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Margaret Thatcher was a woman of extraordinary calibre driven by a dedication to hard work

Beyond politics she had many qualities that ought to command universal admiration

By on Monday, 8 April 2013

Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan pictured in 1990 (Photo: PA)

Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan pictured in 1990 (Photo: PA)

The sad news of the death of Margaret Thatcher at the age of 87, after a long period of ill health, though not unexpected, will nevertheless divide the nation. A polarising Prime Minister in life, she will remain controversial even in death. This is a pity, for she had many qualities that ought to have commanded universal admiration.

Margaret Roberts, as everyone knows, was the daughter of a prosperous shopkeeper from Grantham, Lincolnshire; it is generally supposed that her father, Alderman Roberts, was the chief formative influence on her life. From him she must have learned what was her foremost quality, one that has often been overlooked: her dedication, one might almost say addiction, to hard work. A woman of enormous energy, she almost never relaxed: she never strolled, she walked briskly, even trotted, and she spoke with a voice that was low and intense. Work was everything for Mrs Thatcher, it filled her day, it filled her mind. A Conservative peer, now long dead, once told me of being invited with his wife for a quiet and informal dinner at No 10; it was, he said, the most exhausting night of his life: he, his wife, and Denis listened to the Prime Minister speak without let or hindrance on a wide variety of topics almost without interruption. She had no small talk, she had no small thoughts. Politics was everything for her; unlike her great friend Ronald Reagan, there was no afternoon snooze, no daytime television.

It was this sheer dedication to the task in hand that must have won her the chance to get into Parliament in the first place, which was, in those days, difficult for a woman. Similarly, this dedication would have assured her path up the ministerial ladder, but one notes that in becoming Education Secretary, she was corralled into a job that was seen as suitable for a woman. Her dedication to hard work would have won her admiration but few friends. This is a pity, for it was the hard work of people like Alderman Roberts and his daughter that made Britain the workshop of the world; Margaret Thatcher, I am sure, truly believed, and with some justification, that people of her type had made Britain great.

This dedication to hard work and self-reliance (after all, she had had no powerful friends or gilded background to assure her rise) that led, one assumes, to her natural affinity with all things American. She adored Reagan, that most American of Presidents. And they admired her. But, it has to be said, even when America did not back her, she did not back down. She had a strong faith in her own rightness, and sent the Task Force to the Falklands without the explicit support of the Americans. That took courage, but courage was a moral virtue she certainly had.

What of her religious faith? The Roberts family were Methodists, but by the time she was Prime Minister she was Anglican. She did make several forays into theology, such as an address to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, none of which were particularly well received, or, if truth be told, well judged. But it cannot be denied that she was a strongly believing Christian woman, though like many such she did not talk of it openly. In that she was very English too. There were rumours that she did not care for Roman Catholics, though one priest who did meet her in Downing Street, the fully cassocked Fr Jean-Marie Charles-Roux, described her to me as simple and charming and very kind. Despite the fact that Edward Heath’s decades-long sulk must have been provoking, she never spoke ill of him, nor did she ever speak ill of any of the European politicians who vehemently disliked her, chief among which was the figure of Giulio Andreotti. That to my mind shows a Christian forbearance.

Andreotti may have disliked Mrs Thatcher for her opposition to federalism, but Italians on the whole greatly admired her. In a country where looking good is almost a religion, they admired someone who was in their eyes an exponent of “il look inglese”. Aquascutum, on the back of Thatcherism, made quite an impression on the Italian market. Giovanni Spadolini, briefly Prime Minister in the early 1980s, had an election poster that simply showed him shaking hands with “la donna di ferro”. An association with Thatcher was a vote winner. They liked her; it was a pity that the British could not do the same; instead we had to endure attacks on Mrs Thatcher’s clothes and appearance from people like Lady Warnock, who showed a meanness of mind to which Mrs Thatcher herself never replied in kind.

But was she a great Prime Minister? Time will tell. Did she reverse Britain’s inexorable decline? Did she leave a country better off after her 11 and a half years of leadership? Probably not. But history will judge. What we can say now, though, is that a woman of the most extraordinary calibre has passed from the scene. May she rest in peace.

