Farewell Iron Lady – 送别 铁娘子 – sòng bié tiě niáng zǐ

I have been watching TV reports and reading with interest all the brickbats and bouquets being thrown at Margaret Thatcher the former British Prime Minister who died last week.


She was a formidable woman of strong principles who had a clear vision of what she thought Britain should be.  During her eleven and a half years in office she changed Britain for ever, and she also had a profound effect on the rest of the world.  Needless to say, some of the actions she took enraged sections of the population who still regard her as tantamount to the devil incarnate.  Much of the criticism is based on ill-informed mythology but some of it is very understandable.

Maggie and DXP

I was not one of her supporters, but neither was I one of her detractors, and I clearly recall what life in Britain was like in the mid 1970s, and how she injected some much needed vigour into the political process.  Latterly she introduced policies with which I profoundly disagreed, but even so I consider her to have been one of Britain’s most remarkable leaders.

Maggie on the Great Wall
Around the world she gained huge respect and admiration, and many people we have met here are bemused by the crude behaviour and disrespect paid to her by some back in the UK following her death.

Chinese papers on death of MT

Last Friday morning at crack of dawn the DH and I took a taxi to Beijing South Railway station as we were off to Shanghai.  The taxi driver was a pleasant chap – probably in his forties or fifties – who spoke nary a word of English, but was very chatty.  He asked the usual opening questions: were we Americans? no.  Where were we from? Britain. How long were we visiting Beijing for?  we live here.  Were we teachers? no. Were we diplomatic staff? no.  Finally I explained that my husband was a business man working in China.    After a while he suddenly turned to us and said (in Chinese) ‘Maggie Tattcher died’, I told him that we knew that. After some thought he turned again – gave a big thumbs up  and said ‘Maggie Tattcher good woman, very strong’.

So there you have it Margaret Thatcher’s epitaph from a Beijing taxi driver !

About herschelian

Started my 60s by moving to China with my DH. Surprised to find I am still here in Beijing eight years later - still finding it an adventure!
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2 Responses to Farewell Iron Lady – 送别 铁娘子 – sòng bié tiě niáng zǐ

  1. Edwin says:

    I rented “The Iron Lady” movie and watched it over the weekend. IMHO, it took a terrible war (WWII) to shape characters of many post-WWII leaders. All with unflinching belief of their principles – good or bad, left or right. That generation is fading away, sadly. R.I.P. Margaret Thatcher.

    Again, thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. camparigirl says:

    I lived in London for some of the Thatcher years and, while I understand the vitriol from miners and colliery workers whose effects of Thatcherism was more than tangible, I am a bit baffled by the “dancing on her grave” attitude displayed by the current younger generations who were not even born at the time. Polarizing, sure (did not love that “poll tax” when it came out) but showing a bit of respect for someone who did what she thought best for her country still counts as good manners.

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