Baroness Margaret Thatcher RIP

margaret-thatcherI don’t usually discuss politics here, but I do honour this great lady who served our country by conviction and altruism. I am old enough to remember the years between the administration of Edward Heath, his resignation, the Labour fiasco of Jim Callaghan and the vote of no-confidence – and the election of Mrs Thatcher in 1979. Our country was an utter mess and the strikes were never-ending.

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.

How true! It doesn’t grow on trees!

I viscerally protest the various songs and other demonstrations rejoicing in Mrs Thatcher’s death, especially as she did not die in office but after many years of retirement and illness. It is understandable that people of left-wing political opinions are opposed to Conservatism or the values of Mrs Thatcher’s party, but this kind of mocking and rejoicing is inhuman.

She served our country and she did her best in a very difficult situation.

Requiescat in pace.

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14 Responses to Baroness Margaret Thatcher RIP

  1. I hope and pray for the salvation of all, including Mrs.Thatcher.

    That said, her quote above betrays a sad misunderstanding of what “socialism” truly is and, by implication, the true nature of capitalism.

    Production, and therefore, wealth results when human labor and investment adds value to the fruit of nature, whether in the form of land, minerals, or what-have-you. One major problem with capitalism, then, is that it tends to privilege return on investment while shorting return on labor. Hence, workers are robbed of their justly earned wages, a sin “that cries out to heaven”.

    Now, some form of “socialism” may or may not be the solution, but if not, there must be some form of well-regulated “social capitalism” in order to create a reasonably just, sustainable economy. Of all the available models for this, the one provided by Germany seems to be the must durable.

    • I agree with you. I have always been fascinated by the idea of Distribution, a kind of “monastic” economy for lay people living in some form of “micro society”. The problem is that it presupposes altruism.

      One big problem is that businesses are too big and trades are too technical and specialised. But if we go back to the past, the first thing that will go is our computer!!!

  2. Dale says:

    She was one of the greatest statesmen (woman) of our time.

    May she rest in peace.

  3. Douglas says:

    I strongly disagree with such positive evaluations of Margaret Thatcher. Whatever mess the United Kingdom was in at the time, many of her so-called “solutions” were a disaster for countless individuals, families and communities. So it is little wonder that many people still feel so bitter and unforgiving towards her. Of course she also had personal virtues and some sensible ideas as does virtually every person. But on balance I consider her leadership and policies to have been more disastrous than virtuous. Whatever my own thoughts about her I am still praying for God’s mercy on her.

    As for socialism, I consider myself as essentially a socialist as I believe it is far closer to the teachings of Our Lord and the ancient Christian theological tradition than capitalism can ever be. When Christianity and socialism are too institutionalised they both become corrupted and parodies of themselves.

    • Debate on the lady’s policies is all too legitimate, and capitalism is a big problem for most of us who have to struggle (I am one of them) whilst others have obscene amounts of earnings. We face the same problem with austerity today. I do believe that the system of money and economics has become monstrously corrupt and we need something new. But what?

      There is Socialism and Socialism. France’s present version seems to be pretty corrupt too with too many fingers in tills and capitalist pies. It just seems to be State capitalism instead of being private capitalism.

      There is an old joke about Boris meeting Ivan in Red Square. Boris asks Ivan – “What’s the difference between Communism and Capitalism?” Ivan responds – “In Capitalism, man exploits man, and in Communism, it’s the other way round“.

      The point I make in this article is that regardless of our political or economic opinions (I support a system that would help the poor to develop their capacity to earn their living and which would also promote small businesses and the ability of the middle class to do well in life). But, of course I understand very little about economics, monetarism and banking. The real point is that Mrs Thatcher has passed away and we need to respect and pray for the dead. If we have suffered because of her economic policies (NHS cuts, job creation cuts, etc.), then we are called as Christians to forgive her.

    • Whatever my own thoughts about her I am still praying for God’s mercy on her.
      That says more about your own thoughts than we need to know.

      • Indeed. Which political figure has been perfect in every way? Winston Churchill had our country bravely fight the Germans and he built up the courage of my grandparents and parents, but there was the awful episode of Operation Keelhaul in which he played a part. These are tough political decisions in a world that can’t be good to everyone. Betrayal is never good, but he had to bargain with Stalin – or face World War III!