  • http://davidaslindsay.blogspot.co.uk/ David Lindsay

    She introduced abortion up to birth (and is seen is this photograph with the man who legalised abortion in California), and she tried to abolish the special status of Sunday and to end Christian teaching in state schools.

    Get over her – http://davidaslindsay.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/get-over-her.html

  • Benedict Carter

    No saint, but in some important ways she made us proud to be Britons again after the Marxist unions and the socialists had nearly destroyed the country. For that, we should be grateful to her.

  • EFWDeal

    An article like the above is a major reason for me not to renew my subscription to the on line Catholic Herald.

  • Mary O’Regan

    David, along with her colleagues she voted for the Abortion Act in 1967, but Phyllis Bowman put this in context of Thatcher’s whole career, “she
    voted for the Abortion Act in 1967 and subsequently always supported it.
    However, to be just, she had a great respect for the conscience vote of her MPs… In addition, although she was straightforward about her views, at no time did she ever seek to influence her MPs by announcing how she would vote on an amendment. (As a footnote, I would add that in her memoirs and in speaking publicly, Lady Thatcher has said that she considers she made a tragic mistake in supporting liberal abortion.”

    We can’t undo the fact that Thatcher was pro-abortion in 1967 and we can’t undo the last 46 years, but pro-lifers could publicise the fact that Thatcher became more anti-abortion. She was the most successful female politician to have ever lived – and as Christians we should give her the benefit of the doubt – that she came to the anti-abortion vineyard very late – but she didn’t let her pride stop her from admitting ‘the tragic mistake’.

    Baroness Thatcher – RIP

  • http://davidaslindsay.blogspot.co.uk/ David Lindsay

    She legalised it up to birth under three of the four circumstances under which she had voted to legalise it at all. All that she could find to say about it in her autobiography was that she could not understand how there was so much of it when contraception was universally available!

  • http://davidaslindsay.blogspot.co.uk/ David Lindsay

    She turned Britain into the country that Marxists had always said that it was, even though before her it never actually had been.

    Her victims were disproportionately Catholics.

  • $362439

    The other thing she should be remembered for is that she was the first Prime Minister to live in Number 10 as an adulteress. When she married Denis Thatcher, he had already married – and then divorced – a woman who was still alive.
    She also changed the religion of the United Kingdom from Christianity to Mammonism.

    Mrs Thatcher said she was keen to restore Victorian values. But if William Wilberforce had been given a vision of things to come in the 1980s he would have seen her preside over unprecedented levels of divorce, abortion, drug-taking and sexual promiscuity. He would have been scandalised by her marriage to another woman’s husband. Appalled at her government’s casual approach to contraception, sex education and the abolition of Sunday rest. Ashamed of her profession of Christianity without any serious commitment to it as a revealed religion.

    Wilberforce would have judged Mrs Thatcher to be a woman of fathomless depravity.

  • Orapronobis

    The Catholic Herald: the Tory Party at prayer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexander.luciesmith Alexander Lucie-Smith

    Untrue.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexander.luciesmith Alexander Lucie-Smith

    Why? Is it too pro-Thatcher? Or too anti?

  • Matt

    She didn’t reverse the decline,but she likely put it on hold. Was the country better? If it wasn’t, it was because her efforts were hampered by a nearly monolithic socialism in gov’t, culture and media. What is amazing is that she made as much progress as she did.

  • Mweelrea

    Mrs Thatcher never became anti-abortion. Mrs Thatcher merely stated she thought abortion in Great Britain had become, in her words, “more lax than was intended”. She stated categorically that she would never support the abolition of abortion completely and that a foetus only became human after a few months of pregnancy.

  • Frank

    My impression is that Fr. Alexander is just trying to see the good in someone.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Her one absolutely brilliant action was the liberation of the Falklands from hostile invasion forces.

