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Preface / Introduction
April 08, 2013 the world lost one of it's most influential and greatest ladies it had ever known. One Margaret H. Thatcher.."The Iron Lady" dead at age 87. One only has to look at where Great Britian was and what she led it to be to understand that she has a well deserved place in the history of the world. In 1970 our Ceo and co-founder Dr. Jeffrey Lant had the honor of meeting Lady Thatcher. The below articles are a tribute. Enjoy! Dale G. Thomson http://www.homebizgroup5000.com
Table of Contents
1. 'How shall we extol thee...?' Thoughts on Margaret Thatcher, dead at 87, April 8, 2013, her irremovable place in History. 2. 'I'm a girl, and by me that's only great'. Of Mrs. Thatcher, the Iron Lady and Max... and me.
Margaret Thatcher..A Tribute
'How shall we extol thee...?' Thoughts on Margaret Thatcher, dead at 87, April 8, 2013, her irremovable place in History.
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant. Author's program note. If you want to know where someone is going, then look at where they have been. We are all the product of our experiences but rarely do these events alter the course of a great nation. However, in the case of' The Right Honourable The Baroness Thatcher LG, OM, PC and FRS they did. We must, therefore, look carefully at the early Thatcher, the strict Non-Conformist tradition into which she was born, her hard-working, God-fearing parents (and particularly her father), how they made their living, how and where she secured her extensive education that moved her out and up, for her personal and professional experiences did not merely influence just herself, but also the lives of all of us. Thus, to a singular degree, to look at her past is to see our present and that makes Margaret Thatcher one of the most important of our leaders and one of the most readily understandable. We always knew where she stood, like it or not. Her clarity of thought and expression became a byword, not least in the corridors of power where such clarity is often the first casualty. But not with Mrs.Thatcher. We understood her because she understood us... and her deep understanding was readily apparent whenever she spoke and whatever she spoke about. Her opponents were stymied on the rock of her unflinching plain spoken common sense. We knew she was right because we knew whereof she spoke. "Her nonsense," they grumbled, "was their nonsense." Of course the liberal elite delighted in such clever put-downs, first because her sureness about what was right and wrong infuriated their relativism, making them appear (what they so often were) weak and ineffectual; second because they both scorned and envied her bond with real people and their everyday concerns. Liberals, you see, too often concentrate on fomenting outrage about the affronting and unconscionable aspects of our human reality when instead they must move beyond mere outrage, should instead be constantly at the task of exploring and implementing practical solutions, one step at a time. Too often they feel that mere outrage is sufficient, thereby putting them on the high road to Heaven. But they forget, if they ever knew at all, it is everyday people who must understand every change, accept every change, and implement every change or there can be no change. Or to put this another way liberals might decry the lack of inside water and toilet facilities, using the most persuasive and eloquent of language to make their case for dignity, sanitation, and health. Such exquisite outrage touches our hearts.... but nothing else. However real people have to fill the heavy pails to the brim and engage in the hard business of carrying them upstairs and down until practical entrepreneurs find a way (with their own time and money, mind) to cut the burden, reduce human work and improve the human condition... and make money where there was no money before. Liberals then peruse the situation, urging that the enterprise, its works and of course its profits be taxed as a matter of "fairness". In due course, Margaret Thatcher became the strongest possible opponent of such cockamamie "fairness". We knew she was right and supported her accordingly. Thus "her sense was our sense". Margaret Thatcher remembered this salient aspect of leadership more often than any of the prime or other cabinet ministers of her era. She was always at her greatest when she not only remembered and represented these "common" people and their pressing concerns, but made sure these people were not excluded from planning and shaping the future in which they must live. Consider this: her maiden speech after she was finally elected to Parliament in 1959 after a typically hard-fought battle http://www.HomeBizGroup5000.com Copyright Dale Thomson - 2013 4 of 12
Margaret Thatcher..A Tribute maiden speech after she was finally elected to Parliament in 1959 after a typically hard-fought battle was in support of her private member's bill (Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960). It required local authorities to hold their council meetings in public. And so she began as she was to go on: the people's friend, and none better. It was the way, the only way, to build a land of hope and glory. It begins... To understand the magnitude of her epochal achievement, you have only to consider the right honourable gentlemen (for they were all men) who were the Conservative Party prime ministers of the realm before she ascended to their ranks and changed the reality of political generations forever: Sir Winston Churchill, grandson of a duke, heir to a gilded place at the acme of the peerage; followed by the Earl of Avon (Anthony Eden); the Earl of Stockton (my distant cousin Harold Macmillan); the Earl of Hume with the consummate noble pedigree, a plethora of titles and the hauteur it takes generations to perfect. Finally, her immediate predecessor, Edward Heath, who, too, was a member of the Establishment. Margaret Thatcher was not... broad acres, liveried servants, a safe seat in the House of Commons, followed by the nirvana of the hereditary House of Lords were as remote from her reality as they were from ours. See for yourself... Born in the village of Grantham, England on October 13, 1925, just a few years after British women gained the suffrage, Margaret Hilda Roberts was the second daughter of Alfred Roberts, a small-time grocer and lay Methodist minister, and Beatrice Roberts, a dressmaker. Throughout her career, Thatcher never tired of reminding the everyday people that she was one of them, growing up "above the shop" in an apartment that lacked indoor plumbing and running water. She thus knew first-hand and over and over again the drudgery of filling, carrying and emptying pails... that was her present, unending reality. She knew it was also ours. She was determined to go beyond it. Her greatness comes from the fact she was determined to help all of us go beyond it, too. Fortunately she started with the best possible help: a strong sense of self and personal responsibility; a father with the strongest possible work ethic, long experience in and love for politics (a town councilor, he later became Grantham's mayor) and (again through her father, a long-time lay Methodist minister) a sense, direct, personal and profound that God was on her side. Perhaps because the tenets of Methodism are not now as widely known as they once were, this essential aspect has gone insufficiently noted, if noted at all. But those who are early imbued with a love of God do not shirk the fight or the terrible odds they might face, for the Lord of Hosts sustains them. And if Margaret Thatcher did not wear her redeemer or her belief on her sleeve, it does not mean the woman did not value what the girl had learned at her father's knee, grateful for it her entire life. One more point: born as she was, a member of the great conscience of Non-Conformity, she understood that she could expect no assistance from the prevailing Establishment, overwhelmingly members of the Church of England. She would have to make her own way .. and so she did, her biography packed with applying for such-and-such a thing, being rejected because she was a woman and, so fortified, applying again... and again until her fortitude, endurance, and commitment wore down the prejudiced so she, the model for the advancement of women, could make another step forward, inspiring and empowering all women, everywhere. It was grueling, often depressing, always demanding... but it was God's work, something that must be done, and wonderful in His eyes. In this way, she harked back to one of the greatest and most significant British statesmen, but it was not a Conservative; rather William Ewart Gladstone, 4 times Liberal Prime Minister between 1868 and 1894, adored by Non-Conformists, including her Liberal father. Thus, with the thickest of irony, the Grand Old Man of British politics saw his mantel of consequence descend to the Grand New Woman. http://www.HomeBizGroup5000.com Copyright Dale Thomson - 2013 5 of 12
Margaret Thatcher..A Tribute consequence descend to the Grand New Woman. Under the circumstances, Mrs. Thatcher in her time became the great polarizing figure that he had been. If the abuse, the censure, the ridicule and cruel commentary bothered her, she took it all in stride, proud of the enemies she made, bidding them to do their worst for she was ready. "In politics if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman." Thus, Prime Ministers came to rely on Mrs. Thatcher. It is a measure of family pride that cousin Harold Macmillan, premier from 1957-1963, first appointed her to office, in 1961, as Parliamentary Undersecretary at the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance. It was the lowest rung on the ladder, but she had achieved it against all odds. But far greater odds with far greater risks and far greater challenges now confronted her. The issue was nothing less than the future of England, of Europe, of what we believed in, how we lived, and every right and freedom we so wrongly took for granted. Her opponents, voluble, numerous, boisterous and condescending, belittled, despised, and excoriated her. Her response? In remarks made at the Conservative Party conference the day she was elected leader in February, 