90 years ago, the grocer’s wife gave birth to Margaret Hilda. Alfred and Beatrice, her parents, fed her on the food that was nearing the end of what would become known as its ‘sell by date’. She thrived.
There was no garden, fresh air was acquired by helping to deliver food to neighbours. Traffic thundered past the front door on busy North Parade – the traffic fumes mercifully failed to give young Margaret Autism or ADHD as it is said to have so afflicted many others.
At the tender age of 9 years old, she was folding election campaign material for the incumbent ‘Tory VIP’ Sir Victor Warrender in smoky back rooms, and emerged with nothing worse than a taste for politics.
Educated by the state, she gained a place at Somerville College, Oxford in defiance of the later ‘rule’ that you must pass a law to ensure that Oxford university admits children not educated at Eton. There she concentrated on gaining a degree in Chemistry, never feeling it necessary to carry a mattress around with her all day to prove how beastly the Oxford men were.
36 years ago today, May 4th 1979, that baby girl became Prime Minister of Britain – the first woman to do so.
Today, all these years later, we are apparently engaged in a fight to the death for ‘equality for women’, and an end to ‘establishment power’ which allegedly stops people like Russell Brand becoming Prime Minister.
Half the country eats courtesy of food banks according to activists – who never quite explain what they do with their welfare payments now that they don’t have to buy food any longer, nor why the Mumsnet tribe are only donating food which makes the poor – fat.
The other half of the country, according to another tribe of activists, is busy ministering to the needs of every ‘child’ who came of age just as Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister. Those of them who weren’t murdered by a Minister of State are only now finding the courage to come forward to accuse other MPs of heinous crimes against their young bodies.
How on earth did one woman manage to dodge murderous MPs, an establishment that intimidated and silenced women everywhere, wolf whistling builders destroying her self confidence, a party leader who allegedly threw anyone inconvenient off his yacht, and a social system which left those forced to eat food that the grocer couldn’t sell so fat that they needed to be fitted with wheels, or taken out for the day via a crane…?
Incredible, but true – Margaret Thatcher did. I salute her. I would vote for any party that elected her as its leader. Even Labour.
That the Queen had come to the Throne in 1953 convinced many women that they could indeed do anything – but that was an accident of birth. There were other women such a Rose Heilbron, (a humble Scouse, there’s a surprise) one of the first women to gain a double first in Law, the first to be appointed King’s Counsel, one of the first to be appointed as a High Court Judge, who had hauled herself up from humble beginnings. Betty Boothroyd was a mill workers daughter, who supported herself high kicking with the Tiller Girls of all things. She entered parliament in 1973 and retired as the highly respected Speaker.
None of these women ‘benefitted’ from the feminist movement. Margaret Thatcher was a real feminist. Not for what she said but for what she did. It wasn’t just the so called gender ‘glass’ ceiling that she broke – but a ‘class’ ceiling.
Today’s young women speak combative rhetoric about equal rights, empowerment, and sexist slights, not to mention the currently fashionable ‘intersectional’ oppression and domination of them by those ‘foul’ men; TV repeats endless advertisements for ‘sponsor a girl’ – to save them from a life that ‘will be horrible’…1 in 3 girls will be ‘forced into an underage marriage’…read the small print on their web site, and you will find that their definition of an under age marriage is:
Child marriage involves either one or both spouses being children and may take place under civil, religious or customary laws with or without formal registration. A child is usually someone under 18.
In a 2011 Reuters/Ipsos MORI poll about prime ministers of the last 30 years, we rated Tony Blair significantly higher in ‘likability’ than Margaret Thatcher. But in the same poll, she topped the charts in ‘capability.’ She wasn’t worried about being ‘liked’ – she wanted to get the job done.
Morally, socially, the UK is in a terrible mess right now; getting the job done, thinking the unthinkable, is what is desperately needed, regardless of which political persuasion achieves it.
The Centre for Policy Studies was established by Margaret Thatcher in 1974 to ‘think the unthinkable’. 40 years ago. I turned to them for some background material on this anniversary on her becoming Prime Minister. It didn’t take long for them to forget:
No search results for Thatcher!
Margaret Thatcher wasn’t afraid of having strong opinions and fighting for them – which of the current crop of Pigmies will you be voting for?
It’s still Nigel Farage for me. Not especially for his policies; having lived in Europe for the past seven years, I am aware of several advantages of belonging to the European Union that the British media never mention. I am also aware that Britain has much to learn from the continent – how to run a National Health Service standing head and shoulders above the rest of them, closely followed by how to run a train service…
However, Farage is the only one of the party leaders that gives any indication that he has an internal moral compass; that he’s not driven by a desire to be ‘liked’, but a desire to get the job done.
He also gives every indication of being prepared to stick two fingers up to the hysterical feminist activists that Cameron and Miliband appear terrified of. We don’t need a Prime Minister terrified of a bunch of Doc Marten booted activists.