Margaret Thatcher 13 October 1925 – 8 April 2013
It sometimes takes the death of a former Prime Minister to throw into sharp relief the failures of one of their successors.
The death of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher following a stroke earlier today, forces us to remind or inform ourselves about the differences between the three Conservative Prime Ministers that Britain has had since 1979. Margaret Thatcher came to prominence in politics when there were far fewer opportunities for women in politics and there were many barriers to their advancement in place. Not for her the quickly facilitated advancement of an era of all women shortlists or party central offices imposing female candidates on unwilling local branches. Margaret Thatcher had to fight to get her position in a party that is utterly unlike the modern Cameroonist Conservative Party, an entity that now appears to have been completely captured by the ‘diversity droids’.
My own view of Margaret Thatcher has changed over the years, for a while I bought into the socialist view of her as divisive, but latterly, especially when Lady Thatcher, as she later became, was compared with her sucessors, I moderated my view by a considerable amount. Yes, she was divisive but the situation facing the UK in the late 1970’s was dire and so bad that any politician who attempted to deal with the problems would have been seen as ‘divisive’. The problems of uncompetitiveness, sclerotic behaviour in the nationalised industries and a public sector in open revolt against the Government, were aflicting the country badly. There was a need for change and Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Party was seen by many aspirational working class voters as an answer to the problems that the country was having.
Of course Margaret Thatcher made mistakes, at the current time when energy security is going to be a future issue, and the wheels are coming off the global warming bandwagon, it looks in hindsight like it was a huge error to lose our coal mining industry during the Miners’ Strike. Yes, union bullies like Scargill and others needed to be beaten, but the cost will be paid by generations from now who will now have to play catch up in order to access Britain’s still considerable coal reserves. Another mistake was the Poll Tax, which although it tried to right the great wrong of unfair local taxation, did it in a way that turned out to be unworkable.
She was also far-sighted in seeing that international currencies like the Euro were bound for future problems and kept the UK out of early Euro currency plans.
Margaret Thatcher did appear to have one quality that David Cameron definitely seems to lack and that quality is patriotism. You cannot imagine Cameron fighting back against Euro-enroachment or Brussels wallet picking British taxpayers, neither can you imagine Cameron standing up for British interests instead of backing the Syrian proto-jihadi ‘resistance’.
History may judge Margaret Thatcher and her period of office and political influence much more kindly than they may judge the appeasing, unpatriotic and cowardly regime of David Cameron.
Margaret Thatcher was the right leader to the right time, just as Churchill was during World War II. They are in that category even if you disagree about them. Sadly what we have today in Cameron is the wrong leader at the wrong time. When we in this country are facing terrible threats that require the steel of a Churchill or a Thatcher to counter, we are instead landed with someone who posesses the shallowness of a Blair and the untrustworthyness of an Edward Heath.