Monday, 8 April 2013

The Passing of a Hero and a Villain

Margaret Thatcher (13 October 1925 - 8 April 2013)

She was loved. She was hated. She was loathed. She was lauded. Now she has passed on.

Lady Thatcher muscled her way through a male-dominated political arena, rising through the ranks to become Britain's first, and so far only, female Prime Minister in 1979.

Some of the major policies she implemented created a chasm of opinion. Her government brought the immensely powerful trade unions to their knees, drafted in reforms that encouraged wide-scale privatisation and also fought against the Argentinians after they invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982.

 Whatever opinion people hold of her, she was truly a remarkable woman that, against all odds, set her name firmly in annals of history. She was brilliant, sophisticated, eloquent, resolute and had steely determination, which earned her the soubriquet 'Iron Lady'.

Personally, I don't think she would have gotten so far if she had been the 'lovely lady' of politics. Take a thin slice of anecdotal evidence; think about the women you know who are in power. Do they cut the figure of a sweet, maternal lady? No. Does Angela Merkel? Does Cristina De Kirchner?

 You can disagree with me, but I think women in power are forced to drape themselves in the carapace of masculine  mettle, a steely, ruthless persona and are pushed into appearing more intimidating than they actually are. Without projecting themselves in this way, they won't be able to negotiate the murky waters of male dominated politics.

Was Lady Thatcher a saint? Not at all. But was she a demon in disguise? Certainly not.


  • 13 October 1925 - Born Margaret Hilda Roberts in Grantham, Lincolnshire
  • 1951 - Married businessman Denis Thatcher
  • 1959 - Becomes MP for Finchley
  • 1970 - Made minister for education
  • 1975 - Elected Conservative leader
  • 1979 - Becomes UK's first female prime minister
  • 1982 - Falklands War
  • 1983 - Elected prime minister for second time
  • 1984 - Survives Grand Hotel bombing
  • 1984-5 - Takes on unions in Miners' Strike
  • 1987 - Wins third term in Downing Street
  • 1990 - Resigns as prime minister
  • 1992 - Stands down as MP and accepts peerage
  • 2002 - Retires from public speaking
  • 8 April 2013 - Dies after suffering a stroke


  1. Indeed, no one is all good or all bad.

    1. I was listening to BBC Radio Four, and the journalist was asking whether or not Thatcher deserved a stately funeral.
      A gentleman called in and his voice trembled as he described how her policies destroyed the livelihood of miners & caused his family untold misery. It's crazy because he must obviously be a middle-aged man & there was still so much pain in his voice. Yet another caller was grateful for the opportunity to buy his council flat. Couldn't be happier with Lady Thatcher's policies.

      One man's meat; another man's poison.

  2. I don't think I've seen a public figure who polarized opinion as Margaret Thatcher did.Celebrated and vilified in equal measure - in life just as in death.The age-old dictate "never speak ill of the dead" holds no relevance with her opponents as they brazenly celebrated her death.Iron lady to her supporters. Destructive witch to her detractors. Such was the enigmatic life of Margaret Thatcher that perhaps her true legacy lies in the political centre.

    1. I know, I wonder what her enduring legacy will be? In fifty years to come, in a century to come, will history be kinder to her or harsher? Thanks for your view, Will.

  3. The most important lesson to me is that both great and small must end up six feet under; so let us prepare for eternity - that is the most important lesson. Thatcher may be in heaven or hell depending on how God has judged her and not what we say and think.

    1. Yes, reminds us of our mortality. No matter how many years a man lives, he is bound to die. Sobering thoughts. Thanks for your comment.

  4. I have to agree with the writer of Fresh Angle, maybe Thatcher was less a villian or saint, but more a product of her time and circumstances.
    First she was a woman. All female executives will tell you that to succeed where guys have been succeeding, the female usually has to put in some extra energy and talent. When it comes to managing a county, females will always require extra firmness, else the men will not listen to them!
    Yes she could have been more courteous in her treatment of other countries and foreigners, but the ultimate success of Thatcher will be judged by the British people, society and economy, in terms of its success or failure. Afterall, she is their Thatcher, not mine!

  5. Thanks Dlaw. A woman operating in a man's world has to be recalcitrant, thick skinned, dogged and even ruthless. She was indeed a product of her circumstances.

    Laughed at your comment she's not your Thatcher. Very funny.