by Cato Rand
Lady Margaret Hilda Thatcher former Prime Minister of Great Britain (1979- 1990) passed away on 8 April 2013. She was 87 years old (born 13 October 1925). The cause of her death was a stroke.
Right From Yaad which is unequivocal in its support of liberty (economic, political, social) wishes to add to the outpouring of admiration for the life and politics of one of individual freedom’s greatest advocates.
When Lady Thatcher assumed ofﬁce in 1979 it is not an overstatement that it would have been best to spell Great Britain only with lower case letters – among other things there was a daily audit from the International Monetary Fund. Thatcher by fervently espousing the principles of limited government and individual liberty arrested the decline of her country and put it on a path to progress and prosperity. Particularly admiring is that she achieved this amidst so much protest from her political opponents. She was instrumental in lessening the inﬂuence of trade unions, which undoubtedly went a far way in making modern day Great Britain the success story it is.
Her efforts, along with others such as former United States President Ronald Reagan, in the ﬁnal dismantling of the Soviet Union cannot be overstated. I recall the stationing of Pershing missiles in Great Britain, West Germany, Italy in the 1980ʼs and the mass protests by peaceniks who wanted a nuclear free Europe.
But Lady Thatcher was more interested in a war free Europe and thus was not about to “go wobbly” despite the protest action. I have no doubt that the ongoing expansion of the European Union into eastern Europe owes much to the efforts of Lady Thatcher. She however did not believe that Britain should join the Euro- single currency. Considering the economic travails that Britain is now experiencing just imagine how much more perilous a situation the country would be in if it had joined the Euro.
Thatcherʼs euro-scepticism now seems prescient, rather than ‘backward’ as her critics would have had us believe. I ﬁnd it ironic hat the European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, while such honours were never bestowed on the Iron Lady (a moniker famously applied to her was coined by Captain Yuri Gavrilov in 1976 in the Soviet newspaper Red Star) for her efforts in helping to roll back the seemingly inexorable march of communism.
Also, it has been interesting observing the comments by Jamaican thought leaders to the passing of Lady Thatcher. The accolades have been muted at best. I think this is a microcosm of why Jamaica continues to languish and under-perform in its efforts to enable the far majority of its citizens fulﬁll their potential.
Contrast the responses to the passing of Hugo Chavez with that of Lady Thatcher. If one can use the views promulgated in local media, we seem to be more enamoured of the former Venezuelan autocrat. Former talk show host ‘Motty’ Perkins often remarked that the comments of the art critic reveal more about the critic than the painting per se. The lack of embrace of Lady Thatcherʼs political philosophy gives an insight into our culture rejecting a worldview that is the only solution to the myriad problems that plague Jamaica.
For those who advance the concept that liberty, as we do at Right From Yaad, is not just a means to an end but the greatest of ideals, we think that the world is a much better place because of the life of Lady Thatcher.
I close with the words of another champion of freedom, former US Congressman Ron Paul who in his ﬁnal address to the House of Representatives noted the following:
“ I have come to one ﬁrm conviction after these many years of trying to ﬁgure out the plain truth of things. The best chance for achieving peace and prosperity for the maximum number of people world wide is to pursue the cause of liberty.”
From Right From Yaad – “Many thanks, Lady Thatcher”
Cato Rand is a Black Jamaican of Libertarian and Conservative persuasion. He is a fervent believer in Capitalism, Freedom and the principles outlined by the US Constitution and it being applicable to all peoples, including Jamaicans. He is a strong advocate for the limited role that a government should play in the lives of people.