BARONESS Margaret Thatcher will be remembered as a cheerleader for new British businesses and champion of the City, as the tributes below show.
But her bold economic strategies are celebrated far beyond these shores, and Thatcher was one of just a handful of British politicians to make a dent in the American consciousness. Yesterday, her policies even found favour on the boulevards of Hollywood.
Actress Meryl Streep, who played the Iron Lady in the Oscar-winning 2011 film of the same name, issued a glowing statement.
“There is an argument that her steadfast, almost emotional loyalty to pound sterling has helped the UK weather the storms of European monetary uncertainty,” Streep said.
Streep also marveled at the “special hate and ridicule, unprecedented in my opinion, leveled in our time at a public figure who was not a mass murderer.”
“I was honoured to try to imagine her late life journey, after power; but I have only a glancing understanding of what her many struggles were, and how she managed to sail through to the other side.”
Others chose to take Thatcher’s entrepreneurial spirit to heart.
Spitting Image impressionist Steve Nallon’s tribute to the former PM was a simple one: he tweeted a link to a showreel of his garish cross-dressing performances as the Iron Lady.
An honourable mention must also go to the National Coal Mining Museum, who gamely put up a spokesperson to comment on Thatcher’s passing on Sky News.
“She devoted herself to being Prime Minister. I thought the most useful thing she did was to demolish Arthur Scargill. I was sitting with her before she became Prime Minister watching the news on television, and saying the problem with the Labour Party was that it wasn’t in touch with the real world. She said ‘don’t worry – once we get in – we will be in touch with the real world’. I will remember her as a very nice person and a very efficient person. She really did work every minute that she could. And the one thing I will remember most is that I never once saw her without her asking me how my grandson was getting on.”
SIR DOUGLAS HAGUE
THATCHER’S PERSONAL ECONOMIC ADVISER
My personal memory is of her coming to the floor of the Stock Exchange after being given lunch by the chairman. It must have been in about 1980. I remember her marching straight on to my insurance pitch like a whirlwind and telling me how well the stock market was going to do over the next decade under her leadership – and to stay long of quality British stocks. I should have paid more attention!
CHAIRMAN OF IG GROUP
“I’m very sorry that she has died. We became quite friendly in her later years. She was very frail at the time, both physically and mentally, and she even hugged me and gave me a kiss when we met once by accident.”
LORD DENIS HEALEY
FORMER LABOUR CABINET MINISTER