Margaret Thatcher and The Iron lady

Invited by Shane Frith of New Direction a centre-right, free market think tank based in Brussels on Thursday September 30th 2010 is the day I met The Rt Hon. The Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, FRS, albeit briefly. We shook hands and I said it was an honour to meet you, and what an inspiration you are today. She nodded and thanked me as 50 other adoring Thatcherites engulfed her in equal adulation.  Dressed in formal black, slightly stooping, she looked frail, supported by two people on either side. Her Personal Assistant Cynthia Crawford who has worked with her since 1978 was there too.  Nancy Reagan,  Ronald Reagan’s wife sent us a message of encouragement to complete a wonderful evening. I also was able to have a chat with MEP Dan Hannan.

The film itself is hugely entertaining and Meryl Streep is quite brilliant. Her accent and voice are spot on and the acting in a different league. The supporting cast are quite outstanding too and did not need them named to know which politician they were portraying. I am sure an Oscar or two will awarded.

The narrative is in flashback which to my mind means it concentrates too much on her dementia and frailty. Whether her visions of Denis Thatcher imply madness or her complete devotion to him is a matter of conjecture.

What comes across is the cowardice of the Conservative government in the 1970s. Even when the trade unions try to incite the army to mutiny Ted Heath does nothing.  Her battle against such weak and ineffectual colleagues and to turn around the “sick man of Europe” is not entirely obvious but again implied. The violent scenes of the miner’s strike also suggests the left’s tag of divisiveness to society. Although my opinion is that those who choose to be divided can feel divided. Michael Heseltine confirms what a charlatan he has always been.

A great movie, great acting that I thought was reasonably balanced. It is a shame that no current politician approaches her.

As I popped out for a smoke Lady Thatcher was leaving she glanced across at me as I waved. Denis was a lifelong smoker.

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8 Responses to Margaret Thatcher and The Iron lady

  1. JJ says:

    As some wag once said: “She’s the best man in the cabinet”. How right he was. She was a conviction politician and not a concensus one…in other words, she had strength where others had none.

  2. Rose says:

    The only prime minister whose thinking always made complete sense to me, how I wish that we had someone like her now to set our country back to rights.

    For example,I can’t imagine her allowing the elderly and infirm to be made to stand outside to smoke for a second, unlike our current PM who doesn’t seem to have noticed.
    I thought that such a vile and demeaning practice would have been put a stop to within the week, when a Conservative goverment was elected again.

    • nisakiman says:

      “For example,I can’t imagine her allowing the elderly and infirm to be made to stand outside to smoke for a second, unlike our current PM who doesn’t seem to have noticed.”

      During her tenure, she relied heavily on the support and advice of her husband, He was not only an intelligent and successful businessman, but also a warm and humorous human being. Even had Mrs T not noticed, Denis would have done, and most certainly have brought it to her attention.

      The politicians we are saddled with today are intellectual pygmies by comparison. They care not one whit about the people they govern, only about how the next soundbite or photo-op will advance their progress up the greasy pole.

  3. Parmenion says:

    My home city of Sunderland was once the biggest shipbuilding town in the world. Now the banks of the River Wear stand empty and silent. This is Thatchers true legacy as far as I’m concerned, as the evil woman who brought despair and hardship to thousands by closing down the yards.

  4. Dont know if any of you guys are like me, actually remember her first hand, i was a coal miner in the strikes in south Yorkshire and we used to burn effigies of her on the picket line. she was (and looks like still is), the most hated person since Hitler. Amazing to see the comments here, never realized she still provoked such hatred still, thought it was just me 🙂 the movie itself is another good show by streep, but i cant see this being a hit because of the hatred most people feel for thatcher..

    • Frank J says:

      “because of the hatred most people feel for thatcher.”

      Bit of an assumption for somebody who won 3 General Elections. Maybe the case in your area and it’s like elsewhere but you are obviously in the minority.

  5. Tony Hand says:

    “Bit of an assumption for somebody who won 3 General Elections. Maybe the case in your area and it’s like elsewhere but you are obviously in the minority.”

    Do you think the same of Blair…..3 election wins an’ all.

  6. Rose says:

    How Labour used its election troops to fake popular support

    “Documentary shows activists writing letters to newspapers and posing as ‘local people’ to greet Blair on campaign trail.
    n America, they call it ‘astroturfing’: the faking of grassroots support for a politician or a product whose popularity is on the slide.
    Now it emerges that a tactic invented by US pharmaceutical firms to promote drugs – and promptly adopted by the Republicans to shore up George Bush after 9/11 – was imported to Britain to help get Tony Blair re-elected.”

    “A documentary to be screened on Channel 4 tomorrow, filmed by an undercover journalist who got a job in Labour’s war room, reveals how party members and supporters were systematically used to create the impression of ‘real people’ passionately backing the government.

    Model letters were drafted for them to ‘write’ to local papers, as if they had been spontaneously roused to complain about Michael Howard’s tactics – while party staff were drafted in to represent ‘local people’ whom Tony Blair could meet on campaign visits.

    ‘Spontaneous’ demonstrations against rival politicians were also organised, with activists instructed to use handwritten homemade-looking placards.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2005/may/22/uk.election2005

    Quite an eyeopener when I found it, at that time I was trying to find out who the abusive “non-smokers” were who appeared on message boards shortly before the ban.
    After I’d got over the shock of such virulent abuse being allowed on newspapers, I noticed that they all seem to change catchphrase around the same time every week.

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