    Surely, there will be mourning in Port Stanley this night…

  • EFWDeal

    Neither, Father. But because you ignore the facts that should concern a Christian .ShE VOTED FOR THE INTRODUCTION OF THE ABORTION ACT, 1967,
    AND FOR EVERY LIBERAL PRO ABORTION AMENDMENT in the years following (She
    opposed its extension to Northern Ireland because she was still dependent on
    votes there . ) She divided families with her poll tax when members of families
    had to be turned out because families could not pay the tax on individual
    members (polls) in the home . She politicised the police force and gave them
    the nod to act illegally by preventing people passing through the Dartfort
    Tunnel, swetened by a massive increase in pay!She ordered the bombing of the
    Belgrano when it was travelling away from battle, She murdered hundreds of
    Argentinian sailors in thr process. She divided communities in Kent – divisions
    which still run deep today, and caused massive unemployment with her closure of
    coalmines there. She was a adulterous woman, “married” to a divorce whose wife was still living.An evil ,dictatorial psychotic feared by the men of her own
    cabinet”. “WE are a grandmother!” – more delusions. May the Lord have mercy on her
    soul

  • EFWDeal

    The post above your question is my response to your quwstion father I pushed the wrong button!

  • Pope Zicola

    Margaret Thatcher ‘…driven by dedication to hard work.’

    In the 1980′s and now, that headline is relevant for the few and not the many, it has to be said, Fr Lucie.

    It’s that Darwinian thing known as the survival of the fittest …. and the rest can go hang – on that joke known as Job Seekers Allowance and the hilariously new misnomer of a ”benefit” called Employment and Support Allowance or under a mountain of rejected job applications!

    Once again, now in the 21st Century – were back to the days of Thatcher: the sick, vulnerable and disabled are once more the Baldricks to the majority-in-the-Commons politician’s Blackadder!

    You ask Baldrick to run in to Blackadder’s fist – you do it and end up with a nose like a juicy boysenberry!

    Heck! I never thought that there would be a topic of yours with which I would not agree with you for the most part. Sad but true, but there you go.

    If people agree with each other all the freaking time, then it becomes BORING!

    However, it does not mean to say that I’ve spit the dummy nor have I ‘gone off’ the Catholic Herald.
    It’s a Roman Catholic paper for Roman Catholics telling it like it is.

    In the 1980′s, I’ll never forget Harold McMillan who wept as he accused Mrs Thatcher of selling the family silver i.e. the nationalised industries.

    One of those disasters of privatisation for which, 30 or more years on, has astonishingly never recovered was the rail industry!

    Neither has mining, steel and manufacturing recovered.

    She wanted Nelson Mandela hung and was good pals with Pinochet of Chile.

    ?????????

    For the loadzamoneys who waved their wads of £10 and £20 notes under the noses of the poor, those champagne swilling, sharp-suited and/or Benetton-wearing, Filofax-flicking OK Yah yuppies, shouty ‘alternative’ comedians who virtually destroyed good comedy and dodgy commercial television franchises producing dodgy television that gave way to the junk that invades the living room if you let it – yes, you would be inclined to agree with the headline.
    You wouldn’t exactly be singing ‘Ding! Dong! The Wicked Witch Is Dead!’ from the Wizard of Oz after the rolling news coverage of Thatcher’s demise.

    Socialists hid behind her skirts to cover up their complacency, inadequacy, self-serving attitude and blatant abuse of the Trade Union movement and what they originally stood for – to look out for and protect the working person from exploitation by those who treat their inferiors like machines and throwaway commodities and not people with souls, feelings and a sense of healthy pride.

    There are those who say that Thatcher changed the face of politics – when I first studied British Government and Politics at college in the early 1980′s, there was no such thing as political parties that were all things to all people as they are nowadays.

    We are, effectively, in a one-party-state but we don’t realise it. The so-called leaders might be different but they may as well be a manufactured boy-band singing the same bland tune on opposite sides of the House of Commons!

    Politics nowadays would not interest me in the slightest as a study subject – except to lop it in the same category of study as reality shows such as I’m A Celebrity and The Voice and take a Masters Degrees in Holiday Camp Management!

    Thatcher’s plus points: The Anglo-Irish Agreement (it was a small help – SMALL – which led to bigger things – even the hilarity of asking that the voices of IRA figures be replaced by those of an actor saying exactly the same thing!), her PART in the downfall of the Iron Curtain (admittedly replaced by something else just as sinister – see above) and that vote-grabber known as the Falklands War which had us gripped each newstime.