1975 she threw down the gauntlet, "I am not a consensus politician," she said. "I am a conviction politician." She meant every word of it and spent the rest of her long political life showing the world what conviction could deliver. Her achievements were staggering... because she was clear what she wanted... not peace and quiet and hours wasted in persiflage and platitudes... but results, results, results. State-run enterprises like British Airways and Rolls-Royce? Privatize to see immediate improvements. Deregulate to the maximum extent? Absolutely. That's far more productive and efficient. Reduce the power and influence of trade unions? To be sure. Those autocratic dinosaurs were well past their usefulness, every incendiary word testament to just how ineffectual they were. Home and stock ownership? Of course. Citizens should be owners and benefit accordingly. And what should be done to other nations intent on stealing what was left of the empire on which the sun never sets? Strike back, early, resolutely, proudly. And so in 1982 she did the necessary to remove covetous Argentina from the British-controlled Falkland Islands. And so bit by bit Great Britain became great again... and we all were better for it and her many electoral victories which made her the longest serving Prime Minister of modern times. Now Margaret Thatcher is dead. Her journey over. Her place of greatness secure forever However, I can hear her now, reminding us that everything she stood for and achieved can so easily be threatened, diminished, lost if we do not do what is necessary to preserve it. Thus her legacy must be one of unceasing vigilance and prompt action to ensure that we maintain the freedom necessary for the well lived life, the life we are free to live, shape and improve to our heart's content.This she would bluntly say is the only way to make not just England but the entire world mighty, then mightier yet and every land the land of hope and glory. Envoi For the musical accompaniment to this article, I have selected Sir Edward Elgar's well- known 1902 song "Land of Hope and Glory," with its deeply affecting lyrics by A.C. Benson. Go now to any search engine. You will find many fine versions. The best make you feel the mystic bond that unites people with homelands, especially if that land is England, a place inspiring the deepest bonds of loyalty, affection and gratitude. As such I can never hear this composition's words and music http://www.HomeBizGroup5000.com Copyright Dale Thomson - 2013 6 of 12
Margaret Thatcher..A Tribute working so well together without a tear, glad to extol a nation I loved long before I went, just as I admired Margaret Thatcher long before I met her. My fervent wish is that this article is worthy of its subject, the lady who made England mightier yet and will always be an example of what is possible when one is willing to do the necessary work, hard, arduous, daunting though it may be.
Copyright Dale Thomson - 2013
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Margaret Thatcher..A Tribute
'I'm a girl, and by me that's only great'. Of Mrs. Thatcher, the Iron Lady and Max... and me.
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant. Author's program note. This is what she said. This is what the Iron Lady said on January 31, 1976: "Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you tonight in my red chiffon evening gown, my face softly made up, my fair hair gently waved... the Iron Lady of the Western World. Me?" The crowd filled with blue-haired matrons and their all too often overweight swains ate it up... and they went wild as she continued, "A Cold War warrior? Well, yes -- if that is how they wish to interpret my defense of values and freedoms instrumental to our way of life." It was quintessential Margaret Thatcher, sometimes playing the woman card, all frilly in lace, every hair in place; sometimes playing the man card, sterner, more serious, with more brass than a barrel full of generals. That was our Maggie... able to play both sides of the gender issue, doing whatever needed to be done to make her point and drive it home. It was great politics... great theatre... great media. And it infuriated most every (particularly male) politician and not just members of the Labour Party either. Quick, can you say Ted Heath, the Conservative Prime Minister she outsmarted and deposed? Those hapless palookas just couldn't land a punch on her, no matter how scatological, venomous, condescending, vulgar, rude, irritating, exasperating, insolent or insulting they were. She knew the game. She played the game. She loved the game. And more often than not, she won the game. There was no false bologna about how hard the messy business of politics could be. No crocodile tears about the mind-numbing pressure of work. No one knew it better than Mrs. Thatcher. And no one, absolutely no one, loved that boisterous, zany, often ludicrous business better than she did. Yes, she loved it... every maudlin, sanctimonious, self-serving, treacherous, back-stabbing stratagem and maneuver. She was the star... the queen of the May... the once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon