To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to die...a time to lose...a time to mourn...a time to weep...Margaret Hilda Thatcher, the Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire, is dead.
She was the first woman leader of the Conservative Party (indeed, of any major political party) and the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, holding office from 1979 to 1990.
Some will doubtless rejoice at the news, but very many more will mourn. They may not have agreed with all that the Iron Lady said or did, but the vast majority respected her as a woman of conviction and of principle; a woman who said what she thought and did what she said. Surveying the modern political scene of sophistry, duplicity, inconsistency and spin, she clearly belonged to another era.
Thousands of obituaries will be written today the world over. They will speak eloquently of how she reversed Britain’s decline of the 1970s; of how she forged a distinct Conservative political philosophy; transformed economic thinking; survived an assassination attempt and won a glorious victory for liberty against tyranny in the Falkland Islands.
They will recall the Cold War era and her close friendship with President Ronald Reagan, which was based not merely on a shared distrust of Communism, but the genuine warmth of fraternity. Few obituaries are likely to mention her devout Christian faith, which was the foundation of her political programme and the bedrock of her conviction for less government, lower taxes, more freedom and greater personal responsibility.
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