A divisive legacy lives on

By | News & Politics
Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister 1979 - 1990.

The first and only female British Prime Minister, Baroness Margaret Thatcher, passed away at the Ritz Hotel in London, after having a stroke at the age of 87. She became Leader of The Conservative Party in 1975, and strove to become Prime Minister in 1979, reigning through until 1990, making her the longest serving British Prime Minister of the 20th Century.

In the words of Ed Miliband, Labour Leader, ‘she will always remain a controversial figure we may also greatly respect her political achievements and personal strength’. Speaking after Thatcher’s passing, David Cameron described the Iron Lady as ‘a great leader, a great prime minister and a great Briton’.

Margaret Thatcher was known as a woman of character – she who seems to hold her front. Her determination and passion for politics seems to be the outstanding notability of her personality that she may be remembered for. Britain’s ‘lion hearted love’ for Thatcher stemmed from her introduction of radical economic and political measures to improve what she saw as Britain’s challenges.

Perhaps the most controversial of Thatcher’s policies was the introduction of poll tax – however, this served to increase labour productivity, and the government of Thatcher managed to encourage growth through finance.

Many woman may have seen Margaret Thatcher an inspiration to women across the country, and to this day women are on the highest levels of pay due to Thatcher’s policies and movement. Thatcher’s desire to limit the role of the trade unions in politics resulted in the miner industrial action of 1984.

Arthur Scargrill’s yearlong industrial action saw two thirds of miners drop their tools under the National Union of Mineworkers. Thatcher’s back up of fuel stocks and determination to be far from affected by the miners who brought down the Heath government powered through, as the leadership culminated without a deal.

There are schools of thought that say Thatcher ‘managed to affect the power of trade unions for almost a generation’; yet the miner strike was to have domino effects.The role she played regarding mines resulted in thousands of people becoming jobseekers.

A significant turn of events in the rule of Thatcher was the reclaiming of the Falkland’s in June 1982. Presenting herself a strong leader of war, the ‘Falkland’s factor’ contributed to the third re-election of Thatcher. The inspiring forte of Thatcher was evident 1984 when she gave a speech at a Brighton hotel, the same morning that the IRA had almost caused her passing.

‘Margaret Thatcher the Milk Snatcher’ resigned in November 1990, however had a strong influence on Prime Ministers Tony Blair, David Cameron and Jon Major. Thatcher re-established Britain as a world power, and was given acclaim to the finality of the Soviet Union due to close ties with Ronald Reagan.

Described by Barack Obama as ‘one of the great champions of freedom and liberty’, Thatcher’s eleven years and 209 days as Prime Minister may be reflected upon to be a period of heavy and radical political change that sought to improve the welfare of the nation.

How might Thatcher’s bold legacy motivate others in this day and age? 

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