Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The Passing of Margaret Thatcher

The press today is full of accounts of, and tributes to, the woman labelled the 'Iron Lady' by the Soviet Union. In my view, Margaret Thatcher was our greatest post-war leader. She rescued the UK economy from debilitating socialism, defended British democracy from a despotic military junta, and helped win the Cold War.

Since I learnt that she had passed away, one thought has stubbornly stuck in my mind. It is the words from Anthony and Cleopatra, when Caesar learns Anthony is dead: 'The breaking of so great a thing should make a greater crack'.

For all her critics, Britain was truly blessed to have Margaret Thatcher at that time in our history. Harvard historian Niall Ferguson's article for the FT today sums it up well: 'Right about nearly everything'. His article is well worth a read here.

Of course, she was known for her steely resolve. But, she was also kind and thoughtful to the end. Before the 2010 election, she made time to get to know the aspiring new MPs at a get together in London and wrote to many of us personally before and after the election. I will treasure both the letters I received, and she will remain an inspiration as we tackle the challenges Britain faces today.

My thoughts are with Baroness Thatcher's family. May she rest in peace.

Update: I spoke in the Parliamentary debate, paying tribute to Margaret Thatcher, on Wednesday. We only had a very limited time to speak because of the overwhelming demand, but you can read my speech here.


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