How they see it

The legacy of Margaret Thatcher

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 April, 2013, 2:15am

1. The Washington Psot

Margaret Thatcher … saw a great divide between freedom and the various forms of tyranny in the world, and she made it clear, always, which side she was on … She made her name in the world a few years into her first term of office, when the military government in Argentina sought to whip up popular support by invading the nearby Falkland Islands … Against the advice of many, she ordered a military invasion of the Falklands and retook the islands. … "I can't bear Britain in decline, I just can't," she said before her election as prime minister 32 years ago. She did what she thought necessary to stop that decline, and she didn't really seem to worry about what anyone else thought of it. (Washington)


2. The Guardian

Whether you were for her or against her, Margaret Thatcher set the agenda for the past 3½ decades of British politics. All the debates that matter today in the public arena … still bear something of the imprint she left on them … As the social democratic consensus faltered in the 1970s, then cracked in the 1980s she rode the wind of history with an opportunist's brilliance … There can certainly be no going back to the failed post-war past with which Margaret Thatcher had to wrestle. But there should be no going back to her own failed answer either. She was in many ways a very great woman. There should be no dancing on her grave but … her legacy is of public division, private selfishness and a cult of greed. (London)


3. Global Times

A political legacy is always hard to define, and the love and hatred still felt toward Thatcher are distinct … Thatcher's first significant encounter with China was Hong Kong's return to the mainland. Many in the UK called for a tough stance toward China. But Thatcher managed to understand that China is not Argentina and Hong Kong is not the Falklands. We can say that she made her biggest compromise as prime minister in this issue … Her restoration of the British economy represented one of the last glorious achievements of Great Britain, or even Europe. But her privatisation of state-owned industries, tax-cuts to support the powerful and her hard-line stance toward labour unions, are still ruefully commented on. (Beijing)