Friday, October 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Margaret Thatcher reshaped Britain

By
From page A6 | April 11, 2013 |

The issue: Prime minister left a substantial mark on her country

Margaret Thatcher, who died Monday at the age of 87, was the most influential British prime minister in U.S. politics since Winston Churchill.

Churchill was close to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Thatcher to President Ronald Reagan, whom she affectionately called “Ronnie.” If anything, she was a more effective and forceful advocate of free enterprise than Reagan.

THE FIRST WOMAN to become British prime minister, Thatcher led the Conservative Party to three successive voting victories and governed from May 1979 to November 1990.

Thatcher was the daughter of a shopkeeper — a grocer, a fact that the class-conscious British press invariably mentions high up in her obituaries. In fact, she literally did live over the store.

She inherited the habits of hard work, tenacity and thrift — and an interest in politics. After graduation from the University of Oxford, no small feat for a shop girl, she entered Conservative Party politics. After nine years of trying, she won a seat in Parliament. She was willing to do the thankless, tedious tasks that other politicians avoided, and by 1970 was rewarded with a Cabinet post.

The ruling Labour Party was exhausted, her Tories had an unimpressive line of male candidates and England, in any case, seemed almost ungovernable. Thatcher at first had the advantage of being regularly underestimated by both friend and foe. But, in 1979, she led the Tories to victory and became prime minister, with the condescending consensus that her tenure would be a short one.

THATCHER INHERITED a nation that was on its way to Third World status because of an ossified and truculent trade-union movement, which dominated the opposition Labour Party. The country was subject to constant, crippling wildcat strikes — by hospital workers, railway workers, truck drivers, gravediggers, manufacturing workers — at state-owned enterprises that Labour had nationalized after World War II. Their products were notorious for unreliability and regular unavailability.

Thatcher was under enormous pressure to just give the workers what they wanted under the common delusion that somehow the means to pay for it would suddenly materialize.

She showed her mettle by crushing a yearlong strike by the powerful mineworkers’ union in 1984-85, a victory that did much to reshape the economic and social order of Britain.

That victory was more important but less spectacular than her 1982 victory in the Falklands Islands. She faced down U.S. Secretary of State Al Haig, who Reagan had dispatched to talk her out of a counter invasion. Her credo was to give the order and “let the military get on with it.” The invading Argentines were ousted in less than three months.

The Russian press christened her the “Iron Lady.” One of her most prescient foreign-policy formulations was that Mikhail Gorbachev, then the leader of the Soviet Union, was “a man we can do business with.”

THATCHER’S STEELY interest in U.S. politics continued after Reagan left office in early 1989. In August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. In the following months, as the United Nations was organizing a U.S.-led coalition to free Kuwait — a move believed by many to be a disaster in the making — she told President George H.W. Bush, “This is not the time to go wobbly.”

Thatcher was forced out as prime minister in 1990, a combination of a political misjudgment on a tax issue and the feeling among her rivals that it was somebody else’s turn in 10 Downing St.

Thatcher left a substantial mark on British politics. She also rubbed off on U.S. politics and politicians. Let’s hope her good qualities, like courage and tenacity, survive her.

Comments

comments

.

News

Testimony begins in Winters murder trial

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
A-Z: Downtown Davis is the place to celebrate

By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: C1

 
Courageous Thompson tapped for cycling shrine

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

UC researchers: How low-water can our landscapes go?

By Katie F. Hetrick | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Hong Kong protesters to vote on staying in streets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Cloud business lifts Microsoft’s quarterly results

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Can you give them a home?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Scientists work to save endangered desert mammal

By Kat Kerlin | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Host families needed for students and teachers from Mexico

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Halloween Dance set Friday for teens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Yoga and chanting workshop planned

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Downtown menu: coffee, boba tea, dessert

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: C3

 
Learn how to fill a cornucopia with flowers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Video highlights Props. 1 and 2

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
‘Homeopathy at Home’ program planned

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Celebrate origami at Davis library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Garden sale and open house features water-wise demos

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C4

Meet Poppenga at dog park Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Day of the Dead folk art class set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Flea Market planned Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Enjoy A Taste of Capay at historic ranch

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Red-hot tunes set at Blues Harvest

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Bay Bridge art project needs $4 million to keep shining

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Weir honored, a year early

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Explorit: Poison-proof your home with free lecture

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A6

For a good cause

By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A6

 
Americans, internationals make connections

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

Sutter auxiliary seeks volunteers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
School board hopefuls discuss homework policy

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

Walkers welcome to join Sierra Club outings

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Project Linus seeks donations

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Forum

The magic is long gone

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
A solution to the drought

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Experience nature’s treasures

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Subs have other concerns

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

What’s next with Ebola?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
More theories on the abstention

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Rights beget responsibilities

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Water returns to its source

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

.

Sports

Aggies expect a bonny meeting in Sacramento

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
DHS footballers take on Pleasant Grove

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Bye No. 2 comes at perfect time for nicked-up UCD

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Shhh. Are Aggie women BWC’s best-kept secret?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

Bump, set, playoffs: Blue Devil girls clinch spot in postseason

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Preseason awards roll in for Aggie hoopster Hawkins

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sharks suffer from road woes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

.

Features

.

Arts

DMTC plans ‘My Fair Lady’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra to perform

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Calling all artists for upcoming show

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
‘St. Vincent:’ Quite a character

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

Rumpledethumps to play at Village Homes Performers’ Circle

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
.

Business

 
Car Care: Five things to ask yourself when shopping for a new vehicle

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B7

.

Obituaries

Lewis Melvin Dudman

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Ann Foley Scheuring

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, October 24, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B3