Today we pay our last respects to Baroness Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and one of the most important leaders our country has ever had.
As someone who was born in the late 70s and thus grew up in the 80s – I witnessed first-hand the state the country was in due to financial mismanagement by previous administrations and runaway abuse of power by militant unions. I also witnessed the recovery – fuelled by supporting private enterprise, breaking militant unions that were led by people hell-bent on furthering their own ridiculous political aims at the expense of representing workers effectively, and implementing a policy of divesting loss-making state-owned businesses to the private sector where they could sink or swim. It worked, and today businesses like BT, BP, British Gas, National Grid, Pickfords, BAA Airports and more are now thriving, tax-paying organisations where they were once loss-making state industries that were a drain on the Treasury.
My family started the 80s with very little. We ended the decade in a far better place thanks to a better economy, more jobs, better education and a culture of innovation and enterprise. The power stayed on, teachers stopped striking and it no longer tool six months to get a phone installed. That happened because of Margaret Thatcher’s government and the policies it successfully implemented.
When Argentine forces invaded the Falklands, Margaret Thatcher took the decision to send our troops in, insistent that all parts of the United Kingdom warrant defending. The successful defence and reclaiming of the Falklands was perhaps Margaret Thatcher’s finest hour. It certainly was one of the finest of our brave servicemen, many of whom sadly lost their lives successfully defending the citizens of Falklands from foreign occupation.
Everyone is entitled to their own views. For me, Margaret Thatcher represents everything that is good about our nation. She took a country that was floundering and on the brink of economic and social collapse, and implemented her ideology to rebuilt it into a strong enterprising nation where opportunity was available to all if they were prepared to work for it.
We have lost a great Briton today – and we all should mourn that loss, while remembering the great accomplishments made during her time in office.
In peacetime, Margaret Thatcher truly was our greatest leader.