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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Bronze Lady




Baroness Thatcher, at the great age of 81, who some jolly Wikipedia joker only recently had buried prematurely, has unveiled a statue inside the Houses of Parliament of herself last February 23rd -- an honour often not accorded even to titans of British politics, let alone in their lifetimes.

Made of solid bronze, she was overheard quipping, "They should have made it of iron".

Heh, quite right too, Maggie.

Her likeness joins that of another controversial, tempestuous British premier, who let it never be forgot, failed to win re-election in 1945 despite nearly single-handedly embodying the bulldog spirit which helped Britain to win that devastating war, Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill.

But that's all right.

Today, he is regarded as one of the greatest Britons to ever live, and has top billing in any 20th century polling without question -- and long after voting booths mean nothing, so will Margaret Thatcher be regarded as one of the greatest Prime Ministers our nation ever had.

Here is the rather sour-tongued announcement of the statue unveiling in the English translation from Russian news agency, Regnum.

The bronze statue with the height of 2.24 m is erected at the House of Commons’ lobby, in front of a monument to former Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The statue with her right arm outstretched, show the first female prime minister as though she is addressing the House of Commons.


Love it! Slightly over 4 lines! Even in the Russian version. Pravda would've been proud.

Their poor country is in shambles due to almost three-quarters of a century's worth of evil on their own people, and the UK faces challenges, of course, but is stronger and more economically vibrant than ever -- and great thanks must go to Margaret Thatcher for that very fact.

One thing though.

Winston's statue graces the Member's Lobby directly leading into the Commons Chamber, and consequently, many a person has rubbed his tenacious toe as they entered this hall -- for good luck.

Including yours truly.

As you can see, like so many other statues which have had this sentimental and superstitious treatment, that spot has worn nearly clean away.





But of course, this begs the rather indelicate question...

What, if any part, will people rub on Lady Thatcher's statue? Perhaps a sense of delicacy will overcome even the rowdy MPs.

After all, it just wouldn't do to cop a feel on the redoubtable Iron Lady.

P.S.: I forgot to mention that my cousin Maudie emailed me this story last week, knowing how I feel about this lady premier to end all lady premiers (pace Dr. Merkel and Golda Meir).

But such is the British character that pompousness doesn't go unchallenged for long, even when it is we who are being pompous in the process.

"Do you know what they say she's pointing to?"

"The way to a better, more glorious future for Britain?"

"No. The ladies."

Labels: ,

15 Comments:

  • Yes, I simply have never understood why Churchill got the boot in '45, and all attempts to explain have left me going, Huh? Is it analogous to the US fear of 'FDR running forever', which we were spared by his death?

    I've always felt that given their natural resources and huge size that Russia should be the most productive nation on earth, but man! It's almost a damn death wish over there, ain't it? Less Turgenev, more Twister, please!

    By Blogger Ron, at Sun Mar 11, 01:58:00 am GMT-5  

  • Check out mirthful fun at Althouse, 'Rhymes with "vortex"'!

    By Blogger Ron, at Sun Mar 11, 03:00:00 am GMT-4  

  • Yes, I simply have never understood why Churchill got the boot in '45, and all attempts to explain have left me going, Huh? Is it analogous to the US fear of 'FDR running forever', which we were spared by his death?

    No, it wasn't that...basically, the Socialists had always said that Winston was a "war monger", and however much he "won" the war with his almost overwhelming leadership during it -- the common man in the street apparently held a grudge.

    That and the fact that Labour promised a massive welfare state, fit for heroes to live in (which they reneged upon, post-1918 with Ramsay Macdonald...).

    To me, it is one of the most brutal slaps to the face of any politician, ever. And completely unconscionable on the part of the British public.

    Still...what better message to send the world that even a hero like Churchill, if the electorate found him wanting for whatever reason, was not a sacred cow.

    There are no monstre sacrés in Britain, unlike in France.

    And I love that.

    I've always felt that given their natural resources and huge size that Russia should be the most productive nation on earth, but man! It's almost a damn death wish over there, ain't it? Less Turgenev, more Twister, please!

    Every Russian I have ever met quotes that famous dictum about the Russian character:

    "Russians love to feel the whip"

    The problem is one of mindset.

    Any nation can be democratic, if the will is there...but in Russia, the will just ain't there.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sun Mar 11, 03:09:00 am GMT-4  

  • Check out mirthful fun at Althouse, 'Rhymes with "vortex"'!

    Convex!!

    ;)

    I was GOING to return in triumph to Althouse this Thursday, ending my self-imposed mini-exile, but at your behest, who knows...a small peep hello there, might not be amiss.

    Especially since I love sex...talking about it, to be sure.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sun Mar 11, 03:10:00 am GMT-4  

  • Speaking of Wikipedia, for a few months there, people looking for information about Australian Prime Minister John Howard would be greeted by a picture of Richard Nixon. I don't know if some shiester kept changing the picture or if no one noticed (it was a young Nixon that few people are familiar with).

    By Blogger Alcibiades, at Sun Mar 11, 06:09:00 am GMT-4  

  • It's a fine statue. Who's the bust of, to Maggie's right?

    Sheesh! What an ungainly way to phrase that, eh?

    LOL

    By Blogger benning, at Sun Mar 11, 09:59:00 am GMT-4  

  • "Russians love to feel the whip"
    The problem is one of mindset.
    Any nation can be democratic, if the will is there...but in Russia, the will just ain't there.


    How true. However, people can't change their mindset. They have to die out and be replaced by a new generation. Why do you think Moses spent 40 years in the desert? He had to, so that the ones born in slavery in Egypt would die or no longer be leaders, and the new state could be built by free men.

