Happy 80th Birthday Mrs Thatcher

October 14th, 2005 at 7:47 am by David Farrar

Today in the UK it is Margaret Thatcher‘s 80th birthday.

Growing up in the 80s, it is hard to over-emphasise how inspiring Thatcher and Reagan were. Not just for what they achieved in their own countries, but especially their role in standing up to the evil which was the Soviet Union. At the time this was deeply unpopular with many calling for unilateral disarmament of the west – a policy which would have been a disaster if implemented.

In France earlier this year I noted how nice it was that some streets were named after Winston Churchill. I am informed this is common throughout Western Europe.

Likewise I am also informed that streets and places named after Thatcher are proudly displayed all over Eastern Europe. A very fitting tribute to a woman who helped gain them freedom. Kuwait remember her fondly also.

The Telegraph has a lovely article on her, with quotes from many people.

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50 Responses to “Happy 80th Birthday Mrs Thatcher”

  1. LMD () says:

    For the rest of us it was one of the most depressing periods of modern political hitory.

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  2. LMD () says:

    For the rest of us it was one of the most depressing periods of modern political history.

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  3. Thatcherite () says:

    Happy Birthday Mrs T!!!

    Yay, the Iron Lady keeps on going! She is my idol – everything she stood for she stood for because she beleived it was right – i suppose being elected three times backs that up.

    Torys 4 ever!

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  4. dim () says:

    Okay – I get Thatcher. I disagree with her principles, but I can understand her political genius and acknowledge her accomplishments. But I really don’t understand how anyone could admire Reagan. I spent a considerable chunk of my childhood terrified that anyone so obviously insane could be in a position of such vast power.

    Reagan was a fantasist who boasted of liberating Nazi death camps during WWII, when he really spent the war in Hollywood. He was an enthusiastic supporter of some of the worst regimes on the planet (including Saddam Husseins dictatorship in Iraq), and not merely for reasons of realpolitick – he formed close friendships with General Pinochet and Ferdinand Marcos, supported the aparthiad government in South Africa, Mobutus kleptocracy in Zaire, Suharto in Indonesia, Duvalier in Haiti . . . He provided the theocracy in Iran with heavy weapons and used the profits to fund a terrorist campaign against democratically elected governments in Central America.

    This nut went out of his way to violate almost every principle the US claims to stand for – I’m constantly dumbfounded when people refer to him as a hero. I just don’t get it.

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  5. Rockey Boy () says:

    Totally agree with LMD. Reagan blundered his way through his Presidency with scary threats of ‘limited nuclear war in Europe’ and Thatcher became the most dividing political force Britain has even seen. There are many many things Thatcher got very badly wrong including her opposition to the reunification of Germany and the way she dealt with the IRA.

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  6. Michael (The Right Wing One) () says:

    “Maggie Thatcher, Cold Porridge, Maggie Thatcher, Cold Porridge, Maggie Thatcher in Cold Porridge” – Alan B’Stard, The New Statesman.

    Thatcher was Britain’s first female PM, could possibly be on the only person in world who went to a (Communist) Polish Shipyard and be cheered by all the workers. She gave moral support to Lech Walesa (she insisted on meeting with him as a condition of going to Poland) and is one of the important dominos that ended the cold war. She kicked Argentina out of the Falklands and beat the militant Unions who crippled Britain whenever they couldn’t get their way. Her reforms ushered in a golden age for Britain, taking it from the worst performing EU Economy to the best performing EU economy. (Tony Blair wouldn’t dare roll Thatchers reforms back.) The IRA tried to kill her and failed.

    Any way you look at it, she is one hell of a woman. Happy Birthday, Maggie!

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  7. moggy man () says:

    Maggie Thatcher turned me into a socialist!

    I lived in the UK in the late 80′s and seeing the division and selfishness that her policies generated turned me from right to left.

    I’m sure the people from communities in the north of England that her policies destroyed have a different perspective from the people who didn’t have to endure her as a PM.

