morning, Available for everyone, funded by readers. "We have not Reagan was especially interested in Mrs Thatcher's domestic policy initiatives, and it was quickly established that the foreign policy views ran along parallel lines. At its heart must be an active programme to create good jobs and raise living standards. I was on my own. As Danny Dorling says in his 2004 study of the rise in violence: "Those who perpetrated the social violence that was done to the lives of young men starting some 20 years ago [the mid-80s] are the prime suspects for most of the murders in Britain." The stance was often in broadest terms, more moral than political. We watched as her high heels went click-click-click across the stones of the Acropolis and the cement floors of Tito's steel mills. A growing body of research now shows that the quality of social relations is among the most powerful influences on the happiness, health and wellbeing of populations in the rich countries. The Yale Book of Quotations also states, "Thatcher is said to have used this in a 1965 speech.". At Cheltenham the following month she The place was her office at the Department of Education, then in Curzon Street. For the most part, there's no material there. announced that White Secondly, the balance of power in industrial relations was shifted decisively in favour of employers. Collins (Oxford University Press, 1998-2000). Her imitators swerve all over the place, with 37 U-turns at the Telegraph's latest count on matters from forests and pasties to buzzard nests and caravans. True, Labour, James Callaghan and the unions played their part by blocking Barbara Castle's In Place of Strife attempt to create German or Nordic co-operation between unions and industry that might have rescued unions from Thatcher's crushing. This was heightened by the suspicion that this power was not consciously deployed. John O'Sullivan, CBE (born 25 April 1942) is a British conservative political commentator and journalist. Her refusal to stand against apartheid, her civil war against the unions, her aggression towards our neighbours in Ireland and a taxation system that was devised in the dark ages, the bombing of a retreating ship it's just not British. Meeting Gorbachev for the first time in December 1984 she declared: "We For a national matriarch she is oddly unmaternal. Council house sales and advertising campaigns that encouraged the public to buy shares in privatised companies were meant to broaden the appeal of capitalism. which revealed a good deal as to her political She abolished city-wide local government, capped spending and expected the poll tax to further undermine alternative voices. She refused to reform social security, or even curb its abuse. But she regarded rightwing causes as an intellectual hobby. The 1978 meeting was their last in person until Mrs Thatcher became Reagan's first state visitor, 26-28 February 1981. She hurled herself into NHS reform, changes to schools and universities, utilities privatisation and, eventually, local government reform. Reagan would challenge Gerald Ford, the sitting president, the next year. Hire a Writer. I think by far her greatest virtue, in retrospect, is how little she cared if people liked her. Reagan, who had recently left office as governor of California, was in London to deliver a speech to the Pilgrim Society. The economic crisis that Britain faced had been created not by the working class itself, these wholesome people that Sir Keith remembered from his vac weeks in Barnsley, but by a working-class leadership that was determined to bring the whole system crashing down. I was just behind her at the civic museum in Dubrovnik when the local guide explained a model showing the elaborate system of ancient wells and tunnels that had provided the city with fresh water no matter how fierce the siege. Above all, they lack her competence at running the machinery of government. What, in retrospect, seems creative and what destructive? Miners were a hardy race of people who faced constant danger in the cause of mining coal but underneath that they were caring, sensitive individuals with a commitment to the communities in which they lived. "Margaret Thatcher was not a natural communicator. "They did their thing with no chance of making any money, so they stood up in crappy pubs and said, 'I hate Maggie'. The US academic Cass Sunstein was in Britain at the end of last month. The author uses this idea of freedom in her writing to allow the audience to feel and understand the mission of Reagan--"to restore the strength of the free world, and to free the slaves of communism" (6-7). Across Yorkshire or south Wales, Kent or Nottinghamshire, there are villages that have never recovered from the closure of coal mines, ordered by a Thatcher who ruled there was no place for pits that were not "economically viable", regardless of the social consequences. Every quality had its obverse, but she had a myth-making charisma to capture the world's imagination. Yet a leader that a wide