The last few weeks have been awash with talk of Mrs T: from the Meryl Streep’s touching performance of the effects of old age, to calls locally for a fitting memorial to this much maligned local girl. For many the thought of a substantial monument to one of the towering figures of the 20th century is too dangerous to even contemplate, while to others an opportunity to capitalise on her name for more fiscal purposes not to be missed.
In some quarters her name is often met with derision and personal attack, often by those who have benefited most from her political legacy, but least understand it. Thatcher stood on the world stage as a beacon of hope and freedom, not only for the oppressed under foreign communist dictators, but also those closer to home left hamstrung by the ideologically and morally bankrupt socialist politicians and their union paymasters.
Her critics are quick to point out an apparent dislike for her home town, despite much evidence to the contrary. In truth, Grantham defined Margaret Thatcher, not only as a person but as a political force. Her focus around individual responsibility and traditional self-help values clearly stem from the childhood observation that lazy shop keepers don’t succeed like driven ones.
Despite what some would like to believe, her legacy is all around us - the shopkeeper’s daughter helped to reformulate an attitude to enterprise and opportunity that even those most deft of social engineers, Mssrs Blair, Campbell and Mandleson failed to crush. Her legacy of free market enterprise is the life blood of every small business in Grantham - those men and women who take an idea and forgo the comfort of the mundane to make it a reality are the best tribute to the Iron Lady possible.
One of the reasons I became involved with the Grantham Museum project is to promote the legacy of Thatcher and other Granthamians - in short the best memorial to the most inspirational person born in 300 years has to be a place where future generations can come and learn more about her achievements. If you’d like to help in this journey, please become a ‘Friend of the Museum’ at www.granthammuseum.org.uk/join
by Cllr Richard Davies, Conservative