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  8. Peter () says:

    Im from Newcastle Upon Tyne, and our family immigrated here not long after Maggies reign of terror.
    She is no hero

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  9. mikey bill () says:

    Ah yes, Maggie, with her royal “We” – her support for apartheid,(darkies like singing in the fields and working for the white man) her gin-soaked husband and charmingly corrupt son, what a wonderful woman! Not to mention the way she allowed a Territory of the United Kingdom to be illelgally invaded by Reagan (Granada).

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  10. mikey bill () says:

    Ah yes, Maggie, with her royal “We” – her support for apartheid, her gin-soaked husband and charmingly corrupt son, what a wonderful woman! Not to mention the way she allowed a Territory of the Realm she was in charge of to be illegally invaded by Reagan (Granada). Alzheimers is getting to her, which is the least she deserves

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  11. LMD () says:

    And let’s not forget Reagans legacy; the idiots running the show now, with their voodoo economics, faith based policies and triumphalist foreign policy. Inspirational indeed.

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  12. Chris Brazendale () says:

    Foreign policy ok, domestic policy inherently flawed.

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  13. Redbaiter () says:

    Happy Birthday Maggie. You have more guts in your little finger than today’s NZ politicians have in their whole collective bodies. Your poll tax was the best idea ever. (One could tell that by the venomous attacks the proposal generated from the left.) Let’s replace all forms of taxation in NZ with a poll tax. One payment by cheque every year. Like local body rates, except not based on property values. Just one payment, and everybody pays the same amount.

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  14. moggy man () says:

    redbaiter – the trouble was that it wasn’t ‘everybody pays the same amount’ – I was in Wandsworth and paid ZERO, but the residents of the neighbouring councils paid huge pounds.

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  15. freedom () says:

    Kuwait- where they reinstalled a corrupt dictator in the name of democracy. Ever heard of a guy called George Orwell, David?

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  16. freedom () says:

    also, on reagan,
    have you heard of nicaragua, iran-contra and a certain mr hussein?

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  17. darren () says:

    Well, I’m from the north of England too. Yorkshire.
    I recall growing up in a Britain that was going to the dogs (I’m 38 now). I remember power cuts, strikes, and an economy that limped along, and behind those of Europe.
    After the “Winter of Disconent” in 1978-79, Maggie was elected and changed the course of Britain’s relative economic decline.
    True it was to tough, but thankfully, she stood her ground and eventually Britain’s economy took off, leaving Tony Blair’s Labour Party an enormous beneficiary of such Thatcherite policies.
    Mrs Thatcher’s support for freedom has been mentioned above and I fully agree with those comments.
    What also needs mentioning is how Maggie helped bring about the death of socialism, not just in
    Eastern Europe but also at home.
    Mrs Thatcher introduced the right for council (state) house tenants to buy their own homes. Millions did in the face of Labour Party opposition.
    Mrs Thatcher also privatised state liabilities , helping them become successful private enterprises.
    Millions of ordinary people also bought shares in the face of opposition, creating “popular capitalism”.
    These days it is common for even poorer Britons to have a nest egg of share-based savings.
    Now, a Labour government effectively carries on with Thatcherism, looking to bring market forces into the state sector to improve efficiency.
    Tony Blair’s supposedly left-wing heir apparant Gordon Brown talks about extending home ownership further. Never will Labour renationalise.
    Post-war Britain was known for its “ratchet effect” . A Labour government would move Britain leftwards with more socialism. A Tory Government would merely hold the fort until defeat. Labour would shift the economy leftward again.
    Only when Mrs Thatcher came along, was the ratchet reversed and the balance shifted rightwards, dragging Labour with it. Find the Labour and Conservative Party manifestoes of the 1970s and compare them with Election 2005 and you will see the difference.
    Thatcherism brought the success of market economics to the world, with successful policies (like lower taxes) maintained or even enhanced by supposedly left wing parties, which highlights Mrs Thatcher’s enduring legacy on a global scale.
    She is a true giant of the 21st century and I was honoured to shake hands with her in 1990.

