ARTIKLAR | The Spectator var den första publikationen med nationell räckvidd som gav Thatcher sitt stöd när hon kandiderade till partiledarposten.
Ledare, The Spectator
Her victories were so decisive and spectacular that it is possible — as we have seen in the last few days — to dwell almost entirely on them (and those who didn’t like them). But another part of the Thatcher story is the battles she regarded as unwinnable. She knew, for example, that the welfare state had started to ensnare the very people it was designed to help, that the National Health Service was being slowly captured by a bureaucratic elite, and that state schools were being made into the playthings of local government politicians. But there was only so much she felt able to do.
It is natural for Tories to look back with pride and nostalgia on a period in which one woman’s energy, grit and fearlessness saved a nation. But there was plenty of unfinished business then — and there is plenty now. Conservatives should be wary of accepting the myth of Mrs Thatcher as a Tory Boudicca who would have flown into every battle no matter what. Her success stemmed from her ability to mix principle with practicality. As they mourn, Tories ought not to be too hard on themselves or their current leader. In many important regards, this government is completing the Thatcher revolution.
Ledare, The Economist
The essence of Thatcherism was to oppose the status quo and bet on freedom—odd, since as a prim, upwardly mobile striver, she was in some ways the embodiment of conservatism. She thought nations could become great only if individuals were set free. Unlike Churchill’s famous pudding, her struggles had a theme: the right of individuals to run their own lives, as free as possible from micromanagement by the state.
Criticism of her comes in two forms. First, that she could have done more had she wielded her handbag more deftly. Hatred, it is true, sometimes blinded her. Infuriated by the antics of left-wing local councils, she ended up centralising power in Whitehall. Her hostility to Eurocrats undermined her campaign to stop the drift of power to Brussels. Her stridency, from her early days as “Thatcher the milk snatcher” to her defenestration by her own party, was divisive. Under her the Conservatives shrank from a national force to a party of the rich south (see Bagehot). Tony Blair won several elections by offering Thatcherism without the rough edges.
The second criticism addresses the substance of Thatcherism. Her reforms, it is said, sowed the seeds of the recent economic crisis. Without Thatcherism, the big bang would not have happened. Financial services would not make up such a large slice of the British economy and the country would not now be struggling under the burden of individual debt caused by excessive borrowing and government debt caused by the need to bail out the banks. Some of this is true; but then without Thatcherism Britain’s economy would still be mired in state control, the commanding heights of its economy would be owned by the government and militant unions would be a power in the land.
Clive Cook, Bloomberg Businessweek
In 1988, Thatcher gave a speech to the College of Europe in Bruges that stands as an eloquent statement of liberal euro-skepticism. “Britain does not dream of some cozy, isolated existence on the fringes of the European Community,” she said. “Our destiny is in Europe, as part of the Community.” At the same time, “the Community is not an end itself. Nor is it an institutional device to be constantly modified according to the dictates of some abstract intellectual concept. … [It’s] a practical means by which Europe can ensure the future prosperity and security of its people.”
Well said. The problem was that most other times, Thatcher gave every appearance that she really did dream of some cozy, isolated existence on the fringes of Europe. Howe accused her of seeing “a continent that is positively teeming with ill-intentioned people, scheming, in her words, to ‘extinguish democracy,’ to ‘dissolve our national identities,’ and to lead us ‘through the back door into a federal Europe.’ ” He was right: That’s what she saw. Many British voters saw the same, and still do.
Bilder: Tidskriftsomslagen är The Spectator den 13 april 2013, The Economist den 13-19 april 2013 och Bloomberg Businessweek den 15-21 april 2013.