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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #50 on: April 08, 2013, 01:10:48 PM »

Another one:


Not for Turning
The woman who saved Britain with a message of freedom. .
 
In that dreary winter of 1979, the piles of uncollected trash in London's Finsbury Park seemed to stretch for miles. The garbagemen were on strike. So too, at one time or another, were hospital workers, ambulance drivers, truck drivers, railwaymen. Also gravediggers: In Liverpool, corpses had to be warehoused as they awaited burial—yet another long queue that socialist Britain had arranged for its patient masses.

This was the "Winter of Discontent," when Great Britain came about as close to economic collapse as at nearly any point in its peacetime history, and it was the country Margaret Thatcher inherited when, on May 3, she defeated the Labour government of James Callaghan to become Prime Minister—the first woman in the office and 49th in a line that includes some of the greatest figures of Western civilization: Winston Churchill, Benjamin Disraeli, the Duke of Wellington, William Pitt the Younger.

***
Thatcher died in London Monday, at age 87, having earned her place among the greats. This is not simply because she revived Britain's economy, though that was no mean achievement. Nor is it because she held office longer than any of her predecessors, though this also testifies to her political skill. She achieved greatness because she articulated a set of vital ideas about economic freedom, national self-respect and personal virtue, sold them to a skeptical public and then demonstrated their efficacy.

Consider economic policy. Britain in 1979 had a double-digit inflation rate, a top income tax rate of 83% and rising unemployment. Public expenditures accounted for 42.5% of GDP. There were price, dividend, currency and wage controls, although the last of these were flouted by trade unions on whose support the Labour government depended.

The government accounted for about 30% of the work force. The state controlled most major industries: British Aerospace, BA.LN +0.54%British Airways, IAG.MC -1.05%British Telecom, BT.A.LN -0.04%British Steel, British Leyland, the British National Oil Corporation, Associated British Ports, Cable and Wireless, Rolls Royce. What was left of a private economy was smothered in red tape.

Most British policy makers of the time had no real grasp of economics: no idea what caused inflation; no idea how to run state-owned enterprises (much less that government shouldn't run businesses at all); no idea—beyond increasing civil-service rolls—how to create jobs. Worse, the cluelessness was bipartisan. "The Tories loosened the corset of socialism," Thatcher wrote in her memoirs. "They never removed it."

Thatcher was different, an "instinctive conservative" whose economic philosophy drew from her father's observations of stocking a grocery. Her memoir recalls her youthful wonder at "The great complex romance of international trade which recruited people from all over the world to ensure that a family in Grantham could have on its table rice from India, coffee from Kenya, sugar from the West Indies." She had also, with her cabinet colleague Keith Joseph, spent years transforming those instincts into practical theories for governance.

And so it went for the next 11 years, as Thatcher and her government stopped printing excess money to kill inflation, cut marginal tax rates to unleash private incentives, privatized public housing so the poor could own their own homes, did away with currency, price and wage controls to eliminate the distortions they imposed on the economy, curbed runaway spending and sold off one state asset after another so they might be competently and profitably managed.

All this was done despite sharp short-term economic shocks and in the teeth of immense resistance, particularly from trade unions. In 1984, the coal miners union of Arthur Scargill went on strike for nearly a year. Similar strikes had brought past governments to their knees, but Thatcher, in a feat of immense courage and political skill, remained immovable and eventually won public opinion to her side. As she had famously said of herself a few years earlier (without being believed), "the lady is not for turning."

But staring down labor unions was the least of it. In March 1979, a faction of the Irish Republican Army murdered Airey Neave, her campaign manager. Eleven years later, they murdered Ian Gow, her former private secretary. There would be IRA outrages at the Harrods department store, in London's Hyde and Regent's Parks, in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, and, in October 1984, at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, where Thatcher was herself the principal target. None of this cowed Thatcher, who understood that the main threat IRA terrorism posed wasn't so much to British sovereignty in Northern Ireland as it was to the very concept of majority rule.

