The release of Meryl Streep's movie The Iron Lady is reviving interest in Margaret Thatcher's political life. In the Daily B's Saturday edition Looking Back she was mentioned twice.
In 1983 Mrs Thatcher flew to the Falkland/Malvinas Islands to celebrate Britain's victory over Argentina's invasion of the British colony a year earlier. What was news to me was that this coincided with Britain's invasion of what was then an Argentinean Colony 150 years earlier. When working in Buenos Aires 13 years after the war it was still a hot topic. I had argued that Argentina had no legal right to the islands as they were not the original settlers we Brits were. On top of this all Argentineans were immigrants and they had ethnically cleaned the country of its aborigines just as we had in Tasmania. Both parties came to common ground that P M Thatcher and General Galtieri had grave political problems at the time and gambled on the distraction of the dispute and then the outcome of the war. We were unsure if they were motivated by political opportunism or as they both professed rabid patriotism.
The second reference concerns another invasion this time Afghanistan, not ours of 2001 but the earlier one by the USSR in 1979. This led to Margaret Thatcher announcing a boycott of the upcoming Moscow Olympics of 1980. Not everyone agreed especially many of the athletes who had trained hard for years for their events. Some ignored the boycott and went on to win gold medals. The bile of Iron Lady Thatcher was shown in 1981 when she blocked New Year Honours to these winners Sebastian Coe, Steve Ovett and Daley Thompson. Apparently she regretted this decision and/or the negative publicity it engendered as a year later the lady who was not for turning, turned. Coe was invested as an OBE while Ovett and Thompson got the lower grade MBE.
In passing Daley caught up with Seb's OBE in 1986. Seb took the lead again in 1990 with another OBE (Officer Class). By 1992 Seb was now a Conservative MP. He finally saw off the opposition in 2000 when he got a peerage while Steve finally got his OBE and Daley a CBE. In 2006 Lord Seb got yet another OBE this time with the grade Knight Commander. I thought that becoming a Lord was as high as it goes. Confused? I am the whole system addles my brain.
It is perhaps poetic justice Baron Coe of Ranmore is now running the UK Olympics let's hope the former Communist World doesn't adopt a boycott over our continued invasion of Afghanistan.
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