Lady Margaret Thatcher – ‘Iron Lady’ – Champion of Freedom


lighthouse9_animatedMargaret Thatcher … the Iron Lady of Britain and first female prime minister of the United Kingdom, who worked closely with US President Ronald Reagan to bring down the Iron Curtain of eastern Europe, the Berlin Wall in Germany, and helped dissolve the Soviet Union; thus ending the Cold War that had been going on since after World War II ended and the Soviet Union betrayed its ally status after Nazi Germany surrendered has passed away.
Born Margaret Roberts, she was the daughter of a grocer in Grantham, Lincolnshire, England on October 13th, 1925. After graduating from Oxford Universityshe worked as a chemist. Later she studied law and became a barrister. 

On December 13th, 1951, she married Denis Thatcher, a businessman. As a member of the Conservative Party, Margaret Thatcher was elected in October of 1959. Two years later she joined the joint parliamentary secretary for Pensions and National Insurance. Other posts held were: Housing (1965, Treasury (1966), Fuel and Power (1967), Transport (1968), and Education (1969). Thatcher became Secretary of State for Education and Science in 1970. She created a controversy be ending the free school milk program for children over seven and increased school meal charges. Edward Heath was the prime minister, who was in conflict with the trade unions in his attempts to impose a prices and income policy.

In January of 1975, Thatcher ran against Edward Heath for the leadership of the Conservative Party, whom she defeated by 130 votes to 119 and became the first woman to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom. Heath, a poor loser, refused to serve in Thatcher’s cabinet. During those years she focused upon the market economy and was condemned for making a speech against the large influx of immigrants, she claimed that people feared being “swamped” by immigrants.
In 1979, Margaret Thatcher was elected as the first woman in Britain to become a prime minister. In November of 1979 she attended a summit meeting of the European Economic Community where she attempted to renegotiate Britain’s contribution to the EEC budget. During her tenure, inflation was reduced, but unemployment doubled between 1979 and 1980. During that period public opinion polls showed that Thatcher was the most unpopular prime minister in British history. Thatcher’s administration denationalized enterprises like British Telecom, British Airways, Rolls Royce, and British Steel.
On April 2nd, 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands and the following day the United Nations passed resolution 502 that demanded that Argentina withdraw from the Falklands. On April 5th, the British Navy left Portsmouth for the Falkland Islands. Britain declared a 200-mile exclusion zone around the Falklands and on May 2nd, 1982, the Argentina battleship General Belgranowas sunk. Two days later HMS Sheffieldwas hit by an Exocet missile. British troops landed on the Falkland Islands at San Carlos on May 21st, 1982 and after almost a month of fighting, Port Stanley was captured and Argentina surrendered on June 14th, 1982. Thatcher’s popularity boosted by the success of the war and the Conservative Party won the 1983 General Election with a majority of 144.
Thatcher developed a close relationship with President Ronald Reaganand both agreed to take a firm stand against the Soviet Union. That is how she gained the nickname of Iron Lady. Thatcher did become furious with Ronald Reagan when in November of 1983 US troops invaded the British territory of Grenada without prior consultation with her.
Thatcher continued her policy of reducing the power of trade unions. Sympathy strikes and the closed shop was banned. Union leaders had to ballot members on strike action and unions were responsible for the actions of its members. The government took a firm stand against industrial disputes and the miners’ strike that began in 1984 and lasted for 12 months without a successful conclusion.
After a meeting with the Soviet Union’s leader, Mikhail Gorbachevand the changed policies of the dissolving Soviet Union and Gorbachev’s announcement of Perestroika (Restructuring) that introduced policies that established a market economy and encouraged private ownership formerly owned by the Soviet government, as well as agriculture free marketing.
At a meeting on November 13th, 1985, Thatcher rejected the plan of entering the European Exchange Rate Mechanism; however, the following month she attended the Luxembourg European Council and during the meeting Thatcher signed the Single European Act.
In April of 1986, Prime Minister Thatcher was criticized for giving permission for US bombers to take off from Britain to bomb Libya after a series of Libyan planned terrorist attacks.
Prime Minister Thatcher won her third term in the 1987 General Election with a majority of 102 seats. The following year she became Britain’s longest serving prime minister for over 100 years; however her popularity was damaged when the Community Charge (Poll Tax) was introduced in Scotland in April of 1989, and the rest of Britain was charged the tax the following year. On November 28th, 1990, Margaret Thatcher resigned as prime minister and was replaced by John Major. She left the House of Commons in March of 1992 and soon after she entered the House of Lordsas Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven.
In recent news, dated December 31st, 2011, Mark Thatcher, son of Margaret, bought a multimillion pound property on the island of Barbados. He was arrested in South Africa in 2004 for being a part of an illegal African coup. Margaret who turned 86 last October (2011) has increasingly become frail and forgetful after suffering a series of minor strokes. She is rarely visited by her son and daughter and spent Christmas of 2011 alone with her long-time and faithful housekeeper and caregiver, Kate. While Margaret spent Christmas alone without her children and other family, although Carol, her daughter did stop by for a visit one week before Christmas. During the 2011 Christmas season, a film about Margaret Thatcher was released starring Meryl Streep as theIron Lady,also the title of the film that focuses too much upon Lady Thatcher’s battle with dementia, when it should have focused her dynamic life as a stateswoman and her wonderful marriage with Denis, who died at age 86.

