Margaret Thatcher, the tributes continue to come to a great lady, an ism in her own lifetime – Thatcherism, a selection of the tributes below.
People used to describe Margaret Thatcher as Right-Wing but she was not Right-Wing, she was for the Individual, for Freedom and for Choice, she gave people a choice to own their home, to invest in Shares, in Education, in Health Margaret Thatcher gave people choice.
These tributes have been taken from ‘The Spectator’ and there will be a full tribute to Margaret Thatcher in this week’s Spectator
Charles Moore gave an incisive interview to Radio 4 about her legacy, saying:
‘She’s a figure of myth and I mean by that everybody for hundreds of years will know if you say ‘she’s a real Margaret Thatcher’, they’ll know what you mean. An -ism has been named after her, her character is very strong, her beliefs are very strong, and this has been an enormous part in the history of freedom in the western world and it is seen and admired and often criticised but nonetheless strongly admired across the world. I think particularly in the age we live in, in which politicians seem a bit frightened and seem just to be worrying about popularity, the idea that somebody actually cares about getting things done and does get a lot of them done is tremendously important, and that is very much part of her legacy.’
‘Today is a truly sad day for our country. We’ve lost a great prime minister, a great leader, a great Briton. As our first woman prime minister, Margaret Thatcher succeeded against all the odds. And the real thing about Margaret Thatcher is she did not just lead our country, she saved our country. And I believe she will go down as the greatest British peacetime prime minister. Today is obviously a day we should most of all think of her family. We’ve lost someone great in public life, but they’ve lost a much-loved mother and grandmother and we should think of them today.’
‘With the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend. As a grocer’s daughter who rose to become Britain’s first female prime minister, she stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered. As prime minister, she helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best. And as an unapologetic supporter of our transatlantic alliance, she knew that with strength and resolve we could win the Cold War and extend freedom’s promise.
‘Here in America, many of us will never forget her standing shoulder to shoulder with President Reagan, reminding the world that we are not simply carried along by the currents of history—we can shape them with moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will. Michelle and I send our thoughts to the Thatcher family and all the British people as we carry on the work to which she dedicated her life—free peoples standing together, determined to write our own destiny.’
Sir John Major:
‘In government, the UK was turned around under – and in large measure because of – her leadership. Her reforms of the economy, trades-union law, and her recovery of the Falkland Islands elevated her above normal politics, and may not have been achieved under any other leader. Her outstanding characteristics will always be remembered by those who worked closely with her: courage and determination in politics, and humanity and generosity of spirit in private.’
‘Very few leaders get to change not only the political landscape of their country but of the world. Margaret was such a leader. Her global impact was vast. And some of the changes she made in Britain were, in certain respects at least, retained by the 1997 Labour government, and came to be implemented by governments around the world.’
‘She ended the defeatism and pessimism of the post-war period and unleashed a spirit of enterprise. She fought against the clubby, cosy, male-dominated consensus of both main parties – and she won. Her beliefs – in thrift, hard work, and proper reward for merit – were not always popular. But her legacy is colossal. This country is deeply in her debt. Her memory will live long after the world has forgotten the grey suits of today’s politics.’
‘I send my deep condolences to Lady Thatcher’s family, in particular Mark and Carol Thatcher. She will be remembered as a unique figure. She reshaped the politics of a whole generation. She was Britain’s first woman Prime Minister. She moved the centre ground of British politics and was a huge figure on the world stage. The Labour Party disagreed with much of what she did and she will always remain a controversial figure. But we can disagree and also greatly respect her political achievements and her personal strength. She also defined the politics of the 1980s. David Cameron, Nick Clegg and I all grew up in a politics shaped by Lady Thatcher. We took different paths but with her as the crucial figure of that era. She coped with her final, difficult years with dignity and courage. Critics and supporters will remember her in her prime.’
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What was the former prime minister really like to work with and against, to live with and to help dress? Those who knew her best remember
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