I have no doubt that Meryl Streep will win an Academy Award for her portrayal of Lady Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady”. From all I have read, including several reviews, it is a remarkable performance. However, I probably won’t see it because all indications are that it is not enough concerned with her public life while active politically in saving Britain from complete collapse and helping win the Cold War.
Recently, I read an interesting article by Daniel Yergin in which he commented on some of his recollections of meetings with Thatcher as Prime Minister. One of these was a staff meeting, not included in the movie, incidentally, in which one Conservative staff member suggested a possible “third way” between left and right on policy proposals, at which point she interrupted him by slapping a copy of Friedrich Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty on the table, declaring “This is what we believe”. Some years later, in an interview with Yergin, she reminded him, “It started with ideas, with beliefs. You must start with beliefs. Yes, always with beliefs.” Are you listening, Mitt?
And here is one of my own favorites from her in 1981: “To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects.” This is The Iron Lady I want to remember.