    I see where Argentine President Christina Kirchner gets her ideas from – using the Falkland Islands as a political ladder to help her climb up in her Jimmy Choo’s to put a twinkly star on the Christmas tree of a landslide victory!
    The only politician who became a canonised saint, so I’m told, is Saint Thomas More – the patron of politicians. There are others of whom there are considerations for the title Servant of God.
    Thomas More was one of those Tudor contemporaries – and good friend of Henry VIII – who attempted to shoot the reputation of the Last Plantagenet King, Richard III, down in flames. Thomas More was a man of his time, grooving with the political landscape of the time … but weren’t we always told that ‘Bearing False Witness’ is one of the Ten Commandments, too?
    Margaret Thatcher will not rest in peace… her restless spirit will continue to be called upon in that séance that is called British Politics.

  • Anthony Wayne

    American here. Retired U.S. Navy officer, a Catholic, and a great admirer of Lady Thatcher. Pardon me for intruding. Part of my decades-long service in our Navy — a direct lineal descendant of the world’s finest Navy; the Royal Navy that helped to create the Pax Britannia (never forget that about yourselves) — took place during the Reagan/Thatcher, or Thatcher/Reagan, years.

    They were years in which both our nations could take pride in ourselves and what our essential character, born of a common Anglo-American spirit (and I say this as a man of so-called “Mexican-American,” though I despise “hyphenated Americanism,” heritage), could accomplish together. Your Mrs. Thatcher did that for us, along with our president Reagan. Those were great times to be a young naval officer, I can tell you, because we knew we had a steadfast friend and ally on the high seas and in geopolitics.

    Lady Thatcher was greatly admired within my circle of peers and superiors. I was fortunate enough to attend several of her lectures and speeches here in the U.S. In my personal opinion, she gave your great nation at least another generation’s worth of power and influence. She saved you from the euro, which is imploding all across Europe, and during her tenure (and, admittedly, during PM Blair’s as well) America never had a greater friend. It’s to my everlasting shame as a citizen of my country that we’ve not reciprocated that as strongly as I feel we should have over these last several years or even longer.

    But that’s neither here nor there. And this angels/pin discuss about abortion, on the day one of your greatest PMs (at least of the 20th century; notwithstanding Gladstone and Disraeli in the 19th) has gone to her glory is certainly one worthy of discussion — given you’re discussing that at a website advertising itself as “Catholic Herald — but for at least this week I prefer to celebrate her life and magnificent accomplishments on behalf of your great nation.

    I, for one, shall miss her indomitable British spirit and steely resolve. The world today has lost a truly GREAT British prime minister. Time has already told that tale and rendered its verdict. Simply look at her successors. To me, they’re pale imitations of a great Lady.

    My condolences on your nation’s loss.

  • maxmarley

    Why am I prompted to reflect on Ozymandias at this time?
    May Mrs Thatcher rest in peace.

  • NICOLÒ SCAVERA

    An interesting article Father and I respect your opinions. I hadn’t really thought about the 1980′s in a long time. I was surprised how strong my feelings still are about this period. I was eleven years old when Mrs Thatcher was elected in 1979. My cat actually had a litter of kittens on polling day and I was more interested in that than the politics. However when it was announced she had won the election my parents looked very disturbed. It was as if they knew something bad was going to happen. When the unemployment started to hit our area the first thing I noticed were the number of cars disappearing from the streets. When people lost their jobs the first thing they sold was their cars. I went to a Jesuit school and I started to notice how some of my friends were becoming very withdrawn due to the personal strife they were going through at home. Most of us were from strong Catholic, immigrant families (my great grandparents were Sicilian) and a good work ethic was firmly instilled in us by both home and school, but despite this some families were pushed to breaking point by economic hardship. Throughout the 80′s I became very aware of the inequality and social injustice that permeated Britain. It has to be said that this was a result of Mrs. Thatcher’s policies. Many of my friends left school around 84-85 and were either unemployed or on the exploitative YTS scheme. I think our generation had a deep loathing of Mrs Thatcher’s generation. We did not feel represented by them at all. Also the selfishness that they espoused was totally abhorrent to me. It was heartbreaking to see the regional fracturing of the country. It was as if war had been declared on one section of the population whose only crime was to be born to a class that was less affluent and less privileged than their persecutors. The radical contrast in lifestyle in the 80′s was frankly disturbing. Why was it that some people were able to enjoy a moderately comfortable lifestyle full of promise and optimism while others were condemned to a bleak existence where they were written off as not being worthy to live with any dignity. Why couldn’t we be living in a society where a decent standard of living was available to everyone?

