Talk:Margaret Thatcher/Archive 23

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Salmond quote

The article reads

I think this downplays the original quote a bit, which is:

In my opinion, if we're going to discuss reactions, we should select ones that look back on the good and bad aspects of her life, and show how she's remembered, and how her policies affected people moving forwards. I think the full quote does this, but the way it's presented now is so vague as to be meaningless. I'll do an edit adding in more of the quote, but wanted to explain why. Adam Cuerden (talk) 13:18, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Remind me. The poll tax was very much MT's baby, but introducing it first in Scotland was not her idea, but the Scottish Office's. It was introduced before the election, but was it introduced because of the election or because of upcoming revaluation for rates purposes? Rates were very unpopular in Scotland; what were the alternatives at the time? "Failure in British government: The politics of the poll tax" by Butler is the number one source, but I don't have it. Mr Stephen (talk) 13:32, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
Plenty of people have had something to say about Thatcher, so why is Alex Salmonds quote the only one really presented in the legacy section? Can we have some MORE? -- (talk) 08:50, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Thatcher effect

The image at Thatcher effect would be improved if it were actually of Thatcher. This visual phenomenon may not be worthy of mention in the main article, but does it warrant a See Also entry? Maybe this wasn't the appropriate way of raising the issue.. Hillbillyholiday talk 16:20, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes, Thompson's original 1980 Perception paper was called "Margaret Thatcher: a new illusion", although it has really nothing to do with her personally. But York Conservative Association were credited for supplying the "stimulus material". Martinevans123 (talk) 21:34, 11 April 2013 (UTC) p.s. I think Kiefer must prefer his ladies upside down, politically speaking of course.
This is a discussion for Talk:Thatcher_effect, not here. sroc (talk) 23:07, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree. Not even sure it belongs here as a See also. --John (talk) 23:19, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
I also agree. I left the first (removed) comment at the end of a ridiculously long edit-binge. To be serious for a sec though, it's a real pity this never made it's way into the article before the 8th.. Really though, it's my own fault for being an utter coward in not trying to put things like that (and other info i had gleaned in my pre-wiki days) into the article. I haven't any particular drum to bang r.e. political views, linking public figures to murders will do for me. Far too much time has been spent examining Maggie's legacy at home, where arguments could be made about how many suffered or died etc, when if you look abroad (and seriously you can take yr pick of countries) you can find much more 'relevant' stuff. But, as the document attached says in conclusion:

The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on. - Old Arab proverb

Hillbillyholiday talk 02:43, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Penman reader Face-wink.svg Basket Feudalist 16:45, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm sure Thompson used her image only because she was Prime Minister and thus a very well-known face to the UK public at the time. The dogs salivate, but the Caravan moves on. Old Freudian proverb Martinevans123 (talk) 16:56, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
What does Penman reader mean? Hillbillyholiday talk 17:06, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Dating of main image on article

If Wikipedia aspires to be complete in details, I think the picture used for the sidebar should be dated and attributed. There are many public images of such a public person, and it would be appropriate to have them dated. I think the image in question must be an Official Portrait, but maybe post-premiership, so maybe there should be a caption with a link to an article about the tradition of official portraiture. Just a thought.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 12 April 2013

Good idea, but the photo was provided by the Margaret Thatcher Foundation, without any details about the date, photographer or original purpose. Formerip (talk) 14:51, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Economic recovery and 1983 election victory

Hi. I was about to remove the suggestion in the lead that 'economic recovery' and the Falklands war led to a resurgence of support that led to the election victory in 1983 - but another editor beat me to to it. I've checked this out here [1] and it is clear that immediately prior to the Falklands War in April 1982, Conservative support remained in the low 30's but by the end of April it had reached 43%, going on to hit 51% in May. That clearly demonstrates that the Falklands War was associated with a resurgence of support. There is no evidence of any 'resurgence of support' any time prior to this that could be attributed to 'economic recovery'. This of course is original research - but without clear sourcing to support the retention of 'economic recovery' as being responsible for a resurgence of support for the Conservatives prior to the 1983 election, it should clearly stay removed. Regards Fishiehelper2 (talk) 16:28, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

You'd need to actually read the article and you'd see where it was referenced later on. We don't normally need to repeat refs in the lead. Maybe we should. Ho-hum. --John (talk) 16:35, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
I think there shoould be more on her almost going the way of Jeanne Shattock too? Basket Feudalist 16:49, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Generally speaking, highly controversial articles, e.g. Evolution, Intelligent design, tend to have cited leads. Thatcher is divisive, but not that divisive. Why don't we just add a big comment at the top explaining that the lead summarises the article, and that sources for all claims should be found in the article text, but to feel free to challenge anything that isn't expanded on later? Adam Cuerden (talk) 17:42, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
I'd want to see the text as well on 'economic recovery' can you pull out the text you are relying on please ----Snowded TALK 17:46, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

The citation appears to be Sanders, David; Ward, Hugh; Marsh, David (July 1987). "Government Popularity and the Falklands War: A Reassessment". British Journal of Political Science 17 (3): 28. The abstract supports the claim, but, coming from a science-editing background, I'm dubious of using a single article which admits to having conclusions differing from the normally-agreed upon ones to make statements of uncontested fact. Do we have anything else that reaches these conclusions? r, failing that, is there evidence that this article achieved widespread acceptance? Adam Cuerden (talk) 17:55, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

(ec):Thanks, reading the abstract it makes it clear it is taking a contrarian view so I don't think we can depend on it. It cites other studies that come to different conclusions and heavily qualifies its conclusions. I'll read it at more leisure later but I don't think its sufficient to support the proposed text. ----Snowded TALK 17:59, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

And, checking what cites it, this equally-notable article states its conclusions are wrong: Adam Cuerden (talk) 18:00, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

bad link

The reference for:

"Details of Lady Thatcher's funeral had been agreed with her in advance.[234]"

requires a colon after the http (talk) 21:35, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

 Done. Thanks. Leaky Caldron 21:42, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

80% growth of total wealth??

