I had just finished delivering our City News in South Portslade when I checked my Twitter feed and saw the sad news of Margaret Thatcher’s death.
She was a woman of my generation and a personal inspiration for my political journey. She never tried to court popularity for the sake of it, but she was a woman of conviction and what she said, she meant. In her lexicon there was no such thing as a U-turn “You my turn if you want to, but this lady is not for turning”. She had a clear sense of direction; you knew where you stood with her and she was respected for having that vision and not for letting anyone step in her path.
I remember in the 1970s how the Unions held our country to ransom; I worked a three day week with a paraffin lamp on my desk with rubbish piling up outside our office. The Trade Unions were, literally, above the law. Margaret Thatcher weakened their grip and made them more democratic.
She was also a figurehead for the aspirational working classes. I totally identified with her: a Grammar School girl who lived above her parents’ shop. She allowed working people to buy their council homes, own shares and get on in life.
Our party will continue to carry the flame of this monumental woman.