Here are Judith Collins’ comments marking the death, at 87, of Margaret Thatcher. Good on her for laying out her thoughts and beliefs like this. Yes, some might see them as polarised and polarising. But they’re worth a read and convey an insight.
Today, my facebook page will be devoted to Margaret Thatcher.
I well remember when she became the Prime Minister of Britain. She was the first and, to date, only woman UK Prime Minister.
It is easy to listen to the carping and vile names given her by the hard left and forget what condition Britain was in when she took over. They had 3 day working weeks, massive strikes led by USSR aligned Trade Unions, a country on the brink of collapse and torn apart by weak appeasement leadership and by malignant home-grown forces that sought to take the UK into the Soviet sphere of influence.
Her party had failed to inspire as it sought to work with the very people whose goal was the overthrow of the UK democratic system.
She dealt to, not with, the IRA. She brought a backbone to her Party not seen since Churchill.
She was highly intelligent. She was brave. She was formidable. Her work ethic was unsurpassed. She was a wife and a doting mother and grandmother. She was, despite all her achievements, an outsider.
Some years ago, I had dinner with Milton and Rose Friedman. I asked them which of all the leaders people they had worked with, they most admired. Milton Friedman was quick to say that Margaret Thatcher was the most inspirational of all.
She had the greatest hurdles to overcome and she achieved the most.
Baroness Thatcher, Rest in Peace. We have lost an icon.
— Judith Collins writing on Facebook
Let me say this: It takes guts to stand for election — to stick your head above the parapet of cosy anonymity and say ‘Vote for me. Follow me’. Both these women’s lives, Thatcher’s and Collins’s, demonstrate that courage, whether I (or anyone else) agree with their point of view or not.
This piece of vintage crack political punditry from Deborah Coddington circa 2006 Judith Collins – National Party leader in waiting? put them, Thatcher and Collins, unambiguously in the same frame:
But someone has to succeed Brash before the next election, and in the game of eeny-meeny between pretenders Gerry Brownlee, John Key, Bill English and Simon Power, the most obvious successor is being overlooked.
She’s New Zealand’s answer to Margaret Thatcher – Judith Collins, MP for Clevedon, whose achievements listed on her own website make the rest of us weak with admiration. She’s in her mid-40s, yet she’s been a director of several companies, president of the Auckland District Law Society (she has a Master of Laws with Honours), run several law firms plus a business school, provided expert tax advice, owned two restaurants, sold shoes, waitressed, nursed in a maternity hospital, married a policeman some 25 years ago and raised a son.
She is currently, you could argue, the only one in the National caucus with big kahunas, yet her wardrobe, with soft blues, lemons, or black-and-white, is straight from leading ladies’ designer Adrienne Winkelman.
Indeed, the similarities to Baroness Thatcher are remarkable. Both were born into middle-class families. Margaret Thatcher was also a barrister who specialised in tax. She was promoted early to the front bench. In 1961 she voted against the party line in favour of bringing back birching. In her third term as Prime Minister, Thatcher reformed welfare and introduced a work-for-the-dole scheme.
In New Zealand’s recent debate about inter-generational welfare dependency, Judith Collins has led the charge for reform. While I have no reason to believe Collins favours the re-introduction of corporal punishment, one can imagine her taking a theoretical stick to lazy buggers who won’t get off their butts and earn a living.
Collins recently remarked that she didn’t mind being offensive. Thatcher proclaimed to be particularly cheered if an insult was personal because it indicated her opponent had nothing political to throw at her. Collins once commented along the lines that she’d never felt she needed to prove her femininity. Thatcher famously said that being powerful was like being a lady, “if you have to tell people you are, you aren’t”.
Our Heroes are personal, and their inspiration individual and precious to each of us. I’m not going to do anything to demean Ms Collins’ expressions of respect for Mrs Thatcher*, and, fair warning: I won’t host comments here that attempt to do so.
But I am interested in (civil) comments about Ms Collins’ version of history … and the mindset revealed by these two accounts.
* Well apart from a wee joke about Eva Peron, but not meant in a mean way.
PS. Crikey. Quoting Cactus Kate and Judith Collins in a 24 hour period. Time for a walk and a swim.