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Margaret Thatcher dies aged 87

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/apr/08/margaret-thatcher-dies-aged-87

 

Margaret Thatcher, the most dominant British prime minister since Winston Churchill in 1940 and a global champion of the late 20th century free market economic revival, has died.

 

Her spokesman, Lord Bell, said on Monday: "It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother

 

Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning.

"A further statement will be made later."

 

David Cameron said: "It was with great sadness that l learned of Lady Thatcher's death. We've lost a great leader, a great prime minister and a great Briton."

 

Buckingham Palace said the Queen was sad to hear the news and that she would be sending a private message of sympathy to the family.

 

The first woman elected to lead a major western state, Lady Thatcher, as she became after the longest premiership since 1827, served 11 unbroken years at No 10. She was only overthrown by an internal Tory party coup in 1990 after her reckless promotion of the poll tax led to rioting in Trafalgar Square.

 

Thatcher who was 87, had been in declining health for some years, suffering from dementia. The death of Sir Denis Thatcher, her husband of 50 years and closest confidante, intensified her isolation in what had proved a frustrating retirement, despite energetic worldwide activity in the early years.

 

After a series of mini-strokes in 2002 Thatcher withdrew from public life, no longer able to make the kind of waspish pronouncements that had been her forte in office – and beyond.

 

The "Iron Lady" proved a significant cold war ally of US president Ronald Reagan in the final showdown with the Soviet Union, which broke up under reformist pressures led by Mikhail Gorbachev, a Kremlin leader with whom Thatcher famously declared she could "do business".

 

As a result, many ordinary voters in ex-Soviet bloc states saw her as a bold champion of their liberty, a view widely shared across the spectrum of mainstream US opinion – though not at home or among key EU partners.

 

Thatcher was an unremarkable mid-ranking Conservative politician – known chiefly for being a "milk-snatching" education secretary under Edward Heath (1970-74) – until she unexpectedly overthrew her twice-defeated boss to become party leader in 1975.

 

Within a decade Thatcher had become known around the world – both admired and detested – for her pro-market domestic reforms and her implacable attitudes in foreign policy, including her long-running battle with the IRA, which almost managed to murder her when it placed a bomb in the Grand Hotel, Brighton in 1984.

 

At home the emerging doctrine of Thatcherism meant denationalisation of state-owned industry – the new word "privatisation" came into widespread use in many countries – and defeat of militant trade unionists, notably the National Union of Miners (NUM), whose year-long strike (1984-85) was bitter and traumatic.

 

Boosted by the newly arrived revenues from Britain's North Sea oil fields, Thatcher had room to manoeuvre and reform the ageing industrial economy in ways denied to postwar predecessors, and she used the opportunity to quell her enemies – including moderate "wets" in her own party and cabinet.

 

But she also deployed her notorious "handbaggings" in the European Union to obtain a British rebate – "my money," as she called it. She was less successful in fending off the centralising ambitions of the "Belgian empire", her description of the European commission, especially in the years when it was headed by the French socialist Jacques Delors.

 

A further sign of her losing her grip came when Thatcher, long a sympathiser with the apartheid regime in South Africa against the liberation movement, dismissed Nelson Mandela as a terrorist.

 

Her allies in the tabloid press, notably Rupert Murdoch's Sun, egged her on. And, as the British economy recovered from the severe recession that her monetarist medicine had inflicted on it – to tame the unions and cure inflation – she briefly seemed invincible.

 

But untrammelled power, the defeat or retirement of allies who had kept her in check, led to mistakes and growing unpopularity. When Sir Geoffrey Howe, nominally her deputy, finally fell out with Thatcher – chiefly over Europe – his devastating resignation speech triggered Michael Heseltine's leadership challenge.

 

It had been expected since he resigned as defence secretary over the Westland helicopter affair in 1986, Thatcher's closest previous brush with political death.

 

Heseltine denied her outright victory in the first round of voting – then confined only to MPs – and she made way for John Major rather than risk losing to him in the second ballot.

 

In retirement she wrote highly successful memoirs in two volumes and campaigned energetically on behalf of the Thatcher Foundation, which sought to promote her values – free markets and Anglo-Saxon liberties – around the world. Speaking engagements made her moderately wealthy and she made her final home in London's Belgravia.

 

RIP, the end of an era.

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RIP. A powerful woman who changed the face of British politics. Whether you agree with her policies and her person or not, the world has lost an iconic figure.

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Just as Jethraw states, the world has lost an iconic figure. Not that she was that amazing in my eyes.

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Love her or hate her, she was a great woman who overcame such odds with her belief and determination in herself and love for her country. She shaped modern Britain and the world and her will is something to be admired. Rest in peace Iron Lady.

Edited by Phoenix Rider

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Holy shizzle, I've never seen so much hatred for a politician.

