Tuesday, 9 April 2013
Margaret Thatcher 1925 - 2013
Whatever your political views, Margaret Thatcher was an incredible woman and worked hard for her country. She was an Englishwoman and her country was England. Scotland was a mere irritating by-product which, to her good fortune, provided the finances for Mrs Thatcher to modernise her England.
Much has been written about her 'misuse' of Scotland's oil, but I wonder if any Labour prime minster would have used it more wisely. Certainly Tony Blair and Gordon Brown did nothing to eradicate or change the policies many thought destroyed Scotland's industry.
I admired Margaret Thatcher because she proved that little is impossible and more particularly, the manner in which she worked within the suited and booted man's world of Westminster. Some of her policies - too numerous to mention individually - were another matter: dire for Scots and the Scottish Conservative Party which has yet to recover in one guise or another.
Britain's first female prime minister is to be given a ceremonial funeral - the same level given to the Queen Mother and Princess Diana. It's the first time a former prime minister has been honoured in this way since the lavish spectacle of Winston Churchill's state funeral 50 years ago. Costs are to be borne by the government and the Thatcher estate, with Downing Street declining to reveal, at this stage, the proportion to be met by the nation.
Unlike some of her successors, when she retired from politics, she didn't tour the world for personal gain and chose to live her life in her beloved England.
She showed a strength of character seldom seen in politics and, love her or loath her, let's commemorate her death with dignity and humanity.