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People Like Us: Margaret Thatcher and Me

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Sir Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats, challenged Javid to “abolish Conservative cronyism” at the DHSC, starting by ruling that Tory peer Dido Harding will not be made the next chief executive of NHS England. You can wander into Halesworth and the post office goes on and on, and you can buy anything from a screwdriver to a lawnmower and a food mixer, as well as envelopes and stamps. You can’t find shops like that in London. It’s almost a bygone era.” As someone who worked closely with Mrs Thatcher in the last 18 months of her premiership, I was intrigued at how she would be portrayed. I was the first female private secretary at No 10 – one of five in her private office inner circle – and she let me slip through, despite her alleged ban on giving that role to a woman.

This may seem obvious. We all know what we value in the places we live, or the places we grew up in. Estate agents point to good housing and schools, access to good healthcare and safe and crimefree communities. When we are making decisions about whether to live in a place, we look not just for employment opportunities but also for those green and recreational spaces, those places to meet, to shop and have fun and learn, and warm to a built environment that makes you feel comfortable, safe and relaxed.

Russian Interference Byline Times leads the way in exposing the anti-democratic influence of the Kremlin over the affairs of other nations Daniel is Managing Director of DHA, a public sector relations organisation specialising in achieving social change. He is a communications professional with nearly twenty years’ experience at senior levels of central and local Government and the not-for-profit sector. This is more than just the story – quite familiar in powerful people – of a character who is much nicer in private than in public. It is part of a bigger narrative…. The book makes the reader think about wider questions. Why is it that the three most striking characters in British public life in the past 50 years – Margaret Thatcher, Diana, Princess of Wales and the Queen – have been women? Is it mere rarity value? Or is it because – though each is so different from the others – there is something about being female that touches reality more closely? Charles Moore, Margaret Thatcher’s official biographer, The Telegraph That said, the show does also capture some essential truths about Mrs Thatcher. The importance of her humble origins are brought home forcefully, and, this as much as her gender, cast her in the role of a natural outsider. The Mrs Thatcher I witnessed, was a living walking challenge to the status quo. I agree that being different was part of her energy and key to her success. However, I don’t believe she ever said the Royal family were “boorish, snobbish and rude, just like those patronising bullies in my Cabinet” – she was in too much awe of the institution. We talk about poverty and income inequalities but some places are very much richer in social infrastructure than others and this also makes a real difference to personal health and well-being, equality and opportunity.

It was the sheer vulnerability of this woman, surrounded by men and round this coffin-shaped table – telling them the end had come. And, basically, the reason she had to face this decision was they’d told her so. Second, it’s not just about money, it’s also about recognising the rich resources that may already exist, many of which may be non-financial, and also giving communities a real say over what happens in their community and about where any new investment goes. Like everyone else, I was waiting for this latest series of The Crown with anticipation. I had started watching the drama when it first came out, but I hadn’t been entirely convinced by its merit.

We fell in love talking about civil service reform! (Truly)

I’m going to make a kind of nuanced case for her (Lady Thatcher) in the debate. To not accept her achievements is wrong.” The couple now split their time between Suffolk and the capital. “We live in the middle of Dunwich Forest. We used to visit friends for many years, so we know the area very well. One wet and miserable February day we saw this empty, forlorn-looking house hidden by overgrown pine trees that was up for sale. We had no intention of buying it but thought it might be interesting to find out the price… anyway, we found we owned it a couple of months later.” However, series four was always going to hold a certain fascination for me personally. Covering the period from 1979 to 1990, it spans the time Margaret Thatcher entered No 10 to the tearful day she left.

A common factor between Theresa May and Margaret Thatcher – very different women in lots of ways – at this point is that neither is good at listening. Mrs Thatcher boxed herself in behind the poll tax and then she went out on a limb about Europe. Theresa May barely has a team behind her, and she’s not prepared to go outside her own particular box.”Caroline began when “you could see these rifts developing on Europe”. The Chancellor and the Foreign Secretary, Nigel Lawson and Geoffrey Howe, were key figures at odds with the PM. The poll tax hadn’t helped, and there was friction over the UK joining the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. Something had to give.

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