    Cheers,
    Elko

    By Blogger El Kot, at Sun Mar 11, 09:27:00 pm GMT-4  

  • You forget about Thatcher's unparalleled record of failure in terms of her social policies.

    Her privatization of the British pension system has resulted in the worst retirement system in the industrialized world, have caused Britons to publically cite the U.S. Social Security system as a model they wish they had (and thank the Great God in Heaven that GWB's attempt to foist a similar system upon us failed), and is a large part of why the British haven't let Conservatives have even a whiff of real power once the disastrous effects of the changes began to be felt.

    By Blogger Eli Blake, at Mon Mar 12, 12:18:00 am GMT-4  

  • Hey, Alcibiades. What a great name, too. :)

    Speaking of Wikipedia, for a few months there, people looking for information about Australian Prime Minister John Howard would be greeted by a picture of Richard Nixon.

    Wow! I didn't know that.

    You know, it's really freaky that I'm some how "around" or to be precise, just clicked on a Wikipedia entry which had been altered in some way -- like I was with Pope Benedict's and Margaret T's...a few minutes later, and I might've missed having recorded the vandalism for posterity, because I notice Wikipedia are very alert for such shenanigans.

    But this begs the question...how frequent to do you think these drive-by-alterings are?

    I can't be THAT timely, can I?

    I don't know if some shiester kept changing the picture or if no one noticed (it was a young Nixon that few people are familiar with).

    Ooh, I dunno. John Howard is no oil painting, but Richard Nixon was hideous...

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Mar 12, 01:24:00 am GMT-4  

  • It's a fine statue. Who's the bust of, to Maggie's right?

    Well, let's see. I think it's Ted Heath, who was rather a poppet, but boring, or it could be Harold Wilson (bloody Wilson!!).

    Someone jowly, and barely worth commemorating, since he was given "merely" a bust -- probably Heath then.

    Sheesh! What an ungainly way to phrase that, eh?

    Hey, at least you didn't ask if she were wearing bronze drawers!

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Mar 12, 01:26:00 am GMT-4  

  • How true. However, people can't change their mindset. They have to die out and be replaced by a new generation. Why do you think Moses spent 40 years in the desert? He had to, so that the ones born in slavery in Egypt would die or no longer be leaders, and the new state could be built by free men.

    But we wait...we wait...we wait...for Russia to change.

    I mean, they could've changed from bad to better after the Tsars.

    Instead they traded tyranny for absolute malevolence -- and though the Kulaks and others resisted at first, the Russian spirit seems to be more easily cowed than other peoples you yearn for freedom, even in the face of HUNDREDS of years of suppression (like the Hungarians and the Irish).

    Even the French did better than that...

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Mar 12, 01:29:00 am GMT-4  

  • You forget about Thatcher's unparalleled record of failure in terms of her social policies.

    I myself have never been in favour of a poll tax, and no matter what conservative economists say, I will never be.

    It simply strikes me as one of those "good ideas" more in theory, than in practise -- and that's basically Socialism has always meant to me.

    Her privatization of the British pension system has resulted in the worst retirement system in the industrialized world, have caused Britons to publically cite the U.S. Social Security system as a model they wish they had (and thank the Great God in Heaven that GWB's attempt to foist a similar system upon us failed), and is a large part of why the British haven't let Conservatives have even a whiff of real power once the disastrous effects of the changes began to be felt.

    The problem with progressives, if you will allow a minor rebuke Eli, is that for them, if even ONE person suffers, Capitalism in all its philosophical projections (like privatisation) has failed absolutely.

    That's just not the way it is in life.

    There is a reason that after 50 years respectively, of China and India being avowedly Communist, and mordauntly Socialist, that NOW they are at the height of their economic powers, and will only go higher.

    Because of privatisation, and the free market.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Mar 12, 01:36:00 am GMT-4  

  • BTW, guys, last night I looked up Maggie T's own official website, and found this famous speech:

    "The Confidence debate the day she announced her resignation as Prime Minister ( 22 Nov 1990)."

    Check it out here.

    Even in defeat, she gave the men and women seated behind her on all benches, the most defiantly heroic politic speech of the ages.

    What a woman, my God. We'll never see her like again...

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Mar 12, 01:38:00 am GMT-4  

  • But we wait...we wait...we wait...for Russia to change.
    I mean, they could've changed from bad to better after the Tsars.


    They never had the chance, Vicky. Think about it - when did they have 40 free years? Just as soon as they stopped being serfs in the 1880's there was Bolshevism in 1920. It takes years of free enterprise to build free thinking. It was not like they had a Magna Carta in the 1200's (I hope I'm remembering that correctly). Plus, Eastern Orthodox is not a religion that encourages struggle against the powers-that-be, quite the opposite, in fact. It is too bad that the Russians were so religious.

    By Blogger El Kot, at Mon Mar 12, 01:48:00 am GMT-4  

  • el kot: Don't forget that the Tsar who freed the serfs was then assassinated. Attempts on his life were made in 1866, 1873, and 1880. Among the plotters of the bomb attacks that finally mortally wounded Alexander was the elder brother of Lenin. As Alexander bled to death, his family rushed to his side. Among them, watching his grandfather die, was the quiet, sensitive thirteen year old boy named Nicky, elder son of the new tsar Alexander III; the boy would grow up to be tsar in his own right, Nicholas II.

    That scared Nicholas, and likely scarred him for the rest of his life. Heir to a reformed Imperial Russia, he would never trust the commoners.

    The Leftists who murdered Tsar Alexander were sure that his death would free the "People" from oppression. But, of course, the poorly thought out plans of Leftists merely destroyed the reform movement that was working in the circles of the nobility and led to harsh crack-downs.

    By Blogger benning, at Mon Mar 12, 09:40:00 am GMT-4  

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