You will have read and heard enough of Margaret Thatcher’s death yesterday on 8 April. Although she was a polarising politician like no other, she was Britain’s first and only female Prime Minister.
I grew up in a world when a woman ran the country and was an excellent stateswoman, holding her ground amongst the other great leaders of the world. My mother would often remind me that her father owned a shop and look where she was! Prime Minister of Great Britain!
She’s a woman that made it in a meritocracy, not some inherited birthright that we Asians like to elect to power (Gandhi, Bhutto). But it wasn’t easy for her! The Tories patronised women, were not led by them. She was an incredible woman to achieve what she did and no woman has come close again. By way of example, think of the rumours that Teresa May wants the top job. Give me a break! She has the charisma of an unsalted peanut.
My mother voted for her and clearly admired her drive, her hard work on just 4 hours sleep a day. My mother’s small businesses thrived under Thatcherism and we became rich, privately schooled, social climbers. My mother even agreed with the poll tax? Why shouldn’t everyone pay the same for the same services? It made perfect sense!
But her domestic economic policy was fierce and unnecessary. I grew up in a Scottish mining village and the devastation it reeked across that area is still apparent today. Huge unemployment in the 80s led to teenage single mothers in the 90s and generational benefit scoungers of the noughties. The Falklands War was appalling. I realised what pacifist meant and that I am one.
My overall thoughts? I wish another Margaret Thatcher will run our country again, one in modern times so she doesn’t have to be such a ball breaker. A female leader that shows you can be more feminine and CARE. To stop wars and not start them.
Here are some memorable quotes:
“Everyone is either reckless or inept.”
“To those waiting with bated breath for that favourite media catchphrase, the U-turn, I have only one thing to say: You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning.”
“They are casting their problems at society. And, you know, there’s no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look after themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then, also, to look after our neighbours.”
“Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them.”
“Someone must force the point and say the unsayable.”