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Lady Thatcher….. the last post

Lady Thatcher….. the last post

🕔17.Apr 2013

stpaulsReaction to my Chamberlain Files article, Why the Lady is for mourning, has been beyond anything I have experienced in 36 years of journalism.

Some correspondents disagreed with every word, others approved of every word, and some were in agreement with parts but not all of the narrative.

Clearly, the death of Baroness Thatcher has sparked a lively political debate the like of which this country has not witnessed for many years. And that is undeniably positive in an age when politicians and political ideas are viewed, at best, with suspicion, and more often with total disinterest.

Love her or loather her, almost everyone has a view about Margaret Thatcher, even if in many cases her loudest opponents are too young to know any more than myth and hearsay about the conduct of her governments and the challenging times in which she ran the country.

You will be getting a little overdosed on Thatcher articles by now, so I intend to keep this short.

My central point, that Margaret Thatcher must be seen as a product of her times, is as valid as ever. Thatcherism was a logical antidote to the appalling mismanagement of Britain between 1970 and 1979, under the governments of Ted Heath, Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, where rampant, greedy, trade union leaders and soaring inflation rocked the very foundations of society.

Rather than addressing inflation by cutting public spending, these Tory and Labour governments went in the opposite direction, all of them eager not to upset the unions. Indeed, the general belief among middle class Oxbridge-educated Labour cabinet members that the unions would trim wage demands for the greater good of the country was endearing, although as it turned out totally naïve.

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