Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Margaret Thatcher, Part 2 (Show Notes)

The victorious end of the Falklands War designated the start of Great Britain’s stormy romance with Margaret Thatcher. Though it culminated with a surprising betrayal and angry tears, she governed longer than any 20th century Prime Minister. Undoubtedly, Maggie’s first years were troubled; but, during her second term she realized many of the concepts that became synonymous with her name.

Helped by Nigel Lawson, Chancellor of the Exchequer, she led the country out its slump. Though Britain’s bourgeois boomed, critics observed that her government persistently disregarded underprivileged citizens. Ultimately, those who’d gained from Maggie’s economic proposals would scorn her, too.

Besides stimulating economic growth, Maggie concentrated on bolstering her relationship with U.S. President Reagan. Together, with Mikhail Gorbachev, these super friends shut-down the Cold War. She courted global censure by refusing to sanction apartheid South Africa, professing it would harm Britain, neighboring African countries, and black South Africans. And, she went head-to-head with China, negotiating Hong Kong’s “special status” after the conclusion of British governance.

Domestically, she triumphed over striking coal miners. This victory, and the resulting closing of several unprofitable mines, impacted entire communities, and has led to continuing hatred among detractors. She fought the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), and though members nearly blew her to pieces, she pledged never to surrender. 

During her third stint, the decade (+1)-long fling was terminated abruptly. The economy turned down, again. Those closest became disenchanted with Maggie’s autocratic management and misguided policies; several resigned. Eventually, confronting growing discontent, she faced no choice but to step down. So, what exactly brought about her Shakespearian political “assassination,” and why, after her death, did some people want to dance on her grave? Check-out, Margaret Thatcher, Part 2 to get the dirty dish on the Iron Lady’s controversial legacy.

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