The Iron Lady has left us. While I can’t say I agreed with every policy Margaret Thatcher promoted, I did so love her style. And I don’t mean fashion.
She took center stage in a man’s world when I was a child. She did it with grace, femininity and rock-solid power. She was, from what I could tell by the people around me, judged for her work and not her gender. That’s nearly impossible even now. I salute her.
She was also a quote machine. I’ve assembled a few of my favorites. Rest in peace, Prime Minister. May more young girls speak their minds because of your example.
Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.
I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.
I’ve got a woman’s ability to stick to a job and get on with it when everyone else walks off and leaves it.
Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.
Update: I grew up in the American South. My view of Prime Minister Thatcher was obviously shaped by that. I came across this piece by Russell Brand, who grew up in England under Maggie, as she is sort of affectionately known there. His view of her is much different and considerably darker.
I think he makes some really interesting points, though, particularly about the now famous quote, “There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families.”
Interestingly, one mate of mine, a proper leftie, in his heyday all Red Wedge and right-on punch-ups, was melancholy. “I thought I’d be overjoyed, but really it’s just … another one bites the dust …” This demonstrates, I suppose, that if you opposed Thatcher’s ideas it was likely because of their lack of compassion, which is really just a word for love. If love is something you cherish, it is hard to glean much joy from death, even in one’s enemies. …
The blunt, pathetic reality today is that a little old lady has died, who in the winter of her life had to water roses alone under police supervision. If you behave like there’s no such thing as society, in the end there isn’t.
Legacy is a difficult thing to get your hands around. I suppose hers will be no different.