cross-section of Scots had come to despise. Leaving aside the detail that the word "feminist" came into existence in 1895, comfortably in Chanel's lifetime, the woman who valued femininity above all other qualities in a woman and was heavily involved with the Nazis, including a wartime relationship with German officer Hans Gunther von Dincklage, could not, in any circumstances, be described as a feminist. As David Wearing put it this morning in satirizing these speak-no-ill-of-the-deceased moralists: "People praising Thatcher's legacy should show some respect for her victims. Such seminars are regular events in Downing Street under the coalition. The welfare state, with its unemployment and housing benefits and free healthcare, actually protected wages: employers could not force workers to accept low pay or unpaid overtime because of the job's healthcare provision, as they do in the US. Maggie! The spell he was referring to is the unseen bond that connects us all and prevents us from being subjugated by tyranny. In the Meryl Streep film, The Iron Lady, it's the scenes of domesticity that appear most absurd. The family silver was squandered on bribing voters rather than modernising the economy. camps were revealed in August 1992. Even some leading figures on the left have jealously praised the right's creativity and ideological crusaders. A decade later they were wiped out in terms of Scotland-based Westminster constituency representation. (Interestingly, Currie also recalled that when she approached Thatcher in 1988 to get approval for the world's first national breast-screening programme, she tried to appeal to the PM initially "as a woman" but that swiftly proved unsuccessful. In a world where most media talking heads come from the top few percent of income earners, unions are not only important in wage bargaining, they also provide some of the few well-informed voices whose job it is to speak on behalf of the less well-paid. Arguably, it was not the sale of council houses that was the problem, but the failure to replace the stock and maintain a sufficient supply of affordable homes. The economy had become more productive, more competitive and more profitable. She failed to replace those jobs with well-paid equivalents. MT prayed on the Margaret Thatcher's most popular book is The Downing Street Years. As I see it, and as one who had the pleasure of knowing both, they would recognize the huge opportunity created by the presence of each in the respective national and international policy-making role. At the time, Thatcher was the education secretary her first major political role. There turned out to be no such thing as society, at least in the sense we used to understand it. This book shows how. Meryl Streep's depiction of a shuffling figure, stricken and isolated by the death of her husband, Denis, may have softened memories, or formed them in the minds of a younger generation. Emma Dibdin is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles who writes about culture . Or maybe audiences just really, really hated her and wanted to blow off some steam. Died: 24 February 2023, aged 90 Sir Bernard Ingham was Margaret Thatcher writ large. She was immensely brisk. For Thatcher it all ended months later in November 1990 when she was forced to resign. But unlike Thatcher, president Hugo Chvez of Venezuela, the "president of the poor", fought for a caring economy and against the rule of the market. Quotation being the warmest form of praise, Larkin was naturally touched. The Cameron and Osborne circle are crude copies carried away with the dangerous idea that conviction is all it takes to run a country. A week later she spoke Thatcher's unwavering belief in the invisible hand of the market meant that she did not believe it was part of her job description to put anything in its place. Of all the things to criticise Thatcher for, calling her out for being a woman seems like something of a wasted bullet. There were big tax cuts for those on the highest incomes, driven by the belief that this would encourage entrepreneurship. Perhaps my early apathy and indifference are a result of what Thatcher deliberately engendered, the idea that "there is no such thing as society", that we are alone on our journey through life, solitary atoms of consciousness. The passing of Chvez is mourned by the many millions who loved him in Latin America and everywhere. But without any question, sitting behind her desk, she was wearing ahat. speech which caused the Soviets to dub her "the Iron Lady", one Which raises the question: why isn't this happening now? CD icon next to them in the second column of the results list. . It was part of her conspicuous virtue, her indifference to familiar political conventions. That 1983 general election contained the telltale seeds of eventual Scottish Tory self-destruction. I will be the heir to Margaret Thatcher. first television interview the following day. Or perhaps it was just because I was a little kid and more interested in them Weetabix