Another Iron Lady


London makes more news


Immediate comparisons between Theresa May and the original Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher are interesting and natural, even though they are essentially incorrect, except perhaps for her ‘iron will’, which those close to her say she has plenty of. And if her stubborn stint at the home ministry is any indicator, she does indeed possess a fair deal of iron in her veins. The Tory Party will need a good bit of unity in the weeks and months ahead, so Mrs May might well be the best deal at the moment, even if the nomination eventually trickled down to her when the more prominent Brexit advocates just exited the scene after the vote.

She won’t have to look too far for inspiration. Europe itself stood on another Iron Lady through the darkest days of the recession. If Germany hadn’t helped plug financial black holes in Spain, Italy, Portugal, etc, while allowing euro printing presses to work over time, the continent would probably have seen some exits a long time before Britain; and far more traumatic ones too. Asia, on the other hand, has seen a good deal of iron ladies; from our own Benazir Bhutto to Sri Lanka’s Chandrika Kumaratunga to the fierce PMs of Bangladesh; which does not mean, of course, that all of them were necessarily good for their countries.

Despite the enormity of the political task ahead of her – rationalising the island nation’s retreat to the periphery – her immediate concern will be more economic/financial in nature. And unlike the old Iron Lady, she will not look to bolster invisible market forces, but underwrite an assured recession, and deal with a prolonged hangover, especially when the break-off will deter foreign investment (particularly from mainland Europe). And she must also put out fires, immediately, within Great Britain. She faces tough challenges indeed; from streamlining the party, to saving the national economy (and the currency), to maintaining UK’s integrity within the European system, even if it is no more a part of the Union. Little surprise, really, that those that wanted Brexit the most chose not to lead the country once they got the decision. Surely this will not be the last of this news story from London.


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