This week I’m going to talk about politics without actually talking about politics. I’d been struggling to think about what to write when the news broke on Monday afternoon about Baroness Thatcher. The Iron Lady. Maggie Thatcher Milk Snatcher. Never has a politician divided opinion as much as the first woman to lead her party to general election victory.
Like I say, this isn’t actually about politics.
I don’t want to talk about what Margaret Thatcher did or didn’t do while she was in office.
There are some who think she was the greatest peace-time PM we have ever seen, and others who think she destroyed the backbone of Britain.
What I came to realise after her passing was how lucky we are to live in the country that we do.
You’ll hear people talk about “broken Britain” and the fact that our nation has gone to the dogs, yet here we are allowed to publicly voice our views on someone who was one of the most powerful people in the world.
We can share our opinion without fear of persecution and while some have been turning up their noses at the army of One Direction fans questioning “Baroness Thatcher? I thought her name was Margaret” on Twitter, I’m grateful that they have the means to do so.
Mrs Thatcher, like every other post-war PM from Attlee to Cameron, has upheld our right to free speech.
Whether you lean to the left, the right or even towards Mr Mozzarella, our democracy works and I’m proud to be a part of it.
Those years towards the end of Thatcher’s tenure were historic.
We saw the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the emergence of the European Union we recognise today.
History has been made again this week and, whether you wept or rejoiced on Monday afternoon, you’ll remember where you were when you did.