 

(talking about the reactions in general, not on Sals)

Edited by theking1322

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Holy shizzle, I've never seen so much hatred for a politician.

 

(talking about the reactions in general, not on Sals)

 

Well she destroyed a lot of Mining/Industrial communities in the north, particularly Liverpool and Yorkshire, so it's hardly surprising. And Scotland still hate her as they were the first to suffer her Poll Tax.

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Holy shizzle, I've never seen so much hatred for a politician.

 

(talking about the reactions in general, not on Sals)

I _did_ strain quite a bit to keep aligned with Thumper's "If you can't say somethin' nice, don't say nothin' at all" wisdom...but yeah, she was that divisive, regardless of where she lay on the political spectrum. Best buddies with Pinochet, considered Mandela a terrorist (and supporting apartheid in the process), more or less ploughing trenches amid British society (...let alone the example she set).

 

Some say that "she opened the door to female politicians in Europe". Well, okay, my neighbour raped a bunch of schoolgirls the other day, but hey, he helped me fix my lawn mower... :rolleyes:

 

http://uk.movies.yahoo.com/%E2%80%98ding-dong--the-witch-is-dead%E2%80%99-charts-after-thatcher-dies-101051208.html << wat

 

Ken Loach's "How should we honour her? Let’s privatise her funeral. Put it out to competitive tender and accept the cheapest bid. It’s what she would have wanted." is possibly the best statement ever, anyway.

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Well she destroyed a lot of Mining/Industrial communities in the north, particularly Liverpool and Yorkshire, so it's hardly surprising. And Scotland still hate her as they were the first to suffer her Poll Tax.

From what I read (and I'm not an expert here), many of the coal mines she shut down were unprofitable and that the alternative, allowing them to remain open, was far worse in the long term. Especially since the miners were constantly on strike.

 

Nevertheless, I think she deserves credit for having fought for what she believed in, no matter how unpopular it was :P

 

Ken Loach's "How should we honour her? Let’s privatise her funeral. Put it out to competitive tender and accept the cheapest bid. It’s what she would have wanted." is possibly the best statement ever, anyway.

 

My favorite one was "Did you hear? Maggie's been in hell for 20 minutes and already she's shut down three furnaces!"

Edited by theking1322

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From what I read (and I'm not an expert here), many of the coal mines she shut down were unprofitable and that the alternative, allowing them to remain open, was far worse in the long term. Especially since the miners were constantly on strike. Nevertheless, I think she deserves credit for having fought for what she believed in, no matter how unpopular it was :P

 

I completely agree, but for people who had worked in those Mines for generation, it's understandable that they can't see past the initial 'wow Thatcher sucks'. I'm no fan of Thatcher, but you have to admire her tenacity, if nothing else.

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I've seen so much hate for her in my town (mining town in the midlands inb4 stalkers).

 

I think this article puts it well

http://m.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/apr/09/margaret-thatcher-policies

When she lost her last election, this was an enormous relief. Remember all those hospitals that she was closing down?

 

At the time I lived in the centre of London, five doors away from one of the main soup kitchens, and quite a few of the homeless people were in that plight because of psychiatric hospital closures. Her breaking of the miners and destroying whole generations of people and their lives and their livelihood surely is something that should never be forgotten lest it happen again. This current Tory government looks set to bring the UK to its knees.

 

Thatcher's legacy of absolute selfishness and greed and her ruthless hunger for power, caused great damage to the collective psyche of Great Britain and set in motion bankers bonuses and home ownership madness.

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Nevertheless, I think she deserves credit for having fought for what she believed in, no matter how unpopular it was :P

Jesus Christ, you're begging for someone to drop an instance of Godwin's Law, aren't you :P

 

Ken Loach's "How should we honour her? Let’s privatise her funeral. Put it out to competitive tender and accept the cheapest bid. It’s what she would have wanted." is possibly the best statement ever, anyway.

 

My favorite one was "Did you hear? Maggie's been in hell for 20 minutes and already she's shut down three furnaces!"

Yep, saw it after I posted. Much lols were had

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Read in the newspaper (so old-fashioned) that there were people who were publicly expressing joy at her death. Isn't that going a liiiitle bit far?

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Read in the newspaper (so old-fashioned) that there were people who were publicly expressing joy at her death. Isn't that going a liiiitle bit far?

The working class resented her, she destroyed their livelihood.

 

But yeah she was still a human, and no death should be celebrated :/

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Read in the newspaper (so old-fashioned) that there were people who were publicly expressing joy at her death. Isn't that going a liiiitle bit far?

The working class resented her, she destroyed their livelihood.

 

But yeah she was still a human, and no death should be celebrated :/

That's precisely what I'm getting at. But I suppose I'm not in any position to judge.

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