Not a tonic for me
I thought the tributes paid by members of parliament to the departed Margaret Thatcher were fitting and worthy of one of our great prime ministers.
Her funeral was further evidence of the great esteem in which she is held.
This makes me question why Glenda Jackson would be ‘a tonic for a man too ill to work on Wednesday!’.
Lest we forget, when Mrs Thatcher was elected by the country to form an administration in 1979, it was against a background of a decade of great decline.
Successive governments’ failure to handle the militant trades unions and in turn the modernisation and reform necessary for us to compete in the world, had made us ‘the poor man of Europe’.
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We had the three day working week, permanent strikes and inflation at more than 20 per cent.
These issues had to be addressed by someone with strong leadership, vision, an iron will and an inexhaustible energy for hard work.
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She fitted these criteria perfectly and, despite the many difficulties she and we had to overcome, she persevered and had the confidence and trust of the people who voted her back in with large majorities for two further terms of office.
The curbing of union power and the balancing of the economy in a fairer way between the state and private sectors meant there was less state intervention and more personal responsibility and achievement.
This was conviction politics, not consensus politics but so essential.
She gave a nation back its pride and an enhanced reputation and stature in the world.
Without her great qualities, we would have been a poorer country in every sense. History will be her judge and so be it.
For those who see Glenda Jackson as a tonic, I would only say that she will never replace a large gin!
Neither will she be remembered for any political contribution of worth.