Margaret Thatcher RIPTrevor Parry
The passing of Margaret Thatcher is truly the end of an epoch. A age in which character and conviction in leadership mattered. She was part of a great triumvirate which oversaw the end of Soviet communism. Together with the then enact economic strength of the United States, marshalled by Ronald Reagan, the sheer force of good standing against tyranny represented by Pope John Paul II, Margaret Thatcher was the first to show that strength was the right approach. Thatcher was even more important for Britain. A tired country firmly embracing its downward progression as a past great power, Thatcher rallied the British spirit and returned a can do attitude to British affairs.
Her actions against the hegemony of British trade unions is surely her greatest legacy. Arthur Scargill and the other contemptuous union leaders were well on turning Britain into the pinnacle welfare state in which nothing was produced except unending grievances. Thatcher said no and broke Scargill and his ilk. Thatcher helped the City of London return as the pre-eminent financial centre, a status they still retain today despite even the machinations of Gordon Brown.
We in Canada should look at Mrs. Thatcher as what could have been. When Britain had decided to right the ship of state Canadians returned Pierre Trudeau to power with a majority government. A Canada full of promise became a protégé of Labour. Businesses were punished, unions encouraged and the civil service expanded. When Britain was arresting her financial decay Trudeau was establishing a permanent national debt. When Thatcher’s resolute leadership inspired Her Majesty’s troops to victory in the Falklands Trudeau was enforcing official bilingualism. Quebec bureaucrats and generals took over the civil and armed services.
So we say goodbye to the Iron Lady and may she rest in peace. We in Canada now have a second chance at charting our future. We can continue along the prudent path demonstrated by the thoughtful stewardship of Stephen Harper, and perhaps hope that he embraces some of the conservatism that Margaret Thatcher espoused (as he did in his earlier days) or we can cast all the progress aside and elect the Prince Dauphin, the drama teacher, the haircut, Justin.
Canadians need to look abroad, to history to chart the right path. Margaret Thatcher rescued Britain from bankruptcy, financial and moral. To embrace the son of arguably the worst Prime Minister in Canadian history because he is pretty is an exercise in national suicide. Mrs. Thatcher when asked about the rigour and perceived harshness of her policies said “the Lady is not for turning”. Let us hope Canadians see in our current Prime Minister the same metal and turn not from this path of prudence that has made Canada and country of stability, and opportunity, envied by our friends and foes alike.
Posted: April 9th, 2013 under General.