Monday, April 08, 2013

Margaret Thatcher

I thought I would interrupt briefly Venezuelan election coverage to mention that I admired Margaret Thatcher very much because she was a principled politician, one that was not afraid to take hits for what she believed in. She also knew when to step aside when the time came.

Very few countries are lucky enough to have at least one principled politician of the caliber of Margaret Thatcher once a century. In Venezuela it is possible the lone one we had was Romulo Betancourt (Bolivar being more of a military leader than a successful politician). France had de Gaulle. Reagan almost qualified but I think the US had Truman as the lone star since Lincoln, my opinion of course. Though a case can be made for the UK having had two in a century if you count Churchill. Colombia may have had it with Uribe though not all is said with him yet. Cardoso in Brazil is its best candidate.

All changed the world, or at least the part of the world they lived in. Things were never the same again after their passage, but always for the best. Unfortunately there are also those leaders that changed the world for the worst and Chavez is the latest case in point.

That is why we must admire Margret Thatcher who as a woman had to work twice as hard as a guy but may have achieved twice as much because not only she made the UK relevant again, but her ideas and determination still influence our world today, and probably for quite a while more if we manage to survive the present economical and moral crisis. Also, something that perhaps does not happen as often in today's obituaries: more than after Golda Meir or Indira Ghandi, Thatcher made it clear that a woman could hold the highest office in a democracy as well as any other guy, at least in the West. After Thatcher, high office sexism started its waning, slowly perhaps but surely.

27 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:48 PM

    Please don't compare Thatchers career and funeral with Chavez career and funeral. Thatcher was great is all that needs to be said.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous 11:48, you should read the article again but slowly the second time.

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    2. Thank you Nora ;)

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  2. Anonymous7:20 AM

    Her principles didn't prevent her from promoting lung cancer for cash! Not a high caliber by my standards.

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    Replies
    1. When an "anonymous" writes such a damaging statement without any detail, it carries truly a lot of weight. I also heard she ate babies for breakfast.

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  3. Anonymous7:55 AM

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2013/04/margaret-thatcher/

    "Let me give one anecdote to which I can personally attest. In leaving office she became a “consultant” to US tobacco giant Phillip Morris. She immediately used her influence on behalf of Phillip Morris to persuade the FCO to lobby the Polish government to reduce the size of health warnings on Polish cigarette packets. Poland was applying to join the EU, and the Polish health warnings were larger than the EU stipulated size."

    In short, she used her fame to ensure more miserable lives, and more miserable deaths -- for a bit of lucre.

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    Replies
    1. Good! We get details! But still no handle even if we read a "personally".....

      So, if I follow your line of reasoning then I should be an ardent Chavez supporter because he forbade smoking in public places, something with which I heartily agreed with. This alone should erase all the evils that Chavez committed just as resizing Polish cigarette labels would be enough to erase any good Thatcher may have done.....

      I hope you are not serious, and if you are serious then it is quite a poor argument to justify your stand. Never mind that the size of lung cancer pictures has hardly been a deterrent for smoking junkie to stop smoking.....

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    2. Anonymous12:57 PM

      I don't think you quite get it -- being a consultant to Philip Morris involves a lot more than labelling lobbying.

      It just tells us a lot about her sense of morality that death and suffering can be a source of profit.

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    3. Anonymous1:49 PM

      Thatcher and the Despots (Pol Pot, Pinochet, Saddam Hussein)

      https://scriptonitedaily.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/thatcher-and-the-despots/

      Is this good company for you, Daniel?

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    4. You're right, not only I am not good at getting idiocies, but I am even worse at comparing plantains and blueberries. Or was that apples and oranges? I get so confused.....

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    5. Boludo Tejano10:44 PM

      Anonymous1:49 PM Thatcher and the Despots (Pol Pot, Pinochet, Saddam Hussein)

      Regarding Pinochet, I would suggest that the Chilean Chamber of Deputies should be of much greater concern to you than whatever Margaret Thatcher did.Three weeks before the coup, the Chamber of Deputies passed by 81-47, a strong 63% majority, a Resolution which some have titled the “Declaration of the Breakdown of Chile’s Democracy." Allende quite properly considered the resolution an invitation to a coup.

      If, of course, if you are actually interested in learning something about Chile.

