Thoughts on Thatcher

I’ll never forget when Margaret Thatcher came to power. I was in Class 8 at Goldsworth First School. Mrs Ferguson was our teacher. On Monday 7th May 1979, we returned to school after Mrs Thatcher was elected into power on Friday 4th May 1979 and we were asked to write about how a lady had just become our Prime Minister. I remember writing about her and drawing a picture and thinking how important this must be. I was almost eight years old.

This is the first proper memory I have of something important at school after the Queens Silver Jubilee (I won the crown-making competition..or should I say, my Mum did!).

I know that there is so much controversy surrounding this woman but I don’t focus on that. I know that a politician’s job is not an easy one and – without trying to sound like a feminist – it is even harder as a woman elected into power, especially as things were in the ’70s.  She’s been called a cow, a witch and a bitch (amongst other things). Since when can you call the male politicians these names? She was trying to do a difficult and taxing job as well as be a mother of two and a wife to Dennis (whom, I understand, was very supportive of her). She would survive on 3 to 4 hours sleep a night and still manage to run the country. She was left with an abysmal mess that the Labour Government left behind. I’m old enough to remember the power strikes that went on during the 1970’s. We would get home from school and watch 10 minutes of television. As soon as Mighty Mouse came on, that was it, the power was off until around 8pm – the most inconvenient time of the day. We ate salads and takeaways for what seemed like forever.

The outpouring of venom and spite on today’s Twitter and Facebook feeds makes me feel sad for these people and the example they are setting to the rest of the world. The people celebrating her death generally are generally from a Unionised workface and the very ethos of these groups was supporting the family. She has family too. Everyone seems to be treating her like she was some kind of cyborg serial killer. She had an immensely difficult job on her hands and I don’t believe for one second that, as a Mother, that she didn’t consider that to fix some of the problems she had to cause some as well. You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.

The Russians had it right when they called her the ‘Iron Lady’. She escaped death in the Brighton bombings back in 1984 which killed 5 and injured 34. The IRA meant to kill her. The reason she didn’t die? She was still working… 2.45am.  She stood her ground on the Falklands and against the IRA. She made mistakes in her job but doesn’t everyone? You can’t please all of the people all of the time. She gained respect for as a Nation from other Countries.

I’ll never forget that one of the only times I ever saw my Father cry was in 1990 when she left Downing Street for the final time. The Gulf War was just kicking off as she left. I wonder what would have happened if she’d stayed?

Yes, I know that she was unpopular with many people. Yes, I know her decisions didn’t suit everyone. But not only is she the only woman to ever have held the post of Prime Minister in this Country, she was also the 20th Century’s longest serving who shaped and changed many things in Great Britain.

I’m not ashamed to say that I hold this woman as one of my role models. She was strong, she stood her ground, she spoke up in the face of adversity. One of my favourite quotes of hers –  ‘If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.’

Surely this frail, 87 year old woman who suffered from Alzheimers and died from a stroke today, who never did anyone any intentional harm and was a mother, grandmother and wife – as well as one of this Country’s most recognised leaders – deserves respect. What harm was she actually doing anyone at this stage of her life?

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  2. Mari
    April 9, 2013 / 6:05 pm

    As you say rightly say ‘You can’t please all of the people all of the time.’ I don’t think she took her decisions lightly, she also knew there would be upset but as the era we are living now, sometimes we have to make cuts and changes in order to survive and Britain did survive.
    Lovely thoughts
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  3. April 9, 2013 / 8:33 am

    The think I remember most about Thatcher? That my Grandad loathed her! But regardless of suffering views of the decisions she made, she did what she thought was right and she did bring Britain out of a very black hole. I agree with you in that she was a truly remarkable woman. A force to be reckoned with and one who has died and whose life should be respected. A well written piece Vic x
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  4. April 8, 2013 / 11:00 pm

    Someone said today she had more balls than anyone in the cabinet today and I completely agree!!
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  5. Karen Marquick
    April 8, 2013 / 10:48 pm

    Regardless of her policies while PM, she was a phenomenal woman who succeeded in her career. But really, when someone passes away the most important memories of her life should be personal, she was a wife and a mum and those close to her will have memories of her personality and life that we can never know. A well written post as always xx
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  6. Kara
    April 8, 2013 / 10:31 pm

    I was going to write a post in a similar vein although I have to admit the pure venom and spite put me off.
    I was also a 70’s child and have vivid memories of her throughout her career. I am a great admirer of what she achieved and the fact that she stuck to her beliefs. Without her, the UK would not be what it is today and would certainly be in a worse state.
    As you say, she had her faults and made some mistakes, but we are all guilty of that!
    I just wish some of today’s politicians had her “balls” and stood up for what’s right instead of following the crowd!

  7. April 8, 2013 / 10:00 pm

    Really well said, I have never agreed with her politics but do see her as an admirable role modal, and did as a young girl too. I was only 6 when she left power but have quite vivid memories of the time,and have always had a huge amount of respect for the ‘Iron Lady’.
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