A tribute to the Iron Lady – Margaret Thatcher

A tribute to the Iron Lady – Margaret ThatcherMargaret Thatcher, the first woman Prime Minister of the developed world, a fearless leader and a towering personality passed away on 8 April. British Prime Minister, David Cameron described her as a ‘Great Briton’ while his American counterpart, Barack Obama in his tribute called her a ‘Great champion of Freedom and Liberty’. Margaret Thatcher was born on October 13, 1925 to a grocer’s family. Her father had a massive influence in building her outlook and thinking. She once said “Well, of course, I owe almost everything to my father. I really do.” She also stated, “He brought me up to believe all the things that I do believe”. She was a woman with strong values and determination and this earned her the label of “The Iron Lady”.

During her student years, she made her way to politics by becoming the third woman president of the Oxford University Conservative Association and after graduating, she joined the local Conservative Party organization in Colchester, UK. But she had to struggle to become an MP. In 1951 she got married to a businessman Denis Thatcher and gave birth to her twins Mark and Carol, in 1953, while she qualified as a barrister. Managing the role of a housewife and a politician, she finally made it to the Parliament when in 1959 she became the MP for Finchley.

In 1965, Margaret Thatcher voted for Ted Heath to be the new Conservative Party leader after Sir Alec Douglas-Home stepped down from the post. It was Ted Heath’s U-turn on the Conservative economic policy that made Margaret Thatcher stand against him in 1975. She defeated him and made him resign. This is standing for what you believe in. It is then when her story to success began. On 28 March 1979, she secured a place in the annals of history as the first woman Prime Minister of UK. By then she was known as The Iron Lady, a name coined by the Russians. This was also the start of the Thatcher Revolution.

Her government initially had to face a lot of turbulence such as riots in some areas, economic down turn and so on, but she did not modify her policies. In 1980, she made one of her most famous statements, “To those waiting with bated breath for favourite media catchphrase, the U-turn, I have only one thing to say: You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning.” On another occasion she said, “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”

By 1982, the economy was up again in UK. That year, assuming that they could easily intimidate a woman Prime Minister, Argentina raised their flag in Falkland Island. Margaret Thatcher ordered her army to battle and the victory at Falkland Island brought pride to Britain and cemented her leadership. She went on to remain Prime Minister of UK for another two terms.

As a Prime Minister of UK, Margaret Thatcher built a bond between the UK and USA. US President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher were united allies against Russia during the Cold War years. She demonstrated the power and strength of a woman to stand tall for her nation.

On 28th Nov 1990 the red eyed Margaret Thatcher left No. 10 Downing Street for the last time, after serving as the longest tenured UK Prime Minister of the 20th century. She was no longer Prime Minister, but her views and comments continued to be relevant. She always opposed the Labour Party but Gordon Brown, during his tenure as Prime Minister of UK, tried to get her on his team to get some old Thatcher magic in place and she fully offered her suggestions.

At the age of 87, Margaret Thatcher suffered a stroke and passed away. The Union Jack above No.10 Downing Street was lowered and she will be honored with a ceremonial funeral. She has left an indelible mark in the history of United Kingdom and the world.

At WEBO Power, we believe that Margaret Thatcher truly epitomized the modern woman leader who possessed indomitable courage, conviction and passion.

Posted By: Rajeshwari Ghosh
Illustration By: Shally Tayal, Team WEBO Power
Posted On: April 11, 2013

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