maggie t

Arguing with someone about Thatcher is like trying to persuade the person you're shouting at that actually they do like marmite and if they pretend they don't, then they're just narrow-minded and stupid. Both the haters and lovers of Thatcher are guilty of this approach.
As a woman with brains and ambition, Mrs Thatcher thought all this stagnation wasn't a joke. She thought she could do better. And she did.
I spoke at a Yes (for Scottish Independence) meeting last night and found it really difficult to speak thinking of how that old woman was looked after in the Ritz hotel in her dying days because"it gave the best care," while generations of my family have died in ward beds, in pain, and worrying that they were a burden
True, she was an extraordinary woman but she was extraordinary for mostly the wrong reasons. So many of her policies were flawed and often heartless. Nevertheless, I don't rejoice in her death. I commiserate, as I do with the death of any person. I send condolences to her family and friends.
Thatcher was certainly not a feminist either in principle or in practise. She is alleged to have said that feminism was "poison". Far from seeing herself as a role model to female politicians, she actually promoted fewer female MPs than her male predecessors. She was the archetypal successful woman who revelled in being 'one of the boys'. But in a curious way the cult around her, particularly in the later years of her career, was one that could only have been excited by a woman.
In the mid-1990s, I hosted a small dinner for Lady Thatcher and a group of Republican Senators in Washington. Bill Clinton had come out in favour of NATO expansion - which led a number of conservatives to come out against. During the evening, Lady Thatcher told the august group of Republicans around the table - all men, incidentally - to knock it off.
The terms 'great' or 'iconic' are too readily used in our modern celebrity culture, but Margaret Thatcher was a great and will remain an icon of the second half the twentieth century. Her place in history is secured by her position as Britain's first woman prime minister, and her legacy defined by the incredible transformation of the country under the governments that she led.