Here is a post I promised earlier concerning the Iron Lady.
Back in the spring of 1979 at my school Mr Robinson’s sociology class was set a topical assignment. We were given a project brief to write about the upcoming election in any way we chose.
I chose to survey the local shop keepers’ voing intentions; cut the editorials out of the newspaper; and watch a range of political programmes on BBC and ITV (this was years before multiple channels and social media).
Being a bit retentive I still have the project I completed all that time ago. It is quite something to look back at what I wrote then, a few days after Lady Thatcher‘s funeral service at St Paul’s Cathedral.
My conclusion in 1979 was that Mrs Thatcher won the election because workers wanted her to control their soaring taxes. I also thought that underneath her ‘mother knows best’ persona was a much harder woman, who could do battle with the best of them. I additionally thought that her offer to strivers, council house tenants, and small business people seemed to have helped her secure her victroy.
Who knew then that, subsequently, war in the Falkland Islands; struggles with the National Union of Mineworkers; establishing the Right To Buy council houses and the deregulatory ‘Big Bang’ in the City of London would help her toward two further election victories and cement her reputation as one of the significant political presences of the post-war era.
Amazing what can be achieved with a strong sense of self-esteem; defining set of values (Thatcherism) ;coaching to establish a powerful personal brand; and an instinct for meeting the aspirations of the politically non-aligned.
Even then it was possible to see that by standing out so clearly from the political crowd she would distinguish herself one way, or another.