Closing comment – Friday 12 April – Chapter closes on Britain’s first female PM

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“I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.” – Baroness Margaret Thatcher

It’s hard to argue that Britain’s first female Prime Minister, Baroness Margaret Thatcher, or the Iron Lady as she was known, ever struggled to get her own way. Well perhaps just on occasions.

Even in death, controversy continues to follow her and she continues to divide public opinion. One will never know her thoughts about the final plans for her funeral, but one can be assured if she was still alive, she’d have an opinion.

Throughout her political career Thatcher navigated a number of challenging issues from education reform to taxation and welfare to unions to war, and led the Conservatives to victory in three successive elections.

Time and time again she drew on her upbringing as a grocer’s daughter in an attempt to demonstrate a connection with the issues facing her constituents. She would often use the household shopping list as a way to talk about economic issues.

In terms of communication, she is described as one of the founders of modern political communications. The campaign “Labour isn’t working” under her stewardship helped win the Conservatives the election.

She worked closely with Saatchi and Saatchi to develop a series of compelling advertising campaigns. She also used the media to get her message across and became well versed in many of the presidential style campaigning tactics we see today.

In fact, it was her long-time media advisor, Timothy Bell AKA Baron Bell, who made the formal announcement of her passing on Monday.

Australian journalist George Negus will attest to her feisty media appearances. He interviewed her in the 80s and she didn’t let him get away with anything.

When talking about her media performances, UK journalist Elinor Goodman said: ’She used her eyebrows as quotation marks in case you didn’t know what the soundbite was’.

Whatever your political leanings or personal opinions of Baroness Thatcher, the scale of her impact on society is undeniable.

Cheers,

Jack and the c word crew

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