Margaret Thatcher the Iron Lady

Carol Roach By Carol Roach, 9th Sep 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

We visited the Queens of England and now we will turn to the only female Prime Minister in the history if British parliament. Canada, and therefore Montreal, share the same in that we have only had one female.

The Iron Lady

Margaret Thatcher Strong and powerful Icon for the Status of Women in Britain, USA, Canada, and Montreal, though her policies were not necessarily pro feminist.

Margaret Thatcher: The Iron Lady

Leader of the Opposition Party and free-market values

It was at this time that Maggie Thatcher frequented lunches at the Institute of Economic Affairs, a free-market think tank. It was founded by poultry giant, Antony Fisher who was a disciple of Friedrich von Hayek, the philosopher and economist, known for his defense of classical liberalism and free-market capitalism. Margaret met Ralph Harris at these luncheons and he had a big effect on her economic stance for her country; albeit one that was not all that popular with British constituents.

Her line of thinking opposed the “welfare state” that protected citizens and promoted their well-being. Her approach was the Keynesian economics approach. This approach disregards the private sector's ability to make rationale economic trends and puts power into the hands of government to regulate the economy including the goings-on of the Central bank and all monetary policy. Margaret Thatcher's stance was to lessen government control, lower taxes, and provide more economic freedom.

Note: Readers may agree or disagree, this article is simply pointing out her economic stance.

Labour isn't working

To further show her dislike for communism and socialism for that matter, on January 19, 1976, Margaret Thatcher made a speech against the Soviet Union.

“The Russians are bent on world dominance, and they are rapidly acquiring the means to become the most powerful imperial nation the world has seen. The men in the Soviet Politburo do not have to worry about the ebb and flow of public opinion. They put guns before butter, while we put just about everything before guns.”

Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star), the Soviet Union Newspaper nicknamed her the “Iron Lady” Thatcher actually loved it. The Iron Lady became part of her governing style.

The economic recovery of the 1970’s, did the Labour party well for awhile, but then they began to lose favour especially during the series of trade union strikes during 1978–79. Workers were demanding wage increases and the Labour Party under James Callaghan had imposed a wage freeze on the public sector to counteract inflation.

It was hoped that the private sector would follow suit. Instead there was wide discontent in both sectors of the economy. The Media dubbed this year the "Winter of Discontent" and the strikes paved the way for the fall of the Callaghan government. The conservative Party attacked the Labour party’s unemployment record, with the clever slogan, “Labour isn’t working.” The Callaghan government lost in a no confidence vote in the general election.

Relationship with the Queen

Margaret Thatcher's Taxation, Economic, Domestic Affairs and Social Policies

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

The fall of the Labour party brought Margaret Thatcher to power as the first female prime minister in British history on May 4, 1979. Her first speech conducted at 10 Downing Street was paraphrased from the famous Prayer of Saint Frances, where basically she said she would bring harmony, truth, faith, and hope. In hindsight many British citizens felt her words were just rhetoric.

Margaret Thatcher and Domestic Affairs

There was much racial tension in Britain at the time Thatcher took power. It was also at the time of the Asian boat people crisis where thousands of refugees fled their home after the fall of Saigon; to find refuge in Western countries, including Canada.

Publicly Thatcher showed sympathy for the Asian refugees, but privately she was concerned about the mass immigration. This stance was taken to mean that she sided with the notorious National Front, a racist “all white” political party.

Relationship with the Queen

The media was not kind to Thatcher and the Sunday Times reported in 1986, that Queen Elizabeth and Margaret Thatcher were at odds over domestic and international concerns. Buckingham Palace and Thatcher’s office denied these rumours, but the impression stayed in the minds of many Brits. After her resignation Thatcher tried to put the rumours to rest and said, “I always found the Queen’s attitude towards the work of the Government absolutely correct."

Previous link
Margaret Thatcher': First Female Prime Minister

All photos taken from the public domain

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10 Downing Street, Asian Boat People Crisis, British Parliament, Economics, Female Prime Minsters, Keynesian Economics, Labour Party, Margaret Thatcher, National Front, Prime Minister Of England, Saigon, The Fall Of Saigon, The Iron Lady, Welfare State

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
9th Sep 2015 (#)

Carol, thanks for sharing this article. I never studied much about Margaret Thatcher so thanks for sharing so many details about her. When I read how she felt about the Asian population looking for a new home, after what they had been through I thought she could be a little more sympathetic to their sufferings.

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author avatar Retired
10th Sep 2015 (#)

Her "may we bring hope" speech was soon proved to be what you say - empty rhetoric. Many people suffered greatly under her leadership.

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