08 April, 2013

The Death of Baroness Margaret Thatcher

LONDON 4.4.1991
The Death of Baroness Margaret Thatcher 8.4.2013

Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the first woman to be Prime Minister of Great Britain, has died today at the age of 87 years. A politician of the Conservative Party she was first elected as a Member of Parliament in 1959 and was made Education Secretary in 1970. Five years later she became the leader of the Conservative Party and when the Conservatives won the 1979 elections she became Prime Minister. She remained in power through two other parliamentary elections and resigned in 1990 following a leadership battle within the Conservative Party. As Baroness Thatcher she had a seat in the House of Lords and continued to take part in debates there until her health began to fail.

Margaret Thatcher was a lady with strong convictions and she was determined to change the UK’s finances by boosting the free market and reducing the power of trade unions and privatise state industries. Her policies lead to much dissatisfaction within the country but she did not alter her views, seeing the country through many changes that resulted in the Britain of today.  On the international stage she earned the nickname of ‘the Iron Lady’ from the Soviet countries and sent a taskforce to regain control of the Falkland Islands from Argentina.

In March 1991 Mrs. Thatcher received a delegation of Kurdish women and children at her London home referring to ‘the pitiful state of the Kurdish refugees in the mountains bordering Turkey’. She was fully aware of the actions Saddam was capable of, including his use of chemical weapons at Halabja three years before. Although she was no longer in power she promised to do all that she could and took the plight of the Kurds to the Foreign office and action was taken to bring assistance and eventually the Safe Haven was created. At the time Mrs Thatcher said, “It should not be beyond the wit of man to get planes there with tents, with food, and with warm blankets”....”I think we should take vey firm steps. We should go now – it is a real mercy mission.” In later interviews she always said that she did not believe that the allies had not hit Saddam as hard a blow as needed and that the consequences had not been dealt with successfully.

In our time of need this lady stood up for us and played a large role in establishing the Safe Haven for the Kurds in those bleak days of our history. May she rest in peace.

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