    By the end of the decade I had to face a grim reality. There was no future for someone like me in Britain. I did not feel represented by the government and I did not think that the opposition had my interests at heart either. Britain had accepted these radical changes and in so doing I believed it had lost its moral compass. I decided to leave the country and live abroad. I arrived in France with little more than enthusiasm and the hope that something better awaited me there than what I left behind. The Catholic Church is always there for people in need. I am forever thankful to the French priests and nuns that I met who helped me to build a new life. I taught English there for many years and also worked as a graphic designer and artist. I realised that one of the main differences between France and England was that the French really appreciate art. It is taken very seriously. I don’t recall art being embraced or promoted by Mrs Thatcher’s government which probably explains why they were so cold and uncaring to a large percentage of the population.

    I do not see Mrs thatcher as being a good role model to anyone. The country could have emerged from the 80′s as a fairer and more equal society. The word society however is the problem. Mrs Thatcher did not believe in Society. She definitely did not embrace the ethos of ‘love thy neighbour’. I do not glory in the death of anyone but I think it must be said that Mrs. Thatcher was a very flawed person. She was totally divisive. If you were on the beneficial side of her policies life must have been great but the reason life was so great was because other people had to suffer a lot of misery. Surely Christian teaching cannot condone such injustice. I could not hail her as a great leader because great leaders unite their people, whereas she divided them.

  • Bellarmine

    Very well said. She, and to a degree the present government, are encouraging scapegoating of the poor and the disabled, and harking back to the workhouse days. She was the one who gave this attitude respectability, and contradicted in every one of her policies the Beatitudes, the Christian’s moral compass.

  • Bellarmine

    It is beginning to sound more and more like that. It is fascinating how some many of its contributors seem so hung up on sexuality, and yet the ignore Jesus’ commitment to the poor and the voiceless. Because the new Pope has indicated his preference, which is actually God’s, for the poor, he is vilified in these pages. But then, so was Jesus. But at least those who crucified him did not proclaim themselves his followers!

  • $362439

    Well, what did I tell you? If Mrs Thatcher had truly stood for marriage and family values, she would have dismissed Denis and told him to be reconciled with his wife. Instead, she did all in her power to destroy family life among the working classes, since it was the family values of the workers that drove the formation of the trade union movement.
    Mrs Thatcher set the nation at liberty all right, but it was a liberty the people as a whole were not virtuous enough to exercise well. A liberty to buy and sell and sleep around.

    I imagine what would have happened had William Wilberforce been asked to form a government and invited to consider Mrs T for membership. I suspect that, had it been pointed out to him that she was adulterously married to a man whose first wife was still alive, he would have dismissed her as a common slut.

  • Benedict Carter

    Excellent post.

  • Benedict Carter

    ” …. and yet the ignore Jesus’ commitment to the poor and the voiceless.”

    How the hell do you know what posters here do?

  • Dr Falk

    well said. The destruction of people and communities is an awful thing. I hope she is at peace but her actions destroyed the industrial base of this country and hurt so many.

  • Dr Falk

    Thanks Bellarmine. Jesus got the support and love of the poor,outcast and public sinners. It was the religious establishment that found him so difficult. He broke the law to meet human need and put into fellowship those they put out ( lepers, prostitutes, tax collectors, Samaritans, public sinners,etc ).

  • Pope Zicola

    Another great, spot-on post – telling it like it was in the mostly miserable, plastic, leg-warmer’ed and no-soft-lines-in-a-sharp-suit 1980′s.
    Well done! You also reflected on and wrote for us who lived through the 1980′s without the pound-sign-distorted, Bollinger-sozzled spectacles of the sneering loadzamoneys.

