Today saw the news of the death of Margaret Thatcher who, at 87 fitted more into her life than many of us could ever imagine. Whilst you may not agree with the politics, or policies, she was a determined and driven woman. An inspiration for women everywhere who want to achieve. She stuck to her beliefs even when those around her turned and changed their minds.
She was hated and loved in equal measure. My first ever primary school was shut down by her policies and I remember, aged four, the photo of me and my classmates with our 'save our school' banner. It was a wonderful school with fewer than 12 pupils ranging from 4 to 11. We were free to roam, make dens and play with the school dog Daisy. I was so sad when I moved to a new school.
When I was eight, I wrote to her with a song about stopping the fighting in Israel. I realise now that I was always interested in politics! She replied with a lovely signed note which. I still have that response, tucked up safely in my childhood scrapbook, along with a draft of the letter I sent her. I had left out the line which read "if you go on TV, please mention me"! It was the only song I have ever written and, without the tune is less effective, so I will spare you the details.
Her conviction politics would be refreshing these days. How often do politicians stick to their ideals or their promises made during election campaigns? She stuck to her beliefs and followed through. Her ideology, however, was questionable and her dogmatic approach was, ultimately, her downfall when her cabinet withdrew their support for her.
Throughout my early childhood, she was Prime Minister. A constant presence, showing that women could achieve at the highest level. As a young girl, it was incredibly inspiring to see that we could be whatever we want to be. Whenever the news was on, she was there. I was young and didn't know about her politics or what was happening around the country. I just saw a powerful woman who was in charge.
As a student of philosophy, politics and economics, it is hard not to study Baroness Thatcher. We have studied her in depth in the first two years and I am sure we will next year. The turnout in the years she was elected was markedly higher than it has been in recent years. As the longest serving UK Prime Minister to date, she will be remembered for many years to come. First and foremost though, she was a wife, a mother and a grandmother and should be allowed to rest in peace.
By work provided by Chris Collins of the Margaret Thatcher Foundation (Margaret Thatcher Foundation) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons