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Posts Tagged ‘Maggie THATCHER’

So Has David Cameron Made A €2B Hole In His Electoral Future?

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 25/10/2014

So Has David Cameron Made A €2B Hole In His Electoral Future?
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 So Has David Cameron Made A €2B Hole In His Electoral Future?
Clearly he was either deliberately publishing spin to dupe the electorate OR criminally incompetent & ill informed!

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Hi,
many will have by now noted David Cameron’s ill informed outburs over his Government’s undertaking to pay an additional £1.7Bn. to the EU.
Within a very short time I Tweeted that it was possible that with his idiotic & ill tempered outburst he may well have signed his electoral ‘Death Warrant’.
In discussion of the complex nature of the agreement he was very publicly posturing to SEEM as if he was outraged it became apparent that Richard North was working on a complex blog explaining the details – which I have with his full permission posted below as a >GUEST POST<.
However to summarise:
In 2012 & 2013 the UN was negotiating with all the relevant international organisations WTO (World Trade Organisation), CODEX (Codex Alimentarius [standards for food etc.]), OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), USA, EU, etc. etc. to agree a new and more accurate INAS (International National Accounting System) which would give a standardised method of presenting National Accounts.
The UN achieved agreement in early 2013 – on 13-Mar-2013 for and on behalf of the British Government William Hague signed up to this new system of accounting which resulted in new and standardised methods of presenting such figures as GDP (Gross Domestic Product), GNI (Gross National Income) and the like.
The final agreement we had entered into was presented and published 22-Apr-2013.
The EU then carried out almost its only relevant action of significance which was to rubber stamp the new methods into EU law, as the EU makes very little actual law of any consequence being largely a redundant and outdated concept. The EU merely translates laws handed down to them by such International bodies as The WTO, IMF (International Monetary Fund), CODEX, UN, WHO (World Health Organisation) and the like putting their impramature on the item and them inclines to pretend it is some authoratitive EU decision when clearly they have merely acted as a rubber stamp!
Naturally the sooner Britain can Leave-The_EU we can resume our positiopn at the top table internationally negotiating with the many global bodies that make the law and acting in defence of not just Britain but the many smaller countries that formerly depended on Britain through the Commonwealth to ensure a sound grounding to new international laws rather than being muzzled and sidelined by our membership of the EU who are seeking ideas that are one size fits all on the basis that their representative may well be considering the interests of Malta, Latvia, France or Spain but more probably Germany or France above those of these United Kingdoms and Commonwealth countries and the Anglosphere!
The mantra that at thwe heart of the EU Britain is better represented is clearly nonsense as it not just distances Britain from the decision making but divorces us from influence of any value on the world stage where we have so many allies and trading partners of long standing.
To revert to the present debacle over our debt to the EU of a supplementary €2Billion, the methodology of calculating payments to the EU was defined when we signed The Treaty of Rome and has been clarified and recodified through the treaties of Amsterdam, Nice, Maastricht and most recently Lisbon. The minutiae of the payment structure was an integral part of Maggie Thatcher’s Government signature to the 1988 Single Market Act.
Further the talks regarding INAS have been ongoing within the UN since 1993 andf as I said were signed off by Britain in March 2013 leading to enshrinement in the ESA as published 22-Apr-2013.
Our own ONS (Office of National Statistics) in May 2014 provided an executive summary and a 650 detailed exposition of the new agreement we had chosen to be bound by via the ESA, including a detailed section warning of the consequences to GNI – which materially alters our annual debt to the EU – a matter which was published and widely distributed by the EU in an open Press Release in January this year.
We have all by now heard David Cameron’s posturings on this matter but in his refusal to pay as it is British tax payers’ money and they are his employers you may have missed the weasle words that sotto voce stated as to be expected to pay by 01-Dec-2014 was unreasonable – OK so when will he pay?
You will note Barosso has publicly reminded everyone that the agreement was made long ago and that the agreed due date for calculation was December annually – clearly the emergency meeting of relevant ministers is as to when the due date for payment shall be executed, after which default will be fined on a percentage basis amounting to 43Million a month (though I am uncertain whether that will be 43M £s or €s) – no doubt David Cameron will be seeking to save face and have, if not the payment, the fines payable from AFTER the General Election!
Cameron speaking in 2010.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“We owe them this much
& I refuse to pay”!
I trust this helps clarify the position a little and I apologise for including this in what is primarily a Ukip web site blog but it does materially play into the hands of Ukip amongst the less well informed though as so often through no ability of Ukip!
BAROSSO 01“It’s a very small part of the money I get
To use to bribe MEPs to betray their countries”
As one senior journalist recently said to me Ukip are like a minor league football team, they lack a competent manager, have poor coaching, are without a star striker, utilise the owners wife to do PR and have little understanding of the rules nor the required kit and are clearly ‘unfit’ – when they find themselves playing against a Premiere League team they jun around the pitch in eveer decreasing circles shouting and abusing causing something of a melee, which the professional  Premiere team find bemusing resulting in many errors that place Ukip in the embarrassing situation of winning as a result of a series of own goals by the championship team!
Failing all else they just hurl abuse at the referee and other match officials to get attention and distract from the actual game.
FARAGE, Nigel awash 01 publicity pic co CROUCHER“Actually they owe this much
& he’ll have to pay”
from a Ukip publicity shot
of Nigel Farage,
standing in a puddle,
on a building site in Kent!
You will no doubt have realised from the leading article in today’s Telegraph and numerous other papers, even the broadcast media the journalists would seem to have the most febrile grasp of how the EU functions, almost on a par, it would seem, to that of The Prime Minister!
To quote The Telegraph:
000a Telegraph-025 Budget.jpg
It is strange that the media and politicians are so ill informed when you consider the salaries, perks and expenses most of them receive! Even stranger is the fact that the politicians fail to read copious reports produced at considerable cost to the tax payers, produced often by their own departments!
However to be fair it is worth noting that in about May The Financial Times published an article on the subject, which clearly few read, as did The Economist in August!

To move on here, with thanks and as promised, is the most up to date version of Richard North’s far more detailed clarification of the position David Cameron has foolishly painted himself into:

EU budget: the story so far

Sunday 26 October 2014

000a Telegraph-024 Budget2.jpg

When the news broke of the “shock” demand that Britain should pay €2.2bn (£1.7bn) into the EU coffers by the end of next month, the media was all at sea as to the reasons. The likes of the Guardian had it that it was: “because the UK economy is doing better relative to other European economies”. Yet this is not closer to the truth than many of the other theories that have since sprung up.

According to the Guardian, British and European Commission officials confirmed that the Treasury had been told last week that budget contribution calculations based on gross national income (GNI) adjustments carried out by Eurostat, the EU statistics agency, had “exposed a huge discrepancy between what Britain had been asked to contribute and what it should be paying, because of the UK’s recovery”.

The “bombshell”, apparently first reported by the Financial Times, was dropped into the middle of a European Council meeting in Brussels where Cameron and 27 other leaders were “mired in tough negotiations over climate-change policy and attempts to agree big reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030”.

In response, or so the story went, a Downing Street source said: “It’s not acceptable to just change the fees for previous years and demand them back at a moment’s notice. The European Commission was not expecting this money and does not need this money and we will work with other countries similarly affected to do all we can to challenge this”.

Such was the apparent suddenness of this demand, though, that Kirkup in the Telegraph was speculating that the “colleagues” were perhaps EU trying to push Britain towards leaving. Even the noble Guardian – lover of all things “European” – remained nonplussed, telling us that the “infuriating” reason for this sudden hike is “because Eurostat has reviewed the figures and believes the UK economy has performed better in recent years than was previously believed”.

The following day had the Independent tell us that George Osborne had “left David Cameron in the dark” about the EU’s “unexpected” demand. The Chancellor, we were told, had known about the bill since the beginning of the week, yet the prime minister had only been told on Thursday, just as he had been on his way to Brussels for the European Council.

Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, is said to have known about the bill before Mr Cameron was informed, which has left the prime minister venting his anger from a podium in the press suite in the Brussels Council building, declaring: “This is completely unacceptable. It is an unacceptable way for this organisation to work – to suddenly present a bill like this for such a vast sum of money with so little time to pay it”.

Thus, days after Mr Cameron’s supposed “ambush”, the collected political/media establishment are still having trouble coming to terms with what precisely has happened, and why. So lacking is the comprehension that the Daily Telegraph leader yesterday was accusing the Commission of acting on a “whim”, while another pundit was arguing that the timing was politically motivated.

Shining like a beacon through the morass, however, are the comments from Angela Merkel during the European Council. According to the Telegraph, she told David Cameron that: “This did not come out of the blue”, adding that she could “understand” that it was difficult to come up with money but “this should have been expected”.

