Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Thatcher Legacy

I was a cold warrior in England when Margaret Thatcher--the Iron Lady-- was Prime Minister. Together with Helmut Kohl of Germany, Pope John Paul and President Reagan, they outspent and held firm to defeat the Soviet empire.
All these Countries, to include the Danes and Dutch stayed true to NATO, allowing nuclear arms to be deployed amidst massive protests and upheaval.
There was enormous pressure in Europe to withdraw all nukes. I was at RAF Upper Heyford maintaining the F-111E, a long range bomber that was to help stop a Soviet attack on the “continent.” Situated in Oxfordshire, the base was (alleged) to have stores of B-61 bombs. The town of Oxford was so “anti-war, they actually flew a black peace flag over city hall. South of Oxford was the military base of Greenham Common, which hosted cruise missiles (GLIKEM’s,) and had a permanent women’s peace encampment. I bought my first camouflage uniforms there. The organisation known as CND (the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament) was active and posted signs along the highway stating “Nuclear Bomb Route”--I  still have one that I found unattended. The hysteria in Europe was great, leading to the creation of a “movie poster”, which I also have.
It is for a remake of “Gone With the Wind,” featuring Ronny Reagan holding Maggie Thatcher up in his arms, with a mushroom cloud as a backdrop.
“She promised to follow him to the end of the world--he promised to organise it!”

When Mrs. Thatcher took over government from Labour, the UK was in sad shape--most services were Nationalised, and the unions, especially coal held the country hostage. At our house we actually burned coal for heat--which also heated the water.
When they talk about “fire and brimstone”, I got a taste of what that means.
To make a phone call, every lousy little village had their own prefix code, and that changed depending on where you called from!
She turned the Country around, and gave renewed vigor and pride to a nation.
Out of principle, she launched a small war to protect a small island near Argentina. Just last month, the people of the Falklands voted 99% to remain within the British Empire. Mrs. Thatcher should be honored and remembered for being the biggest supporter and friend of the United States, for holding firm against vicious assaults you cannot believe, and restoring the United Kingdom to economic and personal stability.
Most former Prime Ministers are given an honorary degree from Oxford University. Spitefully, however, that honor was withheld.
She did what was best for her Country--and to defeat totalitarianism--regardless of popular opinion. The true test of lasting greatness. Lady Margaret Thatcher, shopkeeper’s daughter, 1925-2013.

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