The same went for the Falklands. Critics of that war paint it as a display of jingoism, carried out chiefly for Thatcher's political convenience. Yet the issues at stake were larger than the possession of some rocky and frigid islands in the South Atlantic. Would Argentina's unprovoked aggression be resisted or rewarded? Would 1,800 Falklanders—loyal to the Crown, English-speaking—be consigned without real protest to foreign rule and dictatorship?

There should never have been any serious argument over these questions, but there was. And looking back, it's remarkable how much Thatcher was willing to risk in a fight lesser statesmen would as soon have skipped. Britain lost six ships and suffered hundreds of casualties in the war. But in fighting Thatcher showed that Britain was prepared to defend its rights, its interests and its principles—intangible assets of nationhood that had once made the country great.

These assets served more than Britain. Thatcher understood that Britain's fight was also the West's, and vice versa. So she agreed, over massive protests, to the stationing of U.S. nuclear cruise missiles at Greenham Common as a counterforce to the Soviet SS-20; and she agreed to let the U.S. launch air strikes from British bases against Libya, in retaliation for Moammar Gadhafi's terrorist campaigns in Europe. In summer 1990 she steeled President George H.W. Bush after Saddam Hussein had invaded Kuwait: "This is no time to go wobbly."

Deeper than this was Thatcher's sympathy with what is best in America: freedom, enterprise, opportunity, optimism and the urge for self-improvement. No doubt this reflected Thatcher's background as a grocer's daughter who'd risen on her own talent and effort.

It did not, however, always reflect British or even Tory opinion, which was (and remains) prone to seeing the U.S. as a coarse, overbearing ally. Preserving the "special relationship" is more than the default option of British leadership: It is a political choice that has to be defended against alternatives such as "Europe." Thatcher, like Churchill before her and Tony Blair afterward, always made the choice to remain close to America, one reason the three are often admired more in the U.S. than at home.

Over Thatcher's long tenure there were bound to be misjudgments. Whatever the policy merits of her "poll tax," its implementation was badly handled and ultimately led to her political downfall. A larger blot were the terms of the handover of Hong Kong to Chinese rule with no guarantee of democratic self-rule. We remember her vigorous defense of that decision when she visited our offices in the mid-1980s, which she punctuated by asking: "Do I make myself clear?" She had, but the colony's six million British subjects deserved better from such a champion of freedom.

***
Still, the failures dim next to the overall legacy. Thatcher came to power when Britain and the West were in every kind of crisis: social, economic, moral and strategic. Along with Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II, she showed the world the way out. She believed in the inherent right of free men to craft their own destinies, and in the capacity of free nations to resist and overcome every kind of tyranny and injustice.

These were the right beliefs then as now. She was the right woman at the right time.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #51 on: April 09, 2013, 08:49:19 AM »

By PAUL JOHNSON (Marc: PJ is one of the great historians e.g. "Modern Times)

Margaret Thatcher had more impact on the world than any woman ruler since Catherine the Great of Russia. Not only did she turn around—decisively—the British economy in the 1980s, she also saw her methods copied in more than 50 countries. "Thatcherism" was the most popular and successful way of running a country in the last quarter of the 20th century and into the 21st.

Her origins were humble. Born Oct. 13, 1925, she was the daughter of a grocer in the Lincolnshire town of Grantham. Alfred Roberts was no ordinary shopkeeper. He was prominent in local government and a man of decided economic and political views. Thatcher later claimed her views had been shaped by gurus like Karl Popper and Friedrich Hayek, but these were clearly the icing on a cake baked in her childhood by Councillor Roberts. This was a blend of Adam Smith and the Ten Commandments, the three most important elements being hard work, telling the truth, and paying bills on time.

Hard work took Miss Roberts, via a series of scholarships, to Grantham Girls' School, Somerville College, Oxford, and two degrees, in chemistry and law. She practiced in both professions, first as a research chemist, then as a barrister from 1954. By temperament she was always a scholarship girl, always avid to learn, and even when prime minister still carried in her capacious handbag a notebook in which she wrote down anything you told her that she thought memorable.

At the same time, she was intensely feminine, loved buying and wearing smart clothes, had the best head of hair in British politics and spent a fortune keeping it well dressed. At Oxford, punting on the Isis and Cherwell rivers, she could be frivolous and flirtatious, and all her life she tended to prefer handsome men to plain ones. Her husband, Denis Thatcher, whom she married in 1951 and by whom she had a son and daughter, was not exactly dashing but he was rich (oil industry), a capable businessman, a rock on which she could always lean in bad times, and a source of funny 19th-hole sayings.

Denis was amenable (or resigned) to her pursuing a political career, and in 1959 she was elected MP for Finchley, a London suburb. She was exceptionally lucky to secure this rock-solid Tory seat, so conveniently placed near Westminster and her home. She held the seat without trouble until her retirement 33 years later. Indeed, Thatcher was always accounted a lucky politician. Prime Minister Harold Macmillan soon (in 1961) gave her a junior office at Pensions, and when the Conservatives returned to power in 1970, she was fortunate to be allotted to the one seat in the cabinet reserved for a woman, secretary of state for education.

There she kept her nose clean and was lucky not to be involved in the financial and economic wreckage of the disastrous Ted Heath government. The 1970s marked the climax of Britain's postwar decline, in which "the English disease"—overweening trade-union power—was undermining the economy by strikes and inflationary wage settlements. The Boilermakers Union had already smashed the shipbuilding industry. The Amalgamated Engineers Union was crushing what was left of the car industry. The print unions were imposing growing censorship on the press. Not least, the miners union, under the Stalinist Arthur Scargill, had invented new picketing strategies that enabled them to paralyze the country wherever they chose.

Attempts at reform had led to the overthrow of the Harold Wilson Labour government in 1970, and an anti-union bill put through by Heath led to the destruction of his majority in 1974 and its replacement by another weak Wilson government that tipped the balance of power still further in the direction of the unions. The general view was that Britain was "ungovernable."

Among Tory backbenchers there was a growing feeling that Heath must go. Thatcher was one of his critics, and she encouraged the leader of her wing of the party, Keith Joseph, to stand against him. However, at the last moment Joseph's nerve failed him and he refused to run. It was in these circumstances that Thatcher, who had never seen herself as a leader, let alone prime minister, put herself forward. As a matter of courtesy, she went to Heath's office to tell him that she was putting up for his job. He did not even look up from his desk, where he was writing, merely saying: "You'll lose, you know"—a characteristic combination of bad manners and bad judgment. In fact she won handsomely, thereby beginning one of the great romantic adventures of modern British politics.

The date was 1975, and four more terrible years were to pass before Thatcher had the opportunity to achieve power and come to Britain's rescue. In the end, it was the unions themselves who put her into office by smashing up the James Callaghan Labour government in the winter of 1978-79—the so-called Winter of Discontent—enabling the Tories to win the election the following May with a comfortable majority.

Thatcher's long ministry of nearly a dozen years is often mistakenly described as ideological in tone. In fact Thatcherism was (and is) essentially pragmatic and empirical. She tackled the unions not by producing, like Heath, a single comprehensive statute but by a series of measures, each dealing with a particular abuse, such as aggressive picketing. At the same time she, and the police, prepared for trouble by a number of ingenious administrative changes allowing the country's different police forces to concentrate large and mobile columns wherever needed. Then she calmly waited, relying on the stupidity of the union leaders to fall into the trap, which they duly did.

She fought and won two pitched battles with the two strongest unions, the miners and the printers. In both cases, victory came at the cost of weeks of fighting and some loss of life. After the hard men had been vanquished, the other unions surrendered, and the new legislation was meekly accepted, no attempt being made to repeal or change it when Labour eventually returned to power. Britain was transformed from the most strike-ridden country in Europe to a place where industrial action is a rarity. The effect on the freedom of managers to run their businesses and introduce innovations was almost miraculous and has continued.

