Tuesday September 02, 2014


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Visiting the Birthplace of Baroness Thatcher

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- Tom Winnifrith

And so I found myself in the grim North this morning and being just down the road from Grantham thought that I would pay a visit to the birthplace of Britain’s greatest Prime Minister. I cannot say that I see much to take me back to Grantham. Baroness Thatcher was born above the corner store owned by her father Alderman Roberts. It is a couple of hundred yards away from the town centre but not on the posher side.

These days the store sells holistic nonsense as you can see in the photo below. What strikes me is just how small it is. Thatcher was a leader born in truly humble surroundings. A small room, above a small shop, in a “secondary” part of a small town. When she suggested that others pull themselves up by their bootstraps she knew what that meant as that is exactly what she (and I imagine her father) did themselves. Her background made her the great leader she was. Just like Call Me Dave’s background made him, er……

Tom in front of shop

The fact that the person who not only became our first female PM but was without doubt the dominant figure post WW2 in British Politics was born in this town is almost unmentioned. That is to the eternal shame of whichever tossers are in charge of the town. All one can see is a small stone plaque above the shop.

Maggie plaque

I have written before about how some folk will celebrate the demise of Thatcher when that sad day finally happens. Over Christmas twitter provided the usual comments from unpleasant as well as deluded lefties regretting how this, now frail, old Lady had recovered from an operation to return home. One suspects that most of those who make such comments were born in far more plush surroundings and have spent their lives pretending otherwise, squandering the lucky breaks they had and failing to seek out and work hard to grab opportunities as did Thatcher.

I leave you with a reminder of how the lessons Margaret Thatcher learned from Alderman Roberts shaped her world view ( sadly not those of today’s Tory party leaders) with her classic 1983 Tory Party Conference speech:

“Someone has to add up the figures, every business has to do it, every housewife has to do it, every Government should do it and this one will.”

“There is no such thing as public money. There is only taxpayers money”

“The state has no other source of money other than money that people earn themselves”

“Prosperity won’t come by inventing more and more lavish public expenditure programmes”

“You don’t grow richer by ordering another chequebook from the Bank”

Happy New Year to the Iron Lady.

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