I refer to Patrick Webbs vitriolic attack of Margaret Thatcher, who died on April 8 (She was someone to unite against in loathing, The Daily Astorian, April 12). As I lived in London during the Thatcher years, I would like to correct the inaccuracies in his article.
Margaret Thatchers father was a city councilor in Grantham, Lincolnshire, who kept her informed of all that was going on. She was brought up to care for people. After finishing school, she earned a degree in chemistry in Oxford, followed by a degree in law. She was also voted president of the Conservative Association in Oxford. From there, she entered politics.
She was prime minister of Britain from 1979 to 90 after defeating the Labor Prime Minister James Callaghan, who had reduced Britain to an all-time low. The trade unions, fueled by the Labor government, were destroying the country by making insane demands for workers.
Thousands of businesses were brought to their knees. My brother-in-laws was one of them: Metcalfe & Cooper, a printing press established by his grandfather in London 100 years previously, which had grown and prospered. He was forced to sell up and retire when it went bankrupt.
Margaret Thatcher gave the unions as good as she got; she soon shut them up and restored order and prosperity. International corporations came back to Britain and invested millions in British manufacturing. Small businesses started up again and expanded in the knowledge that they were safe from the unions.
One of the best things Thatcher did was to allow people in Social Security housing to buy their apartments and houses. My cleaner was over the moon when she learned that she and her husband could buy their apartment on very favorable terms so that they would have a roof over their heads when they reached retirement age, and would not have to pay rent any more. Thousands of people benefited from this arrangement. With the money from these sales, the Conservative government built extensive new housing for new applicants.
Webb says that a grade-school classmate was of the opinion that under Thatcher England became more Amercanised, more vulgar and venal and violent and capitalist and confrontational and stupid. I find it offensive that a newspaper reporter can repeat such derogatory remarks about the country he has chosen to live in. Those 11 years were the best that Britain had enjoyed for decades. I know, I was there.
No doubt there will be some male chauvinist pigs who will write more attacks on Lady Thatcher, they cannot stand a successful woman. But Margaret Thatcher was voted Prime Minister three times, and she got more votes in the third election than in the first. She served her country brilliantly and will be remembered for her high moral principles, loyalty, equality for all, 100 percent honesty, great diplomacy and commitment beyond the call of duty. May she rest in peace and glory.