skinheads, Roland Rat and Knight Rider. Those gushing depictions can be quite consequential, as it was for the week-long tidal wave of unbroken reverence that was heaped on Ronald Reagan upon his death, an episode that to this day shapes how Americans view him and the political ideas he symbolized. Promises. On her return to London, she sent me a warm and complimentary letter, a prize in my personal archives. Reversing Britain's long-term economic decline. Take the larger view. Interestingly, one mate of mine, a proper leftie, in his heyday all Red Wedge and right-on punch-ups, was melancholy. Adam Smith's invisible hand ended up raising two fingers to her moral project. But she became a very effective one. To her detractors, Thatcher is the prime minister who wiped out more than 15% of Britain's industrial base with her dogmatic monetarism, squandered the once-in-a-lifetime windfall of North Sea oil on unemployment pay and tax cuts, and made the UK the unbalanced, unequal country it is today. In 1990 Thatcher authorised the then British secretary of state Peter Brooke to reopen back-channel negotiations with republicans. Whether pushing each other off the road, barging past social rivals, beating up rival soccer fans, or idolising wealth as the only measure of virtue, Brits became more unpleasant to be with. They do not have to charm, schmooze or play tag with the press. decision to resign. The machinery of modern political management polls, consulting, focus groups is deployed mainly to discover what will make aparty and politician better liked, or worse, disliked. It became obvious that, while granting that I had "convictions", she never read a word of my stuff. Materialistic individualism was blessed as a virtue, the driver of national success. It still does. No sign they learned from her that markets don't move in to fill the gaps when the state is rolled back not then, not now. The truth is less significant than the alteration to it. As she said in her memoirs: "There was no one else." You could never call Margaret Mother by mistake. Margaret Thatcher's government defended structured political and religious discrimination and political vetting in the north, legislated for political censorship and institutionalised, to a greater extent than ever before, collusion between British state forces and unionist death squads. This was the feminine creature who, two years later, was leader of the Conservative party. The events of that awful summer of '81 polarised Irish society, north and south. But this didn't come without a price. It's how she would have, if pressed, put it herself. It isn't sad for anyone else. Jan Leeming, Sue Lawley, Moira Stuart delivering doctrine with sterile sexiness, like a butterscotch-scented beige vapour. When the late Christopher Hitchens was a political reporter for the New Statesman, he corrected the prime minister on a point of fact, and she was quick to correct Hitchens in turn. To Britons of my generation, she . November). Thatcher was a divisive woman who created discord, not harmony. November 15, 2020 9:00 AM EST. Norman Tebbit, one of Thatcher's acolytes and fellow "Munsters evacuee", said when the National Union of Mineworkers eventually succumbed to the military onslaught and starvation over which she presided: "We didn't just break the strike, we broke the spell." Thatcher and Reagan went on to facilitate a colossal transfer of wealth from poor to rich, leading to the world economic crash we now witness. Since 1990 a selection of statements is listed. steps of Downing Street on 4 May 1979, she In the north of Ireland she had the army and the Diplock courts which reached their peak in the mid 1980s. series of famous statements that marked the end of her premiership, Chavez was indeed a divisive and controversial figure, and it would have been reckless to conceal that fact out of some misplaced deference to the grief of his family and supporters. Curiously, the phrase does not sound as dated as it should. While Labour was now "intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich", ambitious feminism wanted to be let in to the boardroom and every corridor of power that and little else is what they mean by changing the world. Thatcher's social instincts were always nostalgic conservative. . Among them was loyalist Brian Nelson, a former British soldier and member of the Ulster Defence Association. News of Margaret Thatcher's death this morning instantly and predictably gave rise to righteous sermons on the evils of speaking ill of her. "Maggie Thatcher" two fierce trochees set against the gentler iambic pulse of Britain's postwar welfare state. For her own part, she was a social conservative and yet today's right for, say, gay couples to marry if they want to fits with one aspect of the Thatcherite vision of personal choice. Getting the record straight. