[Re: Remember the Iron Lady for her strength and weakness, yesterday]
Lord David Owen may (possibly) be correct that Britain’s economic performance could have improved after the IMF imposed strictures on Britain after its 1976 bailout, but he’s wrong to say that Lady Thatcher didn’t save this country. By 1979, inflation was out of control and so were the unions. We were subject to the narrow interests of small sections of our society. I lived through the period and do not consider it an exaggeration to describe the situation as bordering on industrial anarchy. Britain was, to all intents and purposes, ungovernable. In addition, my work took me abroad and the country was a laughing stock: the British disease was often discussed. Quite what the outcome would have been if James Callaghan and Labour had carried on, I dread to think. Thatcher sorted it all out to our enduring benefit and propserity, and that earns her the title of saviour of the nation in my (and many other people’s) opinion.
Thatcher’s critics sit in an extremely difficult place. Not only have her policies been adopted widely across the world (broadly privatisation was pioneered in Britain). But the admiration and sympathy Thatcher inspires globally (for her courage and principles), shows just how narrow and petty her critics really are.
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Margaret Thatcher understood the difference between popular policies, and policies whose eventual results would be popular.
I hope Grantham gets credit for nurturing Margaret Thatcher. It’s my family town, and my mum was at school with Mrs T.
I remember being told by a Polish MEP how, as a boy, he would listen to Mrs T’s speeches on the World Service and it gave him hope.
People who didn’t live through the 1970s have no idea just how much Thatcher changed things for the better.