Thatcher reinforced this essential improvement by a revolutionary simplification of the tax system, reducing a score or more "bands" to two and lowering the top rates from 83% (earned income) and 98% (unearned) to the single band of 40%.

She also reduced Britain's huge and loss-making state-owned industries, nearly a third of the economy, to less than one-tenth, by her new policy of privatization—inviting the public to buy from the state industries, such as coal, steel, utilities and transport by bargain share offers. Hence loss-makers, funded from taxes, became themselves profit-making and so massive tax contributors.

This transformation was soon imitated all over the world. More important than all these specific changes, however, was the feeling Thatcher engendered that Britain was again a country where enterprise was welcomed and rewarded, where businesses small and large had the benign blessing of government, and where investors would make money.

As a result Britain was soon absorbing more than 50% of all inward investment in Europe, the British economy rose from the sixth to the fourth largest in the world, and its production per capita, having been half that of Germany's in the 1970s, became, by the early years of the 21st century, one-third higher.

The kind of services that Thatcher rendered Britain in peace were of a magnitude equal to Winston Churchill's in war. She also gave indications that she might make a notable wartime leader, too. When she first took over, her knowledge of foreign affairs was negligible. Equally, foreigners did not at first appreciate that a new and stronger hand was now in control in London. There were exceptions. Ronald Reagan, right from the start, liked what he heard of her. He indicated that he regarded her as a fellow spirit, even while still running for president, with rhetoric that was consonant with her activities.

Once Reagan was installed in the White House, the pair immediately reinvigorated the "special relationship." It was just as well. Some foreigners did not appreciate the force of what the Kremlin was beginning to call the Iron Lady. In 1982, the military dictatorship in Argentina, misled by the British Foreign Offices's apathetic responses to threats, took the hazardous step of invading and occupying the British Falkland Islands. This unprovoked act of aggression caught Thatcher unprepared, and for 36 hours she was nonplused and uncertain: The military and logistical objections to launching a combined-forces counterattack from 8,000 miles away were formidable.

But reassured by her service chiefs that, given resolution, the thing could be done, she made up her mind: It would be done, and thereafter her will to victory and her disregard of losses and risks never wavered. She was also assured by her friend Reagan that, short of sending forces, America would do all in its considerable power to help—a promise kept. Thus began one of the most notable campaigns in modern military and moral history, brought to a splendid conclusion by the unconditional surrender of all the Argentine forces on the islands, followed shortly by the collapse of the military dictatorship in Buenos Aires.

This spectacular success, combined with Thatcher's revival of the U.K. economy, enabled her to win a resounding electoral victory in 1983, followed by a third term in 1987. Thatcher never had any real difficulty in persuading the British electorate to back her, and it is likely that, given the chance, she would have won her fourth election in a row.

But it was a different matter with the Conservative Party, not for nothing once categorized by one of its leaders as the "stupid party." Some prominent Tories were never reconciled to her leadership. They included in particular the supporters of European federation, to which she was implacably opposed, their numbers swollen by grandees who had held high office under her but whom she had dumped without ceremony as ministerial failures. It was, too, a melancholy fact that she had become more imperious during her years of triumph and that power had corrupted her judgment.

This was made clear when she embarked on a fundamental reform of local-government finance. The reform itself was sensible, even noble, but its presentation was lamentable and its numerous opponents won the propaganda battle hands down. In the midst of this disaster, her Europhile opponents within her party devised a plot in 1990 to overthrow her by putting up one of their number (sacked from the cabinet for inefficiency) in the annual leadership election. Thatcher failed to win outright and was persuaded by friends to stand down. Thus ended one of the most remarkable careers in British political history.

Thatcher's strongest characteristic was her courage, both physical and moral. She displayed this again and again, notably when the IRA tried to murder her during the Tory Party Conference in 1984, and nearly succeeded, blowing up her hotel in the middle of the night. She insisted on opening the next morning's session right on time and in grand style. Immediately after courage came industry. She must have been the hardest-working prime minister in history, often working a 16-hour day and sitting up all night to write a speech. Her much-tried husband once complained, "You're not writing the Bible, you know."

