We both grew up in the late seventies/early eighties. Far from being the monster that she was so often portrayed we both viewed her as an inspiring figure. We saw her as a leader in the old, and tragically long forgotten style. She was proof that a girl from the working class could grow up to become one of the great leaders of the free world during a critical time in history. She could beat men at what was still a man’s game (while receiving no credit from feminists for the unspeakable crime of not being on the left). We weren’t among the braying chorus that expected her to cause a nuclear war. As kids we looked to her to stop one.
We are not going to use the word “divisive” to describe Margaret Thatcher. That has been the media’s word of the day to get a subtle shot in at someone their editorial boards (and probably the writers themselves) loathed, while still pretending to be respectful. By saying “she” was divisive it places all of the blame on her, and not on some of her more irrational critics (of whom there were many). Margaret Thatcher was portrayed as the devil incarnate for a generation simply for being as strong on her side of the aisle as the other side wished their side could be on theirs.
Was she the perfect politician? Of course not. We have yet to see one here, there, or anywhere. But as the tributes pour in along with the expected venom from her enemies we would just like to pay our own respects to Margaret Thatcher from the perspective of a couple of kids in the eighties who grew up during the last stages of the Cold War. We felt more secure knowing that Margaret Thatcher was on our side. And we believe history has shown that she was correct about a great many things. Rest in peace, Lady Thatcher.