Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Iron Lady, Indeed

Margaret Thatcher

   Although I am American, my mother was a British subject until the day she passed, and so, happenings in England, and who was prime minister was a relevant in the home in which I grew up, as whomever occupied the White House.
            Margaret Thatcher was a remarkable human being, in many respects.  She was not born to particular high station in a time in which one's station of birth was quite important in England. She was the daughter of a grocer, who attended a college at Oxford University (Somerville College)  and whose primary degree was first in chemistry.  From there, she became a barrister, which is a version of an attorney in England. From there, she went on to become a pivotal leader of Britain's Conservative party, and eventually the only female Prime Minister of England. She was Prime Minister from 1979-1990.  When I think about this, I realize that she was the Prime Minister of England through my late high school, college years, and young adulthood.  Margaret Thatcher, was also mother to twins Mark and Carol, and a devoted wife to her husband Denis.
           I remember hearing a story about Margaret Thatcher visiting Rush Limbaugh. Apparently Limbaugh and her husband Denis were good friends, and they regarded one another highly. This was not well known to most people, and one day, people in Florida were shocked when Rush Limbaugh drove a golf cart at a gold club he frequented, and Mrs. Thatcher was with him, watching a game and then having lunch there.
            Margaret Thatcher is credited with having improved the economy of the United Kingdom. She is also credited with demonstrating that Commonwealth Nations will be defended, as was demonstrated with the Falklands War. She stood strongly against the Irish Republican Army, who nearly succeeded in executing her using a bomb.She was a staunch ally of the United States, and a close personal friend of Ronald Reagan, and of Nancy.   She did not isolate the Russians, and was able to have meaningful discussions with Gorbachev, to who this day, recalls her fondly.  Many of the things she did in England were considered controversial.  The village where I attended school in England decidedly slipped badly during the Thatcher years.  Many in the North of England disliked her.  However, she was an honest and eloquent person. She did not lie, or run from a fight. She was an eloquent debater, yet could be swayed when someone provided a circumstance where her idea might not be best.  In some ways, I am reminded of the best of my mother, when I consider her.
          We could use world leaders today who honestly express their ideas, and move forward as courageously as she. Mrs. Thatcher was 87 when she passed yesterday.

A detailed portrait of her life and times


Gorges Smythe said...

There are precious few of her caliber on the world stage today.

klahanie said...

Hi Jane,

A balanced account of Margaret Thatcher. I know her family will be grieving and that is respected. However, her time in power did cause much misery and her legacy has had a lasting impact on the once thriving mining communities.

Indeed, the ethos she started has been continued with a nasty vengeance by the latest crop of Conservatives in a bizarre coalition government.

Margaret Thatcher, love her or hate her, always had the courage of her convictions.

Thank you for this posting.

With respect,


Kristin said...

I am appalled (but not surprised) by some of the ugly "the b***** is dead" parties, looting, and rioting celebrating her death. Is there no decency left? Apparently not among some groups.

JaneofVirginia said...

Even though I don't agree with all of her views, I admire her achievements, her courage in the face of so many powerful people in Parliament, so many of whom had families who were represented there for generations. I admire her courage.

JaneofVirginia said...

Yes, Gary, Under Mrs. Thatcher, the National Health Service closed and consolidated many hospitals, made dialysis a five year proposition tops, and stopped treating some disorders altogether. Improving Britain's economy was done at the expense of my school, the village I lived in when I went to school near London, etc. Still, even Churchill did things which are imperfect or wrong in restrospect. I still respect her rise to her position and her courage in a place where women, at the time, were still schoolmarms, nurses, and only rarely barristers.

JaneofVirginia said...

I think it's in poor taste to celebrate the passing of anyone in such a way. I didn't throw a party for the passing of Bin Laden, as much as I understood how dangerous a man he was.

Matt said...

I'm not sure why these animals are looting and rioting over her death.

Certainly they realize that they have the country they want now. Right?

They have a country whose military has been largely demolished. They have a country that caters to the Muslims and enforces Sharia. They have a country where the law abiding citizens have no right to own a gun to defend themselves and can be attacked and harassed at will. They have a country where if someone does use a gun in defense of themselves, the gun owner will go to jail and not the thug.

They have a country where the majority feel they are owed an education and a living on the back of those that are still employed and, by gosh, will stage a mob riot at the drop of a hat to express their demands should someone merely suggest they pull their own weight.

In effect, they now have a country that barely has any resemblance to the ideals that once made it great and proud and where decorum and honor meant something.

Wow, never mind. I guess if you look at it this way, it is time to celebrate.

God save the Queen.

JaneofVirginia said...

The last time I visited London, it was 2000. I knew that I would never be back. I found the beautiful village I had lived in as a child, overpopulated and poorly maintained. The pool of blood from a miscarriage at the Ruislip train station remained there for three days. Diapers thrown into the street by new immigrants were there the entire month I was there.
I found that the NHS had not only killed my aunt by placing her on a waiting list for a procedure which would have been scheduled immediately here, but they left her on her kitchen floor for nine hours as she waited for an ambulance.
Even with a solicitor (an attorney who deals with normal customary issues of living but not litigation), I found the British system to be overgrown and uncooperative. I was entrusted with selling my aunt's home and liquidating her assets and paying final bills, but even the post office would not permit me to have her bills sent to her solicitor after I departed.
Even though I have no specific negative feelings against any particular group, England made very poor choices in allowing everyone from Muslims to East Indians to take over. England is a small island, and could not take on the droves of people it admitted, and then added essentially to welfare rolls. When I took my daughter to the school I had attended there, I found that no more English people attended. It had been turned into an East Indian school complete with curried everything. England as I knew it in the 1070s, does not exist anymore.
It's a shame that the US cannot learn from this. We cannot give a free pass allowing millions of illegal aliens to make the US their permanent home, when we don't have jobs for the people who ARE already citizens. Canada has the right idea. No one in without a job and the money to support yourself if you can never find one.

Matt said...

"England as I knew it in the 1070s, does not exist anymore"

Survived the Black Death did you? :^D I knew you were a little older than me, but.... my goodness.

JaneofVirginia said...

Matt, Sorry, I meant 1970s. I have 1040s on the brain as I help my adult kids with their tax returns ! Actually, my mother's family does date back to 1066 in England. (To the Battle of Hastings and before) but I personally do not. LOL