(dedicated to my father)
Yesterday marked the end of one of the last true legends of modern days, a person whose convictions and determination shook the very foundations of one of the most rigid and uncompromising cultures on the planet; and who, in the face of harsh criticizm and ever plummeting approval ratings, stood for what they thought was the right way forward for their country, for better or for worse. I speak of course, of the Iron Lady, Baroness Margaret Thatcher.
One of the most controversial figureheads of modern days, during her terms as Prime Minister of England, Ms. Thatcher single handedly formed the UK’s modern views; not only of conservative politics and government dynamics, but also of monetarist and supply-side economics. Her policies were decried by some as harsh on the little man, most notably the coal miners of the northern cities who were stripped of the jobs their families had held for generations; but at the same time, they urged said miners to gain qualifications and find a more lucrative job in the southern cities from which their families could further prosper.
Ms. Thatcher’s Policies are widely debated to this day, and labelled as ingenious and necessary as often as cruel and heartless. More so than most modern leaders, Ms. Thatcher epitomizes the concept of tough love, the uncompromizing and often harsh and even borderline ruthless approach to politics that is often criticized, but increasingly necessary in this day and age, most specifically in the financial sector.
Due to her strict demeanor, one of the Iron Lady’s less often recognized facets is her penchant towards libertarianism. Indeed, she is credited with sowing the seeds of a libertarian movement
within England’s Conservative party, a movement that has been called the “dominant, if unofficial characteristic of Thatcherism” (Andrew Marr, British Political Commentator). It is this drive
that led to her involvement in the process that eventually led to the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the fall of the Soviet Communist Bloc. On the other hand, it was also purportedly one of the main reasons for her vehemency with regards to the Falkland War and the issue of Britain’s sovereignty on the isles.
The Iron Lady was a multifaceted person; described by her fans as the saviour of the nation, and by her dissenters as an unfeeling automaton; but there is one thing that neither would ever dare
deny, and that is the fact that she left a lasting mark on British Politics, and indeed Politics worldwide. From Reagan in the U.S., to Pinochet in Chile, to Tito in the former Yugoslav Union, she left an imprint wherever she went, be it positive or negative, and will always be remembered as the hard leader that England needed in a time of great hardship; someone who was willing to step up and take matters into her own hands and wasn’t afraid to dive head-first into the mess England was in at the time in order to ensure its future.
Sgt. Alon Fosman Starkman is a contributor to The Desert Lynx
Photo credit: Rool Paap