The title of this post is from a poem by Rudyard Kipling, but could the 2017 General Election be a rerun of the 1983 General Election, where Margaret Thatcher gave Michael Foot, the order of the boot?
Jeremy Corbyn is actually two years younger than Michael Foot was at the 1983 General Election, which was incidentally when he was elected for the first time.
At the 1983 General Election Margaret Thatcher was in her late-fifties and now Theresa May is in her early-sixties.
I think that humorists and cartoonists will be having a good election, drawing comparisons.
Thatcher won her biggest victory in the Falklands, so will May win her victory in the Brexit negotiations?
I certainly feel that far outposts like the Falklands and Gibraltar could figure in this election.
According to one reporter on the BBC this morning, Angela Merkel did her usual and kept going for many hours in the Greek debt negotiations.
I’ve also read reports, that Margaret Thatcher used to show the same stamina. In fact, she was awake working, when the Brighton Bomb went off.
Interestingly, they are both women with a scientific training!
The Standard reported last night that Madrid has named a square after Margaret Thatcher and that there are calls to do the same in London.
We definitely should not, but then we don’t generally name squares, roads or buildings after politicians. Tastes change and one person’s hero may one day be some other person’s ogre.
Or as in the case of Jimmy Saville, there may be the darkest of secrets. The problems of erasing his memory are described here.
I sometimes describe myself as an engineer/scientist, despite the fact that I made most of my money by programming computers.
So this morning, this article entitled Thatcher and Hodgkin: How chemistry overcame politics, on the BBC’s web site caught my eye. Here’s the introduction.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dorothy Hodgkin’s Nobel Prize, a play – The Chemistry Between Them – has been written, looking at her friendship with Margaret Thatcher. Its creator Adam Ganz describes their ongoing mutual respect.
Whether you love or hate Margaret Thatcher, you must read the article about the relationship between two of the most influential British women of the twentieth century. There is this significant paragraph.
It’s a peculiar fact that the UK’s Margaret Thatcher and Germany’s Angela Merkel both studied science at university, yet no male leader of either country has had a science degree.
Is the lack of scientific knowledge amongst world leaders the reason, why the world is in such a mess?
I shall be listening to the play on Radio 4.
As regards the play, I can’t think of a serious play or film, with the exception of The Killing of Sister George and Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?, that has two female leads and no significant male parts.
The BBC is reporting that some Tory MPs want the August Bank Holiday to be renamed Margaret Thatcher Day in honour of the late former Prime Minister.
I think that not everything about Mrs. Thatcher was either good or bad but even if I was a massive supporter, I would not want to see the renaming.
Renaming the day would set a very dangerous precedent and every interest group would want a day named after their hero, so the arguments would go on ad infinitum, when there are more pressing problems facing the country.
But then most politicians don’t know a bad idea, when they see it!
An article by Charles Clover, who would probably be described as an environmentalist, wrote the article in the Sunday Times entitled, “If only we still had Thatcher, the scientist and mother of cleaner energy”.
But whatever, you say about Margaret Thatcher, she was a trained scientist and worked as one. Name another Prime Minister or President of any country, with those qualifications!
Today, I was going to have lunch with an old business partner in Surrey and getting to Waterloo station took me past Southwark Cathedral.
So I dropped by to have a quiet contemplation. As I’ve said in another post this place is special to me and as the sister of one of my friends, has a child near to death, I wanted to add my point fourpennyworth. Also being the day of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral I wanted to show respect privately in the way I do. I remember years ago, when Princess Diana’s funeral took place, I was on holiday in Northumberland with C. She watched it with a friend on the television and I just sat on the coast of Holy Island. I never watch this type of State pageantry on the television.
You could argue for years about Margaret Thatcher.
But it wasn’t what she did or didn’t do, that she leaves behind. In the course of history, there are only a few politicians, philosophers and sad to say despots and dictators, who have changed the world.
Margaret Thatcher showed that no rule or thought in traditional thinking is sacrosanct, when it comes to shaping the world. Since then we’ve seen lots of radical ideas work, that would have never even been thought of, had not Margaret Thatcher and a few others shown that you could do something different.
Would Tony Blair have been able to reform a Labour Party, stuck in the 1920s, without Margaret Thatcher showing what radical thinking could do? Or Ken Livingstone, reinvent himself, to make a comeback as the London Mayor. I suspect, if Margaret Thatcher hadn’t been a radical Prime Minister, we’d have had a succession of useless worthies in the last few years.
I’ll only give one example of where Margaret Thatcher ditched conventional thinking.
In 1982, conventional thinking, said that to attempt to retake the Falkland Islands after the Argentine invasion was utter madness, and many on all sides of the political spectrum said that to give the islands away was the best solution. How many people today, think that the decision to retake the islands was wrong? Not many I suspect! I’ve even met an Argentinian, who felt that we did his country a favour, by effectively getting rid of the evil dictatorship of General Galtieri.
Without Margaret Thatcher my life today would be very different.
After I had sold my first successful software; Pert7 to ADP, I received an offer to go to the United States to write a PERT system for a large US computer corporation.
How they got my number or the fact I’d sold out, I don’t know?
Soon after, I was approached to write a PERT system, which later became Artemis, so I turned the Americans down.
I suspect that if that hadn’t happened, I’d have eventually moved across the Atlantic, as it was just impossible to provide for a growing family with the tax rates, then in force.
i didn’t move, as neither C or myself could have ever lived abroad permanently.
But Margaret Thatcher’s Tax and other reforms enabled me to stay in the country of my birth. If tax rates were still as the eighty percent plus they were in the nineteen seventies, I doubt many of the brightest in the UK, would not have gone to where pastures were greener.
One aside here is a story from my accountant of the 1980s. A confirmed Socialist, he was not a supporter of Margaret Thatcher, but felt the tax reforms of the time were very good for the country. Although tax rates were lowered, her Chancellors were good at closing the myriad loopholes that had been developed by clever members of his profession. There may be a lesson here for today’s politicians, who need to both maximise the tax take and keep voters happy.
I never met Margaret Thatcher, although I should have done, solely because she got her priorities right.
A few months after we won our Queen’s Award, I went to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen,several politicians and a few others, for a reception, which I described here. Each company incidentally sent three people.
Mrs. Thatcher was supposed to attend, but the Welsh Secretary died that evening and she had other more important things to sort out.
The recently released papers show lots of details of meetings between Jimmy Savile and Margaret Thatcher. The details are here on the BBC.
It would appear that Margaret Thatcher did nothing untoward. In fact some of things that were suggested by Savile, were being thought of by the government anyway.
So there doesn’t seem to be much guilt by association here!