I've deleted a startling claim (twice) that Thatcher presided over 80% total growth in personal wealth. The source is a book that I can't find on questia or any online resources. I see it on Amazon, so it's clearly a real book, but the referenced page is not available online. The notion that there was an 80% growth in total wealth in GB under her seems impossible given GB's GDP was around 2-3% annually under her (and 23% total). If this is a real claim, you need a better source. It's just too startling of a claim that doesn't make intuitive sense.Jasonnewyork (talk) 09:04, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Try a library, or buy a copy like I did. Sheesh. --John (talk) 09:21, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Everyone seems to just be saying "it's a valid source" without addressing the underlying point. I just looked at GB's site for the office of economic statistics, and this notion that wealth grew by 80% from 1979-1990 is really unfounded. It actually was flat from 1987-1991 (it goes on an arc up and down but ends up where it started), and it only grew about 18% from 1979-1987. I understand that you have a book that claims otherwise, but it just doesn't make intuitive sense given the economic landscape of GB during that period.Jasonnewyork (talk) 09:28, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Are you a published expert in international economics? I am not, but I suspect we may be looking at different statistics using different indicators of wealth. Marr does not claim "total wealth" as you say, but "total personal wealth". I suspect that this may relate to the growth of share ownership (privatisation) and the sale of council houses, as stated in the previous sentence. My original research or yours won't cut any ice here though. If there are other sources you wish to bring to the discussion, feel free to bring them. You lost a lot of credibility in my eyes though by calling Marr a "dummy source". --John (talk) 09:33, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Try briefly searching google for another source. The book is on 'British theatre' mind you. More can be gleaned in a more appropriate source pg 39 here to precis this 2nd ref - they are (more or less) wildly guesstimating when evaluating personal wealth in the UK for this period. Hillbillyholiday talk 09:39, 12 April 2013 (UTC) (p.s. i did state earlier that i was about to embark on a wee wiki-break, but i just can't tear myself away)
And you've got to love Marr, if only for this gem: "[a] lot of [political] bloggers seem to be socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed young men sitting in their mother's basements and ranting. They are very angry people." Hillbillyholiday talk 09:59, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
A better way of addressing both your concerns here would just be to add something like: It has been stated that total personal wealth rose by 80 per cent, however, as cabinet minister Sir Ian Gilmour has noted, the Thatcher era was : "characterized by inadequate, and sometimes deliberately misleading obfuscation of government statistics." [2]
John, I do like Marr, but he's not 'all that' by any means, did you see any of Andrew Marr's History of the World? I only remember I soon started to shout at the TV and my Dad suggested we watch something else! 'Facile regurgitation' was the over-riding impression. Hillbillyholiday talk 10:39, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
It's feasible for total personal wealth's share of GDP to have grown by 80%, if e.g. it started at 1% of GDP (or whatever) and reached 1.8% during Thatcher's period in office. Just a thought. But the Gilmour quote (a reliable source) casts doubts on any such govt. figures at the time. --TraceyR (talk) 10:58, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
My point entirely, Tracey. And not to talk behind Malleus' back (natch he's watchlisted this page - and you will raise yr head above the parapet, Malleus!), while it's clear to me in my very short time here that he's a fantastic contributor to mainspace (indeed one of the very best), and I at first kinda enjoyed his sarcasm and (brutal) honesty on various talk pages where i keep seeing the name, I can't help but wonder (out loud now) whether he talks to people like that in real-life? Do you Malleus? Hillbillyholiday talk 11:19, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Regardless of the accuracy of the statistic, we should be careful about misrepresenting it straightforwardly as an achievement. The growth in personal wealth under Thatcher will be attributable in large part to house price inflation. That's a success in some sense, but perhaps not when you consider what happened to house prices shortly after she left office (for the benefit of an international audience, they tumbled and many people were left with negative wealth). So, "Thatcher presided over an 80% increase in personal wealth" could be one spin. "Thatcher presided over a dangerous economic bubble" would be another. Formerip (talk) 11:27, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Awww you stopped the indent chain! I've already changed the quote, unless it's been reverted. Hillbillyholiday talk 11:33, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
To flog a dead horse(meat burger) on this topic, it would doubtlessly be the Tory party that first misrepresented this, and other statistics. The Gilmour quote leaves you under no illusions that it's at least fudged or whatever, the source is sweet really, once read it colours all judgement on Tory claims with figures. But it's hardly a newsflash, I remember it occurring to me that politicians were liars when I was four years old. A general suggestion is to be extra careful with stats even when quoted by good sources, they are so easy to misrepresent and we all know what percentage of statistics are made up! Hillbillyholiday talk 11:49, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
From what I can see in the Google Books preview, the Gilmore quote was not made in reference to the 80% statistic that we are discussing, so combining the two in the suggested way seems a clear violation of WP:SYNTH. Hardly a neutral party to quote either, given he was pulled from Thatcher's cabinet and opposed many of her policies Jebus989 12:01, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Okay, point taken here, the source of course is still perfectly valid, but a break in the sentence easily sorts the synthesis. Hillbillyholiday talk 12:11, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Gilmour was specifically talking about low-income families/housholds and noting that the method of publishing data had changed, making comparison difficult (possibly deliberately). To extrapolate to the position that all statistics from all sources about the Thatcher government are suspect is wholly invalid. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:24, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
We cannot mix unrelated sources like this. --John (talk) 12:35, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Agree, and splitting a sentence with a full-stop does not act as a magic wand.
I don't see any particular reason to doubt the statistic. But I think it is seriously wrong to just present an attention-grabbing number like this out of context. Formerip (talk) 12:42, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm gonna bring any further edits i think of making here first from now on, let consensus be reached by the far more experienced editors, and maybe let them add what they think necessary. I keep getting caught in edit-conflicts when i try (even here). I was going to replace it with the following (admittedly, i previously mangled the wording of the quote which is unforgivable really) any takers?:

