The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

17 April
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Margaret Thatcher’s Funeral…”I have done the state some service, and they know’t”

“Soft you; a word or two before you go.
I have done the state some service, and they know’t”

Othello Act V Sc II

 

An estimated quarter of a million people lined the streets to St Paul’s to bid farewell to Margaret Thatcher. We turned up mainly, of course, to pay our final respects to one of the greatest political leaders of the western world. But we came also, I am sure, to demonstrate how  the tiny minority of bile spewing ersatz “revolutionaries”, eagerly  sought out by the well heeled chattering class hacks from planet BBC/Guardian did not speak for the ordinary folk of all ages and from every walk of life who came into London today.

A grey, damp day...

A grey, damp day…

It was grey and damp as I walked from Southwark Cathedral along the bank of the Thames to the Millennium Bridge. When I reached St Paul’s at 8.00am the pavements were already crowded. I managed to thread my way through to get a reasonable position – and watched and waited.

The mood was quiet and restrained as fitted for the occasion. We watched the police as they went about their business and checked the arrival of the great and the good as they arrived in buses – the limos were only for a handful of the very top brass.

The one big cheer that rang out had me puzzled until my neighbour laughed and just said the one word  “Boris”  - and true enough there was London’s Mayor being interviewed by some hack. At the end of the interview he walked back to St Paul’s on his own with more cheers echoing round the streets….how our other politicians must grind their teeth in fury at the man’s popularity….

Later we cheered the service men and women as they took up their positions lining the route of the procession – and an even louder cheer and applause for the red coats of the Chelsea Pensioners, the old soldiers who took position on the cathedral steps, ready to act as guard of honour for the flag draped coffin as it entered the great doors.

Then finally we heard the muffled drums of the military band as the cathedral’s bells tolled their own doleful knell….and there it was, borne on a gun carriage drawn by horses and accompanied by an honour guard from all branches of the services.  Draped in the Union flag, covered by white flowers, the coffin of Margaret Thatcher passed before us and was greeted by the crowd with applause and cheers of warmth – not a protestor in sight or in sound.

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We watched as the honour guard bore the coffin up the steps – and then the cathedral doors closed.

Some stayed on but I left with the intention of coming home and watching a repeat of the actual service on TV. But as I passed a nearby pub, The Rising Sun, I saw a big crowd inside – they were watching the service on the big screens usually reserved for football or cricket. So I joined them and there we stood, with our beers, the pub packed and silent as we watched the whole service –  the biggest tribute of all from men (it was mainly men) who probably haven’t seen the inside of a church for years, if ever. Only when the service was over did the pub revert to the usual noise of chatter, laughter and glasses being collected.

The Rising Sun

The Rising Sun

That’s the way we mourned and saluted Margaret Thatcher, the grocer’s daughter who brought a demoralised and divided country back off its knees and told us to stand tall….

 

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11 April
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The Pseudo “Revolutionary” Who Wants To Dance On Thatcher’s Grave – What Would Erika Have Said If She Was Still Alive?

This is Romany Blythe, the drama teacher who encouraged everyone to piss on Margaret Thatcher’s grave. Note her mock heroic stance in this picture. Like all these ersatz revolutionaries she is a poseur, pretending to be a freedom fighter in a world of comfort and tolerance. The red flag with the soviet hammer and sickle is a fashion statement.

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This is, or was, Erika. She was a young student who was a real revolutionary. She and thousands of other brave Hungarians came out onto the streets of Budapest in 1956 to demonstrate against the communists who ran the puppet regime that governed Hungary on behalf of the Russian Soviet Union. She holds a gun because the regime’s secret police tried to break the demonstrations. When the Russian Red Army, flying the hammer and sickle flag carried by Romany Blythe, moved in to crush the uprising, Erika and her friends fought against their tanks with rifles, sub machine guns and petrol bombs.

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They failed.

The Red Army’s hammer and sickle was triumphant and a new puppet communist regime brought back the secret police, the execution blocks and the prison camps. Erika was dead, killed in the last hours of the fighting while trying to help her wounded comrades. The dead hand of communist dictatorship gripped Hungary and the rest of Eastern Europe once again.

