I cannot say I knew her — I was 19 when she ceased to be Prime Minister — but I grew up with the transformation she delivered in our country and across the world. It was only after a year in Parliament that I began to realise against what odds and opposition she had suceeded. I was grateful to meet her once after my election.
The Economist has published an obituary, The lady who changed the world:
ONLY a handful of peace-time politicians can claim to have changed the world. Margaret Thatcher, who died this morning, was one. She transformed not just her own Conservative Party, but the whole of British politics. Her enthusiasm for privatisation launched a global revolution and her willingness to stand up to tyranny helped to bring an end to the Soviet Union. Winston Churchill won a war, but he never created an “ism”.
I recommend the entire article, which concludes, “What the world needs now is more Thatcherism, not less.” No doubt that is correct although today our problems are more subtle. When the state owned so much of the means of the production, the way forward could at least be clearly understood, even as it was contested.
And it is that contest for which Margaret Thatcher should be remembered. She demonstrated a superhuman degree of resilience, tenacity and courage, not least because she was our first female Prime Minister in an earlier and less condusive age.
I do not doubt we have lost our greatest peacetime leader.