"However, some(?) of the figures concerned with wealth, given are open to debate(?). as The Health minister under Thatcher Sir Ian Gilmour has noted stated: "Measuring poverty in the Thatcher era is difficult because of the inadequate, and sometimes deliberately misleading obfuscation, of government figures." Hillbillyholiday talk 12:44, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Its too strong a statement to be supported by a single source, especially when other sources cast doubt on it. I suggest we delete it, the stuff on share ownership is not controversial and can stay ----Snowded TALK 12:49, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
this book is on 'British theatre' mentions 80%. But from what i can gather, it quotes Gilmour. I'm gonna bow out of this one now for a bit folks! Hillbillyholiday talk 12:54, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
The Gilmour source doesn't even deal with the 80% claim. You can't use your own interpretation of one source to dismiss a second source on a different issue. Unless you have a source that shows that personal wealth (or whatever he is actually measuring) infact did not rise by 80%, there are no grounds to delete the passage.--Allthestrongbowintheworld (talk) 13:02, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Putting it there is using Wikipedia's voice to support a disputed claim. There are also weight issues. Maybe I should hunt down all the sourced comments about the poverty she created and add them in as well? It makes a nonsense of things. The stuff on share holding and council houses make the point well enough ----Snowded TALK 13:05, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
(e/c) That book, on a different subject, mentions it in passing but itself gives no reference for the information. I support leaving it out unless and until a better source can be found. Ghmyrtle (talk) 13:07, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
  • The Marr source and the data it supports have passed peer review. We will not be removing it to pander for recentism. If there are reliable sources which contradict Marr's assertion, please bring them here and we can discuss them. --John (talk) 13:15, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
The book is not a peer-reviewed source, but I think that misses the point.
It's a statistic which, presented out of context and without explanation, will tend to mislead the reader. It's an NPOV issue.
Firstly, many readers will think that the statistic means people were 80% wealthier in the sense that they had 80% more money to splash around. But the figure for that would be the increase in disposable income (if anyone can find that - in real terms - I wouldn't object to it going in the article).
Secondly, readers will assume that an 80% increase in personal wealth must be a good thing, but that isn't necessarily so. It's part of a broader picture. We should try to paint the whole picture, not just the detail that looks nicest. Formerip (talk) 13:29, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
I agree with everything ForerIP just said. Completely.Jasonnewyork (talk) 17:57, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
  • The Marr material is immediately followed by "Thatcher's premiership was also marked by high unemployment and social unrest,[239] and many critics on the Left of the political spectrum fault her economic policies for the unemployment level; many of the areas affected by high unemployment as well as her monetarist economic policies have still not fully recovered and are blighted by social problems such as drug abuse and family breakdown.[240]" which provides balance. To remove the positive while leaving only the negative would be to damage the carefully honed NPOV of this article. I will not permit that to happen. --John (talk) 13:18, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that would provide balance of a sort, but not the right sort, because it brings balance without clarity.
If we could source a statement such as "Economic policy under Thatcher led to an 80% increase in personal wealth, but this was largely supported by a housing boom which sowed the seeds of future economic decline", then I would describe that as balanced. Formerip (talk) 13:29, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
How is adding 'A housing boom which sowed the seeds of future economic decline' balanced? That's some dubious biased POV shiz going on there.--Allthestrongbowintheworld (talk) 14:42, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

(edit conflict)*2 The simple statement "Total personal wealth rose by 80 per cent." is ambiguous. If sourced fine, include it, but it would be preferable to qualify it, for example "Total personal wealth as measured by x,y,z rose by 80 per cent." Otherwise it is a rather abstract statement lacking readership clarity. Leaky Caldron 13:32, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, someone feel free to tell me to piss off, I just can't bloody leave! IMO John is absolutely right to leave the quote there until someone can directly challenge it for the reasons he stated, please note, i didn't delete John's reference. Clearly, I was a bit hasty in my earlier edits and misrepresented the Gilmour quote (lesson learnt!) - Having said that, I think the Gilmour quote should be in there (not necessarily next to the 80% bit) as a possible counterbalance. Hillbillyholiday talk 13:38, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Per Leaky Caldron and FormerIP. We should not be including facts that are subject to various interpretations, or difficulties of understanding, even when they are set out that way in reliable sources. Any reasonable reader would read the statement about the increase in personal wealth and say "What does that mean?" If it can't be explained, either from the Marr source or from other sources, it should be left out. Ghmyrtle (talk) 13:42, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Concur----Snowded TALK 14:48, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Here is the Marr source [3] for those who do not have it. WWGB (talk) 14:51, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
It would be really, really helpful if someone who has the book (yes, I know I can get it from the library, but to save time) could give the precise quote from Marr's book. Does he leave it as baldly unexplained as the summary suggests? Ghmyrtle (talk) 15:47, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

The proportion of adults holding shares rose from 7 per cent when Labour left office to 25 per cent when Thatcher did. Thanks to the "right to buy" policy, more than a million families purchased their council houses, repainting and refurbishing them and watching their value shoot up, particularly since they had been sold them at a discount of between 33 and 50 percent. The proportion of owner-occupied homes rose from 55 per cent of the total in 1979 to 67 per cent a decade later. And people did indeed become much wealthier, overall, during the Tory years. In real terms, total personal wealth rose by 80 per cent in the eighties, entirely changing the terms of trade of ordinary politics. Old Labour was killed off not in the Commons but in the shopping centre and the estate agents' office.

