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Tributes pour in for Margaret Thatcher

8 April 2013

12:54 PM

8 April 2013

12:54 PM

Margaret Thatcher died this morning following a stroke.  Downing Street said this afternoon that the former Conservative Prime Minister’s funeral will have the same status as the Queen Mother and Princess Diana, with full military honours, a service at St Paul’s Cathedral, followed by a private cremation. She will not lie in state, in accordance with her wishes. The flag over No.10 is flying at half mast and  the tributes are flowing in. David Cameron’s tribute is posted below. Here are some others:-

Barack Obama:

‘With the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend. As a grocer’s daughter who rose to become Britain’s first female prime minister, she stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered. As prime minister, she helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best. And as an unapologetic supporter of our transatlantic alliance, she knew that with strength and resolve we could win the Cold War and extend freedom’s promise.

‘Here in America, many of us will never forget her standing shoulder to shoulder with President Reagan, reminding the world that we are not simply carried along by the currents of history—we can shape them with moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will. Michelle and I send our thoughts to the Thatcher family and all the British people as we carry on the work to which she dedicated her life—free peoples standing together, determined to write our own destiny.’

Sir John Major:

‘In government, the UK was turned around under – and in large measure because of – her leadership. 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.’

Lord Saatchi:

‘Everyone wants to be immortal. Few are. Mrs Thatcher is. Why? Because her values are timeless, eternal. Tap anyone on the shoulder anywhere in the world, and ask what Mrs Thatcher “believed in”, and they will tell you. They can give a clear answer to what she “stood for”.

She developed all the winning arguments of our time – free markets, low tax, a small state, independence, individuality, self-determination. The result was a revolution in economic policy and three election victories in a row.’

Tony Blair:

‘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.’

Mikhail Gorbachev:

‘Thatcher was a politician whose word carried great weight. Our first meeting in 1984 set in train relations that were sometimes complicated, not always smooth, but which were serious and responsible on both sides. Human relations also gradually took shape, becoming more and more friendly. In the end we managed to achieve a mutual understanding, and that contributed to a change in the atmosphere between our country [the Soviet Union] and the West and the end of the Cold War.

‘Margaret Thatcher was a heavyweight politician and a striking person. She will remain in our memories, and in history’

Henry Kissinger:

‘She was a tremendous prime minister, she was a great lady, she had very strong opinions. And to those of us who knew her over the decades she was a very warm person, which is not the public image that is often given.’

Angela Merkel:

‘She was an extraordinary leader in the global politics of her time. I will never forget her part in surmounting the division of Europe and at the end of the Cold War. As she took the highest democratic offices as a woman before that was common, she set an example for many. The liberty of the individual stood at the heart of her convictions – Margaret Thatcher recognised the power of the freedom movements of Eastern Europe early on and lent them her support.’


Iain Duncan Smith:

‘Watching her set out to change Britain for the better in 1979 made me believe there was, at last, real purpose and real leadership in politics once again. She bestrode the political world like a colossus.’

Boris Johnson:

‘She ended the defeatism and pessimism of the post-war period and unleashed a spirit of enterprise. She fought against the clubby, cosy, male-dominated consensus of both main parties – and she won. Her beliefs – in thrift, hard work, and proper reward for merit – were not always popular. But her legacy is colossal. This country is deeply in her debt. Her memory will live long after the world has forgotten the grey suits of today’s politics.’

George Osborne:

‘Sad news. Margaret Thatcher’s belief in freedom & optimism about the future overcame all. Her determination is our generation’s inspiration.’

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister:

‘She was truly a great leader, a woman of principle, of determination, of conviction, of strength; a woman of greatness.’

Nick Clegg:

‘Margaret Thatcher was one of the defining figures in modern British politics. 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. My thoughts are with her family and friends.’

Ed Miliband:

‘I send my deep condolences to Lady Thatcher’s family, in particular Mark and Carol Thatcher. She will be remembered as a unique figure. She reshaped the politics of a whole generation. She was Britain’s first woman Prime Minister. She moved the centre ground of British politics and was a huge figure on the world stage. 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. She coped with her final, difficult years with dignity and courage. Critics and supporters will remember her in her prime.’

Dr Liam Fox:

‘Today represents a huge loss for our country. Margaret Thatcher was the greatest British Prime Minister of the post-war era and a towering figure in global affairs.

‘Courageous, intelligent and patriotic, she symbolised the triumph of principle over short term expediency. Her willingness to take on the conventional wisdom of her time and to confront failed and dangerous ideologies led to a freer and better world.

It was a privilege and honour to have known her.’

Lord Kinnock, former leader of the Labour party:

‘I recognise and admire the great distinction of Baroness Thatcher as the first woman to become leader of a major UK political party and prime minister. I am sorry to hear of her death and offer my sympathy to her family.’

George W. Bush:

‘Laura and I are saddened by the death of Baroness Margaret Thatcher. She was an inspirational leader who stood on principle and guided her nation with confidence and clarity. Prime Minister Thatcher is a great example of strength and character, and a great ally who strengthened the special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States. Laura and I join the people of Great Britain in remembering the life and leadership of this strong woman and friend.’

Lord Heseltine:

‘I am sorry to learn of Lady Thatcher’s death. The illness of her last years has been cruel and very difficult. I send my deepest condolences to Mark and Carol.’

Guido Fawkes has also closed his blog as a mark of respect.

And some Twitter reaction:







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Show comments
  • Hookeslaw

    As a conservative I have the highest admiration for Margaret Thatcher. What we should remember is that during her formative years as leader of the opposition and as PM she had a loyal deputy in William Whitelaw. Between them we got a good balance of formulating policies and achieving them.

    If Thatcher’s successful years tell us anything, as opposed to her unsuccessful ones, it is that the different strands of the conservative party should work together. Its disappointing to see failed candidates for leader sulk off.

  • Russell

    Now there was a PM who would never have allowed the EU to remove a substantial (£billions) rebate, her personally won rebate, for absolutely nothing in return, or reneged on giving the electorate their say in a referendum, or sneaked into europe to sign the re-named Constitution.
    Best PM possibly apart from Churchill, and should make people ashamed when they look at Miliband/Cameron/Clegg etc.

  • Sally Forth

    Interesting to watch Labour’s efforts to avoid the embarrassment of some of their naturally vindictive supporters. It never ceases to amaze me how supporters of supposedly humanistic ideologies turn out to be so malicious.

    • Russell

      It is in National Socialists DNA to be vicious and malicious.

  • Andrew Paul Shakespeare

    The hero and inspiration of my life. Now she’s gone, I doubt I’ll see anybody comparable again.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    She hated us and we hated her in return but the time for hate is over.

    • Andrew Paul Shakespeare

      You’re completely wrong. I worshipped the ground she walked on. Still do.

    • Hookeslaw

      Only ‘she’ hated socialists?
      I despise them, and never more so than in the last 15 years. Blair and Brown ruined Britain and in electing Miliband they have shown themselves incapable of moving on.

  • In2minds

    Mrs T, always blamed by the left, who will they target now?

    • Andrew Paul Shakespeare

      Who is Labour going to blame for its cock-ups now?

  • disqus_drtfp2He32

    I saw a newspaper picture from the political campaign
    A woman was kissing a child, who was obviously in pain
    She spills with compassion, as that young childs
    Face in her hands she grips
    Can you imagine all that greed and avarice
    Coming down on that childs lips

    Well I hope I don’t die too soon
    I pray the lord my soul to save
    Oh I’ll be a good boy, Im trying so hard to behave
    Because there’s one thing I know, I’d like to live
    Long enough to savour
    That’s when they finally put you in the ground
    Ill stand on your grave and tramp the dirt down

    When england was the whore of the world
    Margeret was her madam
    And the future looked as bright and as clear as
    The black tarmacadam
    Well I hope that she sleeps well at night, isnt
    Haunted by every tiny detail
    Cos when she held that lovely face in her hands
    All she thought of was betrayal

    And now the cynical ones say that it all ends the same in the long run
    Try telling that to the desperate father who just squeezed the life from his only son
    And how it’s only voices in your head and dreams you never dreamt
    Try telling him the subtle difference between justice and contempt
    Try telling me she isn’t angry with this pitiful discontent
    When they flaunt it in your face as you line up for punishment
    And then expect you to say thank you straighten up, look proud and pleased
    Because youve only got the symptoms, you haven’t got the whole disease
    Just like a schoolboy, whose heads like a tin-can
    Filled up with dreams then poured down the drain
    Try telling that to the boys on both sides, being blown to bits or beaten and maimed
    Who takes all the glory and none of the shame

    Well I hope you live long now, I pray the lord your soul to keep
    I think I’ll be going before we fold our arms and start to weep
    I never thought for a moment that human life could be so cheap
    Cos when they finally put you in the ground
    They’ll stand there laughing and tramp the dirt down

  • Harold Angryperson

    Somebody who, right or wrong, had the guts to tackle the country’s problems head-on. The pygmies on all sides of the current political scene will from today just look that little bit smaller.

  • malkovichmalkovich

    No State Funeral

  • malkovichmalkovich

    80s Thatcherism / Reganomics and the failed Washington Consensus allowed the predatory banks to exploit markets in unprecedented ways leading to countless unsustainable bubbles and the sub-prime crisisin the 2000s.

    The domino that collapsed the global economy. A terrible incompetent legacy.

  • Eddie

    Congratulations to The Spectator for saying ‘died’ not ‘passed away’. No-one blubbed about ‘closure’ yet either or had a little cry and hug. Is this a first?
    Hated Thatcher at the time. But have realised as I have grown up that I was wrong – though, contrary to opinion, immigration increased in the 80s. Also, now 20%+ of council houses are owned by private profiteer landlords. Not good.
    No sense of humour though, which is a failing in anyone.

  • malkovichmalkovich

    She did nothing for women’s rights or the long term future of this country as her half baked bank deregulation / liberalisation agenda was instrumental in the current economic catastrophe. We should never forget her terrible contribution to ruining the lives of millions.

    • Swiss Bob

      After four of your comments we get the drift, you’ll be having a party, now be a good chap and p155 off.

    • Eddie

      Women’s rights? Well, as far as I know, women and men were equal in the law in the 80s as indeed they are now.
      Do you mean that she didn’t pander to the self-pitying man-hating whingeing and whining history-fabricating professional feminism which wanted special treatment and unfair advantage given to all those who lacked male bits?
      Thatcher did more for working class women than any Labour politician – ever. They may well hate that fact – but a fact it is.

  • Colin

    The last, true, great British Statesman !

    State Funeral, please!

    • Andrew Paul Shakespeare

      I doubt she’ll get it, but she deserves it.

  • Swiss Bob

    Best PM since the war.

    • Andrew Paul Shakespeare

      There weren’t many before the war to compare with her either.

  • malkovichmalkovich

    She oversaw a period when inequality, selfishness and greed skyrocketed while communities were torn apart. The template for the current no-growth backwards Britain Eton and Oxbridge yobs.

  • Julian_F

    Truly the end of an era. Margaret Thatcher was an inspiration to all of us who felt that no one should know their place. What a shame her fantastic legacy has been so brutally compromised.
    RIP to a remarkable person, a political phenomenon and one of our greatest prime ministers. A very sad day.

  • Magnolia

    Very sad news and yes i did shed a tear.
    I cried for my youth and my county.
    God bless her.

    • Andrew Paul Shakespeare

      Probably the greatest Briton of my lifetime. I wish I could say something more, but nothing seems appropriate, or adequate. I do feel a bit like crying.

  • malkovichmalkovich

    Her record as leading one of the worst governments ever is only surpassed by this current mob.

    • Colin

      You’re way off the pace.

      Her achievements in office and her towering legacy are in stark contrast to the mediocrity of all her successors.

  • David B

    A sad say for her family and friends, we need to remember her for what she was and the dedication she gave to getting the country back on track.

  • malkovichmalkovich

    The real shame is that Thatcherism still lives on.

  • disqus_drtfp2He32

    Can someone let Elvis Costello know?

  • roger

    Very very sad news. Our finest post war prime minister.

    • Andrew Paul Shakespeare

      Although, to be fair, the competition has hardly been intense. I’d be inclined to say “We don’t have prime ministers like that any more,” except we didn’t have many even then.

  • Simon Semere

    Her showmanship was second to none. Even if you hated her policies you couldn’t hate her.

    • Andrew Paul Shakespeare

      Well, plenty hated her. Everybody else worshipped the ground she walked on. That’s one of the things that makes her stand out as one of the all-time greats — her ability to impassion the whole population. The entire country cursed her name or kissed her shadow, but there was nobody who simply had no opinion. What prime minister since can claim that?

      • Simon Semere

        I wasn’t one of the ones kissing her shadow but have lately been obsessing about the excitement she caused in the HoC, an addictive character.

      • Simon Fay

        “That’s one of the things that makes her stand out as one of the all-time greats — her ability to impassion the whole population”

        See also Mick Philpott.

    • Simon Fay

      “Even if you hated her policies you couldn’t hate her.”

      Oh yeah?

      • Simon Semere

        Watch her video clips then compare it to today’s politicians. David cameron vs red ed, give me a break

  • disqus_drtfp2He32

    Elvis Costello on his way

  • Paddy

    The best Prime Minister ever!

    There will never be anyone to replace her.

    Hope she has a State Funeral

    Sympathies to family. RIP.

  • oszolom

    Always will be remembered in Poland as friend and for her uncompromised anticommunism.

    • David Lindsay

      Really? When she held out for Mugabe rather than recognise the Muzorewa Government, and even arranged a knighthood for him?

      • Andrew Paul Shakespeare

        And easy and a cheap shot a third of a century later, with the benefit of hindsight. At the time, Mugabe was regarded as the greatest hope for Zimbabwe, and in fact, the country prospered for a good twenty-odd years.

        But then again, cheap and easy shots is what you’ve always been about, isn’t it? I won’t be bothering with the thoughtful and balanced commentary of your blog.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Nobody is interested in anything you have to say on any subject least of all this one. Take your fanatical bile and disgusting opinions elsewhere.

      • Hookeslaw

        Blair sucking Gadaffi’s toe?

        • David Lindsay

          What of it?

          • Hookeslaw

            Well this sort of activity seems very important to you.

  • UlyssesReturns

    Terrible news – the greatest post-war Prime Minister and a great Conservative who changed Britain for the better. We may never see her like again. Her death at this time highlights the difference between the political giants of her era and the student-politics pygmies of the present day.

    • Amergin Selby

      Greatest Post War Prime Minister? Nah! Atlee is and will remain number one. Do let me know where she is buried I always swore I would dance on the harridan”s
      grave. Can’t wait.

      • alabenn

        Lindsay beat you to the position of first sewer rat to surface, but it looks like it has been deleted.
        He mentioned dancing as well, no original thought between you.

        • David Lindsay

          Wait a few hours, and you will see it, if it has not already started. I am simply stating fact.

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            How predictably arrogant and disgusting.

          • Andrew Paul Shakespeare

            Looks like Alan Sugar (a Labour peer, doncha know) disagrees with you: “Baroness Thatcher in the 80’s kicked started the entrepreneurial revolution that allowed chirpy chappies to succeed and not just the elite”

            What a shame you lack the grace and manliness of Alan Sugar.

            • Hookeslaw

              Yes she and the Tory party did, but it was simply a return to sanity after years of Labour misrule, where the Trade Unions had made a grab for power. For most of Thatchers term lets not forget the top rate of tax was 60%.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Anyone who has the slightest doubt about how hate fuelled and hate filled the extreme left in Britain has become (the very people who imposed the concept of hate crime – ha!) need only watch and wait.

            • Hookeslaw

              Exactly and this sad occasion illustrates again just how important it is to deny socialists any sniff of power, which they would only use to ruin Britain.

          • Hookeslaw

            When one thinks of all the lying socialists who should have been helped into an early grave you realise how totally self controlled most conservatives are.
            Thatcher, and her party, saved Britain. Brown and his acolytes Miliband and Balls ruined it.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Would the Spectator kindly have the decency to remove this disgusting comment.

    • David Lindsay
      • Hookeslaw

        Clearly you cannot. I find it humongously funny that the only comparable figure you have got is Tony Blair.

        • David Lindsay

          He’s nothing to do with me. His own party now effectively denies ever having had any connection to him. The way that your lot does with Heath.

          • Hookeslaw

            Its post like that one which makes it so funny

  • The Sage

    A true heroine of our time. RIP.