Margaret Thatcher’s political legacy

In praise of  Margaret Thatcher, the woman who changed politics forever, exactly thirty years after she became prime minister. In the course of researching this article I approached an intelligent 15 year-old girl. She had been born three years after Margaret Thatcher left office. She had never seen her in action. She had no personal memories of any of the great controversies of the Thatcher epoch. And, therefore, she struck me as a perfect source for an understanding of the full semiotic range of the words "Margaret Thatcher" in the minds of young people today. This schoolgirl had been taught by good left-liberal teachers. She had read the papers and listened all her life to the BBC, and she had the normal British teenager's range of cultural references. I tried a word-association test. "So what do you think," I asked her, "when I say the words 'Margaret Thatcher' "? She paused, and then she said: "Billy Elliott." And there, my friends, you have the cultural war that continues to this day – 30 years after she came to power – over the legacy of Britain's first female prime minister. Not since Napoleon has a nation been so divided over the merits of a former leader. For millions of young people who have watched Billy Elliott, Thatcher is the evil, boss-eyed termagant whose disastrous economic philosophy was responsible for the break-up of ancient Hovis-ad mining communities, and whose awful blurtings of right-wing dogma inspired all that was basest in human nature. She was a semi-ludicrous mixture of Boudicca and Queen Victoria, who whipped up her folk to ecstasies of cretinous Brussels-bashing. She was the creator the Yuppies and Essex Man, and the spiritual godmother of all the red-braced spivs and champagne-guzzling wide boys who have done so much damage with their greed and their recklessness – and it is a measure of her totemic status that people manage to blame her for the credit crunch almost two decades after she left office. You try going on the BBC's Question Time and announcing that you are a Thatcherite. You will see the audience scratching and raging and panting like flea-ridden gibbons because Thatcher is a boo-word in British politics, a shorthand for selfishness and me-first-ism, and devil-take-the-hindmost and grinding the faces of the poor. The Lib Dems recently shoved a leaflet through my door, and the worst they could say about Gordon Brown was that he had invited Margaret Thatcher to tea at Downing Street. So, for the benefit of all 15 year-olds who are brought up on the BBC and who have derived the impression from Billy Elliott that she was a brute who sent riot police to smash the miners' strike, it is time to spool back 30 years to 1979 – when I turned 15 myself – and remember what an amazing job she did. I have somewhere a rather pretentious painting I did in 1975. It shows the white cliffs of Dover on a very drizzly day, as seen from the deck of an approaching Townsend Thorensen ferry. The caption is, "Welcome to Britain, home of the economic crisis." It is very hard to explain to young people the atmosphere of morbid self-pity that used to hang over Britain in the Seventies. British brands that had once been the envy of the world – machines whose manufacturers had out-engineered the Wehrmacht – had been reduced to laughing stocks, their reputations destroyed by a lethal combination of management inertia and union militancy. The country had so drifted from an understanding of free-market economics that Tony Benn actually tried to revive the motorbike industry with a sort of crazed commie collective at Meriden. There were endless strikes, and three-day weeks, and power cuts, and looming over it all was the Cold War – and the constant anxiety that we would somehow be embroiled in a conflict with the nasty, militaristic and totalitarian Soviet Union, a horrible place of gulags and lawless persecutions. Our food was ranked among the worst in Europe – by the British middle classes themselves. Our children's teeth were ruined by a diet of Spangles, Curly-Wurlies and Tizer, and our weather was lousy. Mrs Thatcher set about changing virtually everything, except possibly the weather. Now, don't get me wrong. I was never one of those acnoid Tory boys who had semi-erotic dreams about Margaret Thatcher. She never visited me at night in her imperial-blue dress and bling and magnificent pineapple-coloured hair. I never imagined her leaning over me and parting her red lips to whisper about monetarism and taming union power. But, even as an apathetic and cynical teenager, I could see that she was doing some tough things, and the moment I came down most vehemently on her side was the Falklands conflict of 1982. So many people I knew seemed to think she was wrong, and bellicose. I remember my grandfather frequently saying that he was going to shoot her. You will still meet left-wing bores who say that she deliberately ignored the "Peruvian Peace Plan". And yet what she did was so clear and so right. The Argentinian junta had taken by violence a British protectorate, in clear contravention both of international law and the wishes of the islanders. It took fantastic balls to send the antiquated British Navy half-way round the world, and risk disaster on those desolate beaches and moors. It took nerves of steel to sink the Belgrano, and, frankly, I don't think there were any other Tory politicians who would have done it. She showed a streak of absolute ruthlessness in defence of British interests, and, as the Eighties went on, it was clear that she was broadly right about the economy as well. Together with Norman Tebbit, she did what Barbara Castle had tried and failed to do – to dethrone the union bosses and give British industry a chance. By the time Arthur Scargill took the miners out on strike, I was firmly on her side. He was simply increasing the difficulties of a declining industry, and what the script of Billy Elliott will not tell you is that Scargill never held a proper ballot. By the end of the Eighties, she had cut taxes and the economy was roaring away; and it wasn't just that the country as a whole seemed to have recovered some of its confidence and standing in the world. Individuals were able to take control of their destiny in a new way. They were no longer completely beholden to local authorities for their housing: they could buy their own homes, and to this day, as any Tory canvasser will tell you, there are people across Britain who will always vote Tory in thanks for that freedom alone. She gave people the confidence to buy shares, to start their own businesses, to move on and up in society – and there was more social mobility under Margaret Thatcher than there has been since. She was a liberator, and she gave the Labour party such an intellectual thrashing that they ended up changing their name. In some ways, the most significant political legacy of Margaret Thatcher is New Labour (now being abolished by Gordon Brown). Yes, she was provocative, and there are huge numbers of people who will never forgive her for saying that "there is no such thing as society. There are men and women, and there are families." It sounds frighteningly atomistic and strident, and does not seem to reflect the duty we all owe to each other. But she believed she had to shatter the post-war consensus that the solution to every problem was always an expansion of the state. Indeed, she did not think much of the word consensus itself, since it was not only too Latinate for her taste but also because it probably masked a conspiracy by cowardly politicians to dodge the hard questions, and, if you look at the consensus that now exists around, say, academic selection, you can see that she is right. [First published in the Daily Telegraph on 04 May 2009 under the heading: "Blond on blonde: Mrs T’s unassailable legacy."]

