ST. GEORGE – The world pauses to commemorate Britain’s former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who died today at age 87. Thatcher served as prime minister of England from 1979-1990.
Sen. Orrin Hatch issued the following statement today:
Margaret Thatcher was a transcendent figure who made the world a better place. A woman who once joked she did know the meaning of defeat, Margaret Thatcher was an unwavering defender of freedom and the British people, and I was honored to get to know her during our service together. From taking down the Iron Curtain to driving Saddam Hussein out of Kawait and back to Iraq, Margaret Thatcher was the strongest ally America could ask for during uncertain times for both of our countries. She liberated Britain’s economy with conservative reforms that build a foundation for economic success that has lasted to this day. My condolences are with the Thatcher family, the British people, and the millions of citizens around the world whose lives were touched by Lady Thatcher.
Thatcher’s impact on the world was immense and intense and at the least, controversial; she ranks with Winston Churchill as England’s most noteworthy and influential leaders.
Not born into a family of high standing, the daughter of a family grocer, Thatcher aimed early on in life to venture into conservative politics in opposition to England’s well established Labour Party. She was a fierce opponent of communism and was dubbed “The Iron Lady” by the soviet press in 1976.
Determined in spite of opposition, Thatcher eventually became the first female prime minister of England and served the longest of any predecessors in a century – three terms. Her conservative politics and social stances carried into her firm resistance to national socialism. During her terms as prime minister, in which she battled a severe recession, Thatcher fought labor organizations and privatized social programs, including housing and public transport .
In her first term, Thatcher demonstrated her firm commitment to British sovereignty, dispatching a military task force to successfully retake the Falkland Islands from the invading Argentine Junta in two-months time. In her second term, Thatcher engaged and ended an extended and violent miner’s strike; and survived an assassination attempt by the Irish Republic Army. In her third and final term, a gracious Thatcher played a vital role in the final stages of the Cold War, establishing working diplomacy with Mikhail Gorbachev who was rising to power, efforts that in concert with those of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, saw the walls come down on the Soviet Empire and Soviet Union by 1991.
From the Margaret Thatcher Foundation:
Margaret Thatcher remains an intensely controversial figure in Britain. Critics claim that her economic policies were divisive socially, that she was harsh or ‘uncaring’ in her politics, and hostile to the institutions of the British welfare state. Defenders point to a transformation in Britain’s economic performance over the course of the Thatcher Governments and those of her successors as Prime Minister. Trade union reforms, privatisation, deregulation, a strong anti-inflationary stance, and control of tax and spending have created better economic prospects for Britain than seemed possible when she became Prime Minister in 1979.
Critics and supporters alike recognise the Thatcher premiership as a period of fundamental importance in British history. Margaret Thatcher accumulated huge prestige over the course of the 1980s and often compelled the respect even of her bitterest critics. Indeed, her effect on the terms of political debate has been profound. Whether they were converted to ‘Thatcherism’, or merely forced by the electorate to pay it lip service, the Labour Party leadership was transformed by her period of office and the ‘New Labour’ politics of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown would not have existed without her. Her legacy remains the core of modern British politics: the world economic crisis since 2008 has revived many of the arguments of the 1980s, keeping her name at the centre of political debate in Britain.
St. George News joins in offering sincere condolences to England and the family of the beautiful lady who dared to make an unforgettable impression on the world.
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