From Fox News.
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died after suffering a stroke.
“It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning,” Thatcher spokesperson Lord Bell said in a statement.
Thatcher, an outspoken woman known to many as “The Iron Lady,” was 87. She led Britain’s Conservatives to three election victories from 1979 to 1990, the longest continuous period in office by a British prime minister since the early 19th century.
“We have lost a great leader, a great prime minister and a great Briton,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement.
Her obituary from Sky News.
Margaret Thatcher was Britain’s first, and so far only, female Prime Minister. She was a transformative leader who reversed conventional wisdom that Great Britain’s national decline was inevitable.
She will be remembered for curbing the trade unions, privatising state-owned industries, leading Britain to victory in the Falklands War, and as US President Ronald Reagan’s staunch ally in confronting the Soviet Empire.
Mrs Thatcher is now ranked alongside Sir Winston Churchill (her hero) and Clement Attlee as one of Britain’s most important 20th century prime ministers, but the “Iron Lady”, as she was nicknamed, was a deeply divisive figure, openly hated by many, especially those from industrial heartlands, which she sent to the wall.
She ended her 11-year premiership quite literally in tears, thrown out not by the voters but by the very Conservative MPs she had led to three successive general election victories.
Margaret Hilda Roberts was born on October 13, 1925, the daughter of a grocer and alderman from Grantham in Lincolnshire. She idolised her father but seldom even mentioned her mother.
A clever and ambitious grammar school girl, she won a place at Oxford University to study chemistry, going on to work in industry as a research chemist – working in the team that invented Mr Whippy ice cream.
She had determined political ambitions as well, fighting Dartford for the Conservatives unsuccessfully in the 1950 and 1951 general elections.
……Her economic ideology was unswerving. She believed in a smaller state, lower taxes, self-reliance and people being left to spend “their own money”.
Her government sold or “privatised” state-owned “nationalised” assets – first council houses then shares in gas, electricity, water and telecommunications and “the big bang” de-regulating banking and the City of London.
She won a third election in 1987 with another huge majority but like many long-serving successful leaders, she began to believe her own publicity, epitomised in her most famous quotation: “The Lady is not for turning”.
Margaret Thatcher was the last Prime Minister with the balls to stand up to insane behavior by some of the members of British Parliament as well as the Euro Nanny State. Along with the late Ronald Reagan, she was a champion of free-market policies and adversary of the Soviet Union.
There were many quotes that reflected her grit, these are some of my favorites:
” Europe was created by History. America was created by philosophy.”
“To cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukemia with leeches.”
“Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them. They then start to nationalise everything, and people just do not like more and more nationalisation, and they’re now trying to control everything by other means. They’re progressively reducing the choice available to ordinary people.”
Speaking of socialism, her blunt criticism of the Maastricht Treaty, which created the European Union, was spot on.
Like many of my fellow Tories, I too have a favourite quotation from Disraeli. At Manchester in 1872 he said that “the programme of the Conservative Party is to maintain the Constitution of the country”. This Conservative government, like its predecessors, should have as its main priority the maintenance of our constitutional freedoms, our democratic institutions, and the accountability of Parliament to the people. Because I believe in these principles so deeply I cannot support the ratification of the Maastricht treaty, and I welcome sterling’s departure from the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM).
The ERM and Maastricht are inextricably linked. The first is a prerequisite to the fulfilment of the second. We found the confines of the first unbearable; the strait-jacket of the second would be ruinous. Thanks to the decision to float the pound, we now have a chance to follow an economic policy that puts British needs first. Like the Maastricht treaty, the ERM in no way represents what is best for British interests.
……I do not blame the Germans. They have managed the new currency in exactly the way we should have managed ours. They put their country first and in doing so showed up the impossibility of a single currency for a group of such divergent economies as those of Europe. Once we realised that the ERM lacked the flexibility we expected and required, we should have left. Because we did not, we were forced to keep up interest rates even though our recession at home was signalling the need to reduce them. Home owners and businessmen have paid a heavy price. However, at least now we have the freedom to put those problems right.
We now need an economic strategy which works with markets, not against them, is realistic and sustainable, and provides a framework for growth. We must return to the policy of domestic monetary control that worked throughout most of the 1980s, cutting inflation from over 20 per cent to under four per cent while the economy expanded.
Since the inception of the Euro-socialist conglomerate, we have witnessed the chaos and total destruction in its wake. The disintegration and riots in Cyprus and Greece are a glimpse of what’s to come.
Rest in peace, Maggie. You’re already missed.
- Rest in peace: Margaret Thatcher has died following a stroke; Update: Twitter mourns (twitchy.com)