Reaction to the death of former British PM Margaret Thatcher | Reuters.com
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Reaction to the death of former British PM Margaret Thatcher


  • Margaret Thatcher's impact on Wales is also still controversial. "It could be argued that Wales' coal industry was already in decline when Thatcher came to power. But for good or ill, she presided over the most dramatic transformation of the Welsh economy since the industrial revolution. Her time in office saw the demise of an industry and, some would say, a way of life," writes Daniel Davies at the BBC.
  • Thing you may miss today: Thatcher and Reagan disagreed on nuclear weapons. Reagan wanted a nuke-free world, Thatcher very much did not.

    — Max Fisher (@Max_Fisher) April 8, 2013

  • Some of the British reactions to the death of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher:

    DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINISTER, CONSERVATIVE LEADER
    "Today is a truly sad day for our country. We've lost a great prime minister, a great leader, a great Briton.

    "As our first woman prime minister, Margaret Thatcher succeeded against all the odds, and the real thing about Margaret Thatcher is that she didn't just lead our country, she saved our country. And I believe she'll go down as the greatest British peacetime prime minister."

    NICK CLEGG, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, LIBERAL DEMOCRAT LEADER
    "Whatever side of the political debate you stand on, no one can deny that as prime minister she left a unique and lasting imprint on the country she served.

    "She may have divided opinion during her time in politics but everyone will be united today in acknowledging the strength of her personality and the radicalism of her politics."

    ED MILIBAND, LEADER OF OPPOSITION LABOUR PARTY
    "The Labour Party disagreed with much of what she did and she will always remain a controversial figure. But we can disagree and also greatly respect her political achievements and her personal strength.

    "She also defined the politics of the 1980s. David Cameron, Nick Clegg and I all grew up in a politics shaped by Lady Thatcher. We took different paths but with her as the crucial figure of that era."

    TONY BLAIR, FORMER LABOUR PRIME MINISTER
    "Very few leaders get to change not only the political landscape of their country but of the world. Margaret was such a leader.

    "Her global impact was vast. And some of the changes she made in Britain were, in certain respects at least, retained by the 1997 Labour Government, and came to be implemented by governments around the world."

    JOHN MAJOR, THATCHER'S IMMEDIATE SUCCESSOR AS CONSERVATIVE PRIME MINISTER
    "Her reforms of the economy, trades union law, and her recovery of the Falkland Islands elevated her above normal politics, and may not have been achieved under any other leader.

    "Her outstanding characteristics will always be remembered by those who worked closely with her: courage and determination in politics, and humanity and generosity of spirit in private."

    BORIS JOHNSON, MAYOR OF LONDON, CONSERVATIVE
    "Her memory will live long after the world has forgotten the grey suits of today's politics."

    WILLIAM HAGUE, FOREIGN SECRETARY, CONSERVATIVE
    "She changed our country forever and all of us owe so much to her. A legacy few will ever equal. Rest in peace Margaret."

    TONY BENN, LABOUR MINISTER IN THE 1970S, POLITICAL OPPONENT
    "She did make war on a lot of people in Britain and I don't think it helped our society."
    by Reuters_RossChainey edited by anthony.derosa 4/8/2013 1:42:31 PM
  • David Storey, now an editor in Washington, was Reuters political correspondent in London during the final months in power of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, whose death was announced on Monday. Here he recalls the drama of her sudden political demise in November 1990.

    Witness: Thatcher's dramatic 1990 fall - "Stabbed in the front"

    At some point in her 11-year rule, Margaret Thatcher adopted the royal prerogative of referring to herself in the plural - as when she announced the birth of a child to her daughter Carol in 1989.

    "We have become a grandmother," she declared archly, suggesting to those Britons who resented her hectoring style that their first woman prime minister may be on the verge of usurping the Queen of England.

    So when Thatcher abruptly fell from power in a few tense weeks at the end of 1990, it had all the drama of a Shakespearean tragedy. Reporters watched in stunned surprise as a historic, transformational leader was toppled by hubris and a fierce political attack by a once-loyal courtier.

    The action unfolded in three scenes - the historic House of Commons chamber in Britain's parliament, a cobbled courtyard in Paris and Thatcher's prime ministerial offices in London

    Read the rest here.

