The Spectator 13 April 2013
The blows Margaret Thatcher struck against socialism at home and the Soviet empire abroad are her most noted achievements. But an even greater legacy was bequeathed to her sex.
She was and will always be supremely significant to women. Unlike other women to whom she is often compared, she compromised no essential aspect of her personality. Hillary Clinton, by contrast, consciously displaced what femininity she had to reveal a drive for power; Eva Peron forsook her rationality, if ever she had it; Sarah Palin her dignity. Thatcher sacrificed nothing, except perhaps her relationship with her children. She made use of everything.
Margaret Thatcher made her own political way, from beginning to end.
8 April 2013
Before acquiring power, Margaret Thatcher was nothing. She was trained as a chemist. Her career in politics was marked by doggedness, but no one, before her accession to office, would have noted her as a distinctive British personality, a woman who for a time could embody the national will. It was power that established her importance, and power that brought into being all of her now-immortal incarnations—diva, mother of the nation, coy flirt, hissing serpent, stern headmistress, eyes of Caligula, mouth of Bardot, screeching harridan, frugal housewife, Boadicea the Warrior Queen, and Iron Lady, all in one.
There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters is the title of a book by Claire Berlinski. Berlinski talks to National Review Online about why, in fact, she does!
KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: Why does Margaret Thatcher “matter,” as your book’s subtitle puts it?
CLAIRE BERLINSKI: I wrote much of this book in 2007. Then, as now, Republican presidential candidates were eager to associate themselves with Margaret Thatcher’s name. Not long after I wrote the last sentence, the financial meltdown began. The global economy is now sunk in a deep, prolonged recession, one so severe in its effects that many are asking whether the Left has been right about free markets all along. Even I have been tempted to wonder. The United States now has the weakest job market since the Great Depression. Millions of potential workers have left the labor force since 2007. The duration of unemployment has risen to record lengths. Many Americans were stunned and humiliated by the credit downgrade, but the downgrade reflected the facts. In 2010 — for the first time — the United States fell from the ranks of the economically “free” to “mostly free,” according to the “Index of Economic Freedom.” There have been “notable decreases in financial freedom, monetary freedom, and property rights,” the report observed.
"The Iron Lady" paints a human picture of Margaret Thatcher. But the film, which opens Thursday in theaters, ignores her political legacy: her belief in state authority, and her victory over socialism.
FINANCIAL TIMES DEUTSCHLAND
(Published in German as "Margaret Thatcher: Im Namen der Macht")
Challenging everything you think you know
Washington Post, December 22
Britain in the early 1970s was decayed, ungovernable and globally irrelevant, done in by the cumulative effect of postwar socialist reforms. Margaret Thatcher, who came to power as the nation’s first female prime minister in 1979, returned Britain to the realm of the great powers. Worshiped, feted, loathed and mocked, she is one of the most controversial figures of the 20th century. And now Thatcher, as interpreted by Meryl Streep, will be coming to a theater near you in the movie “The Iron Lady,”opening Dec. 30.
But even those most sympathetic to her tend to misunderstand her personality, her governing style and her accomplishments. Let’s examine these misconceptions.
A new biopic has raised hackles, but her achievements are as relevant now as ever.
CITY A.M., London, November 21
The place is Britain; the year, 1978. It is the Winter of Discontent. Labor unrest has shut down public services, paralyzing the nation for months on end. Rubbish is piled high on the street. The government been obliged to supplicate for a loan from the International Monetary Fund. Soon the Soviet trade minister will tell his British counterpart, “We don’t want to increase our trade with you. Your goods are unreliable, you’re always on strike, you never deliver.”
Declarations to that effect are an insult to her legacy.
October 23, 2008
The cover of Newsweek recently announced that it’s the end of the era of Thatcher. The Washington Post followed suit. These headlines suggest a very significant confusion about what, precisely, Margaret Thatcher stood for. They are an injustice to her legacy.
It is true that Thatcher promoted deregulation. But the deregulation she favored had nothing to do with the meltdown on Wall Street. She was certainly not an advocate of regulation-free capitalism, as these headlines imply: No free-market economist in his right mind asserts that there should be no regulations or laws whatsoever. In fact, contract law and certain kinds of regulation — remember that “regulation” is just another word for “law” — are fully understood by free-market enthusiasts to be essential to the functioning of a free-market economy.