There will be a minute’s silence before the start of the full council meeting in Corby tomorrow (Thursday, April 11) to mark Margaret Thatcher’s death.
It was requested by David Sims, leader of the Conservative Group on the council, who will also give a speech. He will say: “Before passing any comment on the premiership of Margaret Thatcher, we should first acknowledge that we have not just seen the loss of a great Prime Minister and a great politician, but also a human being who was a mother and a grandmother. Our thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends at this very sad and difficult time.
“Lady Thatcher entered Number 10 Downing Street to the words of Saint Francis of Assisi and I think it would be apt at this time to remember some further words of Saint Francis of Assisi which defined her premiership: ‘Give me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’
“We could all debate long into the night about Lady Thatcher’s legacy, and members on all sides of the Chamber would have different and, no doubt, very passionate views. But one thing that we would all agree upon is the extent of her influence on modern Britain. She had the courage to drive change forward to deliver what she believed in, often in the face of adversity and opposition from both outside and inside her party.
“There is no denying that she was the mother of modern politics, and her influence has been seen in the premierships of all of her successors: John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron.
“And in the passing of Lady Thatcher, we have lost one of our country’s last great conviction politicians. Margaret Thatcher, like James Callaghan, Harold Wilson and Edward Heath before her, saw her election victories as a means to delivering on her beliefs, and not – as is all too often the case in today’s politics – the ends upon which to focus her aims.
“I think Lady Thatcher’s conviction and drive for change is captured beautifully in the words of another great leader - the late Steve Jobs. He said this: ‘Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.’
“Whether her friend or foe; whether you saw her as a hero or a villain; something that nobody could ever do was ignore her. Her drive and conviction in delivering the change that she believed in is what earned her the name that will go down in history – The Iron Lady.
“And now after Lady Thatcher’s passing; whether you loved her or loathed her; whether you will glorify or vilify her; what you will never do is forget her.”