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Maggie Thatcher is dead

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While she may be hated, subsequent British PMS did not reverse her policies. And that includes Tony Blair, the Labour PM.

The power of Unions were not restored nor were British Businesses hampered by higher taxes.

The economy of Britain was practically bankrupt before she arrived. Thanks to her, Britain is now in better economic shape than many of her fellow countries in the EU.

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Prime Minster Harper is to attend the Thatcher funeral. What no Giant Pandas to greet???

And even Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip will attend - something they rarely do - the last funeral of a former British PM they attended was Sir Winston Churchill almost half a century ago (in 1965) .

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will attend the funeral of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher next week, his spokesman said Tuesday.

The funeral for Thatcher, who died Monday of a stroke, will be held April 17 at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

Harper's spokesman tweeted the news Tuesday afternoon.

"Former [prime minister Brian] Mulroney has been invited to be a part of the Canadian delegation," Andrew MacDougall said on the social media site.

Thatcher is revered by many Conservative officials. In a statement Monday, Harper spoke glowingly of Thatcher's contribution to conservatism.

On Tuesday, the prime minister signed a book of condolences for Thatcher at the British High Commission.

"Canada deeply mourns the passing of Margaret Thatcher, a great friend of our country. Hers was a leadership example for the ages, from which we all benefit to this day — and will for many more to come," he wrote.

Buckingham Palace announced Wednesday that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip will attend the ceremonial funeral on April 17. It is the first time the Queen has attended a funeral for one of her former prime ministers since Winston Churchill's in 1965.

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Thatcher was the revolutionary social and economic architect of modern Britain

By Jonathan Manthorpe, Vancouver SunApril 9, 2013

Margaret Thatcher 1925 - 2013

Margaret Thatcher was Britain's most important political and social revolutionary since Oliver Cromwell in the 17th century.

Cromwell laid the groundwork for Britain's emergence as a parliamentary democracy.

Thatcher forced Britain, kicking and screaming, to abandon its tired and tattered security blanket of a class-ridden and hierarchical society.

In the 1970s, Britain had descended into a grim and grey servitude under the Orwellian authority of intrusive national and local governments, moribund state-owned industries, and the often manic ideological Jacobinism of the trade unions.

In her 11 years as Britain's first - and so far only - female prime minister, Thatcher brought a storm of creative destruction to the country's political, social and economic landscape.

By the time she was forced from office in 1990 by her Conservative Party colleagues - who had become convinced she had lost her political touch - Thatcher had turned Britain into the meritocracy it is today. And she had restored its position as a capital of finance and innovation it had not held since the heyday of empire in the 19th century.

Thatcher always said she learned her simple faith in the power of a free-market economy watching her father run the family store in the small Midlands town of Grantham.

And accolades for her great success in turning Britain from the basket case beholden to the International Monetary Fund when she led the Conservative Party to victory in 1979, to the muscular world-class economy she bequeathed to her successors, usually focus on her privatization of state-owned companies.

She began her economic reforms in 1979 with a shift on taxation away from incomes and toward consumption, which she considered more fair because it was based on choice.

Income tax rates were cut dramatically and replaced by a near doubling of the value-added tax, the sales tax, to 15 per cent.

She did indeed sell off companies like British Telecom, British Gas, Rolls-Royce, British Airways, British Coal, British Steel, and regional water authorities.

But what enabled Britain to become a nation of shareholders was a move by Thatcher that is often overlooked or downplayed, but which may have been the most important strand in her revolution.

That was her decision to force municipalities to sell their rental public housing to the tenants if they wanted to buy.

By the time Thatcher took office in 1979, the proportion of what is known in Britain as "council housing" had reached 50 per cent of the nation's entire housing stock.

The sell-off not only gave the new owners a real stake in their communities and society, it fundamentally changed the relationship between citizens and their government.

It also gave them equity.

That translated into a boom in the housing market, and also a surge of investment as new homeowners turned their collateral into businesses and stock portfolios.

Those benefits were not immediately evident. In Thatcher's first years of restructuring the economy, unemployment in Britain rose to its highest level since the recession of the 1930s.

Many of Thatcher's Tory colleagues became wobbly, and urged her to follow the example of the former Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath who had performed a U-turn and reversed market reforms in 1972 in the face of public disquiet.

But Thatcher responded at a party conference in 1980 with a phrase that came to embody her steely determination: "You turn if you must," she said. "The lady's not for turning."

Thatcher had no time for fools or the weak-willed, who by early 1982 included enough of her backbenchers to be a problem.

The invasion of the Falkland Islands by the Argentine military regime in April 1982 not only silenced her critics, it became the defining moment of her leadership.

Outraged at the incompetence of her foreign ministry and despite advice from military leaders that retaking the islands might not be feasible, Thatcher ordered the sending of an expeditionary force.

By any measure, the retaking of the Falkland Islands in a brief and utterly decisive war was an extraordinary feat of arms.

Thatcher tripled her majority in the House of Commons in the 1983 election.

With the heads of the Argentine junta in her trophy room, Thatcher turned her attention to the still very powerful British trade unions.

The confrontation came to a head with a coal miners' strike in 1984 and 1985. Thatcher refused to budge, and in the end the miners, led by Arthur Skargill, went back to work having achieved nothing.

The unions have never regained the political power they lost in that strike.

On the world stage, Thatcher's friendship and political partnership with U.S. President Ronald Reagan defined international affairs of the late-1980s.

It was Thatcher who first decided that new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was someone the West could "do business" with.

Reagan followed her lead and stayed engaged with Gorbachev through the orchestrated collapse of the Soviet Union.