--John (talk) 16:08, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

An increase of 80% is entirely believable, and I'm not sure why some people think it is not. Mr Stephen (talk) 15:32, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes, but part of the issue is how meaningful and interpretable it is if it is just stuck out there on its own.
By way of comparison, wages in the Soviet Union increased dramatically in 1988 and 1989 (8% and 13% according to this source). That sounds like a good thing, but you can probably guess that it doesn't tell the whole story. Formerip (talk) 16:00, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
80% of what? Define "personal wealth". Ghmyrtle (talk) 15:47, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Seriously? --John (talk) 15:50, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Assuming this is a serious question for a moment, here is a basic description. This is elementary stuff, Ghmyrtle. --John (talk) 15:53, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
(e/c)Yes, but your latest edit is quite a helpful elaboration. Thank you. Why be obnoxious when you can be collaborative?Ghmyrtle (talk) 15:54, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
PS: To quote that article, "What is and is not personal wealth seems very straightforward, but it can be a surprisingly complicated matter". Ghmyrtle (talk) 15:58, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
As it relates to companies being treated as individuals. Personal wealth is fairly simple; as the article says, it's liquid assets (cash, bank balances etc) + value of assets - debts. I apologise for being obnoxious; it was a lot of work to get this article into decent shape and I am not enjoying having to defend it against (no offence) everybody and their dog who suddenly want to turn it into a "kill the witch" party without even having read the sources. --John (talk) 16:18, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it's about "kill the witch", John. It's a particular figure that seems to have been picked on the basis of sounding good, rather than conveying useful information. We could measure the short-term success of the economic policies of the 80s by looking at GDP or average incomes, for example, which would also show a success. But the personal wealth figure is misleading. Formerip (talk) 16:22, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Personal wealth is a redlink??!! Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:30, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
I don;t think the quote really supports a blank statement on personal wealth, it needs a lot of qualifications to make it understandable. For this sort of thing you really need a proper academic text not a journalist ----Snowded TALK 16:13, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Feel free to bring your better sources to the table. --John (talk) 16:18, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Its the person inserting material who needs a source John. ----Snowded TALK 16:24, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Oh dear. That's [ two more bad edits right there. The first is referenced in the body of the article; we don't need to repeat the reference in the lead as we assume (wrongly?) that readers and editors will read the whole article. The second distorts the source; Marr does not explicitly make this connection. I'm walking away for a few minutes as this is making me too angry. Please don't completely fuck the article up in my absence. At least read the sources, or find better ones, rather than pretending they say what you want them to say. --John (talk) 16:27, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Fwiw, I empathize, but don't quite fully sympathize with you John, you correctly advized me to wait until all the hoo-hah died down in our discussion elsewhere. I've found it is easier said than done (walking away, that is) but you definitely have my respect for keeping going on the Thatcher mainspace (for how long now is it 'months' or 'years'?) Hillbillyholiday talk 16:38, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
The added material above still does not qualify the 80% claim. While share ownership and council house ownership would be obvious factors it isn't implied that they were the cause of the 80% increase. What is needed is Marr's source. As a factual claim it is poorly written and unclear since the definition of personal wealth is not universally standard. Leaky Caldron 16:32, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Agree I think it should be removed until properly sourced, and Marr is not good enough and I think, looking at the discussion above, that this is the consensus. However lets see if John has calmed down when he returns. Feeling angry does not justify accusing experienced editors of fucking up an article just because they disagree with you ----Snowded TALK 16:37, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Just think. Who do you think generates data of this type? Mr Stephen (talk) 16:52, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Like probably everyone here, i've got better things to do both here, and in real-life, than quibbling endlessly about one small sentence - can it be that hard for all you vastly experienced editors to reach Wikipedia:Consensus here and quickly move on? I've offered my opinion, there must be a way to incorporate John's source with a brief qualifier on the accuracy of said stat, without upsetting too many here? I reckon future historians will come to this very talk page when they want to study reaction to Thatcher's passing - so fix-up look-sharp everyone! Hillbillyholiday talk 17:03, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

OK, please could editors take a look at this page [4], which explains what I have been trying to get at better than I've been able to. About halfway down, under the heading "The housing boom" there's a couple of graphs and some text. It tells us that "This boom in house prices caused a rise in household wealth and increased confidence". In other words, there is a relationship between house prices and personal wealth. In fact, you can see from figure 4 in this pdf that residential property is by far the biggest component of personal wealth in the UK. So, when house prices go up, so will personal wealth. Now look the graph on the webpage for house price inflation. You can see it is as high as 30% annually, which helps to explain the 80% growth in personal wealth for the decade. But look how it falls afterwards into negative territory. What we are looking at is a housing bubble inflating and bursting. So, the growth in personal wealth, while it is certainly a sign of a strong economy, is also a sign of an economy going wrong. The problem is that just pulling out the 80% figure without elaboration fails to tell us the whole story. Formerip (talk) 17:34, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Nice research. That's really the point here. Plopping in "80% growth of total wealth" without any context of the broader market and what is actually happening in the economy is such a misleading and intentionally skewed POV data point, and your commentary highlights that point exactly. This statistic should be removed based on NPOV.Jasonnewyork (talk) 18:01, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for the endorsement. But I think I should say that there is no reason to suppose that any editor added this to intentionally skew or mislead. They most probably saw it in a book and thought "Wow! Cool stat!", which is perfectly reasonable. Formerip (talk) 21:03, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
I assume in good faith that everything in the paragraph is covered by the Marr - specifically this bit: "Shares in the privatised utilities were sold below their market value to ensure quick and wide sales, rather than maximise national income"?? Hillbillyholiday talk 19:25, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Really, you would expect another source for all that information. Hillbillyholiday talk 19:41, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Some extra sources for y'all:

Another 80% reference = The economy under Mrs Thatcher, 1979-1990 "Total personal wealth rose by 80% in real terms, while real earnings went up by 25%." (page 172)

Some on poverty in UK as a balance = Tackling Inequalities: Where Are We Now and What Can Be Done, "The Breadline Britain surveys found that between 1983 and 1990 the number of people who could be objectively described as living in poverty increased by almost 50%." (page 43)

1983 = approx. 14% households in poverty = 7.5M people

1990 = approx. 20% households in poverty = 11 M people (page 43)

"Roughly 10 million people in 1990 could not afford adequate housing." (page 44)

And some useful economic graphs from the Grauniad Hillbillyholiday talk 08:12, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

So...? My opinion is that the current wording, as amended by John, is necessary and sufficient. But it would still be useful and interesting to know where this 80% figure came from - maybe buried in some old official statistics somewhere, or maybe just thought up by someone on the basis of who knows what, and later repeated by many others (including Marr) as fact. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:51, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

The point is that this:

The percentage of adults owning shares rose from 7% to 25% during her tenure, and more than a million families bought their council houses, giving an increase from 55 per cent to 67 per cent in owner-occupiers from 1979 to 1990. The houses were sold at a discount of 33-55 per cent, leading to large profits for some new owners. Marr suggests that in consequence personal wealth rose by 80 per cent in real terms during the 1980s, mainly due to rising house prices and increased earnings. Shares in the privatised utilities were sold below their market value to ensure quick and wide sales, rather than maximise national income.[237]

whole paragraph covers the financial status for the people during Thatch's term, has loads of figures contained (which we've been arguing over here for a day), and is only covered by one source. I'm not going to amend the entry, just wanted to provide some back up sources to be thorough. Hillbillyholiday talk 09:41, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

btw Ghmyrtle, please note John hasn't amended the entry since he left the discussion yesterday afternoon - you were here! Hillbillyholiday talk 09:50, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
I meant this edit to the "Political legacy" section, which gave a bit more explanation. Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:00, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
Reading the extract from the book somewhere above I don't think that it is accurate to state that "Marr suggests that in consequence personal wealth rose by 80% in real terms". Such a construction is WP:SYNTH. Why? Because the only connection is that the various economic data presented are in the same paragraph. But the crucial bit about 80% is out there in it's own little sentence. There is no connective substance that binds it or makes it dependent on the preceding stuff about share & home ownership. Leaky Caldron 09:58, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
You need to be careful when comparing poverty and wealth. Wealth is an absolute measure; poverty is a relative concept. It is thus perfectly possible for everyone to get richer, yet the number of people in poverty to increase. Mr Stephen (talk) 10:06, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

