Baroness Margaret Thatcher, also known as The Iron Lady, will not be able to attend the unveiling of a statue honoring Ronald Reagan on July 4th in London’s Grosvenor Square. She is said to be mentally and physically frail, and distressed that she cannot attend. In 2004 Thatcher wrote an article about the many challenges Reagan faced as he took office. If you didn’t know better, you would think she was talking about the 2012 president. I hope you won’t miss the iconic video of Thatcher at her best, explaining Socialism.
by Margaret Thatcher
June 5, 2004
On entering office, the President faced high interest rates, high inflation, sluggish growth, and a growing demand for self-destructive protectionism. These problems had created — and in turn were reinforced by — a feeling that not much could be done about them, that America faced inevitable decline in a new era of limits to growth, that the American dream was over. We in Britain had been in the grip of a similar pessimism during the Seventies, when political debate revolved around the concept of the “British disease.” Indeed, during this entire period, the Western world seemed to be taking its temperature with every set of economic indices.
President Reagan saw instinctively that pessimism itself was the disease and that the cure for pessimism is optimism. He set about restoring faith in the prospects of the American dream — a dream of boundless opportunity built on enterprise, individual effort, and personal generosity. He infused his own belief in America’s economic future in the American people. That was farsighted. It carried America through the difficult early days of the 1981-82 recession, because people are prepared to put up with sacrifices if they know that those sacrifices are the foundations of future prosperity.
Having restored the faith of the American people in themselves, the President set about liberating their energies and enterprise. He reduced the excessive burden of regulation, halted inflation, and first cut and, later, radically reformed taxation. When barriers to enterprise are removed and taxes cut to sensible levels (as we have found in Britain in recent years), people have the incentive to work harder and earn more. They thereby benefit themselves, their families, and the whole community. Hence the buoyant economy of the Reagan years. It has expanded by a full 25 per cent over 72 months of continuous economic growth — the longest period of peacetime economic growth in U.S. history; it has spread prosperity widely; and it has cut unemployment to the lowest level in over a decade…
President Reagan decided what he believed in, stuck to it through thick and thin, and finally, through its success, persuaded others. But I still recall those dark early days of this decade when both our countries were grappling with the twin disasters of inflation and recession and when some people, even in our own parties, wanted to abandon our policies before they had had a proper chance to take effect. They were times for cool courage and a steady nerve. That is what they got from the President. I remember his telling me, at a meeting at the British Embassy in 1981, that for all the difficulties we then faced, we would be “home safe and soon enough.”
Appalling that today our problems are mountains steeper than what this country faced after Jimmy Carter’s attacks on our Republic. Wouldn’t it be something to hear Dame Thatcher discuss Barack Obama with her husband one afternoon over tea?
At 85 years old, Thatcher also missed the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William as well as her own birthday party. The 10′ tall bronze was commissioned by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, and sculpted by Chas Fagan of North Carolina. Forty percent of the funds for the $800,000 project were donated by Brits. Two quotes will appear on the base:
REAGAN: ‘Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction’
THATCHER: ‘Ronald Reagon won the Cold War without firing a shot.’
Statues of former World War II General and President of the U.S., Dwight David Eisenhower, and former President Franklin D. Roosevelt are also located in Grosvenor Square. Founding Father and former President John Adams took up residence in a house still standing in the Square at the corner of Brook and Duke Streets. Eisenhower established a military headquarters there that later housed the U.S. Navy until 2009. The Reagan statue will stand opposite Dwight Eisenhower’s.
Thatcher’s much anticipated death has spawned a website asking: Is Thatcher dead yet?, and the rumor is that Queen Elizabeth has agreed to a State Funeral for The Iron Lady when the time does come, although the Queen reportedly didn’t care much for Thatcher during her period as Prime Minister. I hope today QE2 knows how fortunate her country was to have Thatcher at the helm at a time of great economic and social unrest.
Special permission was granted for the statue, which usually requires the person being memorialized to be dead ten years. Reagan died in 2004. About 2,000 guests are expected at the unveiling – said to be about ten times the “typical crowd” for such an event. Perhaps something wonderful will happen, and “Maggie” will feel well enough to attend on July 4th. What a pair they were! Linked by The Lonely Conservative in her rousing Independence Encouragement Day post.
Margaret Thatcher on Socialism (video)
“As long as the gap is smaller, they’d rather have the poor, poorer”