we all wanted to see, to touch, to know. French President Francois Mitterrand tried to sum her up this way, "She has the eyes of Caligula and the mouth of Marilyn Monroe." Or as pop star Geri Halliwell put it, "We Spice Girls are true Thatcherites. Thatcher was the first Spice Girl, the pioneer of our ideology -- Girl Power." Under these circumstances, it was the work of a moment to select just the right music for this article. It's "I Enjoy Being a Girl" from the 1961 film "Flower Drum Song." This was the eighth musical by the golden team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein and was based on the 1957 novel,"The Flower Drum Song", by Chinese-American author C.Y. Lee. Go now to any search engine. While there are many fine versions of this tune by many popular singers including Doris Day and Miss Peggy Lee, purist that I am I like the film version best. And don't tell me its lyrics don't apply to Mrs. Thatcher and the great, mesmerizing, unprecedented act she brought first to England, then to the world. She had twice as many cards to play as any other politician... and she played them, whether with a pound and a half of cream upon her face or not, with a radiance and joy that could never be disguised or hidden, no matter how serious the problem or tragic the circumstances. She adored her job and every single aspect... and we all knew it. "When I have a brand new hairdo/ With my eyelashes all in curl/ I float as the clouds on air do/ I enjoy being a girl!" I learn about the lady. http://www.HomeBizGroup5000.com Copyright Dale Thomson - 2013 8 of 12
Margaret Thatcher..A Tribute I can tell you exactly where I was when I first heard of Mrs. Thatcher. It was in the spring of 1968, the tumultuous season when the elite at colleges and universities worldwide stopped going to classes and tried on the bombastic language and misinformation of sidewalk revolutionaries. I was spending that year at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. There to the astonishment of all I became the first American ever elected to the Students Representative Council, as delegate for the Faculty of Arts, by far the largest component of the university. You see, I was a political animal and rapt aficionado, too. Thus with relish and a professional eye I went to the latest demonstration where I heard one of my colleagues from the SRC, dressed in revolutionary chic, denounce everything he had grown up believing in and benefiting from. Whenever his overheated rhetoric flagged, he had Margaret Thatcher to fall back on and the catchy execration, "Thatcher, Thatcher, Milk Snatcher." This referred to an incident from her tenure as Secretary of State for Education and Science in the Edward Heath government elected in 1970. The government wanted to abolish free milk for school children aged seven to eleven. Personally she was opposed to this cut but she was loyal to the administration. As a result she incurred the maximum of odium and a moniker that dogged her for life. Thus she learned that a "friend" (especially one who wants to be Prime Minister) can be far more devastating than an avowed opponent, something she never forgot and came to use with deadly accuracy herself. More accuracy. My next sharp recollection came with the April, 1982 war against the ruling junta in Argentina, determined to regain the British-occupied Falkland Islands. I was in England then and followed the matter closely. This, one sensed, was the "do or die" crisis, not just for her government but for Great Britain itself. Thus when a special news bulletin announced the sinking of the Argentine cruiser ARA General Belgrano I joined the enthusiastic cheers in the parlor of a small hotel. Free drinks and relief were the order of the day. I am proud to tell you my cousin Harold Macmillan had been instrumental in advising her at this critical moment when success and the June 14 Argentine capitulation secured her place in England ... and the world. There was also an unanticipated consequence for me... but not yet. "All good things..." At her acme as the General Belgrano went down with 323 officers and men, over time her enemies -- including an increasing number of Conservatives -- began to snipe, wound, and weaken. By the fall of 1990 they sensed her vulnerability and moved in for the kill. Thatcher sounded pugnacious and promised the fight of her life, but in reality she expected to be re-elected because of who she was, what she had done for party, nation and world. But that never washes. What happened, pure and simple, was that she had lost touch with her base... and that is always fatal, as no one knew better than she did. She withdrew her candidacy... and an era ended in tears, bitterness, recrimination and the grandiloquent and lordly honors which signal you are politically dead and irrelevant. Neil Simmons. Amongst the many honours she received, her statue for the House of Commons by sculptor Neil Simmons was amongst the highest, in both size (eight foot) and significance. As it happened I had the privilege of watching Simmons find the lady (including her celebrated handbag) in the marble. James Lindsay was restoring a number of my Empire clocks; his atelier was next to Simmons. Thus whenever I saw Lindsay, I saw Simmons... and I snapped a number of pictures as the historic work developed. I thought these would make an interesting article one day. I was therefore pleased to receive an invitation to attend a party at London's ancient Guildhall and see the newly minted Baroness Thatcher unveil the work. I had Neil's assurance he would introduce me. And so in May http://www.HomeBizGroup5000.com Copyright Dale Thomson - 2013 9 of 12