  • http://www.facebook.com/julie.mooney.90 Julie Mooney

    I’ll refrain on clicking on your link because I don’t approve of shameless self promotion. And Ronald Reagan later came out to say that his former pro abortion stance was the worse thing he ever did and it was only through prayer that turned him into a staunch pro-lifer. What’s your point? Have you ever once in your entire selfish life never changed your mind on anything? I bet you still think of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute too. Shame on you.

  • http://davidaslindsay.blogspot.co.uk/ David Lindsay

    Reagan’s Supreme Court appointments give the lie to any such claim on his part.

  • http://www.facebook.com/julie.mooney.90 Julie Mooney

    Ms. O’Regan stated the proof of what she wrote; where’s your proof other than your own biased hatred of a great Lady?

  • http://www.facebook.com/julie.mooney.90 Julie Mooney

    William Reinquist: Pro Life
    Antonin Scalia: Pro Life
    Sandra Day OConnor: WAS Pro-Life. Do some research on how Reagan and conservatives were all aghast at her change since they all new she was Pro-Life.
    Anthony Kennedy (and O’Connor): From Planned Parenthood v Casey:
    We are led to conclude this: the essential holding of Roe v. Wade should be retained and once again reaffirmed, in three parts:
    The right of the woman to choose to have an abortion before viability.
    The State may restrict abortions after fetal viability if the law contains
    exceptions for pregnancies which endanger the woman’s health.
    The State has legitimate interests from the outset of the pregnancy in
    protecting the health of the woman and the life of the fetus that may
    become a child.

    Key phrase “BEFORE viability”…state may RESTRICT…State has legitimate interests…the health of the woman AND the LIFE of the “fetus”…

    By the way, have you ever read the verdict in Roe v Wade? It basically allowed abortion in the FIRST TRIMESTER ONLY. It’s been liberal policies, surely NOT those of Reagan that have let that slide to second and third trimester abortions being included.

    As an afterthought, none of these EXCEPT for Reinquist was there for the initial Roe v Wade verdict….you conveniently failed to mentioned how Reinquist, a Reagan appointee voted in dissent. So, in effect, Reagan’s Supreme Court appointees fared pretty well in abortion cases on the Pro-Life side. Sorry…thanks for playing…we have some nice parting gifts for you.
    Next time I suggest you actually doing some UNBIASED research before making erroneous statements to self promote your own blog.

  • Thomas Gallagher

    How odd of the Catholic Herald to fail to mention the dismantling of state industries under the Thatcher government, the sale of tens of thousands of council houses to their tenant/occupiers, the deregulation of industry after industry–all of which arguably made people, ordinary people, far better off than they had been before she came into office. What we’ve been served here is a political obituary with most of the politics left out.

  • Bellarmine

    From the tone of your posts, somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun!

  • Bellarmine

    This is what the establishment hated about Jesus: he wouldn’t be the kind of person that they thought he should be, and his kingdom was too open, especially to the undesirables

  • Bellarmine

    Her spirit is still abroad, encouraging our worst instincts, e.g.trample on the poor, and encourage obscene wealth and extravagance.

  • Kate Ann

    With all due respect Mrs Thatcher’s conscience regarding her marriage is an issue for herself and her maker. Personally, coming at this from an Irish perspective I believe she made many mistakes concerning Ireland, she had no love for the place or the people, but as a leader of the UK I think it is true to say she loved her country. I do think as well that there has been a tremendous outpouring of misogyny regarding her demise. A lot men, especially those on the Left simply cannot forgive the woman for giving them a run for the money. Whatever the rights and wrongs may she RIP

  • $24570317

    This is one of the few things about which Mrs Thatcher was mistaken.

    Contraceptives are in principle universally available, but in everyday reality they are not,
    Many Catholic schools go out of their way to ensure that their pupils know as little about contraceptives as possible. Although most pupils find the necessary information for themselves, there is a residual minority who don’t.
    This leads to the high and rising rates of pregnancy in Catholic schools.

