RIP: Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher dies at age 87. The Iron Lady, as she was dubbed, shook up politics and left an indelible mark on the world. She was tough as nails and didn’t back away from a fight. Her legacy is still felt today in Great Britain in so many ways, not just on social issues, but in the political parties as well.
Margaret Thatcher will receive a full ceremonial funeral, according to the BBC. That is not the same as a state funeral, but will be very similar to the funeral for the Queen Mother. Mrs. Thatcher will not lie in state. The union flag is flying at half mast at 10 Downing Street.
Before Margaret Thatcher became PM, Great Britain was reduced to three-day work weeks, garbage piled up in the street, there were power outages and the industries were nationalized. The country was in a state of economic collapse. Margaret Thatcher presided over the greatest turn-around in her country’s history. Of course there are still problems, but she left an indelible mark, though she will be viewed by some as a divisive figure.
A Guardian interactive about the key moments from Lady Thatcher’s life.
Reaction from Twitter:
“It was with great sadness that l learned of Lady Thatcher’s death. We’ve lost a great leader, a great Prime Minister and a great Briton”
— UK Prime Minister (@Number10gov) April 8, 2013
Here’s Margaret Thatcher’s obituary from Chris Moncrieff:
Margaret Thatcher was the woman who, virtually single-handed and in the space of one tumultuous decade, transformed a nation.
In the view of her many admirers, she thrust a strike-infested half-pace Britain back among the front-runners in the commanding peaks of the industrial nations of the world.
Her detractors, many of them just as vociferous, saw her as the personification of an uncaring new political philosophy known by both sides as Thatcherism.
Tireless, fearless, unshakeable and always in command, she was Britain’s first woman Prime Minister – and the first leader to win three General Elections in a row.
Mrs Thatcher, who became Baroness Thatcher, resigned as Prime Minister in November 1990 after a year in which her fortunes plummeted.
It was a year in which she faced a series of damaging resignations from the Cabinet, her own political judgments were publicly denounced by her own colleagues, catastrophic by-election humiliations, internal party strife, and a sense in the country that people had had enough of her after 11 years in power.
But history will almost certainly proclaim her as one of the greatest British peacetime leaders. Her supporters believe she put the drive back into the British people.
And as she transformed the nation – attempting to release the grip of the state on massive industries and public services alike – she strode the earth as one of the most influential, talked-about, listened-to and dominant statesmen of the Western world.
When Argentina invaded the Falklands, she dispatched a task force to the South Atlantic which drove the enemy off the islands in an incomparable military operation 8,000 miles from home.
She successfully defied Arthur Scargill’s nationwide and year-long miners’ strike, which threatened to cripple Britain’s entire economic base.
Her triumphant achievement of power in May 1979 signaled the end of the era when trade union leaders trooped in and out of 10, Downing Street, haggling and bargaining with her Labour predecessors.
This was cross-posted from The Hinterland Gazette.