Allan Takes Aim Blog

Margaret Thatcher MP, PM: a woman with style

Posted on: 10 April 2013

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Margaret Thatcher MP: a woman with style

Iron Lady Thatcher was a lady with style and clearly a style that many British voters didn’t care for. This isn’t to say her style was wrong. Indeed some people interviewed on TV clearly knew her only by reputation as they hadn’t been born when she gained or left office. Their interviews suggested their hate was based on anecdotes from unhappy people who attributed the sad state of their lives to policies she implemented when PM. The truth is, some of them lived in a permanent state of unhappiness and would remain unhappy even if transported to Utopia.

Of the others, many were senior officials of the mining unions who came from lower middle class backgrounds. It must be said that while they had legitimate concerns about some of the policies what they were really doing was indulging their envy of a woman, also from the lower middle class, who had done better than them. Worse still, she didn’t listen to them. How dare she?

As I listened to some of these officials being asked to comment on Lady Thatcher after her death what surprised me was that their comments about her seemed well rehearsed as if over the years they had been continually added to, and polished. It saddened me to hear them because, born in a one room house in a miners’ row in Motherwell, Scotland, the miners I remember respected all women.

And while I can’t speak on behalf of the mothers of other families that lived there I don’t think they were much different from my mother who held the portfolios of Prime Minister, Treasurer, Education Minister, Health Minster and every other ministry that played a role in the life of a family and exhibited the many of the same traits attributed to the Iron Lady.

Let me add that, in the thirties, my father was a senior union official (not the miners’ union) of the Amalgamated Engineering Union. Although a skilled engineer, his union activities in pursuing the betterment of families and working men led to him being blackballed by employers as result of which he didn’t work for six years. Suddenly and unsurprisingly, when war was declared, he became employable. Nonetheless even after the war ended I cannot remember him ever expressing hate for either employers or politicians.

On the other hand I remember hearing my mother say it was a useless exercise envying people who were successful. She also said I should set my goals as high as possible and try to emulate them, a goal supported by my father. In their view, should I achieve success my reward would mean a better quality of life. However, they said success had a caveat attached: it must be achieved without selfishness and be shared by others. That my progress hasn’t matched her hopes is down to me and while all of my siblings shared moderate success, one failed spectacularly.

It seems to me that Margaret Thatcher is a good example of the sentiments expressed by my mother and father. Clearly encouraged to achieve success she probably exceeded the expectations of her mother and father who ran a grocery shop where she often worked behind the counter. However, by dint of application she became a research chemist and lawyer. Later she became a politician.

After her retirement from politics the Conservative Government was defeated by Labour and Tony Blair became PM. Labour had a big majority which included a large group of apprentice MPs dedicated to leading the Thatcher’s victims out of the poverty desert into the promised land of plenty. Unfortunately for the impoverished, Tony Blair and his apprentices having acquired a taste for the good life, carried on implementing Thatcher’s policies (under a different name, of course) and the land of plenty stayed empty.

As the saying goes what goes around comes around so Labour were tipped out of office. Unfortunately in the UK the experiment of coalition government has been less than successful so that its land of plenty (unlike Australia) might have to wait for some visitors.

Being non-religious I hesitate to put Iron Lady Thatcher in a particular location. All I will say is that if there is life hereafter I’m in no doubt she’s occupying a front seat in its political theatre.

Comments welcome.          


3 Responses to "Margaret Thatcher MP, PM: a woman with style"

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Thatcher’s government continued its policy of reducing the power of the trade unions . Sympathy strikes and the closed shop was banned. Union leaders had to ballot members on strike action and unions were responsible for the actions of its members. The government took a firm stand against industrial disputes and the miners’ strike that began in 1984 lasted for 12 months without success. This was followed by mass closures of mines and ultimately privatisation.

Thanks for sending your comment but have you an agle that has not been published as your comments have been made time and time by major news sources and the unions? Regards, Don

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