Margaret Thatcher was a redefining leader known as “Iron Lady” who was vigorous, aggressive and robust with deep knowledge in both foreign and domestic policies. She was energetic, forceful and relied on expert opinions besides her gut feeling and intuition. Her belligerent attitude on debating issues with strong facts and convictions proved her self-confidence and uncompromising leadership.
She was not a dictator (because she was democratically elected) but her autocratic style conflicted with half of her cabinet member’s views on political issues such as her willingness to use severe measures on military actions. She was uncompromising on differences with her cabinet and pushed to alter the terms of political debate, changing opinions on what was possible and introduced radical change such as privatization and capitalism in Britain. She was a divisive leader who polarized opinion, but her pragmatic and ambitious persona brought tremendous changes in the policy planning of Britain. At a time when Britain was dominated by men, being the first female British Prime Minister, she was a strong empowering woman with strong moral belief, impressive and admirable personality that assured she is ready to challenge and prove her ideas.
Her confidence was the one key trait that made people respect her and value her opinion while leading a group of men. Her influence spread assertively throughout Britain and the world on the changes she would bring to make Britain great and reform its global powers. Her authoritarian personality nurtured her to be always in control and strive for power and authority. This authoritarian leadership style worked at the time because Britain had been following its reign of empires and royalties, where the person at the top has control over every decision, hence there was less criticism at the time on authoritarian leaderships. She had a clear vision of how she planned to develop and built Britain and moved forward by building strong relationships with political alliances such as United States.
The key success of Thatcher includes her striking pragmatism in introducing new policies such as privatization, capitalism, deregulation of financial system, tax bill and labor unions that has shaped her legacy in making Britain great. Her heroic name “Iron Lady” shows how the public viewed her and her strength in reforming the Britain economy in the end of Cold War and fall of Soviet Union. Her success in reducing the rate of inflation was achieved through privatization despite the objections when it was first introduced. It helped the public turned private companies to raise substantial funds to grow the economy with the market forces and deregulation of the financial system.
Thatcher’s failures were the disenchantment with her own party; Conservative party, and the ideological differences between her cabinet members which divided the nation on social and economic reformations. Thatcher’s priority in privatizing state-owned properties, deregulating financial architecture, increasing taxes on poor people were seen as moves to increase her foreign power and plundering the economy from the public. Even though the rate of inflation dropped through privatization in the first few years, it started to rise again, reflecting that Thatcher’s policies were not sustainable but a short term economic investment. Also, many researchers believe that the bang of financial system was the root cause of economic recession in Britain and weakening of Britain’s authority as a “global power” of the world.