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  18. darren () says:

    Well, I’m from the north of England too. Yorkshire.
    I recall growing up in a Britain that was going to the dogs (I’m 38 now). I remember power cuts, strikes, and an economy that limped along, and behind those of Europe.
    After the “Winter of Disconent” in 1978-79, Maggie was elected and changed the course of Britain’s relative economic decline.
    True it was to tough, but thankfully, she stood her ground and eventually Britain’s economy took off, leaving Tony Blair’s Labour Party an enormous beneficiary of such Thatcherite policies.
    Mrs Thatcher’s support for freedom has been mentioned above and I fully agree with those comments.
    What also needs mentioning is how Maggie helped bring about the death of socialism, not just in
    Eastern Europe but also at home.
    Mrs Thatcher introduced the right for council (state) house tenants to buy their own homes. Millions did in the face of Labour Party opposition.
    Mrs Thatcher also privatised state liabilities , helping them become successful private enterprises.
    Millions of ordinary people also bought shares in the face of opposition, creating “popular capitalism”.
    These days it is common for even poorer Britons to have a nest egg of share-based savings.
    Now, a Labour government effectively carries on with Thatcherism, looking to bring market forces into the state sector to improve efficiency.
    Tony Blair’s supposedly left-wing heir apparant Gordon Brown talks about extending home ownership further. Never will Labour renationalise.
    Post-war Britain was known for its “ratchet effect” . A Labour government would move Britain leftwards with more socialism. A Tory Government would merely hold the fort until defeat. Labour would shift the economy leftward again.
    Only when Mrs Thatcher came along, was the ratchet reversed and the balance shifted rightwards, dragging Labour with it. Find the Labour and Conservative Party manifestoes of the 1970s and compare them with Election 2005 and you will see the difference.
    Thatcherism brought the success of market economics to the world, with successful policies (like lower taxes) maintained or even enhanced by supposedly left wing parties, which highlights Mrs Thatcher’s enduring legacy on a global scale.
    She is a true giant of the 21st century and I was honoured to shake hands with her in 1990.

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  19. Sean () says:

    Happy Birthday Lady Thatcher. Both sides of the political spectrum owe you – the right, for your work with Reagan and JPII in ending the Cold War without a shot, and the left, for providing a convenient target of criticism that’d be better directed at the idiocy of their own ideas!

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  20. Marquis () says:

    Mr Farrar

    A small correction, Maggie is now correctly known as Lady Thatcher, not Mrs.

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  21. darren () says:

    Now, let us consider a Thatcherite legacy for New Zealand.
    I did not come to this country until the mid-90s, so my knowledge of Lange and his reforms is only limited to what I have read or seen on tv.
    But, I am sure they will have been influenced to some extent by Britain’s experiences.
    New Zealand did some things differently, yes, but both countries have enjoyed the benefits of more markets, less socialism, so much so that even Labour governments did not undo the reforms too greatly.
    But is there a legacy for New Zealand National and Labour today, something they can learn from Mrs Thatcher’s impact on Britain and the world?
    Mrs Thatcher dragged Britain (albeit sometimes kicking and screaming) into a new direction and new golden age of prosperity, forcing “New” Labour to follow.
    However, towards the end of her reign, Mrs T became too out of step with party and public opinion that she paid the price.
    Therefore, is it better to lead public opinion, or follow it?
    So what is best for Don Brash and National?
    To try and convince the New Zealand public the rightness of your views or stick your thumb in the air and see which way the wind is blowing.
    I feel part of the reason why National almost won this time round was because Brash offered a clear vision and helped articulate why Liar-bour are so increasingly out of touch.
    There has been much talk from the media about National moderating its message for the next election. Yes, there may be a need for some tweaking at the edges, etc. But the basic platform should stay.
    There should be no return to the disastrous Bill English -style wishy-washiness.
    What do you think?

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  22. ian brown () says:

    Thaatcher,
    One of the most hated people in the Uk.
    When she dies there will be parties in the streets
    Shame the IRA fucked up and missed.

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  23. Hullabahlu () says:

    What a sad, spiteful little man you must be Ian, are there another terrorist organisations that wish could be more successful too?