46 thoughts on “Margaret Thatcher’s political legacy”

  1. I have read your article, Boris, and given it due consideration. I have, in consequence, changed my position vis a vis the lady in question.
    Now, when I dance on her grave, drive a stake through what would, in a human being, be a heart, and detonate a small nuclear device just to make sure that she has gone, I shall sincerely thank her for her fine, caring and loving legacy.

  2. Mrs T was, simply, our greatest peacetime Prime Minister and a towering figure who changed the world for the better. She made Britain governable again, played a leading role in beating the threat of European communism and laid the foundations for a long period of international propsperity that we have only recently screwed up. No wonder she is so hated – it is only British to prefer Blairish mediocrity and friendly failure.

  3. Growing up as a young Scot you were spoon fed a hatered of the woman that when balanced with the facts just doesn’t add up, but it took a long time for me to find those facts because upon hearing the very name we should hold in reverence, we shuffle akwardly and let the left run ruin on her name.

    Surely by now we should be able to look at her legacy and be damn proud of it.

  4. I totally agree with you Tiresias. There is a huge lesson to be learnt from Margaret Thatcher by many of the female politicians in the present government. Mrs. Thatcher competed on equal terms with men and it never once occurred to her that she should concern herself with womens’ issues, or even acknowledge male chauvinism as a problem. She had so much confidence and self belief that she just sailed in and won, because what she was offering was better. She had a clearly thought out strategy to solve Britain’s problems and stuck to that undeviatingly. Mrs. Thatcher won on merit and she would never have wanted it any other way.