Western governments accepted the iron grip of Communism in Eastern Europe and Russia as a fact of life to be accommodated. Many voices in western academic and cultural circles, being of a Marxist bent, celebrated it.

Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were the first western leaders to publicly denounce those communist regimes as evil and oppressive and, by implication, illegitimate. At a time when internal stresses and strains were beginning to distort the social and economic fabric of these tyrannies the impact of external condemnation from such influential voices were important factors in causing the red regimes to implode.

And in October 1989, 33 years after the uprising, Hungary became a free multi party democracy. How sad that Erika could not have been in the crowds celebrating that moment but, no doubt ,her spirit, and those of all those other courageous freedom fighters who died with her, was smiling down from above.

What would Erika have made of Romany Blythe’s theatrical posturing and ghoulish disrespect of Margaret Thatcher?

Not much, I suspect.

Probably with as much contempt as Lech Walesa and those of his Solidarity comrades who had welcomed her to Gdansk in 1988 when it was still under communist rule.

Those on the Left who still probably regard Thatcher as a hate-figure, have either forgotten the history of the Cold War or possibly never understood that Communism meant the virtual enslavement of millions of people in the East European countries, who loathed its ideology as much as Margaret Thatcher herself. It is simply not possible to imagine Thatcher visiting Russia in the 1930s, like certain Left-wing useful idiots from Britain, and being taken in by Stalin’s propaganda machine. Ordinary East Europeans took a different view of her to her critics in this country. For them she symbolised opposition to Communism; indeed she was given a tumultuous welcome by the shipyard workers in Gdansk when she visited them. She wept at the sight. The shipyard workers would have been puzzled to learn of the refusal of Oxford University, her old alma mater and one of the most prestigious universities in the world, to give her an honorary degree.

Amen to that, say I – and I am sure the spirit of Erika would agree….

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09 April
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Why I’ll Be At Her Funeral Paying My Respects To Margaret Thatcher

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I was very active in my local Tory Party during the 70s. With strikes and terrorism and inflation and constant economic crises within the UK and the US retreating in the face of an apparently unstoppable tide of communism the times indeed were black.

When Mrs T stood for the leadership most of the suits on our local committee were very sniffy about her.
“We need a chap, not a housewife” said one pompous pin striped pontificator.
“Au contraire, my old son” I said “we need a housewife to vacuum up all the old farts like you and get this country going again”

And that is exactly what she did. By sheer strength of will she inspired us to get up off our knees and take pride in ourselves and our country. Forget all that left wing rubbish about her being hated by working class people. She won three elections on the run with clear majorities and you don’t do that without working class votes. That’s why the left, especially the chattering classes of the BBC and Guardian, hated her – she dared to defy their conventional wisdom and proved them wrong time and time again with the support of ordinary folk.

As a young teacher I watched Winton Churchill’s state funeral with my students and they asked me why I had tears in my eyes. In a few days time I will be on the streets of London paying my final respects to one of the greatest leaders this or any other nation has ever had – and again there will be tears in my eyes.

God Bless You, Margaret Thatcher – the grocer’s daughter….

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04 January
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Memo To President Cristina Kirchner Of Argentina Re Falklands – Go Dance Your Tango Somewhere Else

That notorious latin windbag and fiery drama queen Cristina Kirchner, President of Argentina, is back in the headlines with yet another “demanding the return of the Falklands” tantrum in a feeble attempt to distract the rest of the world from her administration’s rather dodgy accounting.

The British government’s response has been succinctly robust (even US website Hot Air is impressed) and if any Foreign Office mandarins, after quiet chats with the US State Department have been smoothing out the wrinkles of UN supervised “joint sovereignty” agreements, just to please Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and all the other “usual suspects” in Washington, not a whiff of it has seeped into the UK media.

Good job, too. British blood was spilt driving the Argentinian invasion force off the islands in 1982 and there would be deep public disquiet for any backroom deal that would mean their sacrifice was in vain.

Recently published papers show that the invasion took Margaret Thatcher and her ministers completely by surprise. Initially there was a degree of confusion about what should be done.

‘There was great concern about what could be done about it. Our forces in the area were very scant confined to a small troop of marines and the HMS Endurance.
‘If there was going to be an invasion there was little we could do to stop it. People were sitting round wondering what on Earth one could do about it. Sir Henry Leach came in and listened to what people were saying – then he said he could have a task force on the water by Monday. That transformed the situation

Margaret Thatcher was always impressed by people who offered solutions rather than dwelling on problems.

