Sunday, 18 November 2007
Coming from a Labourite family, it was some years following her departure from office before I was prepared to countenance Thatcher's good points. To my mind, the best she got was "The Bruges Speech", which, together with her famous "no, no, no!" in Parliament (see edited version below), led directly to the pro-EU plot that brought her down, as Geoffrey Howe's resignation speech indicates.
Cringing EU-sycophant blogger Nosemonkey described the original speech thus: "The moment when Maggie Thatcher allowed her (entirely understandable) irritation with the then EEC to bubble over into hyperbole and hysteria back in 1988." Amongst his commenter chums, no one is likely to challenge this characterisation, although I doubt he could point to a single line in the speech to justify a charge of hyperbole or hysteria.
Rather than that, she set out her vision of Britain's place in a Europe which included cities like Prague and Budapest, still separated by the Iron Curtain. She explained what she thought the future direction of 'the project' should be, and why she favoured a Europe of independent nation states working together, rather than the bureaucratic behemoth of Brussels, which sadly has grown ever-larger since then.
With this speech and her stance in Parliament, her fate was sealed in the eyes of Delors and his British conspirators. Reviewing her performance in Parliament in the light of what has since come to pass, it is not difficult to understand why she had to go.