    Through Mrs. Thatcher also, as Boris Johnson says ” Individuals were able to take control of their destiny in a new way. They were no longer completely beholden to local authorities for their housing: they could buy their own homes, and to this day, as any Tory canvasser will tell you, there are people across Britain who will always vote Tory in thanks for that freedom alone.”

    The stifling, stultifying dependence on the state that sprung up under Labour, which is stifling peoples’ initiatives and resulting in whole droves of unmotivated people on benefits is the absolute antithesis of what Mrs. Thatcher fought for.

    These two things, the way she competed on equal terms and the way she showed people how to grab their destiny in their own hands is what Mrs. Thatcher means to me.

  5. I admired Mrs T ‘s stance ( together with American President Ronald Reagan ) against the Russians, communism and their evil likes.

    The time when Arthur Scargill and his Russia influenced unions were on strike and the Russian communists sent 2 boatloads of breads over to England telling Russian people ” British workers are starving, we must help them. ” ( while Russian people themselves were starving under communism ! ) made me laugh.

    ” Thanks to Labour’s ties to the public sector giant union UNITE and a collapse in outside funding, the party is once more a wholely-owned subsidiary of the trade unions.” ( Peter Osborne, Political Editor, Daily Mail ).
    Doesn’t this fact send a shriver down your spine?

    What does Gordon Brown have ? ” Gordon Brown is a notoriously vengeful man “, Peter Osborne.

    One eyed, vengeful and always throws things ( computers, laptops, phones, pens, books, dildos… and taxpayers have to replace them ! ) at his assistants when he’s angry? What a deadly combination ! Doesn’t this fact send a shriver down your spine? God help us all !!!

  6. I was going to comment on Gordon Brown`s attitude to running this Great country into the ground.However,after hearing the news tonight,and seeing you at Madam tussards,and the fact that it has cost £155,000 to make a copy of you.Now my serious question is,”Who is going to pay for this load of crap”?I supose you think the tax payers are going to pay for it!You government prats don`t have a clue how desperate this country is in.Yet you spend money that none of us would have the bloody cheek to expect other folk to pay for.This city does not need a Mayor as stupid as you.Do us all a faviour and resign.

  7. Love her or loathe her, she was a force. Even in my neck of the woods, Tasmania, which is last stop before the Antarctic convergence, Mrs T was well known and loved or hated with, surprisingly, near equal vehemence. Perhaps a sign that during the same period Australia lacked politicians of similar quality.

    If the sign of quality in a politician is the longevity of the electorate’s feelings about you, then Mrs Thatcher was surely Grade A!!

    Did I like her? Thankfully as an, albeit electronic, visitor to your shores, it is not for me to offer an opinion…..

  8. I always thought that Mme Tussauds paid for the cost of waxworks and recouped the money through the thousands of entrance fees they received. They only make waxworks of very popular figures, and obviously they are convinced that the Mayor’s waxwork will be a huge attraction. It did look good, I must say!

  9. http://www.india-server.com/news/madame-tussauds-to-open-in-india-712.html

    John Beach, I checked for you, and as I thought, Madame Tussauds is privately owned by the company Merlin Entertainments. So your fears about the Mayor wasting £150,000 on his own waxwork are unfounded. The waxwork was made as a compliment to the Mayor because of his vast popularity, and is bund to recoup the cost in double quick time. Not a penny of public money has been wasted, and I am delighted to be able to lay your concerns to rest.

  10. I watched the results of the 1979 election on monday, I was surprised she got in with a majority of less than 40!

    Mrs Thatcher was a conviction politician, regardless of party, I only value the views of politicians if they present a legitimate argument and back it up with facts.
    Thatcher presented the argument to parliament, along with her reasons for it. most of the time, she won the argument.

