Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Remarkable Women Profile #1--The Iron Lady--Margaret Thatcher!

Photo Credit: Mike's America
The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.~Margaret Thatcher
I am doing research on some of my favorite women for a class that I will be teaching. I hope to do a profile on each woman.

I started with Sarah Palin and then went to Margaret Thatcher. I will go back to Palin and get a profile done on her, but right now I've immersed myself in all things Thatcher and wanted to do a post. I gave a speech to a Republican Women's club on Monday night, and talked a lot about Thatcher, so its all fresh in my mind.

Ecclesiastes 1 says there is nothing new under the sun. I found that to be so true as I studied Thatcher's life. She was fighting an identical battle in the 70's and 80's that we are fighting today. When she was elected leader of the Conservative Party in 1975, she had this to say:
Now, what is the challenge of our time? I believe...to overcome the country's economic and financial problems and to regain our confidence in Britain and ourselves.
How did Thatcher think Britain could accomplish this? She said, "they must abandon socialism."When she was elected Prime Minister in 1979, she saw it as her role to:
...rescue Great Britain from its 25 year slide toward socialism.
During that election campaign, Thatcher ran on three issues:
1) Taking some of the power away from the Unions 2) Tax Cuts 3) Economic Freedom
What did the liberal from the Labor Party run on?
1) Saying they had created and protected 1.2 million jobs (this sounds familiar, despite the bad economy at the time) 2) A wealth tax for the rich 3) Cutting Defense Spending
It sounds like it is right out of today's newspaper. At that time, Britain responded to Thatcher and rejected socialism.
If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.~Margaret Thatcher

Thatcher Basics:
~~She was born Margaret Roberts on October 13, 1925
~~She grew up in Grantham, above her father's grocery
~~Her family was a very, strict Methodist family
~~By her teens, she said politics was in her bloodstream
~~She was one of the few students that went to Oxford because of her intellect and not because of her wealth
~~She married Denis Thatcher on December 13, 1951
~~She passed her bar exam only 4 months after having her twins (Mark & Carol)
~~She became a member of Parliament on October 20, 1959, exactly a week after her 34th birthday
~~The Soviet Union meant the nickname, "Iron Lady" as an insult, but Thatcher took it proudly
~~She was the first and only woman to become Prime Minister of Great Britain at the age of 53 (so far)
~~She was the first woman ever to head the government of a major country in Europe or America
~~She chose her 22 member cabinet in 2 days
~~She got 4-5 hours of sleep a night
~~She won re-election in 1983 by a landslide, 144 seats, the largest margin since 1945
~~In 1984, she escaped a bomb attack meant for her by the IRA


Quotes:
She became an international heroine of the right.~~Anthony Sampson, British commentator
I am not a consensus politician. I am a conviction politician...~~Margaret Thatcher
Friend and foe alike could only watch in fascination, however, as Margaret Thatcher dominated the life of the country and occupied the center of the political arena as no prime minister had done since the wartime days of Winston Churchill.~~Bernard Garfinkel
It was a swift and daring move that reinforced her image of toughness, as well as her total commitment to her policies.~~Garfinkel (talking about her decision to fire moderates from her cabinet in 1981)
Sources:
~~Margaret Thatcher Website
~~The Downing Street Years
~~Madam Prime Minister
~~Thatcher

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