Could we not just use the 25% figure for earnings increase cited by Hillbillyholiday above? That's a bona fide measure of economic success, as opposed to the 80% figure which is arguably a measure of economic failure (because it is just a proxy for an overheating housing market)? Formerip (talk) 11:02, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

And do you do inflation adjusted earnings? Context is all on this one and the danger is a misleading statement ----Snowded TALK 13:01, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
The 25% is already adjusted for inflation. That's what "real earnings" (the wording of the source) means. Formerip (talk) 13:31, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
I suggest (again) using the Gilmour quote (mentioned yards above) to show that the stats are open to interpretation, then show what figures you like. Hillbillyholiday talk 13:23, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
This is still original research.
I think if we could access the Johnson book properly, it would be a much better source than Marr. Formerip (talk) 13:31, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
Fine, but i think using the Gilmour quote is o.k.. Above, I implied linking it to the figures, but i meant to have the Gilmour stand alone, and let the reader draw their own conclusions r.e. the numbers in general. As a source within cabinet government (sacked or not) his voice carries some weight. Hillbillyholiday talk 13:39, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

The quote again to save scrolling. Can't see too much wrong with this statement: Health minister under Thatcher Sir Ian Gilmour stated: "Measuring poverty in the Thatcher era is difficult because of the inadequate, and sometimes deliberately misleading obfuscation, of government figures." Hillbillyholiday talk 13:47, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

Although, if only Gilmour had said "by" not "of" government figures, then the quote would be even better. Hillbillyholiday talk 13:52, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
OK, well maybe that can be noted, but not in direct juxtaposition to any particular statistic. Formerip (talk) 13:58, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
While I think the current articulation of this data is OK, and I'd be fine leaving it in, it still seems quite clunky. I wonder if it just doesn't belong under a section entitled Economics under Thatcher, wherein the complete landscape is laid out. But I'm too lazy to do that, so unless anyone else is feeling ambitious, it seems OK (though still awkward to my eye) to leave it in.Jasonnewyork (talk) 17:05, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
What, you mean we would try to give a balanced overview of her economic policies and their effect in a single coherent section? It's a crazy idea, but I think it would be worth trying. Formerip (talk) 22:17, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

Political legacy

Does not seem to mention curbing the political power of the trade unions. As someone who lived through the 70s in UK, one of Thatcher's major achievements was to break the trade unions' control of Government. I suggest something like:

Thatcher's refusal to accept trade unions as partners in Government, unlike the Labour Governments of 1974-79, significantly weakened the unions' political power, and this effect has not been reversed subsequently. Trade union membership in UK has continued to fall: down 12% over the period 1993-2003, the greatest decline in any EU member state (other than the formerly-Communist states of eastern Europe). (Ref: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:51, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

My opinion may differ. But neither my opinion nor your opinion are relevant here. What is important is what sources say, and the article presents a reasonably balanced and neutral summary of those. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:45, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
Is it fair and germane to attribute the continued decline in TU membership directly to her government when she had ceased to govern in 1990? Figures for the period 1979-1990 would be more germane.Cloptonson (talk) 14:04, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

Total number of people at Saturday 13 April 6pm celebration party in Trafalgar Square? Total at all parties?

When these figures get reported, they should be mentioned in the article. There could easily be 50,000 people today in Trafalgar Square in London alone, and there have already been gatherings in dozens of other cities in Britain and further afield. We are talking about coaches being organised, coming to London from other places, such as Durham, Yorkshire, Wales, Brighton, Bristol, etc. This is a major event of unprecedented scale.Crebble (talk) 08:25, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

We should wait and see what happens, and report what sources say about it. Given that one of the (anti-)organisers is saying that "up to 2,000" may attend, it seems unlikely to be of "unprecedented scale". Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:42, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
PS: Not much happening, it seems. Ghmyrtle (talk) 21:09, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

GA review

Why come Margaret Thatcher in 1987 anyway? Is it or not? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:31, 6 May 2012‎ (UTC)

GA Reassessment

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:Margaret Thatcher/GA4. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.

Basically, this article fails Criteria 4 (neutrality), and, through this, Criteria 3 (breadth). Thatcher was a very controversial politician, at the time and after, but the article actively minimizes this controversy. Some examples include the downplaying of the issues related to her being forced out of government - the Community Charge gets little more than a paragraph, and the issues surrounding it aren't discussed - and the Legacy section only giving space to her supporters, and leaving out almost all views of her detractors.

It's really more of an apologia than a neutral article. 86.** IP (talk) 16:45, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

To give some idea of how badly this has been gutted, here's how the section on the Poll tax continued before this article was last delisted for neutrality...

Thatcher's system of local taxation[1] was among the most unpopular policies of her premiership with working class and poorer citizens unable to pay the new tax and some being sent to Prison for non payment.[1] The central Government capped rates resulting in charges of partisanship and the alienation of small-government Conservatives.[1] The Prime Minister's popularity declined in 1989 as she continued to refuse to compromise on the tax.[2] Unrest mounted and ordinary British people young and old took to the streets to demonstrate, the demonstrators were met with horse mounted Police in riot gear and demonstration turned to riots at Trafalgar Square, London, on 31 March 1990; more than 100,000 protesters attended and more than 400 people were arrested.[3]

A BBC Radio poll in September 1989 indicated that almost three-quarters of the public were also against water privatisation.[4] Despite public opposition to the poll tax and the privatisation of water, electricity, and British Rail, Thatcher remained confident that, as with her other major reforms, the initial public opposition would turn into support after implementation. A MORI poll for the Sunday Times in June 1988 found that more than 60% of voters agreed that in the long term the Thatcher government's policies would improve the state of the economy, while less than 30% disagreed; although income inequality had increased: 74% of Britons said they were satisfied with their present standard of living, while only 18% were dissatisfied.[5]

