Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s only woman prime minister, passed away on Monday 8 April 2013. The Iron Lady, as she was addressed by many because of her strong will and determination, became a part of Britain’s history with ‘Thatcherism’, the word coined to show her policies.
Margaret Hilda Roberts was born as the second daughter on 13 October 1925 in Lincolnshire. Her father owned a grocery shop, he was a preacher and was strongly involved in local politics. He brought up his daughters as strict Methodist, slowly, the little Margaret got attracted towards father’s politics. Margaret showed versatility while she was in school, good in studies as well as extra curricular activities. She graduated from Oxford University in Chemistry and there also she kept a strong political view. Later she became a research chemist and in one of the party congress on 1951 she met a business person called,Denis Thatcher, who made her as his better half.
During 1950 and 1951 general elections she was the candidate of the Conservative party, though she lost on both times, she acquired public attention through her speeches and independent views. Her twins were born in 1953 and quickly she resumed her political activity and managed to gain a seat after several rejections, on 1959 election she became the MP. She made her maiden speech in 1960 in the British Parliament. Slowly she climbed each step of success in politics with strong views and her own suggestions, that she proclaimed with will power and courage. From 1979 to 1990, she served Britain as its only woman Prime Minister and Britain began to witness the so-called Thatcherism in all walks of life. Thatcher’s economic policies revived Britain from the economic crisis, as Thatcher reduced direct taxes on income and raised indirect taxes. She increased interest rates on money supply and slowly the inflation was lowered. Even though unemployment rates were very high, Britain began to sense the growth in economy. By 1987, Britain regained its economic power, lowered the inflation and unemployment rates. Margaret Thatcher was re-elected as for the third successive time. Her next strong decision came on reducing the power of trade unions, as she observed, the strikes lowered the economic growth. Though strong protests were broke out, she was firm in her decision, later the resistance died out on her strong will. Margaret Thatcher was firm on foreign and external affairs. She maintained strong relationships with the authorities of all the major countries. Thatcher was the first Western leader to respond to Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet reformist. At the age of 66, she resigned from the House of Commons. After that she spoke out her mind through her speeches. Her husband died on 2003 and her health too started to deteriorate by then, so she stopped public speaking and withdrew from public life too.
Margaret Thatcher was a political legacy. While giving tribute to the great lady, she should be remembered as one of the strongest women the new millennium had witnessed, with command on everything that a national leader needed. Adieu! for your intelligence, will power, integrity and courage.