RIP Margaret Thatcher

margaret-thatcherI felt that there were more than a few crocodile tears on hearing the news of the passing of Mrs Thatcher, often referred to as Mrs T.

She will be remember as one of the greatest leaders the UK ever had. For me she is up there with Sir Winston Churchill and may well be responsible for saving the UK from the economic spiral of destruction it had sleep walked into after the Winter of Discontent.

Strong and implacable, the qualities that all great leaders should have. Whether you think the Falklands task force was right or not, it took courage to stand up to a blatant act of aggression. Like Churchill before her, the enemy underestimated the UK´s resolve to repel a would be occupying force. Many leaders would have folded when faced with such a challenge.

I deplore the loss of life on both sides, but the the dice had already been set when the invasion of the Falklands had been ordered. There are only actions and consequences. Thatcher was not going to allow the UK to be brow beaten into giving up the sovereign rights of the Falkland Islanders. She was both loved and hated. Loved by small businesses like my own at the time which were to later lead the UK out of recession and hated for the dreadful unemployment brought about by the ruthless closure of the British coal industry.

She was the UK’s only women Prime Minister and she made a difference. I did not agree with all her policies, I hated the inequity of the poll tax, she was at one point known as “Thatcher the Milk Snatcher” after abolishing school milk for primary school children. However she also championed home ownership and for the first time many council house tenants became proud owners of their own homes. She could not have been worried about being popular, she just pressed ahead and did what she believed to be right. If you loved her or hated her, there can be no denying the resolve.

There has never been another leader like her. The spineless sound-bite hungry politicians of today lack the conviction and the strength of character to do what she was able to achieve in the face of overwhelming opposition. I never agreed with her stance towards Europe and yet here we are. The single currency is in trouble, the rogue free spending states have spent up and somewhere up above us I can hear the Iron Lady saying “I told you so!”

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