by Rick Bretz
I have read a number of stories lately concerning many people who dislike Margaret Thatcher and her policies while serving as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979-1990. These words are naïve and just plain stupid. Just like her Iron Lady name implied, she was the kind of Prime Minister who said with her actions, “Enough is enough!” She said it with the Falklands War. She said it with the British Labour Unions. She said it every time she stood up each week to face her British Parliament adversaries, the Labour Party.
Her weekly confrontations with members of the Parliament were interesting to watch. They were televised on CSPAN on the weekends. She took no prisoners and didn’t give an inch. Her confidence in her ideas gave her the strength to take on anybody, including the male power structure.
She was Britain’s first woman Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party. She served three terms as Prime Minister and made some tough choices to get the economy back on track. Starting in 1981, the economy experienced 8 consecutive years of growth. The ultra-liberal factions of the Parliament never were satisfied with her choices while the elitists sought to demonize her. However, tough choices had to be made and she was the one to do it. During the 1982 Falklands War, the government tried to arrive at a diplomatic solution but when those talks failed to provide any common ground, Prime Minister Thatcher was ready to use military power.
Thatcherism was a label that defined her style of politics but Margaret Thatcher gave her country something more important-a reason to be proud of their country. Many people in America liked her, some of course didn’t. Like conservatives, some liberals just can’t come around and recognize a good leader’s accomplishments. Although she was a revolutionary by breaking political barriers, she didn’t like to be dictated to by them, such as the IRA. The IRA tried to take her out with a bomb in 1984. She showed up the next day to deliver a speech to say, “You are not going to get your way.” She curbed union power by taking on the coal unions and took on the biggest union of all, the Soviet Union. A Soviet Union publication gave her the name, “The Iron Lady.” She helped bring about the end of he Soviet Union by letting President Ronald Reagan know that this Gorbachev fellow is someone we can deal with.
Margaret Thatcher will be remembered for her tough leadership but also as one of the great personalities of the 20th Century and one Britain’s best leaders in peace and during wars and cold wars.
Margaret Thatcher died on April 8, 2013. There is one point everyone can agree on when discussing Margaret Thatcher. She will be remembered.