Margaret Thatcher Essay Example
Section 4 – Revolutionary Figure: The End
4.1 The exit from politics & Life after
Margaret Thatcher continued her political success when she got reelected as British Prime Minister for the third time in 1987 general election. The situation was all under control until spring 1990 when Thatcher first announced to implement the Community Charge, which is also known as the Poll Tax that later exacerbated her political career due to its controversial nature. The then supreme leader actually imposed a flat tax rate on every UK citizen regardless of his or her income and financial status. Previously, the local council taxes were applied instead of Poll Tax. Therefore, the introduction of latter led to a severe split in support of Thatcher both in general public and leader’s Conservative party followed by aggressive opposition, protests, riots, and law & order crises across Britain.
The second core reason for Thatcher’s political debacle was her dissent on developing proximity with European Union. The policy was severely condemned by then analysts, economists, scholars, political leaders, media and local publics who regarded as synonymous to creating a border between UK and Europe. The Conservative Party leaders compelled Margaret Thatcher to resign on behest of public pressure and opposition, which eventually led to her resignation in November 1990 and finally an end to her famous era of rule from House of Commons (BBC History, 2014).
Gregory (2013) highlights that the first two terms of Thatcher were the years of utmost popularity because she revamped the economic engine of UK, which had been then grappling with critical economic hurdles such as ‘inflation, budget deficits and industrial unrest.’ For instance, Thatcher also introduced a new doctrine known as Thatcherism that primarily interlinked economic and personal freedom combined with an individual dutifulness and accountability as essentials for social and economic advancements. The aforementioned principles earned Thatcher immense respect both among proponents and staunch opponents despite some condemnations. On the contrary, Dean (2013) also elucidates on the fact that Thatcher was the major force behind squeeze in public spending budgets, which were part of her economic restructuring program. For instance, a major criticism on “Iron Lady” economic policies is about the increase in post-tax income inequality, which largely benefited the top 10% elite of UK and adversely hit the bottom 10% of society. In other words, the rich became richer and poor became poorest during 1980s and 1990s. Hence, Thatcher’s policies regarding spending on housing, education, health, social services and pension budgets faced several criticisms during her political tenure (Moore, 2010).
After her political resignation, Margaret Thatcher deserted House of Commons during early 1990s and later associated with ‘House of Lords as Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven’. Thatcher, in post political life, became extremely active in public speaking and traveled worldwide for debates and lectures. She established ‘Margaret Thatcher Foundation’ to promote Thatcherism principles across Britain and globe with special emphasis on Central and Eastern European nations. In addition, she also remained a hardcore opponent of aggression and terrorism, thus advocated American government’s policies and proactive approach towards curbing terrorist organizations and their supportive governments. She enjoyed close ties with US political leaders and governments Nonetheless, she also buttressed Labour Party leader Tony Blair against her Conservative Party Mr. Major as she was outraged on economic agenda of the latter (Gregory, 2013). BBC History (2014) also quoted that “In 1995 she became a member of the Order of the Garter, the highest order of knighthood in England.”
4.2 The lost health battle & Thatcher memoire
Harris (2013) revealed that Margaret Thatcher was suffering with severe health issues and altitude sickness of which the initial signs occurred during early 2002 when she encountered several minor strokes. The medical specialists conducted her neurological tests and discovered that the strokes would adversely impact her brain functioning due to excessive workload and tough schedules. Consequently, Thatcher’s health conditions did not leave with any other option but to discontinue her worldwide traveling and officially retire form public speaking. With the passage of time, she continued grappling with health issues / illness, and hence left this mortal world on April 8, 2013 at the age of 87. Gregory (2013) summarized that Prime Minister David Cameron shortened his trip to Europe after death news of Margaret Thatcher and returned immediately to attend her funerals, which were organized and ‘administered by Queen Elizabeth II at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London’. The ‘Iron Lady’ was laid to rest in peace with military honors with a tribute to her renowned services for the nation.
As far as the last words of Margaret Thatcher are concerned, it should be highlighted that the two main contributors to Thatcher memoire and biography are Charles Moore and Robin Harris who have dedicated extensive efforts to compile the former lady’s personal, political and post-political life and aims. The biographies available for readers are known as “The Downing Street Years” and “Not For Turning”, which reveal several hidden aspects and policies of Margaret Thatcher that could be of great interest because Charles Moore was provided special access to personal documents and papers of British female leader (Sherwin, 2013).
BBC History (2014). Margaret Thatcher. BBC UK, Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/people/margaret_thatcher
Dean, M. (2013). Margaret Thatcher’s Policies Hit The Poor Hardest- and It’s Happening Again. The Guardian, Available at http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/apr/09/margaret-thatcher-policies-poor-society
Gregory, J. (2013). Margaret Thatcher, ‘Iron Lady’ who set Britain on New Course, Dies at 87. New York Times, Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/09/world/europe/former-prime-minister-margaret-thatcher-of-britain-has-died.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Harris, R. (2013). Margaret Thatcher: The Cruel Dimming of Mental Powers Tested Limit. Daily Mail, Available at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2306583/Margaret-Thatcher-The-cruel-dimming-mental-powers-tested-limit.html
Moore, C. (2010). Margaret Thatcher’s Resignation: A Career That Didn’t Die in Vain. The Telegraph, Available at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/charlesmoore/8150464/Margaret-Thatchers-resignation-A-career-that-did-not-die-in-vain.html
Sherwin, A. (2013). Margaret Thatcher to have final word with approved new posthumous autobiography. The Independent, Available at http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/margaret-thatcher-to-have-final-word-with-approved-new-posthumous-autobiography-8566413.html