The Rt Hon. The Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS
Margaret Thatcher was without doubt one of the strongest and most influential leaders that this country has ever had, and her successes as Prime Minister were mirrored in her unparalleled electoral victories.
In addition to being the first woman to hold this office, she redeemed Britain from being the “Sick Man of Europe”, returning it to a leading world power; defended the Falklands from Argentine fascism brought an end to the Unions’ strangle hold that was throttling the UK; empowered thousands through the “Right to Buy” scheme; had a leading role in bringing down the Berlin wall and ending the Cold War; negotiated the European rebate, and countless other great achievements for our country.
While no single statement can hope to do the great Lady justice, members of Reading University Conservative Association and Reading Conservative Future have written their own tributes:
“Lady Thatcher not only changed the face of our country, but the very fabric of life in Britain; indeed, her influence has been felt across the western world. Her domestic successes, particularly in unleashing the power of private enterprise and promoting the role of the individual, have become the foundations of the Britain in which I have grown up. Just as Lady Thatcher was unquestionably a towering political presence, she has been the most inspiring figure to young people involved in conservative politics, and that is perhaps the greatest testimony we can give. This is of course a sad day for the nation, but those of us who truly understand the gravity of her achievements should take solace in the fact that history will judge her well”.
James Caldecourt (RUCA President).
“Margaret Thatcher has been a hero of mine for many years. Intelligent, able, determined and above all patriotic, Maggie had an air of authority and dignity that allowed her to lead this country out of its darkest days since the war. She defended the country from threats from both outside and inside the country, and will go down in history as the woman who dealt the fatal blow to socialism. The Great Lady’s love for her country was always her driving motive and she will always be an inspiration to us all. I believe that history will judge her as the great figure that she was”.
Tom Puddy (Chairman, Reading CF).
“Margaret Thatcher’s continuous commitment to traditional conservative values during her service to this country has always been a source of inspiration, particularly in a new century which has witnessed the unfortunate triumph of immediate populist policy-making over a carefully considered vision of elected governance. Her promotion of the Anglo-Irish Agreement, creating a workable environment in which to both hunt down the murderous terrorists of the IRA, and to begin a long-term process of reconciliation with the Republic of Ireland, the British State and the once oppressed Catholic minority of Ulster was a masterful yet often underrated part of the resolution of conflict in Northern Ireland. Her constant advancement of individual freedom, not just in and for Britain, but throughout the world, should always be an issue of pride for us, as should her commitment to the independence of this great nation and our willingness to promote and defend the values we love across the seas”.
Christopher Williams (Former RUCA President).
“Despite not having lived during Margaret Thatcher’s years as prime minister, I firmly believe that I have witnessed and experienced her legacy. She successfully revolutionised the country that she loved to the extent that successive prime ministers have attempted to emulate her strength, courage and determination. Lady Thatcher not only created a country where those who aspired to achieve greatness could do so, she laid the foundations for future generations to reap the rewards of her reforms.
Although a divisive and controversial leader, Lady Thatcher led with real ability and confidence when building a Conservative party capable of restoring the country to its former glory. As prime minister she fought for freedom and liberty not just at home but across the globe, to provide the freedom enjoyed in the UK to millions around the world. Her work is admired by many, and the messages of admiration from world leaders today give us an insight as to how influential she was on the global stage. This morning we lost a true pioneer domestically and internationally, she will be greatly missed”.
Andrew Knight (RUCA Vice-President).
“Margaret Thatcher has been my greatest inspiration in politics. Being the first and still only female Prime Minister and climbing from her grocers background to the highest office in the country demonstrates just how remarkable she was. Having been returned as PM three times by the British public, she achieved great things, turning the country around and instilling pride in everyone. Her hard work and determination should be admired and will always be remembered.”
Emma Willis (RUCA Treasurer).
“Baroness Thatcher was a pin up politician, a feminist icon, and without a doubt, the most successful, powerful and headstrong leader this country has ever had.
She is a wonderful example of strength and character, who inspired many and will continue to do so for generations to come. As a country, we are deeply in debt to her and it is with great sadness that we have seen her passing, but her memory and impact will certainly live long with us and with the whole world.”
Rosalind Wise (RUCA Secretary).
“Margaret Thatcher will always be remembered as Britain’s first, and so far only, female Prime Minister, an undeniably monumental achievement that will never be relinquished. She removed Britain from a broken, battered shell, on its knees and held hostage by corrupt and tyrannical Union leaders such as Arthur Scargill and Derek ‘Red Robbo’ Robinson which made the 1970s a dark, regrettable and helpless time for this country. She left the country, as many will agree, in a better place. A Greater Britain. A country standing bravely tall and defiant in Europe, in an ever-strengthening relationship with the United States and building bridges previously burnt by Communism with the new Russian Federation and much of Eastern Europe. Formidable on the political stage and kind in person, Britain has lost one of its greatest ever leaders”.
Edgar Johnson (RUCA Political Officer)
Baroness Thatcher was Prime Minister for over eleven years. She sat in the Commons for over thirty years and subsequently in the Lords for over twenty. It is needless to say that during her political career Margaret Thatcher stood up for the interests of this nation at every possible opportunity. Baroness Thatcher acts as an inspiration to all young people, regardless of their political persuasion; we should all aspire to follow her dedication to public service. May the Iron Lady rest in peace.
Mark Kelleher (President-Elect, Reading University Students’ Union).