Our house historian HOWARD ELSTON (OBE) explains why Baroness Thatcher will always really be remembered in Uk-land
With Mrs Thatcher’s funeral only days away, I think it is time for me to lay aside my laudatory unbiased tradition of reportage and explain why the former Prime Minister will not be forgotten. I will give you this list below of accomplishments that made England (and those other attached bits with funny accents) a better place to live in
FACT 1. She stopped an Argentinian invasion of Britain.
There is no doubt that Argies wanted to use The Falklands as a stepping stone to the Home Counties and set up a military bastion on our shores. Secret documents minuted in the Ministry of Defence war archives in 1981 revealed how the Buenos Aires junta wanted desperately to join the EU. It would implant its vicious colonels in southern Britain with a capital in Newport Pagnell for easy access to the M-1 and Milton Keynes shopping. It would supplant the British £ sterling with the Galtieri- a new unit of currency. It would also ban curries, and force us to eat big steaks reared on the pampas. Gaucho cowboys would patrol the streets and everyone would have to speak whatever second rate gutteral language the Argies then spoke.
FACT 2. She stopped terrorism
Mrs Thatcher single-handedly blocked terror groups by identifying Nelson Mandala and his crowd as murderous nasty bad guys thus allowing apartheid to breathe freely. Since that landmark speech, not one trace of UK based South African terror has been identified here or in the US.
FACT 3. She wanted to block the reunification of Germany.
The PM took on the re- emergence of Germany knowing, if it happened, it would lead to a third world war. She successfully called for East Germany to remain its own master and she wanted that wall kept up. We can sleep easier at night.
FACT 4. She played fair, especially with dictators.
Maggie, as she was known when dressed for combat, always entered a political fray with a straight bat. She hated tin pot soldier Gen Galtieri (see above) but greatly admired Chile’s Pinochet who killed many of his own countrymen and had a music hall moustache
FACT 5. She laid the foundations for a family dynasty
Mrs Thatcher’s death is not the end of the name. Her son Sir Mark will take on the baronetcy she so kindly bestowed on her own husband. St Mark will rule fairly but sternly on his estates and will re introduce serfdom, religious wars with France and the burning of witches on Tuesdays. Her daughter Carol will have more time to appear on ridiculous celebrity ‘reality shows’ and make a pretty penny from flogging more literary tat about her mother
FACT 6. She valued real friendship.
The baroness stood by her pals. She was a friend of convicted perjurer Jeffrey Archer, gave Chilean torturer Pinochet (see above) a safe haven in London, stood stolidly behind apartheid bosses de Klerk and de Botha (see above) and would not henpeck Ronald Reagan even when he illegally invaded the Commonwealth country of Grenada without referring to Downing Street.
FACT 7. I forgot what it is. But it was important at the time.