Skip to comments.‘Margaret Thatcher Was Most Female Female’
Posted on 06/11/2014 1:07:53 PM PDT by nickcarraway
The biographer of Britains first woman prime minister, Charles Moore answers the questions that others havent dared to ask
Since the first volume of my biography of Margaret Thatcher appeared a little more than a year ago, I have given about 100 speeches on it and her. Some questions come up almost every time. Was she a role model for women?, How did she get on with the Queen?, Was she a good mother? A few of the questions are political, which is amusing, since Lady Thatcher was one of the most intensely political people who ever lived. To me, this shows how people fasten on to her remarkable character and unique position as the first woman prime minister. They are not wrong to do so: these matters will endure long after most of the policy arguments with which she engaged will have ceased to be important. But if I interviewed myself, I might add a few questions to the mix. I do not know all the answers. As I press on with volume two, I keep asking some of them.
Was she happy?
I would say probably not. No one who feels the need to work so hard for so long is happy. If she had been, she would have relaxed. She was fleeing something, what her daughter Carol called the experience of nothingness. She greatly enjoyed some things, some occasions, some moments, but she was always, in some sense, dissatisfied.
Did she have any real friends?
Definitely, yes. She was very warm towards and admiring of those she trusted. And because she trusted them, she confided in them. Oddly for someone with so much self-belief, she did not like to be alone. She thrived on company and human interaction. However, her female presence in a male world, her devotion to work and her inability to waste time meant that friendship was rare for her, and had to be rationed. She was always isolated in a way, lonely even. Friends were a luxury but then, secretly, for all her puritanism, she liked luxury.
How did she get so much done?
By the pure exertion of the will. Contrary to what many think, Mrs Thatcher was not efficient at transacting business. Strictly speaking, she was a poor executive. She was much too passionate, talkative, illogical, even indecisive. She had no strategy in any sense that would be recognised in the commercial world, and she had eccentric ideas about delegation. But she knew what mattered, could communicate it, and would never be satisfied by second best. She knew what, so she inspired everyone else to run around working out how.
How cunning was she?
Very. But part of her cunning was never to tell me (or anyone) when she was using that particular skill, so I have to keep looking for it, hidden beneath the rhetoric.
Was she really a radical or a conservative?
Truly, deeply, both. It is a powerful combination, the most powerful in politics.
How much did she succeed, and how much fail?
Peregrine Worsthorne once said that Mrs Thatcher strove to create a country in the image of her father but succeeded in creating one in the image of her son. By the time I have finished my book, I shall need to decide where the balance lies. The fact that this debate is still so hot proves what a difference she made (who wastes time arguing whether, say, Harold Wilson succeeded or failed?), but the answers about what turned out well and what badly may prove surprising
How tall was she?
Sometimes 5-foot-4 and sometimes 5-foot-5, when prime minister. I do not know why she gave different measurements at different times. She always wore high heels. Her weight fluctuated a lot, too, and she worried about being fat. When Denis first met her, in 1948, his first impression, he told me, was a nice-looking young woman, a bit overweight. (She wrote to her sister at the time and said he was not a frightfully attractive creature but a perfect gentleman).
Was she really a man in a skirt?
This is quite the stupidest question ever, advanced only by obtuse, clever men. She was the most female female you could imagine and, therefore, as she loved to say, quoting from her beloved Kipling, deadlier than the male.
Did she say Rejoice, rejoice, There is no alternative and We are a grandmother? The answer, I believe, is No. No. No (which is something she did say).
Saw a blurb on cover of People (waiting in line at Walmart) of Hillary blabbing about breaking the ultimate glass ceiling for women(for POTUS), I agree! We need a Margaret Thatcher.
Ever dissatisfied. Like every FReeper.
Lady Thatcher was one heck of a lady.
Hillaryous? Not so much.
She was all woman maybe too stuffy for somebody she was like School ma’am from 1930s British school or character from Downton Abbey
Sadly, our media has learned to rip to shreds any female who so dares.
I see what they did to Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Nikki Halley ....
Look at the contrast of how Margaret Thatcher handled the Falkland’s vs. Hillary Benghazi. Says it all.
That is what helped to make her so electable.
You knew what you where getting.
Yet they can’t quit talking about and worrying about Sarah Palin. That tells me that she’s likely our Margaret Thatcher.
I would consider Lady Thatcher to have been the most consequential woman of our time, and one of the most consequential people of either gender of our time.
Come think of it
She got along with men
Remember who her political co star on the world scene
Nuff said LOL!
A true female female simply loves mature masculine males. She loved her father.
It was probably easier for her to get along with men, rather than women, who tend to be more emotional and less intellectual. She was a chemistry major in undergrad and her classes were probably filled with men, whom she was really comfortable being around.