Deaths | Margaret Thatcher | News

Former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Dead at 87

Thatcher

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died from a stroke, her press spokesman Lord Bell told news outlets this morning. Thatcher was the longest-serving prime minister of the UK of the 20th Century

Bell's statement according to the Press Association: "It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning. A further statement will be made later."

NYT:

Lady Thatcher had been in poor health for months. She served as prime minister for 11 years, beginning in 1979. She was known variously as the ‘Iron Lady,’ a stern Conservative who transformed Britain’s way of thinking about its economic and political life, broke union power and opened the way to far greater private ownership.

The Daily Beast's Tom Doran details her gay rights legacy:

Here, as with most of her achievements, it's a mixed bag. As a member of Parliament (MP) in the 1960s, she was one of only a handful of Conservatives to vote for the decriminalization of homosexuality, a truly forward-thinking and brave gesture that she deserves a great deal of credit for.

Sadly, as Prime Minister, she would squander much of that credit (ironically enough, for a politician who put such stock in thrift) by lending her support to one of the nastiest anti-gay measures of modern times: the infamous Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988, which forbade schools from teaching "the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship". This was despite the open secret (among Westminster insiders, at least) that several prominent members of her government were themselves gay, albeit in reinforced-steel closets.

More on the repeal of Section 28 here.

RIP.

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Comments

  1. Right wing bigot politician dies in England. Can't say I care.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Apr 8, 2013 7:57:46 AM


  2. I shouldn't gloat, I shouldn't gloat....

    Posted by: iban4yesu | Apr 8, 2013 8:02:52 AM


  3. It's sad when most anyone dies, in a way, but she was 87 and hardly a champion of most anything I agree with. She was best friends with Reagan for chrissakes.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 8, 2013 8:16:39 AM


  4. Ding dong the witch is dead!

    Posted by: jas238 | Apr 8, 2013 8:17:39 AM


  5. Now she and Ronnie can continue their conversations together in hell.

    Posted by: Fruit-for-Peace | Apr 8, 2013 8:17:59 AM


  6. RIP? Well, yes, no one would suggest otherwise - but you do know her government made it illegal to discuss being gay in schools and colleges? It tried to legally intimidate all gay groups from even existing?

    And then there was the Falklands and the war she obstinately prolonged in Northern Ireland.

    This woman was no friend to our community. She stood against us. It's a bit sad to see the toadying tone of this article.

    Posted by: eheye6 | Apr 8, 2013 8:22:29 AM


  7. She was one of the most extreme right wing politicians the UK has seen.
    Along with Churchill she attracted a false and vile following.
    She sponsored Clause 28 and the Poll Tax.
    Most of all she was self righteous to the point of megalomania.
    She destroyed relations with Europe and launched a colonial war to keep the Malvinas Islands ( the Falklands).
    The IRA were the only ones to put some manners on her......and she never understood the Irish question.
    She was a horrible woman who did lasting damage to the structure of society.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Apr 8, 2013 8:26:20 AM


  8. Do you guys lack so much confidence in what you believe that you rejoice when your political opponent dies? How pathetic.

    Posted by: dm | Apr 8, 2013 8:30:52 AM


  9. @ dm :
    She was not just a political opponent - she actively allowed men to die at the Maze prison because she would not allow them to wear their own clothes......as political prisoners.
    That decision was reversed 6 months later when they were dead.
    As far as I'm concerned she has blood on her hands.........a hell of a lot more than just being a "political opponent".

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Apr 8, 2013 8:40:03 AM


  10. Oh, Happy Day...

    Posted by: SmarterThanYou | Apr 8, 2013 8:45:07 AM


  11. @ dm :
    I don't lack any confidence.
    I just despise that woman as a war monger and a coward.
    Her despicable war to retain sovereignty over the Malvinas , which are manifestly Argentinian, was the gasp of a colonialist with no vision, living on past glories of the Empire.
    ( Although Ronald Regan with his invasion of Granada was equally pathetic and extreme.)

