Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, April 08, 2013

The Iron Lady died

Margaret Thatcher died.

If you want an opportunity to review recent political history and a major turning point in British politics, look for the retrospective articles about Lady Thatcher and her career.

But don't neglect following that up with a review of Tony Blair and the changes he brought as well.

Ex-Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher dies, aged 87
Lady Thatcher
Former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher has died "peacefully" at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke, her family has announced…

Lady Thatcher was Conservative prime minister from 1979 to 1990. She was the first woman to hold the role…

Lady Thatcher, born Margaret Roberts, served as MP for Finchley, north London, from 1959 to 1992.

Having been education secretary, she successfully challenged former prime minister Edward Heath for her party's leadership in 1975 and won general elections in 1979, 1983 and 1987.

Lady Thatcher's government privatised several state-owned industries. She was also in power when the UK went to war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands in 1982…

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg described Lady Thatcher as one of the "defining figures in modern British politics", adding: "She may have divided opinion during her time in politics but everyone will be united today in acknowledging the strength of her personality and the radicalism of her politics."…

Margaret Thatcher Dies; Remade Britain
Margaret Thatcher, the “Iron Lady” of British politics who pulled her country back from 35 years of socialism, led it to victory in the Falklands war and helped guide the United States and the Soviet Union through the cold war’s difficult last years, died Monday. She was 87…

Lady Thatcher was the first woman to become prime minister of Britain and the first to lead a major Western power in modern times. Hard driving and hardheaded, she led her Conservative Party to three straight election victories and held office for 11½ years — May 1979 to November 1990 — longer than any British politician in the 20th century.

The tough economic medicine she administered to a country sickened by inflation, budget deficits and industrial unrest brought her wide swings in popularity, culminating with a revolt among her own cabinet ministers in her final year…

At home, Lady Thatcher’s political successes were decisive. She broke the power of the labor unions and forced the Labour Party to abandon its commitment to nationalized industry, redefine the role of the welfare state and accept the importance of the free market.

Abroad, she won new esteem for a country that had been in decline since its costly victory in World War II…

“Margaret Thatcher evoked extreme feelings,” wrote Ronald Millar, a playwright and speechwriter for the prime minister. “To some she could do no right, to others no wrong. Indifference was not an option. She could stir almost physical hostility in normally rational people, while she inspired deathless devotion in others.”

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1 Comments:

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

Links to right- and left-wing comments on Thatcher's legacy

 

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