There is a story about
Following her election in 1979, the story goes that Thatcher took her all-male cabinet out to dinner. The waiter asked what she would like. "I'll have the beef," she said. The waiter asked, "What about the vegetables?" "They'll have the same," Thatcher replied.
"Thatcher Saved Britain," read a headline in the
Thatcher began dismantling the welfare state, breaking up state monopolies and confronting powerful unions. Reagan shared her views and the two of them sought to restore their people's faith in individualism, turning them away from the false and failed doctrine of government as savior.
I met Thatcher on several occasions and saw her "live" many times, including during a debate in the
Her longtime director of press and communications,
After Thatcher left office, we shared the stage at an event in
She transcended identity politics. Her ideas, not her gender, were supreme.
British Prime Minister
She also shared Reagan's gift for turning a phrase. Among many reprinted in the British press: "For me, pragmatism is not enough. Nor is that fashionable word 'consensus.' . . . To me consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects..."
In a 1981 speech she said, "My policies are based not on some economics theory, but on things I and millions like me were brought up with: an honest day's work for an honest day's pay; live within your means; put by a nest egg for a rainy day; pay your bills on time; support the police."
True to her principles to the end, she requested that she not be given a state funeral with military flyovers. "It would be a waste of money," she reportedly said. Instead, Thatcher's ceremonial funeral will be conducted at
Not a bad epitaph.
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