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  24. ian brown () says:

    Sad spiteful big man actually. Thatcher was a bitch
    plain and simple and as for the IRA, have a look at a map of Ireland

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  25. Hullabahlu () says:

    Okay then big man, I’m looking at a map of Ireland, looking particularly at Enniskillen, what a success that was for the IRA

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  26. antihippy () says:

    Big guy, Speaking to a mate of mine who was 22 SAS and spent a lot of time in Ireland in the 1980s, Thatcher certainly knew how to deal with your IRA friends…unlike the IRA they seldom “fucked up” or “missed” anything :)

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  27. ian brown () says:

    hulla, I am also looking at a map of Ireland and surely the point is that Enniskillen isn’t on it
    Antihippy, your point being ?
    To recap Thatcher was a bitch and is hated in the UK
    The IRA should have got her but they fucked up
    And Ireland should include Eire and N I.
    Ps I have no friends who are members of the IRA

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  28. dim () says:

    antihippy wrote: ‘[The SAS] seldom “fucked up” or “missed” anything.’

    It’s hard to miss when your target is lying on the ground with their hands tied behind their back.

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  29. Andrew () says:

    What you imply Ian, with that sort of attitude is that you have no friends – period.

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  30. Hullabahlu () says:

    The point is ian that the IRA killed 11 people in Enniskillen, including children, injured more than 60 and subsequently lost any support they still had in the Republic because of this. You’d call that success?

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  31. Cadmus () says:

    I believe the term is Baroness Thatcher. That was the only way she could have become Baroness/Lady Thatcher, otherwise it would have been Dame Margaret Thatcher.
    The NZ National Party hated her. Thatcher wanted Muldoon to bring in reforms like Roger Douglas did, he was always in England begging for money. Muldoon and National would have no part of it. That’s why NZ got the name of the Polish Shipyard. Muldoon then went cap in hand to Japan for loans. It took a Labour Govt to try to rid NZ of it’s Nationl/Socialist ways. Bolger & Shipley fought to bring back Muldoonism, but it was to late. Brash was the last throw of the dice for the right for a return of “Thatcherism” Rogernomics, Reganomics, what ever you want to call it. And he will be out to pasture in a short time.
    Well Baroness Thatcher Happy Birthday. Love you or hate you, you made your mark on the world like no other Western Politician in the last 50 yrs.

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  32. Shawn () says:

    “Thaatcher,
    One of the most hated people in the Uk.
    When she dies there will be parties in the streets
    Shame the IRA fucked up and missed.”

    And there we have in a nutshell the Left ladies and gents. Supporters of Soviet totalitarianism and Irish terrorism.

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  33. Pitt () says:

    Iain, you are spiteful, hateful and full of hot air, just like your bloodthirty Fenian friends.

    Lucky Maggie wasn’t cowered by IRA bombers skulking in the shadows. She had guts, and was no coward, unlike the IRA.

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  34. Jacko () says:

    Welcome back Shawn! Sharp and pithy as ever. How sad that anyone young should have found Reagan an inspiration. It’s kind of like admitting you are a Celine Dion fan

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  35. Shawn () says:

    The Left loves to waffle on about how tolerant they are compared to us bigoted conservatives, but a quick look at many of the comments above show this for the outright lie that it is.

    When Reagan’s personal letters were recently released they clearly showed an informed and intelligent mind with a detailed knowledge of history and political philosophy. A person can disagree with Reagan, but the claim that he was stupid or a buffoon is provably false, and proof that the Left does not have an intelligent argument against him, so resorts to schoolyard level abuse.

    It is also indicative of how deeply much of the Left is in denial of reality that despite the fact that history proved Reagan right about the Soviet Union, the Left still insists on claiming he was wrong.

    This level of self-imposed denial is truly impressive. And the level of ignorant and bigoted intolerance with regards to Reagan truly sick and evil.

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  36. Jacko () says:

    And if you had even a minimal knowledge of history and political philosophy Shawn you would realise what a nonsense it is to claim that Reagan bought down the Soviet union and ended the Cold War.

