...Prime Minister of Great Britain, a patriot, a Parliamentarian, one of the most remarkable women of our era: Margaret Thatcher.
When she became Prime Minister, Europe was locked into the Cold War, Communism looked as though it would be a fixed and miserable part of the landscape for the foreseeable future for millions of people on half the continent, Britain was stuck in a mindset of economic and political stagnation.
She restored to Britain a robust belief in enterprise, gave Eastern Europe a vision of freedom, won a war, and wrote history.
Unlike so many of today's politicians, she entered Parliament with real convictions and beliefs. She was not a professional politician but had worked in industry (research chemistry) and was a qualified barrister. She honoured her parents and the Christian values they had taught her - and spoke about this with frankness and sincerity. She was very happily married. She loved Britain and had a deep sense of its heritage.
And she was a woman of kindness and courtesy. I was a very, very junior person working in the Conservative Research department in the exciting months of 1979. I remember the whirl of excitement as she came into the busy room where we were beavering away on items for the first day of the election campaign. She was efficient and breezy and exuded confidence, but there was also a sense of quiet authority and of efficiency. We talked over the project on which I was preparing a brief - she was competent and knowledgeable. You felt you were part of a team that was going to do something useful and of value. And she was polite and disarmingly downbeat. I honestly do believe she saw politics as public service. And she served her country - and the cause of peace and the betterment of the human lot - well.
May she rest in peace.