A lady for the ages

The Wall Street Journal calls on the United Kingdom’s most formidable historians to take the measure of Margaret Thatcher (and makes their columns accessible online). In an essay that provides an overview of her career in politics, Paul Johnson declares her “The world-changing Margaret Thatcher.” Andrew Roberts assesses her continuing relevance, finding that “The genius of Thatcherism will endure.” The Journal editors draw on Thatcher’s memoirs in the editorial “Not for turning.”

Before we turn from Lady Thatcher, let’s take a look at her last appearance as Prime Minister in the House of Commons, on November 22, 1990, exchanging barbs with her political opponents. She calls on Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes, who seeks to taunt her on the subject of income inequality. Mrs. Thatcher is at the ready with a powerful rejoinder. She then calls on Labor MP Jim Sillars, who reminds her that he “detest[s] every single one of her domestic policies and I have never hidden the fact.”

Mrs. Thatcher is, shall we say, unabashed: “I think that the honorable gentleman knows that I have the same contempt for his socialist policies as the people of east Europe, who have experienced them, have for theirs. I think I must have hit the right nail on the head…”

In this video we see her sheer zest for combat in the war of ideas and, not her adeptness, but rather her brilliance at it, as well as her love of freedom and her understanding of the socialist miasma. Can there be another Winston Churchill? We take comfort from the fact that there was a Margaret Thatcher.