Mrs Thatcher 8 April 2013

Mrs Thatcher


“There is nothing I have done in my life which frightened me so much as standing up in the House of Commons as a wet behind the ears new Liberal Leader and being ritually hand bagged by her in front of the radio microphones of the nation (TV in the Commons did not arrive until later). I opposed almost everything she did (but found myself following many of them when I tried to get the Bosnian economy going by lowering taxes and freeing up the market). Though there will be many who saw her as the author of much destruction that we still mourn, much that she pulled down, needed to be pulled down. She was better as destroyer of old tired institutions and lazy ways of thinking than she was as the builder of new ones; better at defining divisions than building cohesion. But, probably that’s what Britain needed then. Had we on the left had not grown so lazy about our addictions to the easy ways of state corporatism, she would perhaps have been less successful at so cruelly exposing their hollowness. The pre-eminent attribute in politics is courage; the moral courage to hold to the things you believe in. And this, like her or loathe her, she had in abundance. Personally charming to all except those in her Cabinet; fearless when taking on her enemies, even to the extent of making up some of her own; utterly implacable in her patriotism, albeit of a kind which didn’t always serve the country’s long term interests. She won great victories for what she stood for at home and huge respect for our country abroad. If politics is the ability to have views, hold to them and drive them through to success, she was undoubtedly the greatest Prime Minister of our age, and maybe even the greatest politician.”