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The Iron Lady

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Rowan
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The Iron Lady

Post by Rowan » Wed November 16th, 2011, 9:19 pm

For those who haven't seen, there is a movie set to be released in January about Margaret Thatcher. While I am old enough to have been alive when she was Prime Minister, I confess I don't know much about her. Was she generally well-liked or hated by the British? I'd like everyone's opinion, good or bad, just please don't make it a free-for-all.

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Post by rebecca » Thu November 17th, 2011, 4:26 am

[quote=""Rowan""]For those who haven't seen, there is a movie set to be released in January about Margaret Thatcher. While I am old enough to have been alive when she was Prime Minister, I confess I don't know much about her. Was she generally well-liked or hated by the British? I'd like everyone's opinion, good or bad, just please don't make it a free-for-all.[/quote]

Well I'm not British but I think the Brits called her 'Margaret Thatcher-milk snatcher' because she banned free milk at schools? I think she also brought in a poll tax which hit a lot of people hard. But in regard to Meryl Streep I watched the trailer and doesn't she have Thatchers voice down pat? I can't wait to see the movie...Love her or loathe her, she is an interesting woman.

Bec :)

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Post by Vanessa » Thu November 17th, 2011, 9:47 am

I'm surprised there haven't been some rants! LOL.

She was a very strong woman and always stuck to her guns - 'this lady's not for turning!' She was Britain's first (and only so far!) woman prime minister so I think she was quite popular with the female population at the time. I think she did good things at the beginning of her office, but I think she stayed in too long. At the end she wasn't as popular as she was a the beginning. But that happens with a lot of prime ministers! LOL. Sometimes the people just want a change. There are pros and cons to all prime ministers.

I believe she has alzheimer's now.
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Post by Madeleine » Thu November 17th, 2011, 10:12 am

Not sure if she has Alzheimer's but she has had a couple of strokes which can leave the person with similar symptoms, whatever but she's quite frail now and not often seen in public. However she made a huge impact during her time in office and I think it's probably fair to say that she polarizes opinion; she was/is either loved or hated! I was too young at the time for politics to really register but I vividly remember my grandma loathing her and always referring to her scathingly as "that woman".
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Post by sweetpotatoboy » Thu November 17th, 2011, 10:27 am

Was she generally well-liked or hated by the British?
Well, like any political leader, at the time she was supported and admired by many and distrusted and disliked by others. Given that she won three consecutive general elections convincingly, she had wide support among the electorate. Of course, it waned towards the end, but she left a strong legacy.

And whether or not you agreed with her, I think a lot of people miss her strong leadership and the fact that she did have a clear political vision and was committed to see it through even if some elements of it proved unpopular.

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Post by Rowan » Thu November 17th, 2011, 1:49 pm

Thanks for your responses. I look forward to seeing the movie myself. :)

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Post by SGM » Thu November 17th, 2011, 10:36 pm

The reviews I have seen suggested that Streep is outstanding but the film is not and is often "worryingly silly".

The most sensible remark about Thatcher I have heard from a political commentator is that she actually changed things and that is why she is still has a devisive profile in the British political scene. Whether those changes were for the good or not depend upon your own political POV.

I had the good fortune on the day she "stood down" to be attending a lecture by Nigel Lawson (one-time Chancellor of the Exchequor) who had eventually parted company with the Iron Lady over the issue of an adviser who was not a politician. He apologised that his lecture was not quite as finished as he would normally want it to be but he had "been a bit busy". I was surprised he still turned up on that day. This lecture was happily followed by a series of lectures by various political/history academics which gave me a wonderfully rounded interpretation of her years in power. It was a fun year to be finishing off my political studies.

I will not, however, be going to see the film -- too many unhappy memories but I look forward to hearing what take other people have on it.
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Post by parthianbow » Fri November 18th, 2011, 1:24 pm

@Rowan: you've certainly picked a good topic to start a debate.