She was not a feminist, despising the genre as "fashionable rot," though she once made a feminist remark. At a dreary public dinner of 500 male economists, having had to listen to nine speeches before being called herself, she began, with understandable irritation: "As the 10th speaker, and the only woman, I wish to say this: the cock may crow but it's the hen who lays the eggs."

Her political success once again demonstrates the importance of holding two or three simple ideas with fervor and tenacity, a virtue she shared with Ronald Reagan. One of these ideas was that the "evil empire" of communism could be and would be destroyed, and together with Reagan and Pope John Paul II she must be given the credit for doing it.

Among the British public she aroused fervent admiration and intense dislike in almost equal proportions, but in the world beyond she was recognized for what she was: a great, creative stateswoman who left the world a better and more prosperous place, and whose influence will reverberate well into the 21st century.

Mr. Johnson is a historian.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #52 on: April 09, 2013, 05:59:02 PM »



http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/455054/20130409/thatcher-death-party.htm
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G M
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« Reply #53 on: April 09, 2013, 06:08:56 PM »


I miss Great Britain. I hope these savages enjoy what they have coming.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #54 on: April 10, 2013, 11:08:25 AM »

Moving Doug's post to here:

Hooray for Margaret Thatcher

by Milton Friedman, Newsweek, 9 July 1979

We have become so accustomed to politicians making extravagant campaign promises and then forgetting about them once elected that the first major act of Margaret Thatcher’s government— the budget unveiled on June 12—was a surprise. It did precisely what she had promised to do.

Margaret Thatcher campaigned on a platform of reversing the trend toward an ever more intrusive government—a trend that had carried government spending in Great Britain to somewhere between 50 per cent and 60 per cent of the nation’s income. Ever since the end of World War II, both Labor and Tory governments have added to government-provided social services as well as to government-owned and -operated industry. Foreign-exchange transactions have been rigidly controlled. Taxes have been punitive, yet have not yielded enough to meet costs. Excessive money created to finance deficits sparked an inflation that hit a rate of over 30 per cent a year in mid-1975. Only recently was inflation brought down to the neighborhood of 10 per cent, and it is once again on the rise.
http://media.hoover.org/images/8488016185_991f5d9077.jpg?size=large
Most important of all, the persistent move to a centralized and collectivist economy produced economic stagnation. Before World War II, the British citizen enjoyed a real income that averaged close to twice that of the Frenchman or German. Today, the ratio is nearly reversed. The Frenchman or German enjoys a real income close to twice that of the ordinary Briton.

Margaret Thatcher declared in no uncertain terms that the long British experiment was a failure. She urged greater reliance on private enterprise and on market incentives. She promised to reduce the fraction of the people’s income that government spends on their behalf, and to cut sharply government control over the lives of British citizens. Her government’s budget is a major first step. It reduces the top marginal tax rate on so-called “earned” income from 83 per cent to 60 per cent, on “unearned” income from a confiscatory 98 per cent to 75 per cent. At the same time, it raises the level of income exempt from income tax and cuts the bottom rate from 33 per cent to 30 per cent. It proposes to cut government spending significantly, to sell some of the government’s industrial holdings and to promote the sale of government-owned housing units to their occupants. It loosens foreign-exchange controls substantially as a first step toward their elimination.
...
 I salute Margaret Thatcher and her government for their courage and wisdom in moving firmly and promptly to cut Britain’s bureaucratic straitjacket. Britain has enormous latent strength—in human capacities, industrial traditions, financial institutions, social stability. If these can be released from bondage, if incentive can be restored, Britain could once again become a vibrant, dynamic, increasingly productive economy.

In the United States, when the President proposes a budget, that is only the beginning. Congress disposes, and it may take many months before the final result is determined. In Britain, the situation is different. What the Prime Minister and Cabinet propose in effect becomes law as of that day—subject only to a vote of no-confidence in the government and a new national election. However, when the party in power has a majority in the House of Commons as large as the Tories now have, that is a purely hypothetical possibility.