    Several concerned people are currently trying to persuade the NHS to specifically target Catholic teenagers to ensure that they are as well-educated about sexual matters, including contraception, as their non-Catholic peers.

  • Gabriel

    That is the truth Sir! Well said.

  • $362439

    Her adulterous marriage to Denis Thatcher is most certainly not a private matter between her self and God. It is an abuse of a public institution vital to the well-being of society.
    I’ll concede that she loved her country. But she worshipped money and married Denis for the sake of it. She lacked the moral character William Wilberforce would have expected of her. She failed to repress abortion and the use of contraception, and to enforce marriage vows, as he would have done had he been Prime Minister.
    I was reflecting today on the Harrying of the North, the campaign of William the Conqueror against rebels in northern England. His men slew 100,000 people out of a population of perhaps 2 million, destroyed crops and livestock so that the survivors would starve over the winter, and salted the ground to destroy its fertility.
    Simili modo, Mrs Thatcher destroyed the industrial base of the UK and failed to reconstruct. The children of the men who lost their jobs were left with an education risibly unsuited to prepare them for the world of work. It is only now when it should have been 30 years ago, that University Technology Colleges are being set up to train the engineers and technicians of the future.

  • Mweelrea

    She voted for the Abortion Act and subsequently supported it. She believed a foetus didn’t become human until after a few months(as reported in an interview with this very publication). I can think of only one pro-life decision she made while PM: helping to defeat a Labour party plan to extend the Abortion Act to Northern Ireland. Mrs Thatcher was not pro-life.

  • $24570317

    This is as true as any generalisation can possibly be.

    Perhaps one day the CH will merge with the Daily and Sunday Torygraph.

  • Dr Falk

    Thanks Bellarmine. You are dead right. Jesus broke the law to help people. He drew a circle and included those who the religious authorities put out. You can hear it in their words ‘And the Pharisees seeing it, said to his disciples: Why doth your master eat with publicans and sinners ‘( Matthew 9:11). Thanks very much for raising this.

  • Dr Falk

    I agree. She changed politics and approaches in this country for the worse. The SDP didn’t break the mould of British politics – she did. I see her ideology as opposed to the spirit and love of Jesus. In saying that I have prayed for her in the last few days.

  • Bellarmine

    Well said, Dr Falk; Thank God, “here is a true Israelite, in whom there is no guile.” God bless.

  • Dr Falk

    Thank you Bellarmine. I appreciate your kind words. I am so happy there are souls who are faithful to the Lord’s example and message and sharing it. It shows the Holy Spirit is so alive and moving. God bless you too my friend.

  • James H

    “Many Catholic schools go out of their way to ensure that their pupils know as little about contraceptives as possible.”
    Not in my experience.

    “This leads to the high and rising rates of pregnancy in Catholic schools.”
    Sources?

    Regarding being ‘well-educated’ about sexual matters – that’s a good idea, but they need *all* the information: they need *real-life* stats on STD rates in this country, the *real-life* effectiveness of contraception (if it’s so effective, why are there so many abortions?), the psychological (e.g. higher rates of suicide) and long-term physical effects of abortion (e.g. incompetent cervix), and the *real-life* facts about divorce rates among couples who cohabit.

    It’s a continuing source of annoyance that the loudest voices in favour of value-free sex education manage to clam up completely when it comes to information that conflicts with their Free Lurve principles.

  • $46579571

    Perhaps Mrs Thatcher had some qualities that shouldn’t command universal admiration ? She had the Puritan virtues but also all the Puritan vices.
    When are you opening the cause for her beatification, by the way ?

  • $46579571

    I remember an article by a Catholic priest in which he said that any Catholic priest (and all Catholics) should always be a voice for the opinions of the poor. Are the poor of Britain (or any other country) swooning in grief or admiration for The Iron Lady ?

  • $46579571

    As always, the Catholic Herald takes a political, not a religious, stance. It is the Catholic Telegraph just as The Tablet is the Catholic Guardian.
    Herald and Tablet are the terrible twins of British Catholicism, which is greying and dying partly because its supposedly intellectual publications always sacrifice their Faith on the altar of their political bigotry and material self-interest.