  • Thatcher’s British economic legacy, from @breakingviews. Not what you might think: reut.rs/10L4CJ1

    — Nigel Stevenson (@NigelStevenson5) April 8, 2013

  • 33k people have signed #nostatefuneral petition so far - calling on any tax payer ceremony to be privatised instead: goo.gl/tNwQD

    — Jerome Taylor (@JeromeTaylor) April 8, 2013
  • We still live in the Britain that Thatcherism built. More than ever.

    — Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) April 8, 2013

  • Sending our condolences to the Thatcher family - bit.ly/12z34ab

    — Gordon & Sarah Brown (@OfficeGSBrown) April 8, 2013

  • Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso says the EU will remember former prime minister Margaret Thatcher for both her contributions to and her reserves about the EU project.

  • Falkland Islanders mourn Thatcher as their liberator

    By Hilary Burke


    BUENOS AIRES - The head of The Falkland Islands' assembly said the death of Margaret Thatcher was a day of great sadness for the islanders, who would always revere her for liberating the South Atlantic territory after the 1982 invasion by Argentinian forces.


    Another islander praised her as "our Winston Churchill."

    Thatcher sent a task force to recapture the islands, known in Argentina as Las Malvinas, in an operation she considered one of the triumphs of her rule.

    Argentina still pushes its claim and in the past year has stepped up its rhetoric against Britain despite a referendum last month in which the islander's overwhelmingly voted to stay British.

    "There's absolutely no doubt that Mrs. Thatcher had a special feeling for the Islands, she led a very difficult recapture of the Islands, she was very happy to have restored freedom to the people of the Falkland Islands and the Falklands were always in her heart," Mike Summers, chair of the Falklands' eight-member legislative assembly, told Reuters by telephone from Port Stanley.

    "She's a very much revered person in the Falklands for leading our return to freedom in 1982, and it will be a day of great sadness for Falkland Islanders."

    Read the rest here.
  • What kind of Britain did Margaret Thatcher leave behind? The Guardian considers the Iron Lady's legacy in 15 interactive charts.
  • Love her or hate her, few British Prime Ministers in history were so well known, or so admired, here in America. #Thatcher

    — Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 8, 2013

  • Gorbachev says "exceptional" Thatcher helped end Cold War

    Reporting by Steve Gutterman and Alissa de Carbonnel

    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Margaret Thatcher was "a great politician and an exceptional person" who helped end the Cold War, said Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union.

    Thatcher, Britain's first woman prime minister, died of a stroke on Monday.

    "Thatcher was a politician whose word carried great weight," Gorbachev, who sought to reform the Soviet Union and improved its ties with the West but failed to avert the collapse of the nuclear-armed superpower, said on his website.

    "Our first meeting in 1984 marked the beginning of a relationship that was at times difficult, not always smooth, but was treated seriously and responsibly by both sides," Gorbachev, 82, said.

    After that meeting, months before Gorbachev succeeded Konstantin Chernenko as Soviet leader following his death, Thatcher said of Gorbachev: "We can do business together".

    Thatcher, an enemy of communism, said at the time that she and Gorbachev each firmly believed in their respective nation's political system and were never going to change one another.

    But Gorbachev said on Monday that his relationship with Thatcher helped bring change and tear down the Iron Curtain.

    "We gradually developed personal relations that became increasingly friendly," he said. "In the end, we were able to achieve mutual understanding, and this contributed to a change in the atmosphere between our country and the West and to the end of the Cold War."

    "Margaret Thatcher was a great politician and an exceptional person. She will be remain in our memories and in history," said Gorbachev, whose resignation as president December 1991 marked the end of the Soviet Union.

    Gorbachev's reputation may be as mixed as Thatcher's, if not more so. He is reviled by many Russians who blame him for the Soviet collapse, but some see his efforts to reform the country and ease oppression as heroic and he a well respected figure outside his homeland.

  • The Union flag flies at half mast over the Houses of Parliament after the death of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in London April 8, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Winning
    by andrew.bineton Apr 8, 2013 at 2:20 PM



  • Flowers and a note reading "The Iron Lady" are seen outside the home of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher after her death was announced in London April 8, 2013. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
    by andrew.bineton Apr 8, 2013 at 2:23 PM


  •  "The U.K.'s artistic sorts despised the Tories, and despised Thatcher," writes Slate's Dave Weigel in a guide to the anti-Thatcher music in the UK.
  • Sad news. Margaret Thatcher's belief in freedom & optimism about the future overcame all. Her determination is our generation's inspiration.

    — George Osborne (@George_Osborne) April 8, 2013

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