I've been pondering on exactly what I should write about the death of Margaret Thatcher yesterday at the age of 87.
I know, on a smaller, far less grandiose, stage,
just how hard it is for a woman to make it to the top in a determinedly male world. But Maggie Thatcher did it - the first woman to become Prime Minister of Great Britain. For which I can only applaud her determination, grit and spirit.
I just wish she had used her experience to encourage more women to achieve their potential in politics but there was very little, if any, evidence of this. I think she may actually have set the cause of women in politics back quite a lot.
Some say that she changed our country for the better by standing up to the Unions. Others say that all that is selfish and self-seeking about our country today started with her. I just think that when people talk of
her battle with the Unions they are talking of the Big Players in that war, forgetting about the little people who suffered - not just the miners but others, like the print workers, my husband among them.
I can't agree with those who talk of celebrating her death, of dancing on her grave. She wasn't a Hitler or a Stalin. No millions of people died of famine or torture or the gas-chamber because of her. Please let us have a sense of proportion. Her
government's policies catapulted our family (and many, many others) into one of our most difficult and testing periods but she is dead, at a grand age, and I respect the right of her family and friends to mourn her passing.
The i (20p and my newspaper of choice these days) was the only paper which really
got it right today with its headline: "Thatcher - as divisive in death as she was in life." You only have to scan through the comments on Facebook and Twitter to see the truth of that.
I always think
history will be the final arbiter. But history may have a hard job on its hands when it comes to reporting fairly, honestly and accurately on the life and times of the Iron Lady.