    And of course it is a truth universally acknowledged that the Queen hated her.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Apr 8, 2013 8:50:22 AM


  12. dm: A political "opponent" is someone you disagree with on matters of tax policy or spending. An enemy is someone who wishes you and your kind harm. I didn't disagree with this b*tch. She did all she could to oppress gays in her country for political advantage. She was a venal, immoral cow who cared for power and nothing more. She may not have been Hitler, pushing people in ovens, but she deserves nothing but our contempt.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Apr 8, 2013 8:54:44 AM


  13. JackFknTwist,

    The population of the Falkland Islands is British. The Argentinian government launched its invasion as an attempt to prop up the brutal dictatorship, right?

    Seriously, Thatcher was a terrible human being but the Argentine Dirty War's leaders were evil.

    Posted by: Jerz | Apr 8, 2013 9:02:56 AM


  14. "To me, consensus seems to be: the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that need to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner ‘I stand for consensus’?"

    Hated many of her policies. But you can't say with a straight face that we don't need more liberal politicians with her brand of leadership style.

    Posted by: Jake Orlando | Apr 8, 2013 9:09:09 AM


  15. @ Jerez :
    The population of the Islands was imported from the UK so of course it's British !
    But drawing a line around a territory and giving the inhabiting majority a sovereign right, enforced by a colonial war is wrong pathetic and an abuse of power.
    So they had a recent faux referendum and guess what ? they got exactly the result they wanted.......
    The Malvinas are Argentinian, not British no matter how many Little Englanders you import.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Apr 8, 2013 9:14:25 AM


  16. Years ago Elvis Costello wrote "Tramp The Dirt Down" about Thatcher for his album Spike, basically saying he was going to dance on her grave when she died.

    When england was the whore of the world
    Margaret was her madam
    And the future looked as bright and as clear as
    The black tarmacadam

    Because there's one thing I know, I'd like to live
    Long enough to savour
    That's when they finally put you in the ground
    Ill stand on your grave and tramp the dirt down

    I'll be disappointed if he doesn't follow through on that promise.

    Posted by: Caliban | Apr 8, 2013 9:22:02 AM


  17. Morrissey is happy today; I wonder if we'll get a quote from him.

    Posted by: Jack M | Apr 8, 2013 9:27:38 AM


  18. "Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom?"

    Yes: 1513, 99.8%
    No: 3, 0.2%
    Invalid votes: 2, 0.13%
    TURNOUT: 98%

    Tyranny!

    Posted by: Jake Orlando | Apr 8, 2013 9:33:48 AM


  19. Love her or hate her, she did vote to decriminalize homosexuality in 1967. Long before the United States.

    For a different view. I suggest some of you read the following article in The Daily Beast:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/06/british-conservatives-out-and-proud.html

    Posted by: Jon | Apr 8, 2013 9:36:38 AM


  20. @ Jake Orlando :
    As pointed out above if you import a population that is British and ask them to vote on the question asked in the referendum, of course they will vote as they did.

    That's not the point.
    The colonialism of the UK was demonstrated in imposing a population on the Islands, and giving it a faux sovereignty.
    The British did exactly the same in Northern Ireland, they sliced off six counties of Ireland where a Protestant majority could vote the way the UK wanted, creating a faux statelet.

    So you smart assed report of the vote of sheep is hardly the decisive determination that you wish.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Apr 8, 2013 9:41:30 AM


  21. JackFknTwist is Irish, in case anybody had any doubts....

    Posted by: Rick | Apr 8, 2013 9:52:26 AM


  22. The Falkland Islands have been British since 1833. The first known settlers of the islands were French in 1764. The only Argentinian thing about the islands are that they are near Argentina. Argentina only decided the islands belonged to them in 1945.

    Posted by: Um | Apr 8, 2013 9:52:55 AM


  23. Our political beliefs were not similar, but I always had the greatest admiration for her as a person.

    Posted by: Patric | Apr 8, 2013 9:57:27 AM


  24. What's with this RIP?

    I doubt any of you writing for Towleroad are old enough to know or be informed enough about the years of Thatcher's government. Don't be so loose with your condolences.

    One other thing: I'm reading from several sources that Thatcher had 'poor health' in her last years. Can we be quite clear that she may indeed have had poor health, but that she experienced increasing, debilitating Alzheimer's. 'The lady is not for turning' was indeed so turned. Dementia rules, even for those made apparently of 'iron'.

    Posted by: robert | Apr 8, 2013 10:06:10 AM


  25. @ Rick :
    And your point is ?

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Apr 8, 2013 10:06:47 AM


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