Labour reactions to Margaret Thatcher’s passing

8th April, 2013 2:21 pm

Throughout the day we’ll be collating some of the reactions to Margaret Thatcher’s passing. You can read Ed Miliband’s statement here, and our Editor Mark Ferguson’s reaction here.

The Labour Party has confirmed that campaigning in the local elections will be suspended “until further notice”.

Tony Blair

“Margaret Thatcher was a towering political figure. Very few leaders get to change not only the political landscape of their country but of the world. Margaret was such a leader. Her global impact was vast. And some of the changes she made in Britain were, in certain respects at least, retained by the 1997 Labour Government, and came to be implemented by governments around the world. As a person she was kind and generous spirited and was always immensely supportive to me as Prime Minister although we came from opposite sides of politics. Even if you disagreed with her as I did on certain issues and occasionally strongly, you could not disrespect her character or her contribution to Britain’s national life. She will be sadly missed.”

Gordon Brown

“Sarah and I have sent messages to Lady Thatcher’s son Mark and daughter Carol, offering our condolences to them and to the Thatcher family and commemorating Lady Thatcher’s many decades of service to our country. She will be remembered not only for being Britain’s first female Prime Minister and holding the office for 11 years, but also for the determination and resilience with which she carried out all her duties throughout her public life. Even those who disagreed with her never doubted the strength of her convictions and her unwavering belief in Britain’s destiny in the world. During our time in Number 10, Sarah and I invited Lady Thatcher to revisit Downing Street and Chequers – something which we know she enjoyed very much. But it was sad for her and her family that she lost her devoted husband Denis almost 10 years ago and that she was unable to enjoy good health in the later years of her retirement.”

Ed Balls

“Very sad to hear of the death of Margaret Thatcher. Our first woman PM, she was the one who truly ‘broke the mould’ of British poltics.”

Neil Kinnock

“I recognise and admire the great distinction of Baroness Thatcher as the first woman to become leader of a major UK political party and prime minister. I am sorry to hear of her death and offer my sympathy to her family.”

Johann Lamont

“I came into politics to fight the ideology and values of Margaret Thatcher which I believe damaged our country. But today is not a day to debate that. Today is a day to offer the deepest condolences to her family, friends and all who loved her. No one can deny she made a deep mark on the history of this country.”

Carwyn Jones

“Margaret Thatcher was a major force in British political life who undoubtedly had a significant influence on the political, social and economic landscape in Wales and the UK. There’s no doubt about her personal achievement as the first woman to become British Prime Minister. Her place in the history books is assured.”

  • Amber_Star

    “As a person she was kind and generous spirited and was always immensely supportive to me as Prime Minister although we came from opposite sides of politics.” Tony Blair
    Opposite sides of politics? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!

    • Alex Otley

      New Labour was her greatest achievement. Blair does not come from the left of politics.

      • $6215628

        Of course had new labour never happened, we would have had 34 yrs of Thatcherism and that would have been a bigger achievement for her

      • Chilbaldi

        I wondered why the alarm was sounding, over at the asylum.

        • Dave Postles

          Ask not for whom the alarm tolls…

      • AlanGiles

        If I remember rightly, Alex (if i don’t you can be sure my stalker will give a “down” vote), in a broadcast interview Mrs Thatcher herself once said that her greatest legacy was New Labour.

    • AlanGiles

      Blair was, I feel, very much the (political) son of Mrs Thatcher, but I thank him for confirming what I, and many others have been derided, not to say, abused, by Labour right-wingers for saying, for many years, that is that New Labour was in truth Old Conservatives:

      “And some of the changes she made in Britain were, in certain respects at least, retained by the 1997 Labour Government”

      There you are lads – straight from the horses mouth.

      • Dave Postles

        The horse that was led to the water and drank – imbibed and imbibed until he was drunk with power. All the reports coming out of ‘secret’ aspects of Chilcote are chilling – a mind convinced by a week with Bush, allegedly.

  • John Mullen

    The only decent response is to join some of the millions whose lives she ruined in celebrating her disappearance.

  • Ashurstman

    I don’t think there is anything I can write that would not get moderated so I will say nothing except she laid waste to so many communities and that should not be forgotten!

  • MentalStudent

    this bullshit is why no one votes Labour any more

  • JoeDM

    The statements of hate by Labour supporters on the Guardian CIF articles is truly disgraceful.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      Well, I agree with you that there are some foul statements of pure hatred on those articles (I do look at both the Guardian and the Telegraph, for balance), but perhaps you wrongly equate Guardian commenters with Labour opinion.