“She was undoubtedly seeking positive factual data on which to make her own mind up. Could we do it, against all the risks we’d discussed? I said, yes we could and, in my judgment, we should – which was not my business. That was a political matter.
“She was on to that in a flash. ‘Why do you say that?’ I said if we don’t, or if we do it half-heartedly and are not completely successful, we should be living in a different country which counts for very much less [in the world].” It was the turning point, not only of the meeting but of the entire Falklands crisis. As Nott admitted in the same programme, Leach’s intervention “helped our self-confidence in a very difficult situation”, even if it had been typical “Nelsonian gung-ho”.

From that moment she resolved that force would be met with force and her determination never faltered. As The Heritage Foundation suggests Britain’s reaction astonished the world.

Once Argentina invaded, Britain had to respond. What was remarkable was that it responded with force. No one—certainly not the Argentines—believed that Thatcher’s Britain would fight back or that it could do so effectively. They were proven wrong on both counts

What also shocked the world was the fact that Thatcher had public opinion behind her. Media pundits were convinced that casualties and body bags would weaken resolve – that a post WW2 generation would be dismissive of military action…..far from it. It showed once again the value of decisive political action and the power of political will.

Sorry, President Kirchner – you need to perform your tango on someone else’s dance floor…

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03 May
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Sorry, Argentina, The Belgrano Was Attacked In A War Which You Started…

Thirty years the Argentinian warship “Belgrano” was attacked and sunk with the loss of 323 lives

The Belgrano – a cruiser – was torpedoed by the British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror on 2 May 1982.

President Cristina Fernandez used the occasion to reiterate Argentina’s claim to the Falklands. A retired Admiral played the moment by tuning up the emotion meter

“On days like these, we remember that there is a mission that is not over. There are 323 voices calling to us that there is an open wound. Every day they they remind us that the Malvinas are, were and will be Argentine.”

Great stuff – it almost gives the impression that the islands were thronged with hardy Argentinian farmers until 1982 when they were driven out by those land hungry British imperialists under the orders of the Thatcher junta back in London.

Pure nonsense, of course.

The Belgrano and it’s sister vessels were part and parcel of an act of naked aggression undertaken by the Argentinian government of the time. It’s military forces had attacked and occupied the Falklands in the expectation that the British government would make a lot of noise, summon ambassadors, write letters and eventually get involved in “negotiations” that would end up as a kind of shared sovereignty…and that’s how it would have developed under any Prime Minister of the last fifty years – with one exception.

Unfortunately for Argentina the one exception was the woman who happened to be in 10 Downing Street at the time. Margaret Thatcher retaliated to an act of military force with an even greater force – with much tut tutting from the BBC and The Guardian but with the overwhelming support of the British people.

Naturally the BBC uses weasel words to give President Fernandez moral support – after all she is a left wing politician pursuing a socialist agenda so, by definition, she must be right

The General Belgrano was sunk on the orders of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who said it had posed a danger to British ships. However, the warship was outside the 200-mile maritime exclusion zone Britain had declared around the Falklands and was said to be sailing away from the islands when she was hit. Critics said the action was excessive and scuppered any chance of a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

“Was said to be sailing away” is a classic ploy often used by the BBC and the media in general to give a measure of spurious authority to a purely speculative statement. So listen to the words of Vice Admiral Sir Tim McClement who was second in command of HMS Conqueror at the time.

No, Argentina, the deaths of those 323 sailors rests fairly and squarely on the Argentinian government of the time and those officers who were so keen to encourage the junta to invade the Falklands as a distraction from domestic problems……which, of course, is why President Fernandez is making such a fuss about the Falklands now….

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02 April
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The Falklands War – Right 30 Years Ago And Still Right Today

Today is the 30th anniversary of the outbreak of the Falklands War in 1982 when Argentine forces invaded and occupied the isolated South Atlantic islands. There is no doubt that Margaret Thatcher and her government were asleep at the wheel at the time ignoring the ratcheting up of rhetoric from the military junta over previous months.

