So, before I sign off for the night and head into dreamland, attempting to get what some would deem sufficient enough sleep to not end up being grumbled at, I thought I would jot down a brief note. Tonight I caught up with a friend and we went and saw The Iron Lady at the cinemas. Meryl Streep would have to be one of my favourite female actors and she was, without a shadow of a doubt, marvelous in this movie. Her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher was phenomenal and should definitely see her secure the Acadamey Award.
But beyond that, I was left in absolute awe when faced with the realisation of just how much that woman accomplished for the UK and the adversity she faced during her record 11 years as PM. War, recession, seemingly insurmountable economic and employment disaster, not to mention just the fact that she was a woman branching forth into a 'man's world' at a time when society was not so open minded about such things as women in politics. She was and is, undoubtedly, one of the greatest political leaders Britain has ever had, and I would wager, in her own uncompromising way that she was one of the greatest and fiercest leaders in the world.
It made me think about a conversation had hours earlier, especially in light of political debates occurring both in the US and here in Australia, about what politics was in the era of Lady Thatcher's leadership compared to what it is now. The thing that stood out most for me, the thing I found myself awed by and in utter admiration of, was the fact that she said what was on her mind, she said the things no one *wanted* to say but that had to be said. She stood up and got to work and got the job done instead of simply sitting there and whining and complaining about her lot in life and how crap everything was and how the government of the time etc etc were failing. Like one of her colleagues had said to her, "if you want to change the party - lead it. If you want to changed the country - lead it." She did just that and the UK was changed forever, and in my mind, for the better.
I see politician's today and it is all about telling me what the other side is doing wrong, what they have 'lied about' or what their bad decisions are. I am not interested in being told what someone is doing wrong or what is a bad tax etc. Don't sit there and simply point a finger at the government and say "You're wrong. You shouldn't be running the country." Instead how about you tell me what you intend to do to fix it, what you think is a step in the right direction. And I don't mean some wishy washy glossed over side remark. Really explain to me how you see a solution to whatever problem has arisen. You want my vote? Don't waste my time sitting there pointing fingers and playing the blame game. Just tell me what you would do to correct the situation and why that should entitle you to my vote. The minute you turn it around on the other side and start picking at their faults and fuck ups, you lose my vote.
Lady Thatcher may not have always done things the easy way, and certainly it would seem not always the popular way. But she was uncompromising. She saw problems and she had solutions. Sometimes those solutions were not popular but to her, running a country wasn't a popularity contest, it was about putting the needs of the country first. Sometimes, though we may not like it, the tough decisions are the best ones for us.
It was an amazing film, a superb portrayal - and an absolutely inspiring and admirable woman.
If only there were more leaders like you, Lady Thatcher. You are truly remarkable. This movie is a must see, if for nothing more than an appreciative look at the accomplishments of a strong, proud and determined woman, who will always have my utmost respect.