North Yorkshire Examines Thatcher Legacy
6:01am 17th April 2013
Margaret Thatcher, Britain's first woman Prime Minister, is being laid to rest today.
She passed away last week after a stroke at the age of 87.
A ceremony with full military honours is taking place at St Paul's Cathedral later.
Among the mourners will be the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, and Greg Knight MP, who represents Pocklington and Market Weighton.
As Prime Minister she visited North Yorkshire several times, referring to one visit to York, in her 1984 party conference speech.
But Ian Craven from the York TUC argues the city's industrial base was damaged under her premiership.
We asked these students at York College what they think of Lady Thatcher.
Rob Scott heads up the Federation of Small Businesses in York, he gives his personal opinion.
“Having fought two elections under her leadership, I greatly admire her achievements and the way she forged a path for generations of politicians coming in her wake.”
“Effectively, Mrs Thatcher removed the glass ceiling preventing women from reaching the top of politics and indeed, other professions too.”
“"Lady Thatcher gave those of us following on the confidence of knowing we could make our way in politics as in other professions. Her other achievements leave a legacy of which all Conservatives can be immensely proud, both at home and abroad. She put the Great back into Britain, helped open up Central and Eastern Europe to democracy and eventually entry into the European Union.”
“She created a nation of home owners from former council tenants and share holders and restored the British economy from being the sick man of Europe to a thriving free market economy."
York Outer MP Julian Sturdy also paid tribute saying:
“I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Baroness Thatcher. While I understand she polarised opinion, for me, and I expect for many others, she was one of the greatest Prime Ministers this Country has ever had. She came to power in 1979, at a time when the Country was being crippled by trade unionism and a Keynesian economic consensus that simply wasn’t working. She was steadfast in her principles throughout her 11-year-premiership, barely shifting an inch, and the Country was in far greater shape in 1990 as a result."
“Baroness Thatcher was one of my leading influences and she’s a huge part of the reason I’m in Politics today. I expect many of my Conservative Colleagues in Westminster and indeed across the Country would say much the same. She will be sorely missed, but her legacy will never be forgotten. My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this difficult time.”
The leader of York Council James Alexander also gave his reaction to Lady Thatcher's death last week:
“I’m sad to learn of the death of former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher today after she suffered a stroke. Whether you agreed or disagreed with what she did in Government, she had conviction in her beliefs enough to effect change in an environment where it is notoriously difficult to achieve change. She was a strong leader who carried her party with her, but who alienated herself with an important and significant proportion of the population. I’m sure her death will lead to renewed assessments of the contribution she made to public life”.
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