Baby-boomers worldwide will never forget the unflinching fortitude and sheer determination that were the foundation of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s transformation of Britain and, indeed, the entire world. She defied the odds and ascended to the leadership of the Conservative Party onward to the PM’s residence.
Granted a majority by a populace languishing in economic malaise struggling with unsustainable, public sector union and social infrastructure expenditures, she rose to the occasion as only she could. It was her imposing presence that bridged the relationship between Reagan and Gorbachev, which was crucial in the achievement of the INF Treaty. I always enjoyed Thatcher, Reagan, and Gorbachev on the satirical British puppet series Spitting Image that humorously depicted world leaders.
On a personal note, I couldn’t help shed a tear watching the outstanding Academy Award winning performance by Meryl Streep portraying Margaret Thatcher, enlightening viewers of the obstacles she overcame and the barriers she shattered in an era when Hollywood’s All in the Family depicted a woman’s place as being in the kitchen, a belief Thatcher most certainly changed.
David C. Searle,
Natwar Singh’s write-up “Thatcher, Chandraswami and I” (April 9) made interesting reading. There is no dearth of Indian tantrics and clairvoyants across the globe. It is amusing to note how Margaret Thatcher, Leader of the Opposition, ‘obeyed’ Chandraswami’s words in letter and in spirit.
Her reaction when Mr. Singh broached the subject after she became Prime Minister shows she wanted to appear to the outside world not as a commoner but as an “Iron Lady.” Pretensions, actions, avatars and attires of people change depending on the situation. That is human nature. A discerning eye will not find any uncommon person in the world.
Margaret Thatcher was a student of Oxford University. It is a tradition in the university to confer an honorary doctorate on a former student becoming the head of government. But the proposal to confer Margaret Thatcher with a doctorate was rejected by the university because the academics were angry over the government’s cuts in education funding. Thatcher bore the rejection with aplomb, with her spokesperson saying if “they do not wish to confer the honour, the Prime Minister is the last person to wish to receive it.”