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Margaret Thatcher Monday, 8 April, 2013
“Without doubt Margaret Thatcher was the greatest peacetime Prime Minister of the 20th century. Certainly controversial and to many she was a figure of hatred but she saved our country from onward decline and gave us the confidence to stand up for ourselves. And we tend to forget now that to be the first female leader of a major British political part and female Prime Minister who stamped her personality and influence on politics and our country was not just unusual but unheard of.
“Domestically she brought down inflation and unemployment, she curbed the unaccountable powers of the trade unions, and she introduced privatisation, enabled council tenants to buy their own homes, increased popular shareholding and reduced the role of the state in so many ways. She enabled Britain to hold its head up again after some years of political, diplomatic and economic decline. WE were no longer the sick man of Europe.
“On the international front she redefined our relationship with the European Union, she recovered the Falklands, she was a major player in bringing an end to the Cold War and ensured that across the world the United Kingdom was a country to be reckoned with.
“On a personal level I met her only a few times and was not of that younger generation that grew up in her shadow but whenever I met her she was charming, interested and wholly lacking in self-regard. I last saw her when she was my partner at a dinner party three years ago. Although by then elderly and showing some signs of frailty she was spirited, full of interest in current and not so current political and world affairs and was a charming companion. She will be missed by her family and she will be missed by her country.”
Sir Edward Garnier QC MP (Harborough, Oadby and Wigston)
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