    My family are all labour voters, I was the first to vote conservative, I remember mymum telling me that I couldnt afford to vote conservative, I replied, I cant afford not to!

    Mrs T didnt destroy the unions – she simply ended the “closed shop” and gave the workers the choice, which they overwhelmingly voted for, as the number of strikes declined dramatically!
    Mrs T didnt kill off the miners – the unions killed off the miners, by allowing union bosses to push up wages and costs to unrealistic levels, which resulted in a sack of coal being almost 3 times cheaper to import from south africa than it was to dig up in wales.
    British airways and British steel were world leaders under Thatcher, people could buy their council home, and have a stake in their immeadiate community, no longer were only the top brass in a position to buy shares, now everyone had the chance to buy them!
    Mortgages,no longer did you have to save for 30 years with the same bank and then go begging to the bank manager who could (and often did) say no and you were stuck, under Thatcher, you could not only goto different banks, but also move your mortgage around.

    choice was key, and the state shrank and had less control of our lives, providing a safety net if we fell, and it didnt subsidise those who didnt have any intention to work.

    competition was (unlike today) genuine competition, and the customer had rights that were protected. Today, business can do what it likes, the customer has to put up with it as they all do the same.

    Mrs Thatcher was far from perfect, but you knew what you were getting from her, and I for one was proud to be British under her government.

  11. That will teach you to annoy fifteen year old girls. That said, after my friend, Stromboli, the Circus Strong Man, I was Maggie’s biggest fan – no mean feat for a Scotsman

    John R. Nicoll

  12. Now we all know that both Charlie Whelan, political director at the super-union UNITE, and Andrew Dodgshon, a trade union loyalist, who works alongside Whelan in the political office at UNITE, were personally involved in the Damian McBride smeargate scandal.

    This shows how Labour party has always been entirely run by communism influenced unions. No wonder Whelan, Dodgshon and these unions did not want to get involve with the ‘British jobs for British workers!’ strikes. And importantly, no wonder these unions have never voiced their concerns about the mass influx of Eastern European immigrants into the UK.

    Read this article by Euractiv.com, posted on Friday 27 August 2004, who was TRYING to play down the impact of mass influx of Eastern European immigrants and made their comment too early, perhaps?! http://www.euractiv.com/en/security/mass-influx-foreign-workers-uk-sweden-enlargement/article-129773

    All the above facts really send a shriver down my spine.

  13. Of course Boris is not fat. They must have put too much wax on his love handles. But definitely not enough wax down there ( I went there and checked it myself ). Whatever, he’s always my beloved tubby bear!

  14. I’ll have my tuppence-worth on this one too.

    I grew up in an ex-coal mining area, however in a comfortable lower middle class family. I was ‘spoonfed hatred’ of Mrs T much like our Scottish friend above.

    On the other hand, the vast majority of jobs I had as a young Northerner were in the Thatcher privatised utilities sector.

    Now I’m not going to say they were all highly enjoyable, or that we didn’t habitually and systematically defraud the general public – but it was a damned sight better than being down a coal mine!

    The other thing I reckon people miss with Mrs T’s legacy is how much better our first female PM made things for women.

    All these business park based, warm office call centre jobs are very female friendly. She never stood on a femanist ticket but boy did she make the workplaces of Britain better for the girls.

    And being a red-blooded bloke I like that, I’d take a call-centre full of twenty-something blondes over a coal-mine or ship-yard full of over-unionised blokes with beer bellys any day.

    Thank you Mrs T!

  15. I agree, Mrs. Thatchaer did make things better for women, but there was none of this patronising “women have suffered through men so need concessions” rubbish.

    1. Angela, I agree although, to be nitpicking, I don’t think the ‘women have suffered’ rubbish is so much patronising (as in men doing it) as strident females with what can politely be termed misdirected energies. Why, in this country in 2009, they don’t just get on and ‘do’ like any successful working person, I don’t know.

