This week in London I rather unexpectedly met Baroness Margaret Thatcher at an evening cocktail reception. Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979-1990, she was also the Leader of the Conservative party from 1975-1990, and is the only woman to have held either post. I have immense respect for Lady Thatcher though I know her economic reform policies have been highly controversial. She is principally associated with free markets, reduced state intervention, and entrepreneurship, policies that saved England in the 1980's when more businesses were failing and more people were out of work than at any time since the Great Depression. The meeting with Lady Thatcher was brief, but I am glad to have had the chance to meet her, to shake her hand, and to thank her for her incredible contribution.
On the 25th anniversary of her inauguration, the BBC said the following:
To her supporters, she was a revolutionary figure who transformed Britain's stagnant economy, tamed the unions and re-established the country as a world power. Together with US presidents Reagan and Bush, she helped bring about the end of the Cold War. But her 11-year premiership was also marked by social unrest, industrial strife and high unemployment. Her critics claim British society is still feeling the effect of her divisive economic policies and the culture of greed and selfishness they allegedly promoted.