April 08, 2013

The Iron Lady 1925-2013

Margret Thatcher has passed.

She was born the daughter of a grocer and lived her childhood in a modest apartment over his store. In a nation defined by class, she rose from this to become the longest serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the 20th century and the only woman to hold that office ever.

She had the moral courage to face down Argintina when that nation seized the Falkland Islands in 1982. She did this over the opposition of many of her advisers who thought the task hopeless or not worth the effort. That last bit sums up what the west faced in the late '70s and early 80s, a sense of utter hopelessness and helplessness. Thatcher fought back against that tenaciously. She helped pull not just her nation but a good chunk of the west out of that  destructive malaise.

With Pope John Paul and Ronald Regan, she was one of the three western leaders absolutely instrumental in helping to win the Cold War without the apocalyptic hellfire we all dreaded.

Economically, her time in office offered her nation a respite from the slide into perdition it was on. On her watch the UK surpassed France in economic activity and has maintained that lead since.  Perhaps even more importantly, she was able to articulate the wisdom of her views on these policies most eloquently.

Thatcher was an advocate for the Common Market, but she developed a deep skepticism of the EU and particularly the Euro. This view was not shared by many in her cabinet and was widely mocked, but events of the last few years seem to have proved her to be frighteningly prescient.

Thank you Lady Thatcher. The world is better for your having lived in it.


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