Margaret Thatcher, who sadly died yesterday, was the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century and was the only woman ever to have held the office. Many believe that she was the greatest British peacetime prime minister and she led the United Kingdom in this capacity for 11½ years from 1979 until her resignation in 1990.
Margaret Thatcher revitalised Britain's economy, curbed the trade unions, and re-established the nation as a world power. She oversaw an increase from 7 per cent to 25 per cent of adults owning shares, and more than a million families bought their council houses, giving an increase from 55 per cent to 67 per cent in owner-occupiers. Total personal wealth rose by 80 per cent, and women's pay rose dramatically to the highest level on record and stayed there.
What critics fail to recall is that in 1979 when she took office, inflation in Britain was running at 25% and the interest rate was 14%: her policies helped reverse these trends but they were faced with severe criticism from workers and unions which were related, especially, to the coal and steel industries which had been failing seriously for many years under previous governments and were no longer economically viable.
Her foreign policies made Britain again a serious player on the world stage and when, on 2nd April 1982 the ruling military junta in Argentina ordered the invasion of the British-controlled Falkland Islands and South Georgia, triggering the Falklands War, she authorised and despatched a naval task force to retake the islands. Argentina surrendered on 14th June and the operation was hailed a success, despite the loss of 255 British servicemen and 3 Falkland Islanders. Thatcher's popularity was, for a time, secured and Britons once again felt proud to be British.
Unfortunately her downfall and subsequent resignation were no doubt due in part to her insistence on imposing the infamous Poll Tax, first in Scotland and then in the rest of the United Kingdom, an action which was felt to be divisive and which gave nationalists more determination to attempt to break up the United Kingdom. But, of course, it was eventually the members of her own cabinet and not the electorate who finally made her resignation inescapable.
This picture, which was taken some time ago at the Museum of Flight, East Fortune, East Lothian, is of an Avro Vulcan B2A. The Avro Vulcan was one of Britain's nuclear bomb carrying "V-bombers" (the others were the Vickers Valiant and the Handley Page Victor) and first flew in August 1952. It was the World's first delta winged bomber and entered RAF service in 1960. Powered by four Rolls Royce Olympus engines, the Vulcan cruised at 625mph and had a range of 4,600 miles. It has a wing span of 111 feet and a length of just under 100 feet. This example (XM597) flew operationally in the Falklands War in 1982.
Critiques | Translate
Noel_Byrne (28166) 2013-04-09 6:04
Great photo, a very impressive piece of hardware, it looks very impressive with your chosen point of view.
Very interesting note to accompany the shot too. Margaret Thatcher was a little before my time, but I do remember seeing her in the news when I was in school. I know also that she had many detractors, so its good to read your informative note showing another side to this important political figure. I am amazed to see the street parties being reported in the UK celebrating her passing, this is the first time in my life I have ever seen such a thing.
All the best
dta (73039) 2013-04-09 6:13
Hello John ,
I'm not sure that every body will be OK with your note , but this is an interesting point of view . You present us some positive points of the Margaret Thatcher's carreer . MAy be that there are some negative ones , too ...
And even i'm not a wheapon's fan , your picture is excellent , taken from a effective angle of view , with a splendid sky .
Royaldevon (34757) 2013-04-09 8:45
Perhaps you chose this photograph because you regarded Mrs. Thatcher as a fighter. She certainly fought for what SHE believed in. I'm not going to pursue political opinions, rather dwell on your photograph, which is taken from a good angle for an imposing presence. I like how it creates a diagonal across the frame, shows off well against a lovely blue sky and captures interesting details.
Maybe a step backwards would have captured the entire right wing without spoiling the composition, or maybe that wasn't possible.
My warm regards,
serp2000 (42554) 2013-04-09 10:04
Thanks for this tribute to Baroness M. Thatcher.
I remember that years (Iron Lady, Iron Curtain, Iron Maiden). She was a very significant person in the world politic of 1980th. I remember her brave solution on the Folklands, an opposition (or conflict) with the British miners, etc.
Good choice of photo for her memory.
Greetings from Russia!
ourania (38986) 2013-04-09 12:05
for a plane fixed on the ground this has amazing dynamism, the diagonals of your composition are very attractive and the larger part of the backdrop belongs to the dramatic and fascinating sky. The contrasts are very strong and the colours very rich and lovely.
