'Former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher has died at 87 following a stroke, her spokesman has said. Lord Bell said: "It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning." Baroness Thatcher was Conservative prime minister from 1979 to 1990. She was the first woman to hold the post. Her family is expected to make a further statement later. Baroness Thatcher, born Margaret Roberts, became the Conservative MP for Finchley, north London in 1959, retiring from the Commons in 1992. Having been education secretary, she successfully challenged former prime minister Edward Heath for her party's leadership in 1975. She won general elections in 1979, 1983 and 1987. Baroness Thatcher's government privatised several state-owned industries. She was also in power when the UK went to war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands in 1982.'Such small accomplishments: privatised several state-owned industries and was in power when the UK went to war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands. How about rescued the UK economy from the despair of the Wilson/Callaghan Labour governments? How about turned the UK from 'the sick man of Europe' into one of the world's leading powers? How about went to the defence of the Falklands despite the opposition of the Labour party?
I suppose that a news organisation that the BBC's Jane Garvey recalled celebrated the 1997 Labour victory:
“I do remember… the corridors of Broadcasting House were strewn with empty champagne bottles. I’ll always remember that”is unlikely to stay neutral on the death of the hated 'Thatch'
UPDATE:I see that the BBC's Political Editor, Nick Robinson, has stooped this low:
tweets: The dominant figure of post-war British politics is dead. Love her or loathe her, Margaret Thatcher shaped this country as few others did.
Evan Davis has tweeted this pearler:
I see Ken Livingstone has been unable to show any grace today, I suppose breaking the habits of a lifetime would be hard. Sky News quote him thus:
'Ex-London mayor Ken Livingstone tells Sky News Baroness Thatcher's policies were "fundamentally wrong". "She created today's housing crisis, she produced the banking crisis, she created the benefits crisis. It was her government that started putting people on incapacity benefits rather than register them as unemployed because the Britain she inherited was broadly at full employment," he says.Full employment? Unemployment began to rise from the 4% level in early 1975 and by the time of the 1979 general election was at nearly 6%. The inefficiencies hidden by this employment level took some time to iron out.
Here's another of the BBC's favourites, 'comedian' Mark Steel
What a terrible shame – that it wasn’t 87 years earlier
— Mark Steel (@mrmarksteel) April 8, 2013