Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Many happy returns

Today is the 80th birthday of Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven.

Margaret Thatcher, Maggie Thatcher, Lady T, or even M******t T*****r, is probably one of the most famous people in the United Kingdom today.

I will not spend any time discussing Lady Thatcher's record as Prime Minister. Everyone has heard of her, and everyone has an opinion about her. All I will say is that she made an invaluable contribution to the economic landscape of the United Kingdom. She quite correctly grasped that the role of the State was that of an enabler. She believed that the State should provide enough to inspire its citizens to achievement, but not spoonfeed, harass or nanny. It has been stated before that her one failing was that she did not realise that in every society, there are people who need more than 'inspiration'. As a result, in many cases, the State kicked away the crutches without stopping to check that the poor citizen was able to raise himself up by other means.

Nevertheless, history will be kind to Margaret Thatcher. We are already getting indications of this by the fulsome tributes being paid to her by people from all parts of the political world. Even her one-time foe, Tam Dalyell, who attacked her for lying during the Falklands war, has stated that her untruths are as nothing compared to Tony Blair's statements over Iraq. That surely is praise of a kind.

Margaret Thatcher's legacy lives on. It is no secret that Tony Blair has picked the more successful parts of Thatcherism and used them to his advantage. As Charles Moore (Daily Telegraph, 8 October 2005) infers, it is a pity that the Conservative Party appears unable to do the same.

As 'Thatcher Thatcher the milk snatcher' enters her ninth decade, we wish her all the best for the future. She is having a birthday party which will be attended by the Queen, Prince Philip, the Prime Minister and the outgoing Leader of the Opposition. This is as it should be. Have fun over the canapes, dear Maggie, and stay well away from that oily showman Blair.
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