Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Margaret Thatcher debate - Ed Miliband nearly made me cry

I watched some of the debate in the Houses of Parliament today. Some excellent speeches and I thought that Ed Miliband (see the full text of the speech here) set an example for his party and others by making a speech that landed a few punches (including one on David Cameron – read the speech) while still being respectful and dignified. 

I know that she was a divisive figure (everyone keeps harping on about it) but the time to gloat and celebrate and dance in the streets (if that’s the way you feel) was when she stepped down not when a frail old lady dies. I have been somewhat shocked by what some people that I know have put on facebook – too much rhetoric and not enough knowledge – some of them are too young to have lived through that time.

Everyone is trotting out their Thatcher anecdote – me too!  Anyone who knows me knows that I am rarely if ever lost for words – in fact shutting me up is usually the problem.

It was the biennial Red Cross Christmas Fair at the Mansion House in the City of London and I was at the opening night.  Margaret Thatcher was then PM and she was there as guest of honour but no speeches or any formalities.  I was standing at the Glovers stall buying a pair of leather gloves and looked up and she was standing next to me.  She was trying on a pair of red leather gloves and said to me “I do like a nice bright pair of gloves to brighten up a dark suit”.  I was so surprised that my response was rather like a fish gasping for breath – the mouth opened a couple of times but no sound came out and then she was gone. All the things I could have said......

(Thanks to my time at Breast Cancer Campaign I managed to meet all subsequent Prime Ministers, including the current one.  I was better prepared and delivered my elevator pitch before they were whisked away!)

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