The Great Lady passes

The last time I saw Maggie

The last time I saw Maggie

I first heard that Maggie had passed away when BBC Radio Derby called me for a comment, so the news came as a bit of a shock.   But while I have always admired her enormously, I had met her only rarely and briefly over the years, so I was almost taken aback by the very real and immediate sense of personal bereavement and loss which hit me.  After swallowing hard, I recalled for the BBC one of those personal contacts — the occasion twenty years ago in Seoul, Korea, at a British Chamber of Commerce breakfast, when Korean journalists and photographers were milling round her in a state of chaos.  They were having trouble coping with the idea of a woman who was also a Head of Government and a global figure.  But she got them sorted out and into line with a few crisp, well-chosen words.  Korean men are not reared to respect women, but they recognise the stamp of authority when they see it.

On April 11th, I was speaking at a UKIP energy meeting in Bedford, and Local Chairman George Konstandinidis started the event with a minute’s silence for Maggie.  I was delighted to find that a UKIP meeting was happy to show that degree of cross-party respect for Lady Thatcher.

Yet she is so often misrepresented.  Both euro-fanatics and climate alarmists love to claim the endorsement of major political figures, often without justification.  I have lost count of the times I’ve been told in Brussels that Winston Churchill supported the idea of European Union.  He did indeed call for European integration, to prevent France and Germany from going to war with each other yet again, but he had no more idea of Britain forming part of that union, and ceding sovereignty to Brussels, than of flying to the moon.

Similarly, climate alarmists love to claim that Lady Thatcher was on their side.  True, she was one of the earliest world leaders to identify a possible issue with climate — but also, with her customary clarity and incisiveness, one of the first to see through it.  This what she wrote as early as 2002:

The doomsters’ favourite subject today is climate change. This has a number of attractions for them. First, the science is extremely obscure so they cannot easily be proved wrong. Second, we all have ideas about the weather: traditionally, the English on first acquaintance talk of little else. Third, since clearly no plan to alter climate could be considered on anything but a global scale, it provides a marvellous excuse for worldwide, supra-national socialism. All this suggests a degree of calculation. Yet perhaps that is to miss half the point. Rather, as it was said of Hamlet that there was method in his madness, so one feels that in the case of some of the gloomier alarmists there is a large amount of madness in their method.  — Margaret Thatcher, Statecraft, HarperCollins 2002

It is a tragedy that Lady T’s passing has been the occasion for unreconstructed leftists, Commies and assorted Trots to celebrate their opposition to her memory.  Their behaviour has been beyond the bounds of both politics and decency.  They have formed a Coalition of the Ignorant, the Small-Minded and the Mean-Spirited.  There is little they can do, of course, to demean her memory, which will shine on like a beacon long after her critics are forgotten, but they demean and debase themselves, and in the process they also demean their country.  We are all the poorer for their actions.

I am struck in particular by the Union leaders from the mining industry, who criticise Lady T as if they thought that they (and perhaps their children and grandchildren) had a divine right to mining jobs in perpetuity, whether or not the coal was there, and whether or not it could be economically extracted.  Writing as UKIP’s energy spokesman, I am rather keen on coal, but I accept that its extraction and supply have to be subject to normal commercial criteria, and we all have to recognise that no one has a right to a job for life.

The BBC has not distinguished itself over the issue of the Wizard of Oz song, which has been “Chart-Jacked” (I believe this is term) in order to get it played on Radio 1.  There appears to be a clash here between freedom of speech on the one hand, and common decency on the other.  But I think the proper response would have been straightforward.  The chart is meant to reflect public preferences in music.  The Witch song is clearly and demonstrably a political stunt, not an æsthetic preference, and therefore it has no place in a music programme.  It has already had too much coverage on news programmes.

I personally should not have had the temerity to lay claim to Maggie’s legacy on behalf of my new Party.  But I was glad to see that Fraser Nelson, the distinguished Editor of the Spectator, did just that in a Telegraph article.  He pointed out that Maggie listened to the voters.  She spoke in clear and accessible language about the issues that concern ordinary people.  She struck a chord with MondeoMan.  And love her or hate her, you knew where she stood.  None of today’s party leaders seems to have any of those qualities, as they huddle together on the shrinking “middle ground”.  None, says Fraser Nelson, except Nigel Farage.  “Margaret Thatcher listened to the voters”, he writes.  “Now it’s Nigel Farage who hears their despair”.