For me, Thatcher will be remembered for:

smashing the unions (admittedly, they needed reining in, but to this day, only a fraction of UK workers are in one, and in many people's minds, workers' rights now are poorer than they were back then).

burying the coal mining industry (when many of the mines were still profitable. Some have since been reopened).

instituting a shoot-to-kill policy in Northern Ireland that saw IRA men executed on the street by special forces rather than being offered a chance to surrender. (This while condemning acts of similar horrific acts of violence by the IRA.)

laying the legacy that saw her party sell off nationalised industry (rail, water, electricity) at bargain basement prices to cronies of the government.

I for one will not be going to see the film, or ever watch it on TV/DVD. I cannot abide her.
Last edited by parthianbow on Fri November 18th, 2011, 1:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by SGM » Fri November 18th, 2011, 6:22 pm

[quote=""parthianbow""]@Rowan: you've certainly picked a good topic to start a debate.

For me, Thatcher will be remembered for:

smashing the unions (admittedly, they needed reining in, but to this day, only a fraction of UK workers are in one, and in many people's minds, workers' rights now are poorer than they were back then).

burying the coal mining industry (when many of the mines were still profitable. Some have since been reopened).

instituting a shoot-to-kill policy in Northern Ireland that saw IRA men executed on the street by special forces rather than being offered a chance to surrender. (This while condemning acts of similar horrific acts of violence by the IRA.)

laying the legacy that saw her party sell off nationalised industry (rail, water, electricity) at bargain basement prices to cronies of the government.

I for one will not be going to see the film, or ever watch it on TV/DVD. I cannot abide her.[/quote]

That was the sub-text of my post. Thanks for expressing it very much better than I could. I would emphasise the death of whole communities previously involved in the mining industry.

I would only add one comment from a notable (I think) commentator that seems to fit with this forum

"How a grammar school girl from Gratham could have so little grasp of her country's history, is remarkable".

That is a reference to what the east coast of Britain experienced during WWII.

ps: "who sold the family silver?"

Definitely marmite.
Last edited by SGM on Fri November 18th, 2011, 6:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by rebecca » Sat November 19th, 2011, 2:15 am

[quote=""parthianbow""]@Rowan: you've certainly picked a good topic to start a debate.

For me, Thatcher will be remembered for:

smashing the unions (admittedly, they needed reining in, but to this day, only a fraction of UK workers are in one, and in many people's minds, workers' rights now are poorer than they were back then).

burying the coal mining industry (when many of the mines were still profitable. Some have since been reopened).

instituting a shoot-to-kill policy in Northern Ireland that saw IRA men executed on the street by special forces rather than being offered a chance to surrender. (This while condemning acts of similar horrific acts of violence by the IRA.)

laying the legacy that saw her party sell off nationalised industry (rail, water, electricity) at bargain basement prices to cronies of the government.

I for one will not be going to see the film, or ever watch it on TV/DVD. I cannot abide her.[/quote]

Well said. Your comments brought back some memories. I do remember not really understanding why she broke the miners Union when mining was still profitable? To think even to this day many miners are still unemployed. I know she and the union boss did not see eye to eye, his name was Scargill? But why destroy so many lives over ideology? I also remember rumours that the Argentine Government tried to avoid a war over the Falklands but that Maggie refused to have any discussion about it. I always wondered if there was any truth to that?

I also remember that our former PM John Howard thought of Thatcher as some sort of icon. He tried to destroy our Unions.He failed, thank God.

I am not a fan of Maggie Thatcher but I still find her interesting and I will watch the movie with Streep portrayal of her...but then I also watched 'Downfall' about Hitler and found the actors portrayal of this evil man worthy of attention. But I hope the producers/writers/director don't white wash Thatcher otherwise I'll be disappointed.

I also wonder if anyone will ever produce a movie on Rupert Murdoch? Now there's a man I truly despise.

Bec :)

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