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.". It led to riots that nobody needed. The Big Bang of City deregulation, the Tell Sid scramble for buying and selling shares, the sense that money is the highest value, wealth the greatest sign of worth all these were hallmarks of the Thatcher era in its mid-80s pomp. The blunt, pathetic reality today is that a little old lady has died, who in the winter of her life had to water roses alone under police supervision. It came to a head over her most egregious policy failure, Europe. Modern comedians complain that they don't have personalities, they don't really stand for anything. It's interesting, though, that even when comedians try to be political, they can never really land a punch on David Cameron, Nick Clegg or George Osborne. No homeless or disabled people need beg on the streets. Margaret Thatcher was not known for her sense of humour. The "crime" he was accused of was to reclaim the oil revenue from local and foreign thieves, and use it to tackle poverty. What saved Thatcher's bacon, and revolutionised her leadership, was Labour's unelectable Michael Foot and the Falklands war. be a nation in retreat". None present eyed her meanly or spoke with vitriol and it wasn't until an hour later that I dreamt up an Ealing comedy-style caper in which two inept crooks kidnap Thatcher from the garden but are unable to cope with the demands of dealing with her, and finally give her back. Elton has previously said that he did two minutes about Thatcher and two hours about his knob, and all anyone ever remembered was the Thatcher material. Thank you, too, Margaret. 4.44 avg rating 39 ratings 2 editions. But every prime minister since has bowed to her legacy, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown eager to be snapped with her on their doorstep. Texts for listed statements are available on the site in almost 70 per cent of cases. The 70s was Britain's most equal decade. Her Irish policy failed miserably. The romantic image of the lady in the tank spurs them on. Now it was the turn of the words, and no one, of course, would, against all the odds, do them better than the lady who, 25 years before, once thought the sky was beyond her limit. In 1990, Margaret Thatcher emerged as one of the first world leaders to champion climate science, issuing a call to action to fight manmade global warming at the Second World Climate Conference hosted at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. Its strategies included the shallow and ineffectual 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement which was about creating a political alliance involving the Dublin establishment, the SDLP and the British to defeat Irish republicanism. A longer version of this article appears on Gerry Adams' blog, Margaret Thatcher was good at destruction. speech which caused the Soviets to dub her "the Iron Lady". Now she would more likely have been beaten to the Tory leadership by one of the Etonians in cabinet. The Brixton rioters, the Argentinians, teachers; everyone actually. A Soviet . Mrs Thatcher was on the way up in British political life. I wouldn't say I have got myself a Kennedy-type speech-writer yet . The milk snatcher reputation absorbed and lived with. The set text is still Thatcher's declaration quoted in The Audience that "There is no such thing as society". By then, 1990, I was 15, adolescent and instinctively anti-establishment enough to regard her disdainfully. And that made it easy to mock her. defended Ronald It is full of insights into a neglected aspect of how Thatcher came to dominate British politics." (Andrew Gamble, University of Sheffield, UK) "A fascinating insight into the world of speech writing. Edited text: This speech was delivered to the Conservative party conference in Brighton on October 10 1980. But as weand others (including Alan Krueger, chair of Obama's council of economic advisers) have shown, wider income differences reduce social mobility and make it harder for people with poorer backgrounds to do so. There are more than 8,000. From a peak of 13 million in 1979, trade union membership had declined by 30% by 1990, and is now not much more than half what it was. You may not be a fan of Edwina Currie but, really, was she any worse than John Gummer? The former reporter, who was 90, died with his family around him yesterday lunchtime, a statement said. A big decline in traditional industries took place across Europe and the US in the 80s and 90s. The core of this site is a massive database of MT's public statements of all kinds across the years (speeches, interviews, press conferences, etc), searchable by date, subject, importance, and keyword. Prime Minister Thatcher inherited a settled state of British Europeanness, in which Brussels and the [European] Community began to influence, and often determine, the British way of doing things. Cabinet rank in 1970 without appearing on television more than a handful Faced down trade union leaders after her early years apprentice years, when Jim Callaghan's Britain was falling apart in which the commonest fear was that the little lady would not be able to deal with them across the table. Where once