Perhaps it’s time for UKIP to pick up the Torch so recklessly abandoned by the Tory Party.

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12 Responses to The Great Lady passes

  1. matthu says:

    Perhaps as UKIP energy spokesman you could comment on this news item please?
    Is this decision worthy of an appeal?

  2. Phil J says:

    Sadly Roger, “respect” is a word, a notion and a way of life that is fast disappearing in this country. Those, including Union leaders, ought to hang their heads in shame at their grossly disrespectful behaviour!

  3. grumpydenier says:

    Plus, of course, Tony Benn closed more coal mines than Maggie ever did. Needless to say, it would be interesting to imagine the Miners’ Leaders’ reactions to the EU directives virtually guaranteeing the closure of the UK’s mines to conform with their stupid CO2 initiatives.

    Not that Germany worries about such things, as long as their wheels of industry keep rolling.

    • Andrew Shakespeare says:

      Yes, wasn’t Tony Blair lucky? Because if Maggie hadn’t withdrawn taxpayer subsidies for worked-out pits, he’d have had to choose between his beloved EU and his miners’ union backers. Labour should really be very, very grateful to Maggie, the thankless gits.

  4. cosmic says:


    Off topic, but have you seen this Chatham House report in biofuels in the UK?

    “The Trouble with Biofuels: Costs and Consequences of Expanding Biofuel Use in the United Kingdom

    Click to access 0413pp_biofuels.pdf

    Another expensive and useless folly which we are locked into courtesy of the EU and which national governments are powerless to do anything about.

  5. Jane Davies says:

    Once again Roger I find myself agreeing to everything you have said. My dealings with the present lot who “run” the country about the injustice of my frozen state pension and the fact that just a few expats are victims of this discrimination, leave me feeling that all politicians are hypocrites and liars, but you and Nigel, do indeed, come across as the total opposite to these self serving millionaires who are out of touch with us folk in the real world. Maggie did nothing about the injustice of the frozen 4%, but she was a strong defender of Britain and did not lie to us and she had “balls”, David Cameron and his buds are sadly lacking in that department.

  6. matthu says:

    Good to see Godfrey Bloom UKIP MEP telling the EU Parliament the truth about the stall in global warming – at the same time accusing the chairman of being a “denier”. Priceless! Only 1m 23s

    • Andrew Shakespeare says:

      Well, I think Godfrey should stop beating around the bush and just tell them what he thinks of them! 😉

      But this is why UKIP is doing so well in the polls. The Westminster elite can’t seem to comprehend this, stuck as they are in their sumptuous cocoon, but I’ll save them the cost of all those expensive pollsters and analysts and consultants, and explain it all for free: UKIP’s representatives are saying what Joe public is saying.

      MiliBalls may burble on about “one nation”, but I feel a stronger sense of affinity with someone who stands up in the European Parliament and says, “You’re all talking a load of cobblers” than with all these clever dicks explaining why black is white, the moon is made of cheese, and the fact that the earth is cooling down proves that it’s getting hotter.

  7. Roger ,
    I agree with everything you say in your article . I have no doubt that these mindless morons will do their best to disrupt Lady Thatcher’s funeral because as you state , respect is sadly a thing of the past . What I did notice from news items showing the ” rent a mob ” individuals , was that 80% of them were not even born or were still in nappies when the great lady was in power ! They ONLY represent all that is wrong with this country . Scargill did for the miners what “Red” Robbo did for the car industry ; both dinosaurs of the times .

    • Andrew Shakespeare says:

      What I noticed about all those kiddies “protesting” (against what exactly — and, for the record, it’s the first time I saw a piss up called a “protest”) is that it wasn’t about the Maggie Thatcher I voted for, but about some pantomime villain, who ate babies for breakfast and “stole milk from the children” dontcha know. It was so absurd, I wanted to dress up as Wishy Washy and hold up a sign saying “SHE’S BEHIND YOU!”

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