Remarkably, diplomats are recorded as described Merkel’s intervention as “cold-blooded and ruthless” but this is hardly the case. The German Chancellor was only stating the obvious – and very far removed from the Telegraph’s earlier idea that some anonymous official in the EU’s statistical department woke up one day and decided – presumably just for the fun of it – to review all the GNI figures. It should have been expected.

In fact the process which has delivered this result starts, not with Eurostat but with the United Nations and its System of National Accounts, a process of producing standardised accounts for every nation in the world, which has been in place since 1953. Far from coming out of the blue, the timeline for the events of last week start in 1993, when the last standard was published, a process which automatically triggers a review which inexorably leads to the next published standard.

If this seems complicated, it isn’t really – it is a process of continuous review, carried out by many international and national organisations, the bureaucratic equivalent of painting the Forth Bridge. As soon as you have finished, you start all over again.

In this case, the review triggered by the 1993 standard was carried out under the responsibility of five organisations: the UN as the lead organisation, plus the International Monetary Fund, the OECD, the World Bank and … the European Union. It took 15 years, numerous meetings and many consultation sessions, before the work complete.

Thus, it was not until 2008 that the United Nations was able to issue its revised standard, setting out the new international rules for how nations should calculate their gross national products (and their GNIs). This represented – as the introduction to the standard declared – “an update, mandated by the United Nations Statistical Commission in 2003, of the System of National Accounts 1993”.

The new standard was formally published in 2009, which then put the EU out of line with the global system. So, in December 2010, the Commission issued a legislative proposals (COM(2010) 774 final) aimed at bringing its own system – the European System of Accounts (ESA), last amended in 1995 – back into line.

The proposed regulation took over two years going through the process, but was agreed by William Hague at the Council of Ministers in Luxembourg on 22 April 2013, following a single reading by the European Parliament on 13 March. It became Regulation (EU) No 549/2013 of 21 May 2013 on “the European system of national and regional accounts in the European Union”. A mere 727 pages long, its short title was the “ESA 2010 regulation”.

For those who cared to read the European Parliament position document, it clearly warned that: “The Commission uses: “aggregates of national and regional accounts for Union administrative purposes and, in particular, budgetary calculations”. Thus, anyone paid to watch such things (such as Treasury officials) should have known that there was a potential for impacting on UK contributions to the EU.

Then, in January 2014, Eurostat pitched in with a press briefing, explaining the impact of the changes – pointing out that the US – which had introduced the international standard a year earlier – had experienced  a 3.5 percent “boost” in its GNP – entirely due to the new method of accounting.

Making things abundantly clear, the press release also noted: which should have made things clear. National accounts, it said, “have a deeper role. They are at the source of many of the indicators that constitute the quantitative backbone of European economic governance. Gross Domestic Product (GDP), more precisely Gross National Income, is at the heart of the calculation of the EU budget”.

The European Union, we were also told, “will fully move to ESA 2010 in September 2014, when the data transmission programme included in ESA 2010 Regulation enters into application”. It warned: “The national accounts data will then be compiled all around Europe based on the new methodology”.

That most certainly should have rung alarm bells. Every year on 1 December, the Commission revises its estimates of member state liabilities for their annual contributions to the EU budget. And what was coming through was that the UK would be showing a rise in GNI higher than the European average.

Interestingly, the change to the criteria was flagged up by the Financial Times, but not until 23 April 2014 – nearly a year after the EU regulation had come into force. It did not reveal the UN source though. In our post, a few days later, though, we did track down the origin, noting that the FT was remarking that the picture on the UK economy (then improving) was to get even better in September when the UK “adopts the new international standards for national income accounting”.

000a Economist-025 GDP.jpg

Then, just to add to the picture, the change was also flagged up by the UK’s ONS in May 2014, and also by the Economist magazine in the August. This time, the UK’s relative position was shown, with an increment of about 4.5 percent in its GNP. As other EU member states were not increasing by the same amount, it should then have been obvious to Treasury officials that the UK’s contributions to Brussels were going to increase by a substantial amount.

If there had been any doubt, Eurostat – now with a legislative mandate to produce a new system – had in any case come up with a 655-page document in July 2013, describing the full methodology on the ESA 2010 standard. And it was this methodology that was to be applied by ONS, which calculated the figures and passed them to Brussels.

Currently, with the September 2014 implementation deadline passed, Eurostat has checked and approved the revised GNI figures prepared by the EU member states, and passed them on to Brussels. And it is on these figures that latest EU contributions have been based for the 1 December review – one of which Mrs Merkel was apparently aware, but was apparently unknown to Mr Cameron.