The article has apparently been gutted for ideological reasons; a revert to an appropriate version may save it. 86.** IP (talk) 16:54, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Very little of the first paragraph is supported by the references. Is the second worth checking or is it equally rubbish? Mr Stephen (talk) 17:16, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I haven't refchecked; however, the point still stands: This article has less negative material than it did when it was delisted from GA for being biased in favour of Thatcher. If references need improving, that's a second issue, but both NPOV and good references are needed for GA. 86.** IP (talk) 18:23, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Are we looking at the same article? I think all of the article is verifiable against references. Can you give specific examples of material that you do not think is supported by references? --John (talk) 21:30, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
My comment above was narrowly regarding the quoted paragraph (beginning 'Thatcher's system of local taxation') from the old version, not anything in the article as it stands. (Though that has issues.) Mr Stephen (talk) 23:09, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Procedural comment. I note that this has been raised as an individual reassessment, so User:86.** IP has offered to make the decision to delist (or not) here, if s/he believes, after discussion and possible fixes, that the article does not meet the criteria. If s/he would rather another editor take this responsibility, or if the outcome seems likely to be disputed, it may be preferable to convert this into a community reassessment. Geometry guy 00:03, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. While it is always possible to improve an article, I would like to raise a note of caution here. This is a biographical encyclopedia article about Margeret Thatcher, the living person. It is not an article about her government, nor privatization, nor Thatcherism, nor the legacy of that government. Earlier versions of this article suffered badly from recentism and lack of focus: see the previous community GAR. The article was not "gutted" for ideological reasons, but rewritten for encyclopedic ones: it was riddled with poor sourcing and partisan material on all sides. Yes, there is a place for critical views in this article, and they should be presented with due weight according to reliable secondary sources. There are almost certainly some remaining imbalances in the article, as no article is perfect. If so, concrete examples should be provided, backed up by reliable secondary sources, and then we can improve the article. Geometry guy 00:21, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I really find it hard to accept the argument that one of the most divisive Prime Ministers of the 20th century doesn't need to have any discussion about the opposition to her. A politician's career is inherently bound up in his or her policies. 86.** IP (talk) 00:41, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Of course she does: now what discussions would you like to add, and what reliable secondary sources should these discussions be based upon? Geometry guy 00:52, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

I don't agree with what appears to me to be User:86.**'s narrowly political focus, as this is a BLP. I also think that Thatcher is far too controversial a figure for this disagreement to be dealt with by an individual GAR. I've done very many individual GARs in my time, but this is definitely one I wouldn't have touched; it needs more than just one editor's opinion. And if User:86.**'s decision is to delist it, then there will inevitably be a community GAR anyway. Malleus Fatuorum 01:11, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

I think that the political issue is the neutrality problem. This article is well-written overall, but completely whitewashing her political career cannot be justified under NPOV policy. 86.** IP (talk) 04:01, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
This article is about her, not her political career. NPOV has nothing to do with it. Malleus Fatuorum 04:10, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
It absolutely does if Premiership of Margaret Thatcher is used as a POV fork to hide all the negative information. 2 lines of K303 10:25, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Please remind yourself of the definitions of POV fork and Summary style before casting aspersions. Thanks, Geometry guy 10:46, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

The GA review was a joke in my opinion, and caused me to ignore this page for quite a while in case I was viewed as disruptive when consensus said it was neutral. Take for example this section of the talk page on the exact version GA was passed on. There is the relevant section of the article on the exact version GA was passed on. Well look at that, despite the problems with that particular sentence being spelled out on the talk page at the time of the review the GA was passed???? It has since been fixed admittedly, but are we really supposed to take a GA review seriously when things like that don't even get checked? Kind of busy for the next couple of days, but after that you can expect another in-depth critique of this embarrassment of an article. 2 lines of K303 10:23, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Those talk page comments (from 2010!) contributed to the delisting of the article, after which it was substantially revised, and re-reviewed, so why should anyone expect the discussion to be still relevant? Do you expect a review to trawl back through the talk page history of the article? Even as the editor posting that comment, you only found an issue that is no longer relevant! Do try to keep up to date, even if you are "kind of busy". I look forward to your in-depth critique, preferably based on reliable sources, and without hyperbole. Thanks, Geometry guy 10:46, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm going to go ahead and say this isn't going to get fixed in any reasonable time, so delisted for neutrality issues. There's simply no way an article which minimises all discussion of a controversial political leader's controversial acts can be considered neutral or complete, particularly when it does include quite a bit of praise from her supporters. 86.** IP (talk) 00:21, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

It isn't going to get "fixed" in the rather peculiar sense that you seem to mean that word at all, ever. But it is of course within your prerogative to delist this article, and as soon as you do I'll be listing it for a community reassessment. Malleus Fatuorum 00:35, 22 February 2012 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b c Cite error: The named reference polltax was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference msn was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ "Violence flares in poll tax demonstration". BBC. 31 March 1990. Retrieved 30 October 2008. 
  4. ^ "News of water sale's death greatly exaggerated", The Times (2 October 1989).
  5. ^ "All Thatcherites now", The Times (15 June 1988).

Full title of Baroness Thatcher

Just a genaral point on the introductory section. Her title, after accepting a peerage, is Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire (as noted elsewhere in the article) - so shouldn't this be stated in the introduction? Zebranation (talk) 14:40, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Apparently it isn't, it's The Rt Hon. the Baroness Thatcher LG OM.[5] See Lord Ahmed[6] (who isn't Lord Ahmed of Rotherham) and also Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon[7] (presumably they either get to choose how they want the title to display or, more likely, it's decided for them to avoid confusion with similar names, i.e. Lord Ahmed was raised before Lord Ahmad so didn't need any clarification). Bromley86 (talk) 23:16, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
Apparently it is. According to the official announcement in the London Gazette: "The QUEEN has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm, dated the 26th June 1992, to confer the dignity of a Barony of the United Kingdom for life upon the Right Honourable Margaret Hilda Thatcher, O.M., by the name, style and title of BARONESS THATCHER, of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire". EphenStephen (talk) 15:11, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Keen on demonizing the Lady?

This discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

It seems there is quite a contingent keen on saying how horrible Margaret Thatcher was as a Prime Minister, but I puzzled at how someone could be kept in power in a democratic union like Britain if they had no popular support. The idea that she was so bad that she requires fanfare and parties at her passing, despite having been given the post of Prime Minister in a nation that isn't a dictatorship is confounding. If there is honest criticism of some policies, then by all means include it here, but if it is simply a political disagreement over how one should best run a nation, let's be a bit more civil in tone and be a bit more classy, yes? -- Avanu (talk) 20:43, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

PMs are not elected by the popular vote in GB. They lead the political party that (usually) achieves a General Election majority of seats in Parliament. The PM is the leader of the Government party. While individual popularity is a factor, it is not a presidential style vote. Thatcher was divisive and her success was, at least in part, due to the lack of an effective and coherent opposition. She was lucky with the Falklands War. She was divisive because she is perceived by many to have devastated industrial working class areas, destroying mass working class representation while favouring a greed is good philosophy. She did not, as a matter of record, recognise "society" as we generally accept it. The celebrations are real enough, although mostly muted. I live in a former mining area. Leaky Caldron 21:03, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
"A democratic union...isn't a dictatorship"
The UK is run by a queen, the definition of a dictatorship. There is no constitution that says otherwise. If you think this means nothing, just ask Gough Whitlam.
I'm sure the native Irish appreciate how much of a democratic union the UK is...with its Special Powers Act and Internment in Northern Ireland, the protests of which were greeted by Bloody Sunday. Of course this "democratic union" also lacked a "one man, one vote" policy, which is what got the Northern Irish civil rights campaign going. Some democracy.... Adelson Velsky Landis (talk) 23:38, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

She was a vicious cow, though, wasn't she? Formerip (talk) 23:44, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

Now now.. Be civil! - Hillbillyholiday talk 00:20, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
This is not a forum for Thatcher haters to vent their vile anger. Fact of the matter is she won three successive general elections and was voted the 16th greatest Briton of all time in that BBC poll. At least have the courtesy to accept the fact that she has many admirers and stop pretending as if you're anything other than a loud and rather obnoxious minority.--Allthestrongbowintheworld (talk) 00:44, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
No, now it's a forum for Thatcher haters and Thatcher lovers (by the sound of it) to vent their views. Quite useful in this particular case, as it is good to know where editors are coming from in Margaret's case, and at least here is better place than the main article. Some contributors here have worked quite hard in sorting out some important and tricky issues. It can be a little stressful at times! Hillbillyholiday talk 01:16, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
Funny how the Thatcher 'dislikers' aren't the ones doing the personal attacks. Where have you seen a Thatcher 'disliker' say '"you Thatcher-loving melon-farmers"..? At least in this section, so far, it is the other way round. Hillbillyholiday talk 01:24, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
Its what happens with idol worship :-) ----Snowded TALK 03:55, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
Not sure I understand the references to Cunt & Nazism, Hillbilly. As far as editing the article, personal opinion should be left firmly at the door. Leaky Caldron 09:51, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Cultural depictions

I've mentioned this on the appropriate talk page, but thought I'd do so here too as it's the main topic article. I'm concerned about the lede opening for this article: "Margaret Thatcher in the arts and popular culture was mostly seen as a hate-filled, miserly figure". Although it's sourced, it comes from an overseas newspaper and I think it needs a bit of investigation as it seems very non-neutral to me. Paul MacDermott (talk) 13:49, 14 April 2013 (UTC)


Why is there nothing about allegations of war crimes? The Falkland war? Orders given by her? (talk) 17:46, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

Bruges speech

The article says "During a 1988 speech in Bruges..." as though it were just any old speech. The address to the College of Europe was a landmark speech which marked a turning point in British-European relations. We urgently need a new article on that speech which can be linked from this sentence, which also needs to be rephrased to stress that it was THE speech. --Doric Loon (talk) 13:56, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

Something must be wrong here

Right now this is written in the article: "Thatcher was not a candidate in the 1955 general election as it came fairly soon after the birth of her children. Later that year, she was narrowly defeated when she sought selection as the candidate for the Orpington by-election, 1955." But the Orpington by-election took place in January and the general election took place in May or am I wrong? Calle Widmann (talk) 15:29, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

She applied to be the candidate at the by-election at Orpington, and she said that she did not apply for the later General Election because it was too soon after the birth of her children. Mr Stephen (talk) 17:31, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! Calle Widmann (talk) 14:52, 18 April 2013 (UTC)


I do think the section on Thatcher's death is ridiculously POV - with street parties on her death, and protests during her funeral, that's so unusual as to be noteworthy. A balance will need struck, obviously, and we'd likely need to include some positive material to keep it balanced, but I think censoring the debate is simply not an option Wikipedia's NPOV rules allow. It's presented as a simple, mundane event, when it's unheard of for such things to happen. Adam Cuerden (talk) 14:24, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

it's unheard of for such things to happen Really? Who says so? You, or the reliable sources? If it's the latter, we could talk about adding something to the article. If it's just you, there are web hosts and blogging sites that can use your opinion, but Wikipedia can't. Meantime, don't think you can hold us hostage with a tag. The purpose of such a tag is to start a conversation. Consider it started. Where it goes next is up to you. --John (talk) 17:09, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
The coverage of the protests speaks for itself. It is not a common event and reliable source both say so and reflect it. The article as it is now is biased against including a clearly notable aspect of her death and legacy out of some misguided sense of respect for the recently dead that has no place in an encyclopedia. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:12, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
Bzzt. Not seeing those sources. --John (talk) 17:17, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
What you think doesn't make it so, so stop your daft tagging. Malleus Fatuorum 17:27, 18 April 2013 (UTC)


Since you seem to want an exact phrasing describing the event as unusual, which is not part of the notability requirements, you know, and neither is it part of the NPOV requirememnts - indeed, requiring it for positive material but not negative goes directly against the NPOV requirements... well, most newspapers have not felt the urge to state the obvious that something is unusual. It being unusual is a basic requirement for newsworthiness. But, as you can see, it's explicitly spelled out as unusual in reliable sources. Your move. Adam Cuerden (talk) 20:35, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

