Rathlyn, HB, Apr 9 – Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died.
She was 87.
Dominating Britain for an extraordinary eleven-year term from 1979 to 1990, she transformed a broken-down country falling apart at the seams into a more modern and prosperous country.
Her efforts polarised the country and to an extent the world. While some lauded her for turning Britain around, others loathed her for going up against the unions, introducing the hated poll tax and forcing her agendas despite the opposition.
First coming into Parliament in 1959 to represent the Finchley electorate, she rose quickly in the Conservative Party, becoming the education secretary in 1970.
She was a pioneer in women’s politics in Britain. Despite telling the Liverpool Post in 1974 that a woman would not lead the party nor serve as prime minister in her lifetime, she proved to be the only one who did just that in 1975 and 1979, respectively.
She capitalised on a crumbling British economy, an ineffective Labour government and the infamous ‘Winter of Discontent’, which during late 1978 and early 1979 crippled the country with a series of strikes, most startling of those being the gravediggers, the striking of whom saw drastic measures taken to dispose of mounting piles of unburied bodies.
Her 1979 electoral victory reflected tiredness with the Labour government and optimism toward her promise to reduce the role of the state and promote free enterprise.
Her government was hugely bolstered by Britain’s victory in the Falklands War following the Argentinian invasion of the islands in April 1982. Her commitment to Britain was reflected in her ignoring advice to not go to war, a gamble that worked in her favour when in 1983 she tripled her majority in the House of Commons.
Her shared ideologies with then-US President Ronald Reagan brought the two nations together during the 1980s.
Her time in office was cut short in 1990 when the Conservative Party rose up against her. Leaving 10 Downing Street in tears on 28 November 1990, she felt a sense of betrayal even years later against her party.
Her legacy lived on, however, with the Conservatives winning the 1992 election. The party’s good fortune finally petered out in 1997, eighteen years after Thatcher’s first victory, with John Major’s defeat to Tony Blair’s revitalised Labour.
In later years her health had begun to decline.
In 2002, she was forced to end public speaking following a stroke, while in 2008 she was admitted to hospital after collapsing at a House of Lords dinner. She died overnight New Zealand time in London’s Ritz hotel from a stroke, her death confirmed at 11:52pm NZST last night (12:52pm BST).
In a statement made outside 10 Downing Street, British Prime Minister David Cameron hailed Thatcher as “the patriot prime minister” and said she had “taken a country that was on its knees and made it stand tall again”.
US presidents, both those she worked with and those elected after her fall, paid tribute to her, praising her as a close American ally and a strong believer in capitalism and freedom.
Poland is considering erecting a statue in her honour to mark the commitment she made to freeing Eastern Europe from Soviet influence in the 1980s. Her standing in Poland and in other nations in Eastern Europe is very high for this very reason.
Premier Daniel Anderson paid tribute to her this morning.
“We have lost a great figure in international politics. While controversial, she had Britain’s best interests in mind. Her steely resolve against aggression, be it Soviet, Argentine or elsewhere, was admirable and should inspire us all. As a fierce enemy of Communism and a ferocious advocate of capitalism and liberty, Mrs Thatcher was an utterly extraordinary figure and all Siroccans shall remember her with praise and affection in the years to come.”
Intermicronationally the response has been mixed.
Bradley of Dullahan regarded her as an ideological hero.
“Margaret Thatcher was a hero who stopped most riots, made sure that the trash was collected and showed that women were capable of leading the country through tough times. She was an iron lady and improved the position of women everywhere. The Wyvernian Liberal Party finds Thatcherism a core ideology. She will be missed.”
Kozuc leader Riley Small said he didn’t agree with her policies, but his condolences were with her family.
Elsewhere however, the response has been less positive.
Renasian leader Jacob Tierney recited the “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” song from The Wizard of Oz, while Zealandian Grand Duke Håkon Lindström said that “Whilst it is sad news for her friends, family, and supporters, one cannot forget her actions against the workers.”
Sirocco will formally enter a period of three days’ mourning, alongside Lostisland, Victoria and Wyvern.