Monday, 8 April 2013

Margaret Thatcher RIP

read obituary at the Margaret Thatcher Foundation
Margaret Thatcher is dead. The Grantham grocer’s daughter, who smashed glass ceiling after glass ceiling to become Britain’s first female prime minister, belongs to the ages now.

She is remembered with affection by many Conservative voters, who also recall with anger her peers who knifed her in the back over her views on Europe: like Winston Churchill, she understood instinctively that if a United States of Europe were to be formed that was well and good, but Great Britain must be apart from it.

More than this, though, she is remembered with affection by many: across the centre-right she remains the queen over the water, and even Labour voters of all vintages appreciate that she was the last leader who, in the tradition of Peel, Disraeli, Churchill and Attlee, put their conviction to do right ahead of expediency and focus-groups.

Like Shakespeare, Beethoven, Kant, and Bismarck, she decisively tackled all the issues in her field and therefore changed that field forever, for both better and worse. But those who concentrate on the negative aspects of her legacy would do well to remember that the only way never to do anything wrong is never to do anything.

I could continue by listing Mrs Thatcher’s many achievements, but others will do this better than I could: so here’s three things she never did.

  • She never introduced the target-culture into the NHS that led to corporate massacres at Mid Staffs General Hospital and elsewhere: John Major did this.
  • She never made higher education a commodity to be bought and sold by replacing grants with tuition fees; Tony Blair did this.
  • She never threatened our hard-won freedom of the press; a junta comprised of David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Milliband did this.
Margaret Thatcher is dead. She will live forever in our hearts and minds.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013) - Margaret Thatcher Foundation


  1. I warm to your balanced appraisal. Too many are ready to express opinions about Margaret Thatcher, right across the spectrum from adulation to loathing. My guess is that their opinions are of interest to themselves, but not many others.
    One instance in the Winter of Discontent springs to mind: my wife was working as a midwife in a south London maternity unit. She was tending to a premature baby in the nursery. Close by to her was a black plastic bag full of soiled nappies and other potentially infectious material. She said to the ward sister 'I'll just take this bag out to the sluice before I attend to the baby'. The sister replied 'whatever you do, leave that bag alone. If the cleaning staff know you've shifted it, they'll walk out'. Her attempts to get one of the cleaners to do it had met with truculent delaying tactics.
    Some feel that the country was more or less held to ransome by the Unions in those days. If that was so, small wonder that someone like Thatcher came on to the scene.

  2. Good riddance. /spit

  3. Thaks for your comment, Dr Henry: I remember such attitudes regarding whose job something was in the NHS in Glasgow in those days. I lived a mile from the shipyards, and was regaled constantly by uncles with tales on how union rules were destroying the Clyde with just such practices.

    sine nomine - spit all you want. The dead will remain dead much longer than the livings' alloted span, so a war on them will always be lost.