  16. Gill, Harriet Harman wants to insist that more women are employed in male dominated areas, like the City. But by the same token, she should then reduce the number of women in female dominated industries, like teaching and the fashion industry. Ain’t never going to happen! I know I go on about this endlessly, but it is so so annoying. As you say, why can’t they just get on with it? I wouldn’t want a job unless it was totally on merit.

  17. ps. Boris wants more men to go into teaching, doesn’t he? But we need more male teachers, because discipline is going to pot.

  18. Vicus Scurra, any unbiased newspapers are fine by me. For the sake of this country, we need them unbiased newspapers. This explains why there are always piles and piles of unsold copies of Daily Mirror in the shops, newsagents and supermarkets every day, 7 days a week.
    ——–

    29/4/09 MPs cling on their second home allowances.
    3/5/09 MPs support Gurkhas. ( Wow, populist spin, again. )

    3/5/09 Jacqui Smith’s second home allowance fiddle, husband claimed taxpayers’ money for watching porn, her barring of Gurkhas and Dutch MP from Britain.
    6/5/09 Jacqui Smith names and shames 16 people from Britain for being Islamic hate preachers, anti-gay preachers… ( Wow, populist spin, again !)

    For years- under Labour’s rule, councils have the right to choose your kids’ school.
    Last week: Labour’s new rule, parents can appeal against council’s choice of school for their kids. ( Wow, populist spin again !). BUT teachers unions and councils say they will not follow the new rule. So what’s going on in this messed up country?

    How about stopping paying these suspect terrorists and well known Islamic hate preachers social benefits money and kicking them out of this country?

    Anti-gay preachers? Mandy ( Peter Mandelson ), Naomi ( Gordon Brown ), MacBride, Draper, Whelan, Dodgshon and the other Labour ministers involved were plotting to oust a discreet gay Tory MP in their Smeargate scandal. What is Jacqui Smith going to do about them?

  19. Boris, I can excuse you because perhaps you were maybe a little too young at 15 to fully understand. That election was my first and as an eleven-year-old in 1972 when she took my milk ration, I already had a fair idea of what she was about. Most of the stuff with the miners and perhaps the Falklands would have happened regardless of who was in power. Her legacy is a combination of boorish selfishness and the fact that everything now has to have a price, even a loss-making necessity like the Royal Mail. “Internal Markets”, “Cost Centres” and every other self-important vomit-inducing buzzword is down to that woman’s pernicious influence. She has spawned a race of talentless good for absolutely nothing petty empire-builders who only ever want an instant return on their investment instead of having the patience to lay down a solid foundation for the future. She managed to turn patriotism into a dirty word And what’s more, she managed to turn the opposition into shadows of herself; they fell for the crap as well. Before too long I hope to be dancing arm in arm with my good friend Vicus on the witch’s grave but unlike him, I’m not teetotal so may have to stop to relieve myself during the celebrations.

  20. “…when she took my milk ration…” (Richard)

    Why should you be weened on the teet of the state Richard? Why I ask you?

  21. After the total debacle of the past few weeks, the Government should call a General Election. We weren’t given the chance to choose our Prime Minister last time, so let’s put that right now and let the public decide who they want as MPs.

  22. The left liberal media and education system are trying their very best to re-write history and succeding it seems. Mrs Thatcher was popular across a broad spectrum of voters and among those too young to vote.

    I watched Billy Elliot, you’d think the characters lived under a dictatorship, and not a popular democracy, with a HUGE majority, which it was.

    Ther was no idealogy or dogma for the conservative party in those days, just pragmatism about the economy, and it worked. Pity it can’t now.

  23. I’m a development economist AND proud to say a Thatcherite.

    I wonder how many of you who attack MT, purchased and sold your council houses with massive profits? Perhaps it was your parents who got on the property ladder and laid that solid foundation for your future.

    As for patriotism being a dirty word in her time? What utter socialist rubbish Richard!

