Baroness Thatcher died this morning following a stroke, her spokesman Lord Bell said.
Lord Bell said: “It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning.
The UK Guardian has a rolling blog of reactions to Thatcher’s passing, including the following from British Prime Minister David Cameron:
“It was with great sadness that l learned of Lady Thatcher’s death. We’ve lost a great leader, a great Prime Minister and a great Briton”
– UK Prime Minister (@Number10gov) April 8, 2013
Daniel Hannan MP, a prominent Conservative and pro-American author, tweeted:
Margaret Thatcher took a country that was demoralized, dishonoured & bankrupt, and left it prosperous, confident & free. Our greatest PM.
– Daniel Hannan (@DanHannanMEP) April 8, 2013
Notorious radical “Respect Party” MP George Galloway kicked off a predictable round of leftist venom:
Tramp the dirt down.
– George Galloway (@georgegalloway) April 8, 2013
Thatcher was both lionized and demonized for her strong stance in defending freedom and the West against the threat of global communism and the challenges of third world dictatorship. Together with U.S. President Ronald Reagan, she is credited with a revival of faith in the free market and limited government, leading her Conservative Party back to power shortly before Reagan launched his Republican “revolution” in America.
Thatcher famously confronted the British unions over the de-nationalization of the country’s ailing coal mines, and led Britain to war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands–a decision vindicated by victory on the high seas and by a recent referendum indicating that nearly 100% of the islands’ residents wish to remain British subjects.
Thatcher also revived popular interest in the ideas of Austrian economist Friedrich A. Hayek, among other conservative and classical liberal thinkers, famously stating that the trouble with socialist governments is “they always run out of other people’s money.” She defended her ideas in a famous exchange in her final address to the House of Commons, arguing the left was happy to make the poor poorer to achieve equality:
Proudly pro-American and staunchly patriotic in defense of British interests, values and traditions, Thatcher challenged her party’s elitist hierarchy and fashioned a conservative politics that could appeal to the working voters who had been left behind by the collectivism of the labor unions and the destructive policies of decades of Labour Party rule. She was eventually ousted by her own party, however, yielding to John Major.
Thatcher rose from humble origins to summit the heights of global leadership, and made the decisive difference in the global struggle for freedom, restoring Britain and the West’s faith in liberty. She was an Iron Lady to her Soviet enemies–a nickname she embraced and by which she will be remembered by billions.