Sunday, May 03, 2009

Trying to Defend Mrs. Thatcher

Iain Dale and George Galloway MP had a dust up last night on the Radio about "defending Mrs. Thatcher. See here. The occasion is the 30th anniversary of the 1979 election that brought her to power.

I hated Mrs. Thatcher. After voting Tory in 1979 because of abortion (which I still abhor) I never have again.

But for the sake of argument lets see how I would defend her:

1. She broke a log jam in British society in which all sides had come to agree to muddle along. although Michael Foot and co are attacked now, Thatcherism allowed a clarification of political points of view and some new ideas to emerge.

2. She was no feminist, but (like Obama for African Americans) she did remove all excuses for (if not the actuality of) glass ceilings against women in business and government.

3. Britain is a medium sized country which punches higher than its size in world culture, military power, and economic status. She got rid of the post-imperial cringe.

4. She tied us more firmly into Europe at a time when Labour was committed to withdrawal. The EU has been the most successful force for peace since the Pax Romana, and she helped it.

5. She and her government responded much better to AIDS than the "moral" Reaganites or the "no identity politics" Mitterandists.

That's the best I can do.

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