Monday, January 16

Will the real Margaret Thatcher please stand up?

Oddly enough, one of my biggest windows into Thatcher's Britain has been liberal English comic book authors. Warren Ellis and Alan Moore, neither of them particularly 'balanced', portray Thatcher as unhinged. In Moore's  'V for Vendetta' we get his obvious projection: Britain is on the slippery slope to fascism. (My take: 'V' was often artistically excellent but not prophetic at all.)

So I'm interested in some of the commentary emerging around the new Thatcher movie with Meryl Streep. That's why I clicked through to this post: If the real Margaret Thatcher had been like Meryl Streep's Iron Lady, I wouldn't have supported her.

Then I skimmed the Wikipedia article.

How about you? What do you think of Margaret Thatcher?

Opinions from Brits who lived through her administration will be particularly valued :-)


tdaxp said...

Google ate my comment. This is my second try.

I've read Thatcher's books "The Downing Street Years" and "Statecraft," but not seen the film.

Thatcher's role in reforming the British economy away from central planning is analogous to the rule that Deng played in China or Carter-Reagean played in the US. Unlike Deng Thatcher faced a free press, and unlike Carter-Reagan she did it by herself. This means that domestic criticism of her was able to survive, and she was not able to neutralize blame by having an opposite-party number who was also critical.

Also unlike the Chinese or American experiences, Thatcher was not very elderly and not termlimited, which meant that she kept going until a minimum-winning coalition was able to form against her.

The Blair years were the seal on the Thatcher years. What was revolutionary in the 1970s became the status quo in the 1970s.

Sean Meade said...

good stuff, Dan. thanks for the contribution (and sorry Google ate your first draft).