Margaret Thatcher..A Tribute 2002 I got on a plane in Boston flying to an encounter which I thought would be just a minute or two. And that would have been enough... "I believe you know my cousin." Lady Thatcher, as she then was, was famous for being on time, and that day was no different. As the Guildhall clock struck the hour, her foot trod the last stair leading to the party. She was the very definition of exactitude As always, she was meticulously dressed, nothing out of place, a smile for the gentleman greeting her and a quick, strong hand shake. I never took my eyes off her. She then commenced to do the "circle", systematically speaking to each guest, many of whom were MPs past and present; the people who had made her, including some whose support had wavered at the end and now wished for absolution and the kiss of peace. In short order she came to me where a small purple rabbit was clearly visible in the pocket of my sports coat. This was Maximiliano von Rabbit, the most charming icebreaker on Earth. He had arrived in my attache case. The folks from MI5 who ran the case through the metal detector saw him, said nothing, but glanced at each other in a pronounced way which could not be mistaken. "Who's your little friend?", she asked and, moving right into the appropriate mode, stretched out her hand and shook his paw. "Lady Thatcher," I said, "This is Max", and right off I knew that, as far as Max and I were concerned, the Iron Lady I expected was not present. And it got even better when I said, "I believe you know my cousin." "Who's that" she replied in her unmistakable sonority which she had once taken speech lessons to perfect. "Harold Macmillan." At that she drew herself up to her full 5 foot 5 and a half inch height, as if an electric current had run up her backbone, saying "He gave me my first ministry." At that she decided to stay awhile and get better acquainted, never forgetting Max for he is very sensitive on such matters, as she of course at once discerned. And so the meeting I expected, Iron Lady and Dr. Lant, was superceded by something far better, warm, amiable. My admiration had brought me these thousands of miles; her charm and friendliness to both of us ensured this encounter would be one of life's significant moments. However, there were many others to greet and already there was a whiff of resentment that the only Yank at the event should be singled out, so well treated and incredibly that "Maggie" had unaccountably shaken Max's paw, her references to him not merely polite, but kind. Before she left, I gave her a packet of the photos I had taken in Simmons' studio as his work progressed and a note requesting she autograph one for me. She then pulled me into a hug, so that her head was on my shoulder, kissing my cheek twice, with one more for Max. The scene was clearly seen by all... resented by some; wondered at by the rest. I came to extol a legend and found instead a woman who having given so much to so many now needed something back for herself, a hug from one friend to another, giving reassurance, asking for nothing. Envoi. One of the regrets of my life is that I don't have a picture of Lady Thatcher with Max and me. I took lots of pictures of her ladyship alone but that is not the picture I want now. And the sad thing is, I had another chance to get one because having finished greeting her guests, unveiling the statue and making a few apt remarks, she returned to us for some more congenial conversation and, yes, another kiss and hug. As for the statue itself, its unveiling the reason for the event, on July 3, 2002 a man named Paull Kelleher decapitated it by using a metal rope support stanchion. He then waited to be arrested by the police. Whilst the damage was fixed, the ill-starred statue was placed elsewhere. A new design was then commissioned in 2003 from Anthony Dufort. It was unveiled on 21 February 2007 by the http://www.HomeBizGroup5000.com Copyright Dale Thomson - 2013 10 of 12
Margaret Thatcher..A Tribute Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon. Michael Martin MP. Thus abides the Iron Lady cast in bronze for the ages, looking all brisk and business in a characteristic pose from her first ministry. But that is not how Max and I saw her.
Copyright Dale Thomson - 2013
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Margaret Thatcher..A Tribute
About the Author: Dr. Jeffrey Lant is the author of 15 books, several ebooks and over one thousand articles. Republished with author's permission by Dale Thomson http://HomeBizGroup5000.com.
Copyright Dale Thomson - 2013
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