Contributor Post Created with Sketch. RIP Baroness Thatcher

 

So how are we responding in Britain to the death of Baroness Thatcher? Much as you did in the US to the demise of her soul-mate Ronald Reagan: with unbridled grave-stomping glee or grave regret and a teary sense of Ubi Sunt – according to political taste.

It goes without saying that I belong to the latter camp.

Time and again there were moments in Margaret Thatcher’s career when political expediency would have demanded that she soften her position: the time when all those economists wrote so expertly to The Times insisting she revert her supposedly disastrous monetary policy; the time when her cabinet were advising her not to go to war in the Falklands; the time when – ultimately fatally – she chose to face up to Europe rather than go native and cave.

She was proved right every time, of course, while all those who counseled otherwise have been proved oh-so-wrong. But is this because Margaret Thatcher was an intellectual genius blessed with magical insight into correct geopolitical strategy? Of course not. She would, I’m sure, have been horrified at the suggestion. Rather, what she believed in was old-fashioned commonsense. Or, what you might more sophisticatedly call “first principles”. So, for example, if thrift and hard work and self-discipline and honest aspiration work well on a household level, then the likelihood is that they’re going to work on a national level – regardless of what your clever civil servents might be telling you.

The Lady was not for turning because the lady had the courage of her convictions.

Convictions. Remember those, anyone?

But as Toby Young notes elsewhere, there’s no shortage of despicable haters quite incapable of waiting even a day before deluging this magnificent women with their bile, scorn and invective. Were she still with us, Toby reminds us, she would take it as a compliment. After all, as she once famously observed:

“I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”

RIP Baroness Thatcher. Such a pity you aren’t running our moribund country now.

There are 15 comments.

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  1. Blue State Curmudgeon Inactive

    It’s a sad day for freedom-loving people all over the world.

    • #1
    • April 8, 2013, at 11:42 AM PDT
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  2. Boisfeuras Inactive

    It has been many years since Mrs Thatcher (somehow the prefix “Baroness”, though richly deserved, seems inappropriate for someone who made a meritocracy her lodestar) played a role in public life, so I am surprised at the depth of my own sadness on her passing.

    Perhaps it is the sense that her betrayal by the pro-European pygmies in her own party in 1990 left so much undone: she had not even begun to tackle the welfare state or the car-crash that is the state education system in Britain. Perhaps it is the certainty that there is no-one on the right in politics in the UK today of a similar calibre, with the drive and vision to carry on her legacy.

    Either way, when her cortege passes on the way to St Paul’s next week, I’ll be one of those standing to attention with a tear in my eye. 

    • #2
    • April 9, 2013, at 1:13 AM PDT
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  3. Israel P. Inactive
    James Delingpole: She would, I’m sure, have been horrified at the suggestion. Rather, what she believed in was old-fashioned commonsense. Or, what you might more sophisticatedly call “first principles”.

    Whoa there. “First principles” is nothing more than a fancy word for “common sense?” Surely that’s not what you think, squire.

    • #3
    • April 9, 2013, at 1:40 AM PDT
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  4. EThompson Inactive

    I simply can’t bear it: the loss of Reagan, WFB, Pope JPII, Milton Friedman, and Margaret Thatcher surely spells the end of Western civilization as we will ever remember it. And to think I so gleefully galivanted my way through the 80’s believing the sky was never going to fall (although the Berlin Wall did) because these heroic folks were devoted to fighting the good fight for all of us.

    RIP Madame Prime Minister. You were far more than a mere baroness; you helped change the world.

    • #4
    • April 9, 2013, at 2:03 AM PDT
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  5. Profile Photo Member

    Praying that she rests in peace and joy – and wondering where we go from here.

    • #5
    • April 9, 2013, at 2:17 AM PDT
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  6. Edward Smith Inactive

    I have not seen this much hate directed at a deceased politician for a while. Since Reagan maybe.

    Not here, of course. On YouTube.

    It is a testament to Margaret Thatcher that there’s all this hate directed towards her, and all of it so inarticulately and ineptly expressed.

    She was a Lady long before she was a Baroness.

    And David Cameron will be mistaken for the shoeshine boy who worked in the lobby of Parliament when she strode in to swat back the Labourites almost effortlessly.

    • #6
    • April 9, 2013, at 2:18 AM PDT
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  7. Sisyphus Member
    SisyphusJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member
    Edward Smith: I have not seen this much hate directed at a deceased politician for a while. Since Reagan maybe.

    Not here, of course. On YouTube.

    It is a testament to Margaret Thatcher that there’s all this hate directed towards her, and all of it so inarticulately and ineptly expressed.

    She was a Lady long before she was a Baroness.

    And David Cameron will be mistaken for the shoeshine boy who worked in the lobby of Parliament when she strode in to swat back the Labourites almost effortlessly. 

    A sample from the usual suspects, an attempt to use Thatcher to demean Palin.