we stood within a recognisable postwar social democratic European tradition, after Thatcher the country had rowed halfway across the Atlantic, psychologically imbued with US neoliberal individualism. They're happy to share big windfall bonuses with their cronies, they'll stick up for deposed dictator chums when they're down on their luck, they'll find opportunities in business for people they care about. A Tory party desperate for women helped Thatcher through the political foothills to early success as an MP. They rallied around each other when times were hard. Some places have become heritage parks, remembering an industry now vanished. She gave Nigel Lawson at the Treasury his head and was genuinely alarmed when he cut income tax to 40%. This was a historic step, and resulted in further reinforcing the US-UK alliance. Eventually, the Italian contingent, largely existential or postmodern, rose up against us. Everyone knows that. Three separate pieces of legislation between 1980 and 1984 attacked the closed shop, toughened up the laws on picketing and imposed secret strike ballots. That's because, 23 years after she was ejected from Downing Street by her own party in a move whose psychic wounds linger on, the country we live in remains Thatcher's Britain. Many are children of the Thatcher age. It accounted for a large part of the mark Thatcher left on Britain. In his usual slightly dishevelled style, he went to Downing Street to discuss his pioneering concepts of behavioural economics and attempts to implement them under Barack Obama. To demand that all of that be ignored in the face of one-sided requiems to her nobility and greatness is a bit bullying and tyrannical, not to mention warped. Yet, at that last encounter, her tone was different. They are a more energetic and impressive group than their predecessors, often with experience outside politics that makes them impatient and independent-minded. in a statement the following morning (22 November), hours before she "Thatcher as mother" seemed, to my tiddly mind, anathema. press to rejoice at the capture of South Georgia on 25 April 1982 and Far from "smashing the glass ceiling", she was the aberration, the one who got through and then pulled the ladder up right after her. Privatisation was the single most massive attack on democracy we have seen. they did not want her to go on (21 November) and that night she made the She added layers of her own to this intimacy, directing the creation of a single European market that surrendered important national powers to the collective. In October 1984 she survived an IRA bomb during the Conservative Conference The battle with the miners and leftwing councils lay ahead, as did the trauma of an IRA assassination bid. was an Oxford student home for the university holidays. But she personified the change from meaning to meaninglessness in so many settlements and lives, and for this reason she is hard to forgive. This is a political style, an aesthetic even, that has disappeared from view. 2023 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. June 30, 1992 - Swearing . Nelson travelled to South Africa where he helped negotiate a deal that saw the UDA, UVF and Ulster Resistance acquire AK-47 automatic rifles, pistols, grenades, and RPG rocket launchers in late 1987 or early 1988. If they have no bread, let them eat from food banks that's Thatcherism, the legacy we are still to bury before it buries us. It got over a deep, instinctive hostility to women at the top of anything, and put her there. There are many reasons for this. But can he shake off the shackles of the past and prove there is an alternative? Mrs T shared the same reductionism. Thatcher has said that negotiation, and not strong economic sanctions, is the way to persuade South Africa's white-minority government to dismantle apartheid. Prime Minister Thatcher delivered the fourth speech to Congress by a British prime minister. Two especially forceful and committed leaders on the world stage at the same time: this was critical and key to ending the cold war, permitting the reunification of Germany, the consolidation of the EU and drawing our two nations together in a historic cooperation. . "She had been offered the chance to get on and effectively she then refused to offer it to otherpeople. But it did, and the consequences seem impossible to reverse. When she took over in 1979, the bottom of that device would have carried the legend, "Property of the GPO." She continued for some reason to consider me worth talking to. Seeing as women aren't a minor Brit-flick grateful for even a bad review, that truism doesn't quite hold true here. In retrospect, in much dissenting commentary there was often a taint of unexamined sexism. That speech was a rare instance of a politician saying something tangible. ROBIN HARRIS worked for the Conservative Party from 1978, and increasingly closely with Margaret Thatcher herself from 1985, writing her speeches and advising on policy. If a leader's record is to be measured by