What happens in Britain is of great importance to us. Ever since the founding of the colonies in the New World, Britain has been a major source of our economic and political thought. In the past few decades, we have been moving in the same direction as Britain and many other countries, though at a slower pace. If Britain’s change of direction succeeds, it will surely reinforce the pressures in the United States to cut our own government down to size.  (written 18 months before Reagan's first inauguration)

http://www.hoover.org/publications/defining-ideas/article/144256
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #55 on: April 19, 2013, 12:36:36 PM »

Noonan: Britain Remembers a Great Briton Mrs. Thatcher is with Wellington and Nelson now.
By PEGGY NOONAN
London

The funeral of Margaret Thatcher was beautiful, moving, just right. It had dignity and spirit, and in that respect was just like her. It also contained a surprise that shouldn't have been a surprise. It was a metaphor for where she stood in the pantheon of successful leaders of the 20th century.

The Right Honourable The Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven, LG, OM, FRS—so she was called on the front page of the service program—was a great lady, and the greatest peacetime prime minister of England in the 20th century. She unleashed her nation's economy, defeated selfish bullies who before her had always emerged victorious, and stood with the pope and the president against Soviet communism. The main project of her career was to advance the cause of human freedom and individual liberty. As David Cameron's education minister, Michael Gove, noted the other day, she saw economics not as a science but as one of the humanities. It wasn't about "immutable laws," it was about "the instincts and values" of human beings, their sense of justice and rightness. She was eloquent, stirring and had tons of guts. And of course she was a woman, the first British prime minister to be so. She made no special pleading in that area and did not claim to represent what we embarrassingly call women's issues. She was representing England and the issues British citizens faced. She did not ignore her sex and occasionally bopped political men on the head with small, bracing recognitions of their frailty. "The cocks will crow, but it's the hen that lays the eggs," she said. She noted that if you want anything said get a man but, if you want something done get a woman. All this she uttered in a proud but mock-stern tone. She was no victim. An oddity of her career is that she was routinely patronized by her inferiors. It seems to have steeled her.

A supporter told me in London of her frustrations with staff. She said once to her aides: "I don't need to be told what, I need to be told how." Meaning I have a vision, you have to tell me how we can implement it. That stayed in my mind. Politics now, in England as well as America, is dominated by politicians who are technicians. They always know how to do it. They just don't know what to do.

Thatcher's funeral was striking in that it was not, actually, about her. It was about what she thought it important for the mourners to know. The readings were about the fact of God, the gift of Christ, and the necessity of loving your country and working for its betterment. There were no long eulogies. In a friendly and relatively brief address, the bishop of London lauded her kindness and character. No funeral of an American leader would ever be like that: The dead American would be the star, with God in the position of yet another mourner who'd miss his leadership.

The pageantry, for an American, was most moving. The English as always do this brilliantly but I wonder if they understand—they must, but it's not something they acknowledge—that when they bring out and put forward their splendor they are telling the world and themselves who they are and have been. Leading the procession into St. Paul's was the lord mayor of London, in velvet coat, breeches and buckled shoes. On his coat he wore Sir Thomas More's gold chain of office, taken from him before he was killed in the Tower. Imagine a nation that puts such a man to death, contemplates it, concludes in the end it was wrong, and now proudly displays the saint's chain at its greatest events. When I saw it I thought of a recent trip to the Vatican. Touring its archives, we were shown one of its proudest possessions: a letter from Galileo.

Things change. Time changes them. Great nations, and institutions, rethink. But only if they're great.

It mattered that the funeral was in august and splendid St. Paul's, mattered that Thatcher's coffin, placed under the great dome, stood directly over the tombs of Nelson and Wellington in the crypts below. (Marcus Binney in the Times said conservatives will note the above; happy to oblige.) This placing of Thatcher with the greats of the past, and the fact that the queen and Prince Philip came to her funeral, as they have for no prime minister since Churchill in 1965, served as an antidote to British television coverage surrounding her death.

