Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died following a stroke, according to a spokesman for the family. She was 87 years old.
FOX News Radio’s Alastair Wanklyn reports from London:
She was elected Britain’s first female Prime Minister, a plain-talking Conservative.
(Thatcher) “Let’s not mince words. The dividing line between the Labor Party Program and Communism is becoming harder and harder to detect.”
Margaret Thatcher was a storekeeper’s daughter. She became leader of Britain’s Conservative Party, and Prime Minister, at a time when union strikes here sent a surge of support to the Right.
(Thatcher) “And I’ll strive unceasingly to try to fulfill the trust and confidence that the British people have placed in me and the things in which I believe.”
In the U.S., Thatcher is remembered for her close friendship, and some would call political marriage, to Ronald Reagan.
(Thatcher) “We share so many of the same goals and a determination to achieve them.”
In particular, Thatcher’s conservative economic principles and her tough stance against Communism.
When Mikhail Gorbachev first came to London , she told President Reagan: the Soviet leader was a man to do business with.
Their combined efforts are often credited with hastening the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union.
During 11-and-a-half years as Prime Minister, Thatcher earned her nickname, “The Iron Lady”. She broke the power of Britain’s unions and closed loss-making coal mines. She riled many on the left and relented when rioters resisted a new tax her government tried to impose.
(Daughter) “My mother was a complete workaholic. I think that’s fairly widely known.”
The Prime Minister saw to business in the Falkland Islands, sending troops to repel, successfully, an invasion by Argentina.
(Thatcher) “Rejoice at that news and congratulate our forces and the Marines.”
(Thatcher) “My husband was in bed and all the windows went. And the bathroom is extremely badly damaged…. Yes, yes. We were very lucky. You hear about these atrocities, these bombs, you don’t expect them to happen to you. But life must go on, as usual.”
What did not continue in Britain was Thatcher’s conservatism. After she left office, Britain became a nation of big government and high welfare spending.
The Queen bestowed a title on her, she became Baroness Thatcher. In recent years she was seldom seen in public; and one of the last times she was heard was in a eulogy she recorded for the funeral of her friend and partner Ronald Reagan.
(Thatcher) “The world mourns the passing of the great liberator and echoes his prayer. God bless America.”
Some in Britain predicting this country may never again elect a leader as fundamentally conservative as Margaret Thatcher.
In London, Alastair Wanklyn Fox News Radio.
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