Carol, Lady Thatcher’s daughter, was closer to Denis than Margaret; while Mark, the son is closer to his mother. When, in 2005, Mark was fined £500,000 and given a four-year suspended sentence in South Africa after admitting to financing the plot to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea and install a new regime, Lady Thatcher wrote a check for £265,000 to free him from house arrest. Mark lives in Spain now and visits his mother every four to six weeks, and his last visit he stayed for a month.

In her more youthful days, Lady Thatcher made some memorable speeches, and after spending what might be her last Christmas, one of her quotes stands out:

Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends.

If only her children would have heeded those words.

A respectful salute to Lady Thatcher, the Iron Ladyas a prime minister who stood strong and determined to make the world better, but who, in private life, has a heart of gold.

The following is a brief list of some of her most famous quotations:
  • Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.
  • Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.
  • Being a prime minister is a lonely job … you cannot lead from the crowd.
  • Democratic nations must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend.
  • Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.
  • I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left. [My how this describes the American liberal-socialist]
  • I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.
  • I am in politics because of the conflict between good and evil, and I believe that in the end good will triumph.
 The following is a speech made by Lady Margaret Thatcher at Ronald Reagan‘s funeral:
We have lost a great president, a great American, and a great man. And I have lost a dear friend.
In his lifetime Ronald Reagan was such a cheerful and invigorating presence that it was easy to forget what daunting historic tasks he set himself. He sought to mend America’s wounded spirit, to restore the strength of the free world, and to free the slaves of communism. These were causes hard to accomplish and heavy with risk.
Yet they were pursued with almost a lightness of spirit. For Ronald Reagan also embodied another great cause – what Arnold Bennett once called `the great cause of cheering us all up’. His politics had a freshness and optimism that won converts from every class and every nation – and ultimately from the very heart of the evil empire.
Yet his humour often had a purpose beyond humour. In the terrible hours after the attempt on his life, his easy jokes gave reassurance to an anxious world. They were evidence that in the aftermath of terror and in the midst of hysteria, one great heart at least remained sane and jocular. They were truly grace under pressure.
And perhaps they signified grace of a deeper kind. Ronnie himself certainly believed that he had been given back his life for a purpose. As he told a priest after his recovery `Whatever time I’ve got left now belongs to the Big Fella Upstairs’.
And surely it is hard to deny that Ronald Reagan’s life was providential, when we look at what he achieved in the eight years that followed.
Others prophesied the decline of the West; he inspired America and its allies with renewed faith in their mission of freedom.
Others saw only limits to growth; he transformed a stagnant economy into an engine of opportunity.
Others hoped, at best, for an uneasy cohabitation with the Soviet Union; he won the Cold War – not only without firing a shot, but also by inviting enemies out of their fortress and turning them into friends.
I cannot imagine how any diplomat, or any dramatist, could improve on his words to Mikhail Gorbachev at the Geneva summit: `Let me tell you why it is we distrust you.’ Those words are candid and tough and they cannot have been easy to hear. But they are also a clear invitation to a new beginning and a new relationship that would be rooted in trust.
We live today in the world that Ronald Reagan began to reshape with those words. It is a very different world with different challenges and new dangers. All in all, however, it is one of greater freedom and prosperity, one more hopeful than the world he inherited on becoming president.
As Prime Minister, I worked closely with Ronald Reagan for eight of the most important years of all our lives. We talked regularly both before and after his presidency. And I have had time and cause to reflect on what made him a great president.
Ronald Reagan knew his own mind. He had firm principles – and, I believe, right ones. He expounded them clearly, he acted upon them decisively.
When the world threw problems at the White House, he was not baffled, or disoriented, or overwhelmed. He knew almost instinctively what to do.
