Thoughts about terrorism and Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher was also the target of terrorism, and refused to be cowed by it. At the Conservative Party Conference in Brighton in 1984, hours after she had barely escaped with her life from a bombing, she insisted that the conference begin on time, and adamantly declared:
That is the scale of the outrage in which we have all shared, and the fact that we are gathered here now—shocked, but composed and determined—is a sign not only that this attack has failed, but that all attempts to destroy democracy by terrorism will fail.
At her funeral service on Wednesday, the Bishop of London said that Margaret Thatcher was defined by courage and perseverance. She cherished independence and, less famously, interdependence.
In a talk at St Lawrence Jewry,
she referred to the Christian doctrine, “that we are all members one of another, expressed in the concept of the Church on Earth as the Body of Christ. From this we learn our interdependence and the great truth that we do not achieve happiness or salvation in isolation from each other but as members of society.”
Her later remark about there being no such thing as “society” has been misunderstood and refers in her mind to some impersonal entity to which we are tempted to surrender our independence.
To be free and independent and to be interdependent! Pity those who have never had the exhilarating experience of living these ideas.
I went to London on Wednesday to honour Margaret Thatcher's defence of freedom. In particular I thanked her for the liberation of the Czech people, for I have been intimately acquainted with their slavery under socialism, a state-sponsored terrorism. With her steadfast help they set themselves free.
The horse-drawn gun carriage which carried Margaret Thatcher's body to St. Paul's proceeds slowly back past the thousands who paid their last respects. They remained standing for a long time after the funeral procession passed.
Of course they took photos, and I think she would have liked that - a free people recording what they saw, not dependant on the authorities' point of view.
I imagine Margaret Thatcher's last words to us: