The greatest woman of the twentieth century

In reviewing The Iron Lady I made the offhand comment that Margaret Thatcher had been the Greatest Woman of the Twentieth Century. The debate over the greatest man had taken place at the end of 1999 and the choices, at least in the English speaking world, were narrowed down to Sir Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Although there was some debate over which may have been the greater of the two, there did seem to be a distance between them and whoever might have been third.

Oddly, however, there was no one chosen as the Greatest Woman, and I suspect it is because there was no one who stood out to the same extent as Margaret Thatcher. She was clearly so far ahead of the rest that even to raise the question shows how much she stood out from all other possible choices. Whether you loved her, hated her or were merely indifferent, she along with Ronald Reagan, dominated the events of her time. But because she is a woman of the right, a classical liberal in the conservative tradition, those who typically hand out such laurels refused to raise the subject so that they could avoid even having to acknowledge how significant her role had been.

Margaret Thatcher inherited a Britain devastated by industrial mayhem following the Winter of Discontent and within half a decade returned sound governance to the UK. She endured the full impact of the miners’s strikes and restored industrial relations sanity by sheer force of will. She took on and prevailed against Argentina in the War in the Falklands. She strode like a colossus during the Cold War which she, along with Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II, were instrumental in bringing to a peaceful end through an unbending moral crusade against political evil. She demanded fiscal and monetary disciplines that ended the economic chaos of the 1970s. She drove privatisation and defended our entrepreneurially-driven system of free enterprise. She was a model for others to follow as many have done. She remains to this day the gold standard of a conviction politician on the right side of history. If being a force for good is what matters, Margaret Thatcher was undoubtedly the greatest woman of the twentieth century.

In reviewing The Iron Lady I made the offhand comment that Margaret Thatcher had been the Greatest Woman of the Twentieth Century. The debate over the greatest man had taken place at the end of 1999 and the choices, at least in the English speaking world, were narrowed down to Sir Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Although there was some debate over which may have been the greater of the two, there did seem to be a distance between them and whoever might have been third.

Oddly, however, there was no one chosen as the Greatest Woman, and I suspect it is because there was no one who stood out to the same extent as Margaret Thatcher. She was clearly so far ahead of the rest that even to raise the question shows how much she stood out from all other possible choices. Whether you loved her, hated her or were merely indifferent, she along with Ronald Reagan, dominated the events of her time. But because she is a woman of the right, a classical liberal in the conservative tradition, those who typically hand out such laurels refused to raise the subject so that they could avoid even having to acknowledge how significant her role had been.

Margaret Thatcher inherited a Britain devastated by industrial mayhem following the Winter of Discontent and within half a decade returned sound governance to the UK. She endured the full impact of the miners’s strikes and restored industrial relations sanity by sheer force of will. She took on and prevailed against Argentina in the War in the Falklands. She strode like a colossus during the Cold War which she, along with Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II, were instrumental in bringing to a peaceful end through an unbending moral crusade against political evil. She demanded fiscal and monetary disciplines that ended the economic chaos of the 1970s. She drove privatisation and defended our entrepreneurially-driven system of free enterprise. She was a model for others to follow as many have done. She remains to this day the gold standard of a conviction politician on the right side of history. If being a force for good is what matters, Margaret Thatcher was undoubtedly the greatest woman of the twentieth century.

 

Reprinted from January 20, 2012 which I was reminded about in writing the previous post on Winston Churchill.

I would never vote for a Coalition led by Malcolm Turnbull

Andrew Bolt says that Malcolm Turnbull is about to have his final go at taking over the leadership of the Liberal Party by Tuesday, so that it is now or never to make our views known (see here and here).

When I used to work in Canberra, our offices backed onto the Liberal Party headquarters, and I was asked one time, even before Malcolm entered Parliament, what I thought about him. My answer was that if I was in the constituency that would decide the fate of the next election, and my vote was the one that would put him in or out, that I would hesitate about which way to go. That was then. Today I would have no doubt. The reasons.

Peter Wright For me, national security is the ultimate issue in any election. There are always international issues that matter, and they weigh heavy with me. All but forgotten today, The Spycatcher Trial was one of those moments I do not forget. Wright was an MI5 agent who set out to write a tell-all/reveal-all of the English intelligence service. Margaret Thatcher sought to prevent the publication of his book, and the final determination was in a court in Tasmania, in which Malcolm Turnbull sought to defend Wright and ultimately was successful in allowing the book to be published worldwide because it could be published in Australia. I was told then that everyone deserves the best defence and etc etc, but if Malcolm has ever said that he defended Wright even though he was treasonous scum, I haven’t heard it. I would never trust Turnbull on any national security issue, and there is nothing more important at the present time.

He’s a Warmist Anyone soft-headed enough to take in the Global Warming scam without at least some doubts is not a possessor of the shrewd, sensible, incisive mind I am looking for in a leader. He lost the leadership on this one issue at the time because there are people like me who would never line up behind anyone who believes this stuff needs trillion dollar government solutions to what is looking every day less of a problem.

He’s a Keynesian I once had a conversation with Malcolm over economic issues and mentioned something that I think of instinctively as an issue, the kind of thing Peter Costello put at the centre of his own management of the economy. His response was to walk off. Having watched and listened to him over the years, he has no sense of how an economy works. Given that when he led the Libs he was all set to follow Labor’s lead on the stimulus, and declared that the Coalition would have done much the same, in many ways he owns the problems we have right now.

Useless as a Minister He may be popular with the ABC and others like it, but this is only because he has never done anything of any use that would upset them. If he doesn’t upset the ABC, what could he possibly stand for? What issue has he carried forward as part of the government that has done an ounce of good? If the NBN is his crowning achievement, he has done nothing other than implement Kevin Rudd’s back-of-the-envelope idiocy that will cost us billions and return millions.

He Cannot be Trusted To draw a distinction between himself and the Prime Minister over the Human Rights Commission Report on children in detention not only shows the worst imaginable political judgement, but has him line up with the Government’s enemies. I am a million miles from Canberra right now, but since all and sundry report Turnbull’s treachery, who am I to doubt it. This is a government that needs to survive and win that next election. Abbott is learning how to be a PM on the job, and is actually getting the hang of it. Shame about the wasted first year, but that is now the past.

There is clearly a succession plan in place at the top of the Liberal Party. What may have begun as the second eleven is now starting to function as a very good government. And the PM does not like to lose, and I don’t think he will.