The irony now is almost too much to bear. When the UK joined the EEC in 1973, it was felt it that it was paying an excessive budgetary contribution – excessive because the UK was undergoing financial crises and its GNP was depressed.

It was then proposed that the contributions should be linked to GDP – which latterly became GNI – but this was not implemented until 1988 as the Own Resources Decision (ORD) 1988. But that was putting into effect the 1984 agreement with Margaret Thatcher at Fountainebleau, after she had settled Britain’s rebate. At the heart of Mr Cameron’s travails, therefore, is Mrs Thatcher’s famous “handbag” victory, reducing Britain’s contributions. Perhaps it should have come with a heath warning: “what goes down can go up”.

With Britain’s annual contribution to the EU now linked to GNI as a result of Mrs Thatcher’s endeavours, this made it inevitable that, with the GNI increasing under the new, UN-mandated system of accounting, Britain’s contribution was going to increase.

It is thus all very well for Mr Cameron to huff and puff about refusing to pay a “completely unacceptable” bill, but he has no grounds to do so. The original system was agreed by Margaret Thatcher. Amendments were approved by Tony Blair’s government and Gordon Brown in 2007, making them equally responsible, and the new system of accounting was agreed by Mr Cameron’s own government last year.

Thus, Mrs Merkel was absolutely right. Mr Cameron should not have been in the least surprised by the £1.7bn additional bill. This is nothing to do with the improvement in the British economy – it simply reflects a change in the accounting procedure, which has been on the stocks for two decades, the effects of which were predictable five years ago.

Although one is concerned for the poor benighted taxpayer, therefore, there can be no sympathy for Mr Cameron. This is the man who is in favour of continued membership of the EU: all he had to do was read the 727-page regulations which his government approved, or the 655-page explanatory document produced by Eurostat. He would then have known exactly where the UK stood.

With his government having agreed the new regulation, bringing in the changes to the way the GNI was calculated – and the consequences of those changes having been flagged up – Mr Cameron has no excuses.

Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, the German MEP who has been speaking to the BBC is absolutely right: “everybody has to pay their dues”. Whether we like it or not, his government is legally obliged to pay the bill, as it conforms with the system he personally endorses and which his government has approved.

But the biggest irony of all is that no-one ever set out to increase the UK’s bill. This is simply an unintended consequence of the routine processes of globalisation that are going on all the time – unseen and largely unrecognised. But once the UN had changed the system, the EU had no choice but to conform – leading to the current situation.

Presumably, Mr Farage is now going to demand that we leave the UN – one of the many villains of the story. But at the heart of Mr Cameron’s discomfort, it seems to me, is a failure of communication.  He should have been told well in advance what was going to happen.

And there lies a final irony – he was in Brussels trying to convince the “colleagues” to buy into his climate change fantasy, which is set to cost the UK £1.3 trillion by 2050. Against that, a mere £1.7bn seems small change.

To view Dr. Richard North’s original article CLICK HERE

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Regards,

Greg_L-W..

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THATCHER, Baroness Margaret Hilda – IN MEMORIAM

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 08/04/2013

THATCHER, Baroness Margaret Hilda – IN MEMORIAM
Born: Roberts 13-Oct-1925 – Died 08-Apr-2013 Aged 87
A Personal In Memoriam!
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IN MEMORIAM

THATCHER, Baroness Margaret Hilda

nee: Roberts

Born:13-Oct-1925 – Died 08-Apr-2013

Aged 87

THATCHER, Margaret Hilda
DEATH CERTIFICATE

Thatcher hailed for changing political landscape of the world

World leaders remember Margaret Thatcher

as woman of indisputable resolve & patriotism

Mon, Apr 8 2013
Member of the European Parliament, Nikki Sinclair, places a floral tribute outside the home of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher after her death was announced in London April 8, 2013. REUTERS-Suzanne Plunkett
An Admirer of Maggie Thatcher
Places a floral tribute at Baroness Thatcher’sLoved or loathed in death as in life, Margaret Thatcher left no one indifferent, finding some of her most ardent admirers among her political opponents.

Very few leaders get to change not only the political landscape of their country but of the world. Margaret was such a leader,” said the odious and self serving Tony Blair, the centre-left Labour leader who brought his own party back to power not least by heeding the lessons of “Thatcherism“.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader whom she famously declared she could “do business with”, said their mutual understanding “contributed to a change in the atmosphere between our country and the West and to the end of the Cold War“.