As for your note and dedication, there's surely much to say either against or in favour of Mrs Thatcher and her administration. In Greece people regret her social policy mostly influenced by the British authors and artists who have effectively decribed its worst impact. I trust them too. But everybody, I think, admires her dedication and persistence and her policy got some favourable results for her nation. We are so confused with our situation right now, I haven't got a clear perspective. It's good to have something and someone to believe in and it requires great strength and knowledge to question everything. I think it's good to stand up for what you believe as long as you respect the views of those who believe other things. Your contribution and dedication is absolutely valid.
Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great evening,
ACL1978 (7511) 2013-04-09 13:15
Hi John - I hope you don't remove the photo or alter the note (I had a look at the various conversations including that with Bev). I'm by no means a supporter of Mrs. Thatcher, but that's no reason for your thoughts and feelings on this day after her passing to have to be hidden! I have to think back to my own series on gun control in the US; I wonder, if there were more Americans on TE, if I would have faced any discussions about political content. I think it's silly to shrink from that, especially with photography, which can be such a powerful political tool. As Voltaire (may have) said, I might disagree with what you say, but I shall defend with my life your right to say it! Political debate is healthy; political vilification is not.
Anyway, on to the shot itself: A great angle and POV here, against a bright blue sky. The plane itself has quite an evocative feel to it, presented with a bit of heroism here. Certainly a fitting shot for the Iron Lady, given her (and her American counterpart Ronald Reagan's) influence on the military in both countries.
Thanks for the shot, and the clearly very thought provoking note!
mkamionka (33685) 2013-04-09 14:03
at least you know that people read your notes :)
I am rather ignorant about Mrs Thatcher achievements however my British colleagues mentioned that she was rather controversial. Whatever you mention as a positive -some economic indicators going up- it sounds good but was it really good? I come from a very poor country and yet recently our economic growth is best in the EU. However people are certainly not happier and their life is not better although on average there are more house owners etc.
For me the most controversial in your upload is the reference to the war. Of course every nation should have the freedom to cherish their successes but for me it did not sound good. I can only imagine how I would feel seeing a German TE member uploading a picture of a plane and saying -this plane was used to bomb Warsaw. And further: that war helped to improve German self confidence...
May be I am too sensitive though :)
emka (89411) 2013-04-09 23:42
Who would think that this photo will be so controversial? No need to remove it. Why? The photo is excellent, colours are nice, composition is very good with this diagonals, sharpness is good. Note is also very interesting. The army museums are in every country. And there are not toys there. usually the great king is the one who had won wars and he is not great for neighbours. Maybe the only exception is our king Casimir the Great who rather built cities.
As to Baroness it seems to me she is well remembered in Poland. She was I think twice in Warsaw.
Today is the third anniversary of Smolensk catastrophe. How Poland is divided in opinions!
My backpacks are waiting at the door. Bye bye
timecapturer (49288) 2013-04-10 2:34
one of my favourite aeroplanes, it flies occasionally down here at the Shoreham Air Show and it is an awesome beast to see flying over the river. It was a real influence I think of the design of Concorde. I love your POV with strong diagonals and immaculate sharp detailing that brings out the power and impact of this war bird.
As for Lady T, well she was a "marmite" politician and I was brought up to not speak ill of those no longer with us. But will just say that I love it on toast! The fact that she is being afforded a public funeral speaks volumes for her impact on the UK.
Regards - Brian.
delpeoples (56042) 2013-04-10 3:45
I leave you to your own devices for a week and in my absence I see you're causing havoc amongst the natives :) I can't help but smile at this. I abhorred Margaret Thatcher, as did Le Pet (obviously with more reason than I). I feel she effectively broke the soul of your nation and left scars on many other countries, which have still not healed today. But I respect your views, your right to an opinion and I respect your choice to post the photo. I'm sorry, but I respectfully disagree with those that say this is not a political site, and that you should not have posted the photo. I've always thought that TE is about showing the world through photography, and politics unfortunately is part of our world. And as this site is a microcosm of the world, we will never all have the same opinion on things. That's the beauty of TE. Your photo has provoked thought and discussion, and despite the facts that I'm not a plane watcher, think it's an excellentt subject and an excellent photo.
macjake (63210) 2013-04-10 10:22
what have you done my friend? :)
your photo and note have upset a few people!
but not me.