When we heard about the invasion there was anger mixed with humiliation as we saw the pictures of UK marines lying on the ground in surrender. Nevertheless most of us believed that after decades of following the advice of our diplomatic mandarins and the sermonising of the BBC the Thatcher government would wring it’s hands, write an angry note and then accept the offer of a UN special conference that would eventually come up with some wheeze like “shared sovereignty”

But we had reckoned without Margaret Thatcher. It was her willpower that drove the organisation of the task force that travelled thousands of miles and drove the invaders into total capitulation. With hindsight, of course, it all appears to have been a foregone conclusion. But, like D Day in 1944 it was a tremendous gamble with only one possible throw of the dice. Failure would have been the final nail in the coffin of British power and self respect, a vindication of the BBC/Guardian siren song of eternal appeasement and, naturally, the end of Thatcher’s political career.

Nothing illustrated the sudden transformation of will than the sinking of the Belgrano. The Argentines realised that they had sown the wind and had now reaped the whirlwind. They faced a foe that would go to all lengths to break them.

Today, of course, another government in Argentina is seeking to use the Falklands as a useful drum to beat to distract attention from domestic problems. But no self respecting UK government could dare offer any negotiation for a land streaked with the blood and bones of those British servicemen who died in 1982.

Ask the widow of Colonel H Jones who died leading his paratroopers in an assault upon machine gun emplacements at Goose Green.

Ask Simon Weston, the Welsh Guardsman who was horribly burned in an Argentine air attack.

1982 uncovered a Britain that had been hidden away for many years. It’s back under cover, of course, but, much to the chagrin of the left and their friends at the BBC, it’s still there….

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16 January
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You Knew It Had To Come…..”Margaret Thatcher Should Be Sentenced To Death For Mass Murder”

It’s inevitable. Mention Thatcher (or Palin or Bush or Blair) and the looney tunes pour out of the sewers.

So stand aside Stalin with your NKVD killing squads and your gulag. Get to the back Mao and your famines and Red Guards. Ignore Hitler’s SS and death camps. Forget Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge killing fields.

There’s a new mass murderer in town.

Margaret Thatcher.

That’s right. Elizabeth Farrelly’s snarky little memoir of her brief sojourn in London at the height of the “Thatcher Regime” smoked out a comment which referenced one Paul Treanor, a passionate opponent of the nation state and crusader for collectivism who uses Russian statistics to “prove” that free market economies shorten life expectancy and since Thatcher’s free market ideas were copied by countries all over the world she is clearly directly responsible for mass murder.

If the free market has caused about one-third of all deaths, in market economies, over the entire period of their existence, then the market has killed hundreds of millions of people. More than all wars, and more than the impact of a one-kilometre meteorite

Treanor believes that Thatcher should be tried and sentenced by a special tribunal and, naturally, there could only be one outcome.

A European Tribunal for Thatcher would be a sign, that Europe intends to remedy this defect of the British nation state. Such a tribunal should have the power to apply the death penalty, the most appropriate penalty for mass murder.

Of course, being a tankie, Treanor would be quite familiar with tribunals imposing death penalties. He would also assume that statistics published by the Soviet Union were totally honest, though others might disagree. But the true significance of his ill constructed ramblings has nothing to do with facts and figures or with constructing a case.

It is about the construction of a narrative. A narrative which aims to sabotage the argument for individual responsibility and limited government that underpinned Thatcher’s policies – for what worried the collectivist consensus was her popular appeal and the impact her electoral successes had on subsequent political generations.

So the counter myth of brutal Thatcher capitalism gained currency in those elite circles that had the most to lose from the decline in state power – the cartels….the bureaucrats, the academics, the planners and the pressure groups who all depend on the public teat for their well financed comforts.

Treanor’s looney tunes ramblings are merely a useful tool to justify their convictions – and in today’s climate it is more than likely that some BBC documentary maker or Hollywood producer could use them as the basis for a smooth piece of Michael Moore style agitprop that would mainstream the concept of Thatcher and her free market ideas as the willing agents of the grim reaper.

They wouldn’t deny the slaughters of Stalin, Mao or Pol Pot, they would merely slip her into the discourse using the sly concept of equivalence.

The Stasi support group GRH are only the tip of an iceberg, comrades….

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