    • #7
    • April 9, 2013, at 2:30 AM PDT
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  8. Edward Smith Inactive

    Thatcher did retire from public life.

    And her health did decline.

    Still, the Guardian has a unique relationship with the Truth, and does prosecute their own Enemies List at least as vigorously as Nixon did.

    Sisyphus
    Edward Smith: I have not seen this much hate directed at a deceased politician for a while. Since Reagan maybe.

    Not here, of course. On YouTube.

    It is a testament to Margaret Thatcher that there’s all this hate directed towards her, and all of it so inarticulately and ineptly expressed.

    She was a Lady long before she was a Baroness.

    And David Cameron will be mistaken for the shoeshine boy who worked in the lobby of Parliament when she strode in to swat back the Labourites almost effortlessly. 

    A sample from the usual suspects, an attempt to use Thatcher to demean Palin. · 4 minutes ago

    • #8
    • April 9, 2013, at 2:38 AM PDT
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  9. Sisyphus Member
    SisyphusJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I just wonder, did they sing “L’Internationale” as they crafted their moronic assault on an iconic American political figure?

    Edward Smith: Thatcher did retire from public life.

    And her health did decline.

    Still, the Guardian has a unique relationship with the Truth, and does prosecute their own Enemies List at least as vigorously as Nixon did.

    Sisyphus
    Edward Smith: I have not seen this much hate directed at a deceased politician for a while. Since Reagan maybe.

    Not here, of course. On YouTube.

    It is a testament to Margaret Thatcher that there’s all this hate directed towards her, and all of it so inarticulately and ineptly expressed.

    She was a Lady long before she was a Baroness.

    And David Cameron will be mistaken for the shoeshine boy who worked in the lobby of Parliament when she strode in to swat back the Labourites almost effortlessly. 

    A sample from the usual suspects, an attempt to use Thatcher to demean Palin. · 4 minutes ago

    5 minutes ago

    • #9
    • April 9, 2013, at 2:45 AM PDT
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  10. EThompson Inactive

    I’d like to share an anecdote that speaks volumes of the power and respect that PM Thatcher held particularly in countries that had suffered through both fascism and Communism. The picture in my avatar was snapped beneath a street sign in Krakow named for “Ronalda Reagana,” because my young tour guide knew I would want to see this. At lunch later, we were both eager to talk about Walesa, Reagan, and the effect that The Polish Pope had upon the Solidarnosc movement.

    He paused, politefully, and said, “You forgot to mention one of the most influential people in the movement- Margaret Thatcher.” Well, of course I really hadn’t, but was so embarrassed I blamed it on jet lag!.
    • #10
    • April 9, 2013, at 2:55 AM PDT
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  11. David Williamson Inactive

    Yeah, I noticed the Telegraph blog comments were turned off, because of all the abuse from Lefties – the advantage of the walled garden we have here.

    Personally, I left the UK for the other side of the pond at the time of the Falklands War. I didn’t pay much attention to Politics in those days, and I returned to the UK just after Mr Major took over and Mr Soros trashed the pound.

    Sadly, much of the good that Mrs Thatcher did was destroyed by Mr Blair and Mr Brown – the only good thing they did was stay out of Euro.

    Now we have Mr Cameron – oh, well!

    Best piece today (other than, of course, Mr Delingpole’s) on Mrs Thatcher – her biographer Charles Moore (you might sneak past the paywall – the Telegraph now has a daily limit).

    • #11
    • April 9, 2013, at 4:18 AM PDT
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  12. Retail Lawyer Member

    Although Thatcher was elected PM when I was still a liberal, she became my hero before that Thanksgiving day when she left the post. I heard the news driving to a dinner party, and informed the guests, and even in San Francisco, the mood became immensely sombre and respectful. I considered her the most influential politician and the best public speaker of the English language still alive. One of the great individuals of this era has passed and this is a very sad day for me.

    • #12
    • April 9, 2013, at 12:06 PM PDT
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  13. Schrodinger's Cat Inactive

    The world is a poorer place today.

    • #13
    • April 9, 2013, at 12:09 PM PDT
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  14. Copperfield Inactive

    My Facebook status today:

    “Margaret Thatcher is gone; Ronald Reagan is gone; Pope John Paul II is gone; Milton Friedman is gone; and the Western World is in apologetic retreat while the sophistry of collectivism and technocratic government is ascendant. That is not a coincidence.” 

    RIP Mrs. Thatcher. 

    • #14
    • April 9, 2013, at 12:38 PM PDT
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  15. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member
    Blue State Curmudgeon: It’s a sad day for freedom-loving people all over the world. · 1 minute ago

    The sad day was when her own party ran her off the field. This day comes to us all.

    As for the haters? The fussbudgets, moaners and whiners never laid a glove on Margaret Thatcher while she lived. Now that she belongs to the ages, she’s eternally beyond their reach.

    Let ’em snivel.

    • #15
    • April 9, 2013, at 12:38 PM PDT
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