It was terrible. They could not in any sustained way mark her achievements or even show any particular respect. All they could say was that she was "divisive and controversial," although sometimes they said "divisive and—well, really divisive." Anchors reported everything as if from a great distance, with no warmth; they all adopted the cool, analytical look they use when they mean to project distance. But as Tony Blair's aide Peter Mendelsohn, speaking at the think tank discussion at which Mr. Gove appeared, said, "to decide is to divide." He was quoting Mr. Blair.

And the more decisive, the more divisive.

In the past week left-wing political groups held death parties, all heavily reported, and threatened to demonstrate at the funeral. The head of the London police seemed to invite them to come. (Less important, but worth mentioning: The White House embarrassed itself by not sending a delegation of high-level current officeholders. Did the British notice? Oh yes. It's another way they think we're slipping.)

All this—the media, the left—had the effect of telling people: you'll look stupid if you speak in support of Thatcher, you'll look sentimental, old. And it may be dangerous to attend the funeral—there could be riots!

I wonder if certain people pushed this line so hard so that the day after the funeral they could report no one came.

So then, the surprise that was a metaphor.

At the end of the funeral they all marched down the aisle in great procession—the family, the queen, the military pallbearers carrying the casket bearing the Union Jack. The great doors flung open, the pallbearers marched forward, and suddenly from the crowd a great roar. We looked at each other. Demonstrators? No. Listen. They were cheering. They were calling out three great hurrahs as the pallbearers went down the steps. Then long cheers and applause. It was electric.

England came. The people came. Later we would learn they'd stood 30 deep on the sidewalk, that quiet crowds had massed on the Strand and Fleet Street and Ludgate Hill. A man had held up a sign: "But We Loved Her."

"The end is where we start from." That is T.S. Eliot, whose "Little Gidding" she loved. When they died, Ronald Reagan, John Paul II, and Margaret Thatcher were old and long past their height of power. Everyone was surprised when Reagan died that crowds engulfed the Capitol; people slept on sidewalks to view him in state. When John Paul died the Vatican was astonished to see millions converge. "Santo Subito."

And now at the end some came for Thatcher, too.

What all three had in common: No one was with them but the people.

Margaret Hilda Thatcher, rest in peace.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #56 on: April 20, 2013, 08:16:16 PM »

http://www.boston.com/metrodesk/2013/04/19/mit-police-officer-sean-collier-killed-the-line-duty-during-confrontation-with-marathon-bombing-suspects/okOsk0WUnFyGB1yQ6CxuBI/story.html

American flags began to appear on a cordoned-off block of Curtis Street as the news spread that 26-year-old Sean Collier, an MIT police officer who lived in a three-story house there, had been killed in a late-night confrontation with the two suspects in the deadly Boston Marathon bombing.

Through tears, his roommate — who trained with Collier at the police academy and did not provide his name — said Collier was “awesome,” his only fault being that was he was too brave.

“He was the guy who went to help,” his roommate said. “The best guy got shot down by the biggest scumbags.”

In a statement, Collier’s family expressed their grief.

“We are heartbroken by the loss of our wonderful and caring son and brother, Sean Collier,” the family wrote. “Our only solace is that Sean died bravely doing what he committed his life to — serving and protecting others. We are thankful for the outpouring of support and condolences offered by so many people.”

Expressions of love for Collier came from all corners of his life. MIT police chief John DiFava called Collier “a home run,” with every quality one could want in a police officer.
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bigdog
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« Reply #57 on: August 15, 2013, 12:46:07 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/13/us/politics/william-p-clark-influential-adviser-in-reagan-white-house-is-dead-at-81.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

From the article:

William P. Clark, who as one of President Ronald Reagan’s most trusted advisers successfully nudged him toward more hard-line positions on military spending, arms control and involvement in Central America, died on Saturday at his ranch near Shandon, Calif. He was 81.

