Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Rogue Farewell: Margaret Thatcher

Photo Credit: NBC News

"If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time and you would achieve nothing." - Margaret Thatcher (1989)

Unsurprisingly, the passing of former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has dominated news headlines. Lady Thatcher, 87, died on April 8, 2013 after suffering from a stroke at her suite at The Ritz Hotel in London where she was residing for the past couple of months. Thatcher is said to have moved into the Ritz in December as she began having difficulty climbing up and down the stairs in her London townhouse.

Thatcher, who led the UK's Conservative Party from 1975-1990, was the first female Prime Minister of a Western Democracy, and came to be known by many as "The Iron Lady". Serving as Prime Minister from 1979-1990, many people still hold mixed thoughts about herself and her policies. For example, some see her as having divided the UK and others disagree with her economic policies. Yet, others focus on her achievements abroad, such as her staunch policies in the Cold War and against communism, and her dealings on the Falkland Islands.

Some of what she is remembered by:
  • That time she said "No. No. No." in her speech to the House of Commons in regards to European integration. She was really against the UK dropping the British Sterling Pound in exchange for the Euro.
  • Her friendship with US President Ronald Reagan. 
  • Her patriotism in the 1982 Falklands War between Argentina and the UK. The disagreements between the UK and Argentina carry on today, and the Falklands continue to be a key issue for both parties.
  • The implementation of the controversial UK Poll Tax, also known as "Community Charge".
  • She held the position of UK Prime Minister for 11 years - longer than anyone before, including Winston Churchill.

A ceremonial funeral rather than a state funeral, will be held for Thatcher at St. Paul's Cathedral in London next week. 

Whether you love to hate her, or hate to love her, one thing's for sure: you're still talking about her and Thatcher probably wouldn't want it any other way!

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