Thatcher’s warm relations with Gorbachev’s direct adversary, U.S. president Ronald Reagan, and their shared espousal of the free market and individual liberty, along with her readiness to provide a base for U.S. nuclear missiles, gave Britain greater influence in Washington than it has normally enjoyed.

“The world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend,” said U.S. President Barack Obama.

Here in America, many of us will never forget her standing shoulder to shoulder with President Reagan, reminding the world that we are not simply carried along by the currents of history – we can shape them with moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will.

Pope Francis recalled, with appreciation, “the Christian values which underpinned her commitment to public service and to the promotion of freedom among the family of nations“.

At home, Conservatives mourned the leader who set a free-market agenda in Britain and Europe and famously announced “there is no such thing as society” as she put individual enterprise and self-reliance before the state and the social safety net.

David Cameron, the prime minister who led the Conservatives back to power but without the absolute majority Thatcher enjoyed throughout her premiership, said: “We’ve lost a great prime minister, a great leader, a great Briton.

As our first woman prime minister, Margaret Thatcher succeeded against all the odds, and the real thing about Margaret Thatcher is that she didn’t just lead our country, she saved our country. And I believe she’ll go down as the greatest British peacetime prime minister.

THATCHER AND THE EU

Thatcher is remembered in Britain for resisting the idea that the European Union should move ever closer to political union, but, at a time when Britain is once again agonising over its role in Europe, EU leaders much keener on closer integration had warm words for her.

The unelected European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said “she would be remembered both for her contributions and her reserves to our common project“:

She signed the Single European Act and she helped bring about the single market. She was a leading player also in bringing into the European family the central and eastern European countries which were formerly behind the Iron Curtain.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a fellow conservative who grew up in communist East Germany and went on like Thatcher to become the first woman to head her country’s government, said:

The freedom of the individual was at the core of her convictions; in that sense Margaret Thatcher recognised the strength of the movements for freedom of eastern Europe early on and stood up for them.

“Margaret Thatcher was not a women’s politician – but by asserting herself as a woman in the highest democratic office at a time when this was not yet a given, she was an example to many.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thatcher was “a pragmatic, tough and consistent person” and that these qualities had enabled her to help pull Britain out of economic crisis, for which people should be grateful despite the criticism she faced.

Putin, who once called the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century“, said Russiawill always be thankful” for the contribution Thatcher made to British-Soviet and British-Russian ties.

It was left to Vaclav Klaus, former Czech prime minister and president and a self-proclaimed “Thatcherite”, to set her vision against Europe’s current crisis. He said the European Union’s ailing economic and social model was “exactly what she, as the first woman in the post of British prime minister, fought against since the end of the 1970s“.

Her voice is also missing in today’s discussion on European integration,” Klaus added. “Many of us will never forget her famous speech in Bruges, where she clearly said that the suppression of nation states and concentration of power in Brussels will destroy Europe.

LINGERING RESENTMENT

But there were plenty of voices in Britain ready to express the resentment that still lingers against a woman who broke the power and self serving scams of the trade unions, ran down or privatised many subsidised and heavily loss making state-run utilities and institutions and eroded the excesses of post-war welfare state.

Margaret thatcher halted the downward slide of Britain into a quasi Communist and anarchic control by Union blackmail & Labour’s economic illiteracy and missrule. Sadly it was largely little more than a delay as so often happens a stron leader can break a party by failure to consider the future leaving weak and incompetent leadership and structures behind them.

Betrayed by the personal ambitions of low grade rivals incompetent to take on the leadership role like Hesseltine, Major and the like we suffered the open door for 13 unlucky years of dishonest, corrupt, economic incompetent self serving New Labour ambitions and lies, war crimes and betrayal.

Margaret Thatcher, an enlarger of British freedom

By Sir Harold Evans
Sir Harold Evans

Sir Harold Evans is editor-at-large at Reuters. He was the editor of The Sunday Times for fourteen years, and is the author of two best-selling American histories, as well as two memoirs about his experience in the media business.
Original article published at CLICK HERE
April 8, 2013

My immediate and lasting  memory of Mrs. Thatcher — Maggie as we called her — is sitting next to her in the late sixties at a dinner table as she scorched a bunch of City of London financial types. I was astonished. She wasn’t yet the Iron Lady. She wasn’t  in government. Labour was in power. She was  an obscure back bench Conservative MP, elected only in 1959, noticed in those sexist days (has much changed?) as much for her hats and aggressive hair style as for  her passionate defence of grammar schools under threat of closure from Labour.