When his aides were preparing option papers for his decision, they were able to cut out entire rafts of proposals that they knew `the Old Man’ would never wear.
When his allies came under Soviet or domestic pressure, they could look confidently to Washington for firm leadership.
And when his enemies tested American resolve, they soon discovered that his resolve was firm and unyielding.
Yet his ideas, though clear, were never simplistic. He saw the many sides of truth.
Yes, he warned that the Soviet Union had an insatiable drive for military power and territorial expansion; but he also sensed it was being eaten away by systemic failures impossible to reform.
Yes, he did not shrink from denouncing Moscow’s `evil empire’. But he realised that a man of goodwill might nonetheless emerge from within its dark corridors.
So the President resisted Soviet expansion and pressed down on Soviet weakness at every point until the day came when communism began to collapse beneath the combined weight of these pressures and its own failures. And when a man of goodwill did emerge from the ruins, President Reagan stepped forward to shake his hand and to offer sincere cooperation.
Nothing was more typical of Ronald Reagan than that large-hearted magnanimity – and nothing was more American.
Therein lies perhaps the final explanation of his achievements. Ronald Reagan carried the American people with him in his great endeavours because there was perfect sympathy between them. He and they loved America and what it stands for – freedom and opportunity for ordinary people.
As an actor in Hollywood’s golden age, he helped to make the American dream live for millions all over the globe. His own life was a fulfilment of that dream. He never succumbed to the embarrassment some people feel about an honest expression of love of country.
He was able to say `God Bless America’ with equal fervour in public and in private. And so he was able to call confidently upon his fellow-countrymen to make sacrifices for America – and to make sacrifices for those who looked to America for hope and rescue.
With the lever of American patriotism, he lifted up the world. And so today the world – in Prague, in Budapest, in Warsaw, in Sofia, in Bucharest, in Kiev and in Moscow itself – the world mourns the passing of the Great Liberator and echoes his prayer “God Bless America”.
Ronald Reagan’s life was rich not only in public achievement, but also in private happiness. Indeed, his public achievements were rooted in his private happiness. The great turning point of his life was his meeting and marriage with Nancy.
On that we have the plain testimony of a loving and grateful husband: `Nancy came along and saved my soul’. We share her grief today. But we also share her pride – and the grief and pride of Ronnie’s children.
For the final years of his life, Ronnie’s mind was clouded by illness. That cloud has now lifted. He is himself again – more himself than at any time on this earth. For we may be sure that the Big Fella Upstairs never forgets those who remember Him. And as the last journey of this faithful pilgrim took him beyond the sunset, and as heaven’s morning broke, I like to think – in the words of Bunyan – that `all the trumpets sounded on the other side’.

We here still move in twilight. But we have one beacon to guide us that Ronald Reagan never had. We have his example. Let us give thanks today for a life that achieved so much for all of God’s children.”

Lady Thatcher represents the goodwill and close relationship between the United Kingdom, England, and the United States; who we once had to fight to gain independence, has proven to be the most loyal and faithful nation of people we may ever have and one of America’s most valued allies.
God bless Lady Thatcher, God bless the United Kingdom, and the ideals she represented and the future of our friends across the sea.
The following are selected videos for folks to see just what a special person she has been. The first is her last speech in Parliament, demonstrating why she earned the title Iron Lady. She never gave an inch when it came to standing for truth and the correct action to take.
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Margaret Thatcher passed away on April 8th 2013 at age 87 of a stroke in her sleep. God rest her beautiful soul.
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Margaret_Thatcher_Iron_LadyMargaret Thatcher – 1925 to 2013
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3 comments on “Lady Margaret Thatcher – ‘Iron Lady’ – Champion of Freedom

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  3. […] nation requires solid leadership like Margaret Thatcher provided for the United Kingdom and Ronald Reagan provided for the United States – not a […]

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