Some Thirty years ago, Britain commenced the Great Revival. From being bankrupt in spirit as well as in practice, we were led down the road to recovery, to confidence and to prosperity. In the space of some ten years, we fought an internal war against over-mighty and wealthy union barons whose sheeplike supporters just could not see the damage their leaders accomplished, and we fought another war against a dictatorship some ten thousand miles away in the southern latitudes, with the Falklands Isles invaded by Argentina. We, as a nation, accomplished the renewal of Great Britain, aided and spurred by one person, and one person alone, Margaret Hilda Thatcher, now of course Baroness Thatcher.
This lady, once dubbed by no less a judge of character than Winston Churchill as ‘The only Man in the Cabinet’, planned the renewal of Britain after the doldrum and neglect years of Labour and previous lacklustre Tory administrations, the last of those being the Heath government which took us into the European Common Market. She saw the manner in which the Union Barons literally ruled the Labour Ministers, with their constant demands for more money, more benefits, more leverage for thie members and of course, for their unions, the vast majority of which of course were very left-wing by nature and composition! The Unions’ attack on, and of course defeat of, the Industrial Relations Act and the freeing of the Pentonville Five must have helped her in her policies towards the Trade Union Movement that all were to be equal under the law, but the Law would have to be fit for purpose. She stood for Tory Leader, and despite everyone’s disbelief, became Official Leader of the Opposition, with the sulking Ted Heath hovering in the background.
After a series of debilitating strikes in the ‘Winter of Discontent’, and the results of two ‘Devolution’ referendums pushing the Nationalist Parties to withdraw their support from Labour, a single vote decided that Labour was defeated in a Vote of Confidence, and Margaret Thatcher became our first female Prime Minister.
Her record, both in Domestic as well as in Foreign matters, is written in many places, and is both long and unique, in that in the many battles she undertook, she won the most vital ones. She reformed Trades Union Legislation, put the economy on a sound footing, and, in my view as well as that of many, only made one serious error in her years, which was to sign up to the Single European Act. She claimed afterwards that she had been mis-briefed, but I believe that she missed the simple truth that all European Legislation has enough built-in loopholes to allow any slippy bureacrat to run rings around any politician who doesn’t deal with scum every day of the week.
Her triumphs in the South Atlantic, aided and abetted of course by her strong friendship with Ronald Reagan, when the British Fleet took the Royal Marines and the Army south to the cold South Atlantic, fought their way to the Falklands beaches and on to victory in Port Stanley, sent her name, and that of Great Britain, ringing around the world as a nation and a Lady, who would not be pushed around!
She survived an assassination attempt by PIRA/SinnFein. Her attitude towards the so-called ‘hunger-strikers’ and their demands for ‘political prisoner’ status was both robust and correct, she said “Crime is crime is crime; it is not political”. Unfortunately, her Government was also in contact with the Republic of Ireland’s leadership, contacts which evolved into the ‘Anglo-Irish Inter-Governmental Council’, a precursor to the betrayals of Blair and the Belfast Agreement.
Margaret Thatcher is today a frail lady in her ‘eighties. She has been diagnosed as suffering from dementia, and has virtually no short-term memory at all. A sad truth and a sad ending in sight for one of the finest Political minds and Prime Ministers this country is ever likely to see.
x-posted from a Tangled Web