Farewell, Iron Lady
ALOHA, ALL! We lost a great leader. Margaret Thatcher has passed away, leaving all of us who remember her strength, courage and leadership feeling a huge loss. Will our children remember her the same way? Following is a post from my friend NEO’s blog, written by his co-blogger, Jessica. It sums up Mrs. Thatcher perfectly.
The death has just been announced in London of Lady Thatcher. As my short series last week made clear, I think she was giant of the political scene. She did things which were thought to be impossible. She treated the glass ceiling as though it didn’t exist, she stood up to Communism and Trades Unions at a time when the consensus was appeasement she stood up for British interests all over the world, and when the stern test of the Falklands came, she showed her mettle.
We shall not see her like again. We’ve been discussing why people are disenchanted with politicians and politics – part of the answer is that we don’t have leaders like her and Mr Reagan. Like them or loathe them, no one could say they were colourless and didn’t know what they stood for. She was, of course, in practice, far more pragmatic than her enemies gave her credit for, but she never gave in over essentials – and that’s the difference between her and her successors. Of course all politicians have to make compromises, but if you compromise on essentials then people will rightly conclude that you have no principles and will treat you accordingly.
She and Mr Reagan got on splendidly, but it was because he knew she was a straight-shooter. When Al Haig appeared not to know whether Argentina or Britain was the right side to back, Mrs T got on the phone and told ‘Ronnie’ what she thought. As all great men do, he didn’t mind being told the truth, and he acted. She did this without making waves in public, but it helped cement their relationship. She saw that Mr Reagan was like her – a man of his word who wanted to get things done.
Mrs Thatcher was the ultimate conviction politician. Yes, she had PR men, but their job was to help her get her message across, not to provide the message. They helped her with her voice projection and her style, but again, all of this was a means to an end – not an end in itself. She came up the hard way, and to the end she was undefeated. She never lost a leadership contest of a general election. She went because small men in her own party took fright and would not back her. She won the leadership election, but not by a margin sufficient to avoid another round, and after such a huge impact on politics she declined to subject herself to that. The Western world lost a great leader – and the Conservative party lost its way.
In an era when politicians seem to care more about being popular than getting things done, Lady Thatcher stands out as one who was willing to risk unpopularity in order to get things done. We have not seen her like since. She is a figure for the ages now.
GOD BLESS AMERICA – PASS THIS ON!!