        As I remember 1979, I was 20 at the time and lived in London’s East End. I saw some very poor people, and Thatcher could do very little about unemployment until the causes of the financial crisis of the time were addressed. Many of my friends were radical left-wing students, and what they said seemed to have little credibility in the real world. My father was (and still is) a staunch Conservative and Daily Telegraph reader, and reflects like most other people who have worked damned hard to earn what they have and are not prepared to have it all taken away from them by people without virtue. Without understanding very much about where money comes from, I can sympathise with both sides. An excess of the Work Ethic, and human beings are only worth their money. However, it can be said that St Paul said that those who will not work should not eat either. Work is the condition of us all, and society only gives us back what we put in. There’s a two-way contract between each one of us and the society we live in.

        Whilst I have every sympathy with certain forms of Christian socialism, as motivated the old Victorian slum priests, modern forms of socialism seem truly to advocate a kind of tyranny of relativism and “political correctness”. The old French guillotine-brandishing revolutionaries used to cry out “Liberty, equality, fraternity – or death”. It is something obscene to see good and virtue become evil.

        There is one thing about Mrs Thatcher that I admired – her utter conviction and single-mindedness, and above all her altruism and intention to serve the common good as she perceived it to be. That is more than what can be said about so-called “socialists” who make piles of money and stuff it into Swiss bank accounts to avoid the tax-man! The politicians we have had ever since in England, France and elsewhere have been all electoral promises, self-interest and shenanigans. Many of us no longer bother to vote, because we are sick of being ripped off, whether they’re wearing red or blue. We’re just sick of the same old stuff that is the same whichever party we get in power.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if we get the extreme right next time in France, perhaps to commemorate the centenary of the 1920’s and 30’s. We just don’t seem to be able to learn from history. If we get goose-stepping and concentration camps, perhaps we will have deserved it!

        What remains is that Margaret Thatcher was one of the very rare politicians who felt called to a vocation to serve other people!

      • Douglas says:

        Not really. I don’t know what you assume my “own thoughts” are and your comment may actually say more about you than about me. I was not being patronising in any way but I appreciate it that my choice of words might seem to suggest this. I was really only saying that she has been in my prayers and that my own thoughts about her are no reason not to pray for me.

        When I pray for the souls of those who have died I always pray for God’s mercy on them. That is a conventional and simple Christian way of praying for both the dead as well as the living. When I ask for “mercy” for someone this does not imply any judgement on my part.

  4. Neil Hailstone says:

    I was an adult throughout the 1970’s and the UK was in deep trouble in some areas of the national life. Especially with regard to the economy, democracy issues and the rule of law. After Mrs Thatcher came to power in 1979 I hold the view that she made some effective and necessary decisions to improve matters.I do not say that she and her government got everything right.

    I deplore the unconscionable behaviour of a small minority of people on the left of politics as they celebrate her death. I note with approval that the vast majority on the left wing of the political spectrum have behaved in an entirely proper manner.

    I pray for the soul of Mrs Margaret Thatcher and that the Lord will comfort her family.

  5. Patricius says:

    The thing I like best about Margaret Thatcher was the fact that, unlike so many politicians nowadays, she was not a career politician. Before she entered politics she had a real job, a real education and real life experiences. I see little worth in studying various political philosophies at university and then running for MP as a young graduate. What could you possibly have to offer?

  6. ed pacht says:

    A good woman doing her best, sometimes right, sometimes terribly wrong, of whom much is said in praise and much is said in criticism. So be it. Both ‘sides’ have seen much correctly and both sides have erred profoundly in their evaluations, and both need to speak and be heard. BUT there is nothing more obscene than the sight and sound of those who would disrupt a funeral by screaming insults at the departed. Have such people no decency at all? It is a sad thing when ideologues of the Left or of the Right can see nothing but their own rage

  7. Douglas says:

    Oops! In my recent comments (above) about praying for Margaret Thatcher I mistakenly wrote that “my own thoughts about her are no reason not to pray for me” ~ obviously instead of “me” I meant “her”. (But there are also good reasons to also pray for myself as well.)

  8. Michael Frost says:

    The April 11-19 issue of The Economist has an interesting article on Lady Thatcher titled, “Religion and politics–High office, low church, A Christian political tradition died with [MT]”. Discusses her formative years in the Methodist Church and then a later conversion to the Anglican Church, and her relations with AOCs Runcie & Carey. [The writer doesn’t mention the potential political angle of this move. Maybe I’m a bit cynical when it comes to the religion of British PMs, but when I think about them my mind usually comes to Disraeli and Tony Blair.]

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