posted 4/8/2013 by the Salt City Sinner
Baroness Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990, passed away Monday morning at the Ritz Hotel in London, following a stroke. The "Iron Lady" will be remembered as a pioneering visionary in both economics and human rights, having been declared Hero of the Soviet Union (Герой Советского Союза) by General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee in 1980.
Working-class people in Great Britain remember Baroness Thatcher for her commitment to social justice -- under her leadership, public funding for higher education soared as did approval ratings among young people. Thatcher managed to carefully balance her embrace of trade unions with a steadfast refusal to exploit racial tensions surrounding immigration in Britain.
Her policies led to increased wages for workers and a robust standard of living for Britons of all walks of life. Famously, she rejected the extreme economic ideologies of economists like Milton Friedman, instead pursuing a more balanced approach to taxation and spending.
Thatcher's foreign policy placed her in high regard among international human rights activists -- her condemnation of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was a bold move that isolated Pinochet from the international community and led to liberalization and democratic elections in the Latin American nation. Thatcher's brave stance on multilateral nuclear disarmament led to her being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.
In 1986 Margaret Thatcher famously joined United States President Ronald Reagan on stage with singers Elton John and Freddie Mercury at the Heaven nightclub in central London to perform the song "Somebody To Love." Afterward, Thatcher's emotional remarks about the HIV/AIDS epidemic being "not only the great public health crisis, but the great human and civil rights crisis of our time" cemented her place as an outspoken and compassionate advocate for the gay community.
Thatcher will be remembered for her empathetic governing style, her consensus-building and, above all, her love of the working class and common people of Great Britain. Margaret Thatcher is survived by her son and daughter, Karl Marx Thatcher and Moon Unit Thatcher-Mbabwe.