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  37. antihippy () says:

    Please enlighten us then Jacko as to what it was that brought down the Soviet Union….was it the fundamental flaws of Marxism/Communism, or was it Reagan’s application of external pressure which exposed these and used them to bring about the end of the Evil Empire?

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  38. dim () says:

    Various advisors to Gorbachev – who was probably the single most important figure in the collapse of Communism – have announced that Reagan made their jobs vastly more difficult because his constant sabre rattling strengthened the positions of the Soviet military and the hardliners in the Kremlin.

    Thatcher was in power for almost seven years before Gorbachev became Soviet Premier – Reagan was half way through his tenure (naptime in America), and the Soviet Union gave no indications of collapse whatsoever, despite all his insane rhetoric about Armageddon and apocalypse and Evil Empires. The change came from within, and took the west – particularly their intelligence agencies – by total surprise.

    With the benefit of perspective we can now see that the collapse of the Soviet Empire began with the death of Stalin and took place in imperceptibly slow motion over a series of decades. That’s only apparent to us now, of course – the end was inevitable, all Reagan did was postpone it.

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  39. woppo () says:

    She’ mad – been mad for years. It’s the gin, you know . . .

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  40. music critic () says:

    The current peace process in Northern Ireland owes a lot to Thatcher, and to the PMs who followed.

    She showed the hard men in the IRA that they could never achieve the aims through violence. This enabled the rise in influence of people such as Gerry Adams who took the IRA into the peace process. So 10 out of 10.

    As for the downfall of the Soviet Union, hard to tell. Lots of things contributed to this and it is true as dim has pointed out Western intlligemce did over estimate the fitness of the Soviet regime. But then again Reagan and Thatcher continued the tradtion of not allowing communism to spread and of supporting democratic movements in Eastern Europe. So 6 out 10.

    The economic reforms I find are the hardest to judge. It is unavoidably true that Thatcher’s reforms devasted many communitites. But on the other hand they were slowly being decimated anyway by such things as the drop in demand for coal. And entrenched union power made it very difficult to push any gradual change. Thatcher’s policy of confrontation may have been the best in the long run, and Britain is thriving now, but there was a cost.

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  41. sock thief () says:

    The above post from “music critic” is actually from Sock Thief. I’m currently using a pool laptop which will give a pop-up window with previous users when entering Name in the comments. So accidently selected wrong option.

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  42. Libertyscott () says:

    I am absolutely astounded that people can look themselves in the mirror and even start to defend the lowlives that Thatcher rejected.

    The little minded naive petty despots like Michael Foot, who would have run away scared had the Red Army goosestepped across Western Europe – after disarming the UK and kicking out the US bases. The utter anti-human anti-freedom vileness that was the Soviet bloc would NOT have ended had Reagan and Thatcher had followed the philosophy of the British Labour Party at the time which was – give up – don’t bother deterring, let’s appease people who shoot political opponents, who deny free speech, property rights and any semblance of human dignity – the biggest threat to our way of life since Nazi Germany.

    And the IRA? well them and the Unionist thugs as well are little more than cavemen – who justify the slaughter of children because they can’t get their tribalism heads out of their arses.

    Britain had a GDP per capita below that of Italy and not far ahead of Spain when Thatcher came to power – now it is well ahead of all of them, and only is beaten by Scandinavia, Luxembourg and Switzerland in Western Europe – Thatcher woke up the bone idle lazy unions, broke their back and brought Britain out of the 30s and into the 80s. Arthur Scargill and his mates in the Labour Party licked the arses of many eastern European thugs – e.g. Stan Newens former British Labour MP of the time who wrote a glowing biography of Nicolae Ceaucescu.

    and yes, Thatcher supported Pinochet, which was a mistake – because he was a thug too, but she generally was on the right side – which is shown by the fact that she not only changed Britain, she effectively made the Labour Party shed its Marxism.

    May she look forward to her 90th

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  43. B.J. Melville () says:

    Anyone who has lived the life of a politician and lived to 80 deserves a toast(Robert Mugabe excluded).