the willingness of the other side to decide itcannot turn back the clock, then Thatcher bulks big in history. At an international conference in Lisbon in the late 80s, the British faction, among whom were Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis, Malcolm Bradbury and myself, referred back to Thatcher constantly in our presentations. As far as her supporters are concerned, this radical transformation worked. Mrs Thatcher told the assembly: "It is mankind and his activities which are changing the environment of our planet in damaging and dangerous ways.". The first is what changed in the temper of Britain and the British. In 2009, Boris Johnson lamented that Thatcher had become "a boo-word in British politics, a shorthand for selfishness and me-first-ism, and devil-take-the-hindmost and grinding the faces of the poor.". There are pangs of nostalgia, yes, because for me she's all tied up with Hi-De-Hi and Speak and Spell and Blockbusters and "follow the bear". Thatcher is gone, but Thatcherism has infected and discredited all mainstream parties, depriving us of a chance to turn it down. So instead: "I put it to her that we would be saving money." Philip Larkin visited Downing Street where the prime minister quoted approvingly one of his lines to him "Your mind lay open like a drawer of knives." So the woman I met in Curzon Street, dimpling elegantly, can now be seen in history with an unexpected achievement to her credit. The items stored in this section of the site are texts, but many of the most important statements are also available in audio or video form in the separate Multimedia section. Barack Obama, interestingly, said in his statement that she had "broken the glass ceiling for other women". Any attempts at revisionism do no favours to her, women or feminism. in his defence during the IranContra affair later that year.. Elected for a third term in June 1987, she told Thatcher's 11 years of dictating British policy in Ireland was a legacy of bitterness and entrenched division. She, for one, never underestimated her friend from California, then a state of some 24 million. The prime minister was intensely interested in the campaign, and asked many penetrating questions. The result . Until her final poll-tax hubris, she knew when swerving was the better part of valour and despite that famous one-liner, she was sometimes for turning. Edited and full versions of Margaret Thatcher's 'The lady's not for turning' speech, delivered at the Conservative party conference in Brighton on 10 October 1980 In a eulogy by the former prime minister of Great Britain, Margret Thatcher honors the legacy of Ronald Reagan, the late president. As a physician, she has been a vocal advocate for a single-payer healthcare system that would . She would appear in public to drape a hankie over a model BA plane tailfin because she disliked the unpatriotic logo with which they'd replaced the union flag (maybe don't privatise BA then), or to shuffle about some country pile arm in arm with a doddery Pinochet and tell us all what a fine fellow he was. That's history, but what matters to us is her legacy now that her heirs and imitators rule in her wake. Thatcher understood the connection between the social wage and workers' wages better than most unions. A special licence was granted exclusively to the Radio Times. Margaret Thatcher was Britain's most significant leader since Churchill. Statistics now confirm what many people have always recognised: that inequality is divisive and socially corrosive. But the choice captures her perfectly. And when I and several other Sinn Fin leaders were elected to the Assembly in 1982 we were barred from entry to Britain. Gillian Anderson's portrayal of the Iron Lady in "The Crown" is pretty spot-on. To use a less bizarre analogy: if Thatcher was the headmistress, they were junior teachers, authoritative but warm enough that you could call them "mum" by accident. speech in the House of Commons on 5 February 1960 and gave her That, plus (inevitable) de-industrialisation, coupled to her perceived overbearing and patronising manner. Margaret Thatcher was a hugely divisive figure in British politics. She mesmerised us. The truth lies somewhere between these extremes. She gave it her best shot. People should pay her the respect of doing the same after her death. Nor, contrary to myth, did Thatcherism emerge fully formed in May 1979. But what bound all opposition to Margaret Thatcher's programme was a suspicion that the grocer's daughter was intent on monetising human value, that she had no heart and, famously, cared little for the impulses that bind individuals into a society. A couple of days later on the 11th, Margaret Thatcher the former Prime Minister of Great Britain, wrote an eulogy for Ronald Reagan. There are still some great comics doing political material, with Mark Steel and Mark Thomas flying the flag of alternative comedy, while people such as Josie Long and Chris Coltrane find the funny in activism. orange county stabbing victim,