A Tribute to the Late Margaret Thatcher
Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s first female prime minister in 1979 and served her nation very successfully in this role until her resignation in 1990. Known for her forceful convictions and strength of character, she became known as the Iron Lady. In July of 2011, John Blundell, Institute of Economic Affairs Fellow, author of Margaret Thatcher: Portrait of An Iron Lady, joined us on a McCuistion TV program, talking about her successful career and her many contributions to British society and the political system.
(His colorful recollections, respectfully told, are worth watching: http://frtv.wpengine.com/2012/05/13/the-legacy-of-margaret-thatcher/ on the McCuistion Program).
Ms. Thatcher earned a degree in chemistry from Somerville College, Oxford, as well as a Master of Arts degree from the University of Oxford. She worked as a chemist and then as a barrister, specializing in tax law, before being elected to the House of Commons in 1953, where she held several ministerial appointments. She was elected leader of the Conservative Party and thus became leader of the Opposition in 1975.
Never one to back down from what she felt to be right, she was known for her strong commitment to free market economics, limited government and rule of law. The former P.M. was a strong proponent of privatization, (see the NCPA study, Privatization Around the Globe” by Peter Young.) and (Dismantling the State by Madsen Pirie, which became a privatization handbook in the United States and throughout the world during the ‘80’s).
In 1988, she “predicted the “creeping Euro- federalism”, and took steps to prevent the British pound from being pegged to then European currencies. Prime Minister Thatcher fought against the tyranny of British unions, the lofty 83% taxes on the wealthy and IRA terrorism, among many other tough issues…
Intuitive and pragmatic, after meeting Mikhail Gorbachev, months before his ascendency to leadership, she told him, “We can do business together.” On learning of her death, Gorbachev said, “In the end we were able to achieve mutual understanding and this contributed to a change in attitude between our country and the west and to the end of the Cold War.” The remark was pure “Iron Lady.”
In 1992, she was elevated to the House of Lords to become Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven. An icon, respected stateswoman, and renowned change agent the Iron Lady will be missed.
Niki Nicastro McCuistion