What she did with the City of London men  was later characterised as a  “hand-bagging.” A black Asprey bag she always carried was metaphorically wielded against people she saw as standing in the way of the greatness of Britain as Boudica, the leader of a British tribe, wielded a lance against the Roman occupiers. I suppose that as a new national editor (of The Sunday Times), and with normal male presumption , I had expected to lead the questioning of the ten or so big names and the table. I didn’t stand a chance. Maggie pounded and pummeled them all by herself for an hour. I can’t pretend this is verbatim but it went something like this: “All you people are interested in is moving paper around, making money not things. What are you doing for British industry? When are you going to help business stand up to  the unions?”  They murmured, they shuffled, they were outclassed. British elections — six weeks to  a vote and no paid television ads — have never been as corrupted by money as much as American, so she was not turning off a potential source of funding as an American candidate would fear to do. Still these were  men — all men of course  — who were influential and articulate and used to reverence not rebuke.

Maggie could be seductive in private conversation one on one, more so as she matured,  the strident voice of the public halls giving way to a softer, more seductive style, hand on an arm, intent eye to eye in persuasion. She was afraid of nobody, respecter of no convention she considered archaic. The British custom at dinner parties was always for the host to murmur “coffee?” which was signal for “the ladies” to leave for the powder room while the men, over cigars and port, got down to serious business. It was  a small sensation — regarded in some circles as a grave breach of etiquette — when at a dinner party I attended thrown by her egregious confidante Woodrow Wyatt, Maggie stayed in her seat unabashed, uninvited,  and unfazed by the  arguments over the cigars (in this case by a couple of captains of industry who wanted to be part of Europe and she defiantly raised the Union Jack).

The trade unions at the time were busy wreaking havoc on industry. The far left had infiltrated Labour constituencies; Labour candidates were as scared of the militants then as primary Republicans of the Tea Party candidates today.  Local union chiefs called wildcat strikes, disrupted production.  The union movement, with some Labour ministers in support, threatened a closed shop in the press which would have curtailed free speech. I’d spoken out against it as had the  then editor of The Guardian, Alastair Hetherington. At another of those endless London dinners where Maggie  was the speaker and still not in government,  she referred to me as “one of us.” I wasn’t. I was just expressing a view on an issue. We had many things in common, both from the north, both educated in state schools, both brought up in a grocer’s shop, in my case one my mother started, in hers one her father ran. I admired her.  I was one of the millions of voters in the 1979  general election  which put her into power as the first woman prime minister. The country  was in dreadful shape, fearful and anxious during a winter of discontent in which trade union militants blocked cancer patients getting treatment and garbage piled up in  the center of London.

She saved Britain from anarchy and immediately restored a sense of purpose. She could be rough. As Prime Minister,  she had a limited tolerance for dissent and an infinite regard for personal loyalty. If you were not with on her everything, she  regarded you as disloyal, as unreliable, lacking conviction.  I suppose it was the reverse mirror of her indomitable courage. How valiant she was when the IRA terrorists blew up her conference hotel; they tried to murder her and almost succeeded.  She was often vindicated. She was impatient with excuses for inertia and woolliness — vividly represented  in Meryl Streep’s representation of her cutting off a Cabinet member in mid speech.  I disappointed her by giving space in The Times  to critics, especially one of them, Edward Heath,  whom she’d ousted as Prime Minister. The imperatives of news meant we published  news stories she didn’t like: she’d  sunk in the polls and recession deepened. Relations became a little chillier. As an editor, I’d never sought to cosy up  to political leaders,  but I now understand more of what she was up against – the Tory snobs in the counties,  the plotters in the party who eventually betrayed her, the “wets” and the “wimps”  who would yield on a principle she considered vital.

When she became Prime Minister I was editor of The Times. We backed her a hundred per cent on trade union reforms, on holding the line on pay, especially in the public sector and  on advocating more competition in the banking industry, on free trade, on resisting terrorism in Northern Ireland. I told her I  thought she moved too slowly against trade union anarchy, but she bided her time and planned well.   She won a famous victory against the coal miners, badly led by a firebrand who took money from Gaddafi, and it was thanks to her stalwart support  of Rupert Murdoch, whom she admired as a free-booting entrepreneur , that he was able to win the battle of Wapping which ended the guerilla warfare of the print unions.

Margaret Thatcher, whatever the missteps, will  take her place in the pantheon of heros – sorry, heroines – who enlarged British freedom.

.

Regards,

Greg_L-W..

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