  24. And while they were burying their snouts in the trough recidivist yobbery increased by 60% (and those are just the official instances)

    Broad daylight early evening, Saturday, my beautiful coastal town:

    – A gang of youths drunk on a crate of Stella on the beach stripping off, throwing rocks near cars and people – foul language, intimidating conduct. Families with small children and old relatives sitting down trying to enjoy the sun and pretending that this was not happening.

    – A walk to the chip shop with my young boys. Accosted by two drunken middle aged men emerging from a pub totally out of their faces. I brush them off with a ‘Yeah – what-eva.’

    – A little further up drunken fancy dress party goers (6pm ???) One chap dressed in open bath robe and speedos with swimming cap (not a pretty sight) Loud and brash with his arms round a couple of pensioners out for a strole and his girlfriend (dressed as a hooker) photographing on her mobile. I can tell the OAPs don’t really want it. The chap’s not violent so I use discretion rather than intervene. I see him leaving the OAPs who are looking quite offended by it all though pretending to be enjoying the ‘joke’.

    – Later I’m driving my family through the town (7.30 pm) again broad daylight. A football match taking place in the middle of the road. Again – youths drunk and out of their heads on whatever. As I creep through it all the football is kicked hard at my car door and a contorted face appears at my side window “F*** off you c**** !” Wife, her elegant friend and kids on board, for heaven’s sake.

    I’m stunned. I drive through and we make it to the event. The friend states that she’s seen this sort of thing going on regularly now.

    I notice that grafitti and beer cans have started to appear everywhere. Telephone boxes are regularly smashed up and angry looking young men saunter around in groups.

    It’s as though a new generation of thugs has emerged and it scares the hell out of me.

    For those of you with a strong enough constitution watch the film Lake Eden. This sort of thing is going on in Britain now.

    THIS is what has taken over whilst people were focussed on credit bling and expenses.

    It needs sorting out. Sharpish.

    Can you save us from this, Boris ???

    I’d gladly pay MPs thrice what they earn now if they weren’t half so useless.

  25. I admired Mrs T’s super direction over the Falklands war. Too bad Labour government have been discussing with Argentine about handing it back to Argentine.

    So, Falklands belongs to Britain. But if you want to move there, you have to apply for permission, have a close relative who already lives there, have a police check, have some money in the bank, blah blah blah… and only 2 or 3 people are picked each year. Exactly the same procedure if you want to move to the Channel Islands or Cook Islands which belong to Britain, too.

    Their excuses are: the islands are too small, not big enough for a mass influx of immigrants from inland Britain. Yet there is no stopping people from these islands moving to inland Britain.

    Not every body wants to move to Falklands where only knee-high shrubs can grow because of the strong winds. The Channel Islands are better, but again, not every body wants to move there.

    American citizens can freely move to Hawaii, Guam or anywhere that belongs to USA. This makes them feel proud of their lands, regardless of them wanting to move there or not. And feeling proud of being American.

    Over here, they say you can freely move to Northern Ireland which belongs to Britain. Who would want to move to Northern Ireland and be a human shield against the IRA’s bombs for the natives?

  26. My parents started a business in 1983, by 1985 my Mother was driving a Porsche. They survived the recession in the nineties and their business continued to flourish. Yet in 2005 they closed the business because they was sick of taxation by stealth, sick of Labour and sick of England.

    Today their isn’t a single member of my immediate family living or paying tax into the UK and I doubt that situation is going to change while Labour pour good money after bad into an expansive and interfering state that they themselves seem so capable of avoiding.

    So what did Thatcher mean to me? Wealth, opportunity and happiness for my family. Labour always means recession, debt and control. Hopefully the people will finally wake up and realise that Labour has achieved all the good it can, things like the NHS etc. And all it can offer now is a tired and bankrupt socialist wasteland that the vast majority do not want.

  27. mrs T. ” sorry the ladies not for turning”.

    “oh, is that right!!” says the devil,”how does eternal burning sound then !!!”

    not long now peeps,bring back community spirit and one hell of a street party…. fireworks at the ready too!!!!!

    celebrate good times c`mon!!!

