|Leadership: Margaret Thatcher|
The greatest peacetime Prime Minister this country has ever seen turns 87 today. Even socialists respected her during her eleven years in office from 1979 to 1990, with the Soviet Union dubbing her The Iron Lady. Why? Not because they liked her. But out of respect.
Margaret Thatcher achieved more during her time in power than any other leader in modern times, except for Winston Churchill. In the 1970s, our European friends sniggered that Great Britain was the “sick man of Europe” with union strikes on a weekly basis, rubbish piling up in the street and even the dead left unburied during the Winter of Discontent in 1978. The country that helped free our European cousins from Nazism was now being written off as a hopeless case with no economic prospects: an island of decline off the north continental coast.
Then Margaret Thatcher won the General Election for the Conservative Party in 1979 and she started the fightback against the forces of ruin. She reigned in the unions, making flying pickets illegal, she privatised whole swathes of decrepit public services, she put the humble striving family at the centre of her policies, she empowered the police, she told the Argentines where to go after they invaded our islands in the South Atlantic, she enabled London to become the greatest financial centre in the world.
Did I forget something? Oh yes, on top of her economic revolution in the UK, she worked with President Reagan to end communism in Eastern Europe through sheer leadership, a quality almost unheard of now in the western world.
When Lady Thatcher dies, I for one will be travelling to London for her funeral. We and the world owe so much to her.
Here’s a video synopsis of her achievements: