Our Readers' Opinions
April 9, 2013

The Iron Lady – Margaret Thatcher

Tue Apr 9, 2013

Editor: The passing of Margaret Thatcher, former British Prime Minister, has brought favourable comments from world leaders and other top ranking and powerful personnel, describing her as a icon, the Iron Lady, an influential and powerful leader who served 11 years as head of government and most importantly the first and only woman to be Prime Minister of Britain.{{more}}

Among the praises showered on her was that she was influential in bringing an end to the cold war and dismantling the Soviet Union and was a close friend and model to US President Ronald Reagan, but did not support the move by the US to invade Grenada. She was also praised for recapturing the Falklands and even former prime minister, Tony Blair, when he took over as prime minister from successor John Major in 1997, lauded her for the important role she played for her country. Her party kicked her out, following criticisms from the public, among them that she was a milk snatcher, having denied schoolchildren their regular supplies and for using the courts, the police and gullible Brits to destroy trade unions and communities. She was also condemned for introducing poll tax.

Former Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Sir James Mitchell met Thatcher on a couple of occasions and in his book “Beyond the Islands” said that Thatcher had invited him to 10 Downing Street because he gathered that she felt that “he’s one of the sensible ones”. She had also given him the assurance of showing interest in the market of Caribbean bananas, and she indicated to him she was thoroughly against the use of illegal drugs, stating that it was a killer. Mitchell said he had asked the “Iron Lady if it would be a good idea to legalize drugs as a way to deal with the drug money.”

Sir James in his book said he told the British Prime Minister that “we in the Caribbean could not implement such an idea unless the British and the Americans led the way” and the response was “absolutely not”, as dealing in drugs is dealing in death. If drugs become more available, more people will die,” Thatcher responded.

Despite criticism in some quarters about the woman who was known as the Iron Lady, the tributes paid to her from the world over were overwhelming for the 87-year-old, who had done a fantastic job, not only for her country, but the Commonwealth and the wider world. May her soul rest in peace.

Oscar Ramjeet