      I am impressed by the overall measured, and even generous, tone on LL today. But the Guardian and the Telegraph websites both contain bitter, unthinking, savage lunatics of either left or right wing. Truly a “showcase” in both cases for how nasty and stupid some people can be. I do not post comments on either website, as the intellectual equivalent of drainwater bacteria are sure to respond.

      There was a “joke” made today in a small meeting we had, about the plans for Margaret Thatcher’s grave site being beautiful, but that the dance-floor was not big enough. No doubt it came from Twitter or somewhere. It was good to see the youngest Houseman on my team immediately state that it was inappropriate and others agree, well before I understood the point the (also young) joker was trying to make. Neither I think was even out of the short trousers when Margaret Thatcher was the PM.

  • Gerry Dorrian

    I imagine Labour is heavily conflicted at this time, because the working classes they fetishise so much voted en masse for Mrs Thatcher 3 times. I imagine this is why the BBC, the Guardian and silver-spoon socialists in general despise us so much.

    • Francis Gerald Allen

      Check your facts, the working class didn’t vote enmasse for Thatcherthe S.P.D. renegades split hte Labour vote, check all the constituencies the Tories won from 1983(1979 Labour was bound to lose, as in 2010) and you will find that the split vote was more than the tory vote. As Tony Benn said she would never have lasted 5 minutes if it hadn’t have been for the media.

  • rekrab

    So Tony Blair now say’s he didn’t bring back trade union legislation.
    He didn’t try to nationalise industry.
    He continued the privatisation.

    Had he let us known his thoughts prior to his leadership election, would he have been the chosen one? I think he duped us all and has created a massive hole in any future labour government soon by basically saying he followed on from Mrs T’s government.
    As far as I can see he has burst the ball in two minutes of sky news talking.

    • JoeDM

      Well you would have got Gordon Brown as leader and then PM in the mid 90s.

      Knowing what we know now, Hague would probably have become Tory PM sometime in the early 2000s !!!

      (Aren’t ‘What if’s’ just fascinating.)

      • AlanGiles

        It has to be said though Joe, the Conservatives were deeply unpopular from 1992 onwards (Black Wednesday) compounded by all the sleaze (“The End of the Piers Show” was the headline in the Sun because of the peccadilloes of Piers Marchant, there was David Mellor and football kit, and Stephen Milligan with stockings and oranges).

        I think Gordon Brown would have won the 1997 election. Come to that, I think anybody could, because the Conservatives were so discredited, especially after “Back to basics”

        • $6215628

          Actually had brown won the 1997 election it wouldn’t be a landslide so, Portillo would have been Tory leader in 2001′ and even if brown had faced Hague in2001 brown wouldn’t have got the 40.9% Blair did, also Ron Davies of clap ham common wasn’t a blairite, and Mandelson not telling his back he borrowed 300,000 is hardly a matinee that would have cost labour millions of votes the way that old Labour did in the past,

      • rekrab

        I think your reading me wrong there JoeDM, it’s about the honesty of people, the “IF’s” are subjected to those film critics.

        Here’s another, Cameron said no reorganisation of the NHS another less than honest promise goes amiss.

    • $6215628

      John Prescott stood for leader against him In 1994 he wasn’t going to renationalise the industries or reverse trade union policy, we stood on the 92 manifesto not promising to do those things either, I recall, we did in 87 when I first joined labour and changed those views by 1989

  • surreygeezer

    All of this media mourning brings to mind the song by those arch tories Lloyd-Webber and Rice from Evita, called ‘Oh what a circus’.

  • Chilbaldi

    well said.

  • rekrab

    John, many believed we’d re-nationalise the railways? as for secondary picketing, there wasn’t a vote put forward to challenge it? it was all kinda lets wait and have a look at the books syndrome.I can’t recall campaigning for foundation hospital status 1997?

    • $6215628

      No one mentioned foundation hospitals in 97′ people may have thought that we would renationalise the railways in 97 , it was never in the manifesto, even if Clare short wanted it, in87 we were go ing to reverse the thatcher union laws, including binging back the clawed shop, shadow employment sec Tony Blair got rid of our support for that in 1989

  • rekrab

    So it’s “operation true blue” funeral tag.
    @Paul Hasal will be pleased to know that “ding dong the witch is dead” has made it to number two. nice one Paul.


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