Not surprisingly in the circumstances, it was Soviet journalists who first gave Thatcher the name by which history remembers her: "The Iron Lady."


Read more: http://www.vancouver...l#ixzz2Q0av9lrh

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They've always refused to release the official police report on Hillsborough on request of Thatcher herself, she pretty much brushed it aside and refused to talk about it and used her power even when she wasn't in office to keep those papers sealed. The families of the victims have been trying to get their hands on those papers for decades so they can finally know what took place, the investigations were largely obfuscated and information was intentionally hidden. She was aware of how full of garbage the police reports were and went to lengths to keep it under wraps.

I hope she's warm where she is now

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Her domestic policies are none of our business, but her support for Reagan foreign policy, Pinochet's iron fisted regime in Chile and apartheid in South Africa are reason enough to hold her in much contempt.

As far as domestic policy goes, the British people get the government that they deserve by voting for her in the first place.

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The funeral was held today:




A “who's who” of the political world past and present packed into St Paul's Cathedral for the ceremonial funeral of one of Britain's most divisive figures.

Baroness Thatcher's family was joined by more than 2,300 fellow mourners for the service, with guests ranging from royalty to political leaders and members of the showbiz world.

The Queen, joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, was among the last to arrive at the ceremony - it is the first time the monarch has attended the funeral service of a former prime minister since Sir Winston Churchill's state ceremony in 1965.

The front row of the congregation was made up of Britain's prime ministers past and present, with David Cameron, joined by wife Samantha, sitting alongside his predecessors Tony Blair and John Major.

Labour leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine were also invited, along with Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and wife Miriam Gonzalez, and Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Scottish first minister Alex Salmond.

Every member of the current Cabinet was in the congregation, including Foreign Secretary William Hague, chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, and chancellor George Osborne, who appeared to shed a tear during the 55-minute service.

Their predecessors from Lady Thatcher's tenure as premier were also at the packed cathedral, with more than 30 attendees from her Cabinets between 1979 and 1990.

They included Lord Heseltine, former Tory party chairman Lord Tebbit, and Lord Howe, thought by many to have played a significant role in Baroness Thatcher's downfall.

Tory grandee Ken Clarke, Baroness Warsi and Michael Portillo were also invited, as well as former Lib Dem leader Lord Ashdown.

But there were also some notable absences from Lady Thatcher's history - including former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who was too unwell to attend, and former US first lady Nancy Reagan.

More than 50 guests were associated with the Falklands, including veterans. Simon Weston, one of the most well-known Falklands veterans, was at the ceremony, and earlier this week called for it to be a dignified occasion.

Senior military figures at the service included Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, Chief Of The Defence Staff General Sir David Richards, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas, and Chief Of The General Staff General Sir Peter Wall.

There were figures from the showbiz world at the occasion, including broadcasters Sir Terry Wogan and Jeremy Clarkson, Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins, composer Lord Lloyd-Webber.

Two heads of state, 11 serving prime ministers and 17 serving foreign ministers were due to attend, with 170 countries altogether represented by dignitaries such as members of Royal Families, politicians, and senior diplomats.

Among the foreign dignitaries were Kuwaiti prime minister Sheikh Jaber Mubark Al-Sabah, the son of the ruler of Kuwait Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmed Al Sabah, Italian prime minister Mario Monti, and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Lady Thatcher's children, Sir Mark and Carol, were accompanied by her grandchildren Amanda and Michael, who flew to the UK from their home in Dallas, Texas, for the ceremony.

Amanda, 19, gave one of two readings at the service, along with Mr Cameron.

Earlier this week, Sir Mark said his mother would have been "humbled" to know the Queen was to attend her funeral, saying she would be "greatly honoured as well as humbled by her presence".

At the end of the service Lady Thatcher's family followed her coffin out of St Paul's and stood in a row at the bottom of the steps to the cathedral as it was placed into a hearse.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh stood waiting at the entrance to St Paul's until the hearse drove away, before walking down the steps to speak to the family.

Former solicitor general Sir Edward Garnier said: "It was a quite extraordinarily affecting service which was very understated, very English.

"I think she would have been very pleased by how it went.

"Certainly the congregation sang lustily.

"I could see there were crowds all along the route from Westminster to here, I think that's a great tribute to her."

Tory backbencher Oliver Colvile said: "I thought it could be summed up in one word: Britannia.

"There was a real sense of here was a woman who helped us through some very difficult times and was certainly responsible for helping this country."

Former defence minister Sir Gerald Howarth said the day had gone off without a hitch and demonstrated again Britain's ability to rise to the big occasion.

He said: "I think this will increase the international respect for our country."

Broadcaster Andrew Neil said: "The most moving part of the service took place when the coffin came out and everybody inside could hear the cheers.

"It was then, when you looked around the congregation, the most tears appeared in people's eyes."

Derek Cole, chief executive of the Falklands Veterans Foundation, said Lady Thatcher was given a "very fitting send-off".

"She left the cathedral in essentially the same manner that she would when she left a room during her lifetime - to a resounding round of applause and three cheers," he said.

Mr Cole, from Gosport in Hampshire, recalled that he was "lucky enough" to have escorted Lady Thatcher at a number of functions and said the former prime minister always showed great compassion to those who fought in the Falklands conflict.

He added: "The Bishop of London spoke very well in his address and explained Lady Thatcher in a 'T', even mentioning her compassionate side.

"It brought back the pleasure I had during the hours I spent with her. She was always very sincere in what she said and wanted to meet as many of the veterans as she could.

"She was especially compassionate to family members who lost loved ones. The service reflected that, for me."

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