Wickert: Dark days prior to Thatcher
April 17, 2013
As a child I remember dreary Christmases in England. Not only could the weather be foul and bitterly cold, but our home was, too. Yes, coal was in short supply for our fireplaces (homes were heated with coal in those days – no central heating) and for electricity plants (plenty of blackouts). The miners were on strike again, and the postmen, too, for that matter. Those were the days before Margaret Thatcher was elected to the post of Prime Minister and began to pull the nation out of its misery.
As people say today, Margaret Thatcher was “awesome.” She saved Britain from disaster. Nationalized industries were sold off and brought back to profitability or closed. To provide just one example, the national airline, British Airways Corporation, BOAC, also known as “Better on a Camel,” was merged with its European counterpart, BEA, and British Airways was formed. In the early 80s the airline was prepared for privatization, finally being privatized in 1987, in a hugely oversubscribed flotation. BA became a much improved and successful airline.
The Summit Daily’s cartoon of “The Iron Lady” on April 11, 2013, really ticked me off, being an unfair portrayal of this brave and able woman. Yes, she was tough. The unions got hit and the Argentineans were beaten in a brief war, but she put the country back onto a path of economic recovery, where people could begin to prosper. However, the April 15 article by Doug Patton, “The Gipper and the Iron Lady tower over leaders”, was much appreciated and provided welcome comment on this successful British Prime Minister and her buddy, President Ronald Reagan. It is a must read for all!
Elizabeth Wickert, Breckenridge