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    6. Boludo Tejano3:10 AM

      Anonymous1:49 PM Thatcher and the Despots (Pol Pot, Pinochet, Saddam Hussein)

      A second point about Margaret Thatcher and despots. Her spirited response to the Argentine Junta's invasion of the Falklands was instrumental in bringing down the Junta.

      A third point is that Chile's sharing of intelligence data helped Great Britain win the Falklands War. Which to repeat my point, was instrumental in bringing down the Argentine junta.Yes, this involved dealing with Pinochet, a despot. But this dealing with a despot helped bring down President Galtieri of Argentina, another despot. Use a thief to catch a thief, as they say.

      [Had the Junta told the truth to the Argentine people about the war, and not stolen goods that people had contributed to support troops in the Falklands, it is possible that regime-destroying protests wouldn't have arisen. But expecting the Junta to have told the truth and to have refrained from stealing would have been expecting too much.]

      A fourth point about Margaret Thatcher and despots refers to her famous quote that she could "do business" with Gorbachev. Here she dealt with a despot. Why did you not also protest that? Just wondering.

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    7. They used also a lot of good old USA intelligence as well, and GCHQ (although GCHQ badly screwed it up at the start) and much more.

      Gorbachev was not a despot, he was in an authoritarian system but he, a very naive man, did a lot to dismantle that autoritarianism (not knowing the system could not exist further without it)

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  4. "To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects. "

    great lady

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  5. Daniel, this post surprises me! Most of liberal friends abhor her. I admired her as well.

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    Replies
    1. Admire does not automatically translate into approval.

      Still, I must be doing something right when in a single post I am attacked from the left and the right ;)

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  6. They didn't call her the Milk Thief for nuthin'. LOL!!

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  7. Anonymous10:16 PM

    Daniel, you have to see the movie of her life with Meryl Streep, she had a very interesting and combative life !

    Moses

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    Replies
    1. I did see it. Meryl Street was of course superb and deserved the Oscar, but it was borderline cartoonish, almost as if seeking to tarnish her accomplishments because she had early senility....

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    2. Streep, not street. Darned spell checker.

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  8. Great Post Daniel! Great way to honor one of the persons that made history in the last century. Not many people can quite say "I made history" the way she did, and she did made a positive influence over the British and the world, and her record speak for itself, well she was declared the savior of the Great Britain, and for GOOD reason, and she contributed with the demise of the communism in Europe and Russia.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/bennyjohnson/margret-thatchers-19-most-badass-moments

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  9. Why limit yourself through the use of meaningless words? Among politicians I admire, Thatcher, Hilary Clinton, and Ron Paul...what does that make me?

    Now let's not be afraid of other people's labels please.That is their problem only.



    firepigette

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  10. It's sickening to see how the left and the liberal leaning media is behaving nowadays with regard to Thatcher's passing. From the US to UK. This just confirm my intuition that the left has no sense of decency.

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  11. Anonymous10:39 PM

    Reagan had his good and bad sides. Intolerant and old school. full of blood in Central America, cocaine to LA, and missiles to Iran to name a few. I think Papa Bush had more integrity when in charge. His team one of the best. Clinton was good too. Ford was a good guy. The worse are LBJ, Nixon. Bush 43 worse not for lack of integrity but for screwing things up.

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  12. Daniel,

    As much as economic reforms were much needed in Britain and the unions needed to be reigned, she was a complete witch socially.

    Did you know about the poll tax, for instance? I actually became acquainted with people on both sides of the social spectrum in Scotland. It was amazing to visit people in a huge villa who had to pay less taxes for that than a working family of 6 in a tiny appartment in the worst part of Glasgow.

    Principled? She did it because because there was no other way, even if "in principle" she could have legally delayed her stay. That's the point of parliamentary democracy. She stayed way too long and things were starting to go wrong and minister after minister started to leave her. There was no way the Tories could have kept her without being booed all the time any longer.


    On se souvient

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TFx9u1t1LY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1l1XGiXgo0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txBZ8cH1eVc

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  13. Anonymous12:10 PM

    Kepler, as a European you're more informed and in tune with England under Thatcher. Thatcher did win two wars which brought the USA and UK closer together. That's the Thatcher I remember.

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  14. Anonymous8:39 PM

    What a bunch of diatribe

    ReplyDelete

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