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  44. sagenz () says:

    Leftist revisionism still trying to reduce the wonderful legacy of Baronness Thatcher & President Reagan.
    Gorbachev was never a democrat. He would have followed the Chinese path and an economically stronger Soviet Union would never have lost its hold on Eastern Europe. the arms race and uncompromising opposition that Reagan represented meant there was no munich. The Soviet Union collapsed after a few short years.
    Much as Thatcher (and Douglas) reforms were painful in the short term they were clearly for the greater long term good. socialism is not sustainable. When thatcher took over UK GDP per capita lagged France and Germany significantly. It is now ahead and the trend is even better

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  45. shameonthem () says:

    The Lefties who post here are really a disgusting lot as full of hate and rage and bigotry as the fundamentalist kooks they despise. Lady Thatcher is 80 years old, out of power, and having a birthday. There is no reason for such venom other than their own psychological inferiority complexes. It has been disgusting to see the type of remarks that are made. There were things I admire Thatcher for and things I strongly disagree with. But there is no excuse for the type of venom that is being passed around by the Left here. These are the same people who condemn the venom that some local Objectivist nutters pass around and yet they engage in it themselves. Vile hypocrites they are, it’s the gin you know!

    I saw no reason to make remarks about Thatcher’s deceased husband and that is just bad taste. But then apologists for Stalin (or Bush I might add) never had good taste. I also think remarks about Reagan’s memory are uncalled for and viciously uncouth. The man had Alzheimer’s and we have idiots making fun of that. I do not believe that is called for regardless of what you think of Reagan. If Clark has a stroke and slurred her words as a result, and if Nats made comments about her inability to speak properly, the Lefties here would be having fits. They would condemn such vile attacks on someone from showing the symptoms of an illness. Yet these people do the same on Reagan or attack non-combatants (in political terms) like Dennis Thatcher. Shame on them. They have no more common decency than Destiny, Peters or other smear mongers.

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  46. woppo () says:

    Decency?
    Throwing a mini-cyber-birthday-bash for a near-brain-dead old bat whose only political contribution in the last 14 years has been to serve as a cheer squad for Pinochet borders on necrophilia.
    The 80s are long gone. Get over it.

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  47. Shawn () says:

    Jacko, I’ll wager any amount you like I know a great deal more on those subjects than you do son.

    Dim.

    Gorby’s advisers? Riiiight. The fact remains that Reagan applied pressure and the Sovet Union collapsed. Yes there were other factors involved, but forcing the USSR into an arms build up it couldnt afford worked. You and you leftists friends can whine and cry about this all you like. Reagan won, you lost. Get over it.

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  48. Dave Christian () says:

    I also lived in England under Thatcher. She did many good things and left the UK generally in better shape than she found it. But she also did some very bad things. She didn’t turn me into a socialist, but she made me recognise that people on the right can be as fanatical and unreasonable as people on the left. Firstly, she divided the nation into us & them, as if everyone could be conveniently categorised. People are not so simple, and many who agreed with many of her policies but disagreed with some found that they were ‘the enemy’ and consequently did indeed oppose her on all policies because of it. (Hence most English people will only speak very positively or very negatively about her.) Secondly, she was xenophobic and racist – we could have done without that aspect of her character.
    Thirdly, when the Soviet Union was collapsing from within due to the cancer of communism, she joined with Reagan in hubristic claims that they were responsible, when as a previous poster pointed out they actually helped to hold the SU together for a while. In fact Reagan and Thatcher engaged in several ugly military conflicts and sabre rattling activities for purposes of domestic political popularity which sadly detract from their legacy as promoters of individual freedom, free markets and limited government.

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  49. maggie thatcher () says:

    Have you played our new game, ‘Whack-a-miner’ at http://www.milksnatcher.com or http://www.maggiethatcher.com

    Anyone with an irony bypass should avoid

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  50. maggie thatcher () says:

    Have you played our new game, ‘Whack-a-miner’ at http://www.milksnatcher.com or http://www.maggiethatcher.com

    Anyone with an irony bypass should avoid

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