A woman who changed history
If we say, Margaret Roberts, nobody seems to know who we are talking about, at least not in Argentina, where I was born. However, it is the name of one of the most influential women in the political history of the world in the 20th century. Do you know who she is? Margaret was born in 1925 in Grantham, United Kingdom. As a young woman, she joined the Conservative Party Association of her country, and at a meeting, she met a wealthy businessman whom she married. His name? Denis Thatcher.
The mystery is solved; we are talking about Margaret Thatcher. She struggled to succeed in a man’s world; she did whatever it took to get to power. She once said she thought it was impossible for a woman to be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. She was wrong; by being the first woman to hold that office, she secured her place in history. Coldness and endurance are two key aspects of her nickname: “The Iron Lady.” Some disliked her for her toughness; others admired her as they saw toughness as strength. She may have been the most capable of British rulers, though not the most beloved.
In 1982 the Falkland Islands War broke out, or the Falkland Islands War, depending on which side of history you are on. That year marked her soul and her mind. His public image was falling rapidly, the United Kingdom was more than 8000 km away from the Islands, and even against all the advice he received, he sent the troops; in his own words, “he never looked back.” The most controversial aspect of this war was the sinking of the ship General Belgrano. She argued that that ship was a danger and therefore decided to sink it, despite being out of the war zone. She believed it was the right thing to do and said she would do it again. For many, that was the coup de grace; for Argentines, the symbol of repudiation.
In Argentina, the story was different. I still remember April 2, 1982, when my mother woke me up happy, saying, “Today we recovered our Malvinas Islands.” At that time, I was a member of a dance group. There were performances to raise funds for our soldiers, who, in addition to not having the weapons or the physical and mental preparation for war, did not have what they needed to endure the hunger and cold of the place. Everyone contributed what they could. In a few months, $54 million dollars were raised, and it was the largest collection in Argentine history. It was a question of contributing economically to a war that, even before it began, was known to be tremendously unequal.
Without entering into the debate of winners and losers, I think of those who gave their lives in the war. That is always the negative outcome of history; regardless of nationality, life is always valuable. Many understood that Britain had regained patriotism and Margaret, her image. With each of her phrases, she received applause; re-election was assured. I do not intend to make an assessment of political decisions nor to debate about who was right. Each one lived his part of history and felt in his heart what he believed to be right. For me, no war is fair. Those who decide behind desks do not risk their lives.
Margaret Thatcher made decisions that boosted the British economy. Some saw her as someone who would transform the country, and others as someone who deepened the gap between rich and poor. She liberalized the labour market, reduced union power and privatized large sectors of her country’s industry. With the liberalization of the City of London, called the Big Bang of the City, he turned London into the great European financial center; the main index Vanguard FTSE Europe (NYSE: VGK), increased in value by 75% in his last five years in power. This center also owns the London Metal Exchange (LME), the world’s largest metals exchange; futures contracts for gold (NYSE: GLD), silver (COMEX: SIH23) and other metals that are useful to industries, such as copper (COMEX: HGH23) are settled here.
Margaret Thatcher was the longest-serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, but her combative stance and intolerance led to her loss of power. What cannot be denied is that she was one of the most influential women in history; she managed to impose her vision, even against many. Today, we are witnessing the empowerment of women, and we see how more and more women occupy important positions and make decisions that are even more important, so it is impossible not to talk about this woman.
The Iron Lady was loved by many and hated by many, but undoubtedly, she was indifferent to no one.