The cause was complications of Parkinson’s disease, his son Paul said.

During Reagan’s first term, Mr. Clark — who served as deputy secretary of state, national security adviser and secretary of the interior — was understood to be pre-eminent among presidential aides. Time magazine called him the second most powerful man in the White House
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bigdog
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« Reply #58 on: August 15, 2013, 01:42:25 PM »

Another of the old guard passes: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/15/us/gen-david-c-jones-former-joint-chiefs-chairman-is-dead-at-92.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&smid=tw-nytimes&partner=rss&emc=rss

From the article:

General Jones served longer than any predecessor on the Joint Chiefs, first as the Air Force chief of staff (1974-78) and then as chairman (1978-82). It was under his watch during the Carter administration that a mission to rescue 53 American hostages in Iran ended in disaster.

General Jones was a bomber pilot in the Korean War, but he represented a new generation of officers whose rise in the military hierarchy owed more to their administrative and strategic planning skills than to their combat exploits.

In “Four Stars,” his history of the Joint Chiefs published in 1989, Mark Perry wrote that General Jones had earned a reputation as “a good service manager” who “welcomed change” when he was selected as Air Force chief of staff by President Richard M. Nixon in 1974.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #59 on: August 15, 2013, 07:51:52 PM »

BD:

You beat me to putting up William Clark. 

A man of respect!

"The wood is consumed, but the fire burns on!"

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #60 on: January 11, 2014, 11:08:32 AM »

Click here to watch: Ariel Sharon Passes Away, Aged 85

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has passed away aged 85. He passed away with his family at his side at the Sheba Medical Center where he had been treated since not long after slipping into a coma in 2006. "The Sheba Medical Centre in Tel HaShomer announces with sorrow the passing of former prime minister Ariel Sharon that was determined approximately an hour ago," senior doctor Professor Shlomo Noy told a news conference at 1300 GMT. Sharon has been in a coma since January 4, 2006 after suffering a massive stroke. His condition took a sudden turn for the worse on New Year's Day when he suffered serious kidney problems after surgery. "He's gone; he went when he decided to go," his son Gilad told reporters at the hospital, in remarks on Channel 2 television. As news of his death emerged, tributes poured in from senior Israeli officials, but the Palestinians were quick to denounce him as a "criminal" who had escaped international justice. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel would "forever" cherish Sharon's memory."The State of Israel bows its head over the passing of former prime minister Ariel Sharon," he said in a statement, expressing "deep sorrow" over the news. "His memory will forever be held in the heart of the nation."

WATCH HERE

President Shimon Peres also expressed his grief. "My dear friend, Arik (Ariel) Sharon, lost his final battle today," he said in a statement. "Arik was a brave soldier and a daring leader who loved his nation and his nation loved him. He was one of Israel's great protectors and most important architects, who knew no fear and certainly never feared vision," he said. "He will be greatly missed." Justice Minister Tzipi Livni also expressed "great sadness" over his death."Arik was a man I loved. They say great soldiers don't die, they fade away. Arik faded eight years ago, and now finally left us," she said. He was a "brave fighter, a commander, a leader (and) a farmer whose legs were firmly planted in Israel's soil." A veteran soldier, Sharon fought in all of Israel's major wars before embarking on a turbulent political career in 1973 that ended dramatically when he suffered the stroke from which he never recovered. "Ariel Sharon was first and foremost a rare military leader who shaped the Israeli army," said Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon. "Despite the differences of opinion along the way, I always valued his experience and leadership. The defence establishment... bows its head today with his departure." In the months after the Gaza withdrawal, Sharon abandoned his lifelong political home in Likud to form a new centrist party, Kadima, with the aim of effecting further, but limited, pullouts from the West Bank. But just six weeks later, when he was at the height of his political career, he collapsed into the coma from which he would never recover.
Source: Arutz Sheva

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bigdog
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« Reply #61 on: January 11, 2014, 12:09:01 PM »

Indeed.
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