  28. I beg to differ. I don’t think that Thatcher was the greatest peacetime leader this country has ever had. I grew up throughout the Thatcher reign, and the devastation she caused can still be seen today. Billy Elliot IS a true reflection of how she left those small communities and those same places are no different today. The South of the country became more affluent, while up North, those communities which she failed became riddled with drugs, crime and poverty. Gangs of youths still roam the streets because there’s nothing for them to do, no jobs, no prospects and very little of that thing which all mankind needs to progress…hope. Her meddling had a direct impact on my immediate family and we still feel that today. I still live in an overcrowded property because she saw fit to sell off all the social housing she could. She also continued where Ted Heath left off and sold this country down the river to Europe. She is where Political Correctness started and that has it’s own part to blame for what the press call ‘Broken Britain’. I now live in a Conservetive-run borough and all I can hope is that they don’t take over the running of this country or there will be no England left to run. (Although I would like to say that Boris is doing ok as the Mayor, and a refreshing change to Ken Livingston)!

    1. Jenny, that’s a whole series of charges with some truth in all but can we unpick?
      1. South and North is a convenient divide when making a point but how valid is it really? Is Manchester or modern-day Leeds really worse off than Camborne?
      2. Is the Ted Heath charge really fair? The EU just keeps growing – whether one likes it or not. Laying current problems in the past just absolves decades of opportunity.
      3. Bringing government bang down to earth, if wheelie bins were a nationally-electable issue, around here Lab would fail to have an opinion, LibDems would be green but impractical and Conservatives are making a post-facto noise. Verdict: grass-roots politics needs a lot more engagement.

      Of course, with engagement comes responsibility and, for that to be fair, there needs to be education. It’s a long haul…

  29. ‘She took my milk ration’
    Young people are far too fat and need to walk more.
    Margaret Thatcher encouraged folks to get off their bottoms and work.
    People need to be motivated and achieve, we now have a population that seems to think they want to be ‘famous’ for absolutely no reason, have no laws to govern them, spread inertia and chaos with no principles or integrity towards their fellow man.
    The Labour open door policy has taken so much of British tradition away, the overseas workers we had, were often a credit but we are now swamped beyond the means of this small island.

  30. gill, you cannot compare the city of manchester or leeds with the small outlying towns that surround it. and i can comment on that personally because i lived most of my life in one.

    Ted Heath signed us up to the EU, and with progressing years, more of this country has been given over to them. being part of the EU has allowed this country to become the dumping ground of Europe. the french are not doing anything to stop them coming through their ports.

    I no more support labour than i do conservative or liberal. they have all proved themselves to be selfish and concerned only with their own gain and not the best interests of this country.

    the thing that really annoys me is the abuse that gordon brown receives in the press and from the public who only seem to think of the here and now. the mess this country is in is NOT his fault. he has inherited 30 years of bad leadership. tony blair saw it coming and did what rats do, he deserted.

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  32. Having casually found this when scanning the internet, and also being a teenage with “a full semiotic range of references to thatcher” i felt inclined to give boris johnson a helping hand (rarely words on my lips) with this matter

    When one speaks of looking through ‘rose-tinted glasses’ johnson must have been wearing dark sunglasses when reminiscing this particuarly ‘character’.

    Being 15 when this article was written, the first visions brought to my mind when i think of ‘Thatcher’ is that of the child’s nursery rhyme. Perhaps these children were more informed than boris on the current affairs of the day?
    Also evoked are the conditions of the mining communities after such a devestating reign(so briefly mentioned in said appraising article), the social chasm caused by right to buy scheme and the previously lack of mentioned calcium that I assume did not assist childrens’ “ruined” teeth.
    So yes, I think I will still consider Thatcher to be an “evil, boss-eyed termagant” even after reading this article.
    Sorry Boris, haven’t won this one.

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