post war Prime Minister has been so admired, or so reviled. She was the first woman to lead a major political party in Britain, the longest serving Prime Minister of the 20th century, and almost the only Prime Minister whose name is synonymous with an ideology. There is, for instance, no body of political ideas called ‘Blairism’, but ‘Thatcherism’ remained in political diction when the holder of that name was an elderly frail, lonely widow.
She was never much loved, though she would have liked to have been. She believed that she had a direct line to the British people, or at least section of it from which she sprang, the hard working, law abiding, self-denying lower middle class…..

Margaret Thatcher, a patriot, friend of Ronald Reagan and an ally to the United States was many things to many people.

Referring to the above quote, I have no doubt that there are those who would beg to differ.  However, that does not change the fact that Margaret Thatcher was not only a hero but a force to be reckoned with and on this side of the Atlantic, we can only hope and pray for such a leader as Margaret Thatcher. 
To date, we have not one with the convictions, integrity or strength of this great lady.  Rest in peace Margaret Thatcher.

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