Perhaps ignorance is bliss on my account. Being from Canada, and being 37 years old, Margaret Thatcher was in power when i was about 8 years old - so i'm not really on the 'up and up' with what was going on during that time - I was more interested in playing street hockey and baseball at the park :)
And for Lisa, she has an indirect link, having her husband directly affected, so she will have a much greater understanding than I - even though she's also thousands of miles away.
Being thousands of miles away and being very young at the time doesn't give me a free pass, its always important to be aware of political histories. But i have to be honest, its only been in the last handful of years that I've really had any interest in such things.
Growing up in Canada, we've always had a peaceful way of living. Such is not the case for many European countries or African countries where the political landscapes are so corrupt, or at least overtly corrupt.
Another example would be the inner-religious turmoil that always seems to be brewing in Ireland, and relationships with England, Scotland and Ireland...we just don't have that here in Canada. So I guess i'm just not that AWARE of all the 'conflicts' that are mentioned in your note.
Mariusz for example seemed to be upset....but again, living in Canada, I've never experienced what HE had to grow up with in Poland, or what his parents had to grow up with. So perhaps he's more likely to be sensitive to such political references in your note.
Being a simple man, I wish people could just get along! But life isn't that simple is it.
Not to get too off topic here....but referencing the religious turmoil in Ireland....for someone like myself all i want to say to everyone is "COME ON PEOPLE!!!!" you're ALL Irish! Does it really matter is you're protestant or a non-protestant! sigh....and its really worth having a WAR over it?! sigh....
So in summery :)
I have absolutely NO issue with your note or your photo. and I believe you 100% that you had NO intention of creating this amount of discussion or hurt feelings. I truly believe you wanted to respectfully devote this post to Her in Remembrance, with also a historical note - but it was taken the wrong way from a number of people.
I have babbled on far too much :)
Can't we all just get along :)
marabu61 (9969) 2013-04-10 12:32
Even though I can't agree on your praise of Mrs Thatcher, this is an excellent photo.
Very dynamic POV, great colors and amazing sharpness.
I was between 20 and 30 years old and working and living in several countries around the world when Mrs T. was in power and I never liked her politics. Not that I would ever celebrate her death, that is simply without respect, but I think Britain is still today suffering from her social politics, she destroyed the english welfare state and created masses of unemployment.
have a good evening
brianmcc (6219) 2013-04-10 14:33
i'm sure baroness thatcher would love the picture. a very fine tribute to an impressive leader, irrespective of one's personal views about her.
your low viewpoint in this picture is very effective and helps create a very striking and memorable image.
Ricx (13495) 2013-04-27 23:59
Hi Dr John, well I am glad too see that there is still life in TE.. And controversy continues to flourish.. Poor administrators must have even scratching their heads and I therefore applaud them for not deleting your image.. Well what a woman what a lady.. She achieved what her predecessors could not.. Life is sometimes about tough decisions , making them and then sticking to them.. She brought pride to a vast majority, house ownership and self development. However as we all know .. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.. And her policies severely affected social communities who took years to adapt to a new Britain.. Well these are my thoughts on your photo. Or what it depicts.. Your POS is controversial, but quite frankly I like it.. Your exposure is excellent .. I feel it's brought out the true colours of this truly symbolic war plane. .. Your management of both ISO and shutter speed is excellent as it caught Britain at a critical moment of her Pride.. Rich. PS nice photo
mcmtanyel (18123) 2013-05-06 9:05
Baroness Thatcher is one of the people I would have loved to shake hands with. After Her Majesty, she is my second favorite Brit. This is a very apt memorial to her.
agjika (3616) 2013-05-06 11:02
Great shot, definitely the optimal pov. You have managed to kept the strong highlight in the sky very well under control.
As for the note I do not have any strong views either for or against Thatcher but she seem to be loved by some and hated by most in this country.
- Copyright: John Cannon (tyro) (23014)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2008-04-24
- Categories: Transportation
- Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF-S 10-22 mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, Tiffen 77mm UV Protector
- Exposure: f/14.0, 1/640 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2013-04-09 4:35