John Blundell on the Legacy of Margaret Thatcher


During Reason Weekend, the annual event held by the nonprofit that publishes this website, head of the Institute of Economic Affairs and Reason contributor John Blundell gave a riveting remembrance of Margaret Thatcher's massive achievements as British prime minister.

Blundell is the author of, most recently, Margaret Thatcher: A Portrait of the Iron Lady.

Go here for iPod and HD versions.

Go here for audio podcast.

Approximately 30 minutes.

Shot by Roger Richards; edited by Meredith Bragg.

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  1. Daniel Hannan’s blog informed me this morning that British public spending is at 49% of GDP. Any achievements of Thatcher were temporary at best.

  2. Can’t watch at work. I’m a little afraid to. I still have fond memories of Maggie. I’d hate to have them punctured with the facts.

  3. Blundell is Mrs. T’s hagiogrpaher.

    I don’t use that word as an insult; he describes *himself* that way.

  4. The Iron Lady!

  5. …British public spending is at 49% of GDP.

    If it were not for Maggie, Brit spending would be even worse. I lived in the UK during Maggie’s term as PM and she took the UK kicking and screaming into the 1960s. Christ, until Maggie came along, to placate the miners union Labour was still keeping coal mines open in Ayrshire that were of so poor quality and so unworthy of further investment that they were still being mined with pick and shovel by guys working the seems on their knees. These same miners paid their union dues (part of this kicked back to the Labour Party) and voted Labour, so they kept these pits open. Hmmm, seems that somthing similar is happening at Chrysler right here in the good ol’ US of A.

  6. I hate to rag on a fellow Thatcherite, but that guy must be the worst public speaker in existence. Wheezy, nasally and hard to follow…plus the rambling text hardly does the Lady justice. I hope his book is better organized.

  7. aPheasantPlucker statements are correct. I am a Brit that came of age under Thatcher and emigrated to the States a few years ago. This woman practically singlehandedly (it also should be noted that she had to fight skeptics within her own party) saved the UK from the ravages of socialism. I had forgotten how bad things were in the UK at the time until I watched the video. Used to regulary listen to Parlimentary question time on the BBC at the time, Thatchers handling of attacks from the Labour backbenches would almost make me feel sorry for Labour MP’s (almost, but not quite).

    A truly remarkable Statesman.

    Here’s hoping for an American Thatcher sometime in the near future.

  8. Thatcher could never get 50% of the vote in the US. For that matter she never got it in the UK, either. She never received more than 43.9 percent of the vote in any British general election. She won only because the vote to the left of the Conservative Party was divided between Labour and the Social Democratic/Liberal Alliance.

  9. I’ve never lived in Britain, least of all during the Thatcher years.

    But I have listened to tons of Thatcher-era British anarcho-socialist-punk, and they tell me I’m supposed to hate her.

    Since anarcho-socialism has to be one of the dumbest political cocktails ever concocted, I can only assume Thatcher was probably a godsend to the political landscape there.

    There. That’s my brilliant 2-pence to add to this conversation.

  10. Sure! Go back to the bloody 19th century! Three year old kiddies mining coal with their bare hands! Four year old kiddies… mining coal next to the three year old kiddies!

  11. 1986 single europe act???

    how she got it through and the fact she was for it. nuff said.

  12. Thatcher was the last gasp of British greatness. Unfortunately, Britain is becoming totally Europeanized: huge social spending, anemic birthrate of natives, sluggish economic growth, and a defanged military. She delayed Britain’s fall for about a generation, but cannot stop it from happening.

  13. Another point of view on Lady Margaret Thatcher from my blog -
    She was both a impressive politian and a charismatic leader. The myth of her achievements and bringing the UK kicking and screaming into the 20th century are just that, myths. But like all myths there is some semblance of truth to them.
    As for the comment by aPheasantPlucker May 6 2009 6.45pm, it is way off balance about the mining industry and its working practices, never mind just how much coal there was left to be mined – more than we think maybe. The mines were not in the Thatcherite future, as there was a deliberate attempt to impose nuclear power plants as the way forward, for all sorts of reasons, mainly ideologically rather than for reasons of efficiency. But that is all in the past. She was a legacy, and is a legend.

  14. The [coal] mines were not in the Thatcherite future, as there was a deliberate attempt to impose nuclear power plants as the way forward, for all sorts of reasons, mainly ideologically rather than for reasons of efficiency.

    I suspect this is why Thatcher jumped on the Global Warming bandwagon so early. I don’t suggest (as some have) that she actually fabricated it but I’m fairly sure she saw it as a way to break the miners union once and for all.

    The fact that GW was taken over by the left explains why she jumped of as well.

  15. We’d have been better off if they just elected a straight up communist 30 years ago. Then who would they be blaming todays problems on?

    slow decline is worse than fast decline.

  16. Yeah, Thatcher wasn’t that great. She was a great conservative, but she was also very authoritarian.
    Some of her mistakes are Section 28, the poll tax, EU membership, the dismantling of local (lefty) governments she didn’t like, …

    Now that conservatism has left Westminster, only the authoritarianism remains.

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