  • Well, thanks for coming here with your sources rather than sticking a tag on the article. Let's look at the sources in detail.
  1. Your first source is weak. It's American, and the subject was British. As a news aggregator, according to our article, "it aggregates news[20] and opinions[21] from print, online, television and radio outlets". Is this an opinion piece? It's actually a bloody interesting resource, and I thank you for pointing me to it, but as a reliable source on this article I have got to reject it.
  2. Your second source is an excellent one, but it contradicts your assertion about uniqueness: Of course, Margaret Thatcher's death wasn't the first to spark a Twitter frenzy. Michael Jackson's death was "stratospheric" and Amy Winehouse was huge too
  3. Your third source is also American. It does indeed say the reaction to her death was "unusual". It's a good source. Nevertheless, it is hardly the claim of it's unheard of for such things to happen that you came here with, is it?
  • Overall: Close, but no cigar. Remember, we don't need to be on the cutting edge here; as an encyclopaedia we have the luxury of deliberation. There is no deadline and I'd rather get this right than rush to press with something trashy and breathless. Don't be discouraged, as I do think there will be a consensus to include something proportionate and encyclopedic about the negative reactions to her death. Let's keep talking. --John (talk) 21:13, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry, you're clearly moving the goalposts. Would anything, in fact, satisfy you?
In the second source, you ignore the actual quote saying it's unique, and decide that because it mentions the almost entirely positive twitter storms about Jackson and Winehouse, the much more divisive Thatcher death isn't unique, even though the article says it is.
Wikipedia does cover things even if they may have happened once or twice before, in a different country, in a different context, with different emotions. Adam Cuerden (talk) 21:28, 18 April 2013 (UTC)Adam Cuerden (talk) 21:26, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
So far as I can tell, the only people claiming this isn't an NPOV problem are Malleus and John; who are basically engaged in shouting down anyone else. Adam Cuerden (talk) 22:36, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
Whereas you're basically engaged in making a complete arse of yourself. So far as I can tell. Malleus Fatuorum 22:43, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
It isn't an NPOV problem. Mr Stephen (talk) 22:51, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
I'll second that. Hillbillyholiday talk 23:44, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

After reading the comments from Adam Cuerden, John and Malleus and reading the article, I fail to see how the Seaction on her Death could possibly be made any more neutral. The reactions to her death that Adam is referring to is included in the political legacy section, "Thatcher's death prompted mixed reactions, including reflections of criticism as well as praise.[253][254][255] Groups of detractors celebrated her death in Brixton, Leeds, Bristol and Glasgow,[256][257][258] and thousands gathered in Trafalgar Square to celebrate her demise and protest against her legacy.[259]"; and in the main article on her death the protests at her funeral are covered, as well as other positive and negative reactions to her death. The Article certainly has it's problems, but the Death Section does not have an NPOV Problem. King of Nothing (talk) 00:03, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

I find it odd that this and this were not included. Those certainly seem notable. --Guy Macon (talk) 01:02, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

That should go here - Hillbillyholiday talk 01:15, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

The issue raised by Adam is a question of Neutral point of view. The question is not whether the reactions to Thatcher's death are unique — and John's insistence on evidence of such is unhelpful. Nor is the question whether the reactions are notable — they most certainly are, as is attested by not only by the sources Adam has cited above but also by the many sources referring to negative reactions on the Death and funeral of Margaret Thatcher article. The question is whether this article is balanced. This means: "representing fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources." Let's all please keep perspective on this. sroc (talk) 09:18, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

(Personal attack removed)

To paraphrase Basket Feudalist's comments (removed by John on the basis of WP:NPA, although the validity of this is disputed): nationality of a source is not a requirement for reliable sources (re: "It's American, and the subject was British"). sroc (talk) 09:33, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
I didn't say that it was, though I regret it if my simple and plain comments were capable of being misunderstood by a presumably intelligent person. --John (talk) 12:52, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
You said: "Your first source is weak. It's American, and the subject was British." Unless you meant to claim that the source was weak because of its nationality, saying it didn't help your point and would have been better left unsaid. The valiant efforts you make for improving the article are undermined when you make points like that which lead to unnecessary arguments. sroc (talk) 14:46, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
I see what you mean. What I meant then was that this source is not the best to talk about her "political legacy" following her death because it is foreign. As a UK politician her primary political legacy is obviously in Britain, then Europe, then America, and I would have assumed this would go without saying. If we wanted to talk about her "legacy" in the US I suppose we could use this source. It would definitely be the same if it was a US politician or an Australian one. To me though, this conversation reveals how thin the material really is; will this really be considered part of her "legacy" in years to come, a handful of street parties organised on Facebook and some sour politicians, and the chattering classes reading a few news stories about it? Similarly, it was Adam who raised the red herring of this being unique; of course it doesn't need to be unique to be mentioned here. It does need to be significant in the grand scheme of her life to be mentioned here, and properly referenced, and that is what we were discussing down below. --John (talk) 14:25, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying. The fact that the source was not British may mean it's not the ideal source but doesn't mean it should be invalidated on this basis alone; after all, if the reactions to her death are affecting her legacy across the world, surely it is also an indication of her impact at home as well. We may have even better sources to use tomorrow, but we can use what we have for now (subject to the sources meeting verifiability requirements, of course).
As for relevance to legacy, I suspect that the prominent, polarised reactions to her death are themselves an indication of her political legacy.
I can see why Adam may have been frustrated earlier, but it's good to see the fruitful discussions on track. sroc (talk) 15:02, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
I'll summarise for the hard-of-reading: "Don't be discouraged, as I do think there will be a consensus to include something proportionate and encyclopedic about the negative reactions to her death. Let's keep talking." It might be worth trying at this point to draft what sort of wording we want. It would be one sentence long, I think. --John (talk) 16:09, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Selectively quoting your own earlier comment doesn't detract from the false logic you used in the rest of your comment. sroc (talk) 09:33, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
Editors are also reminded of the following from WP:NPA/WP:AVOIDYOU:

Editors should be civil and adhere to good wiki etiquette when describing disagreements. The appropriate response to an inflammatory statement is to address the issues of content rather than to accuse the other person of violating this policy. Accusing someone of making personal attacks without providing a justification for your accusation is also considered a form of personal attack. (See also: Incivility.)

sroc (talk) 09:40, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
Editors are also reminded that article talk pages are for discussing improvements to the article, not general discussion or commenting on perceived editor behaviour, per WP:NOTFORUM and WP:TALKPAGE. --John (talk) 12:52, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

The extreme end of the negative reactions were undoubtedly unique and extraordinary, certainly in the modern era, which isn't really covered by simply calling them critics or detractors. This was beyond that, this was the expression of hate, released after being passed down. The Death section has to portray this bitter truth for it to be remotely credible. It is hardly a matter for the Legacy section, wich seems to have remained the same after her death. I suggest:

"Reactions to the news of her death were mixed, ranging from tributes citing her as the greatest peacetime Prime Minister Britain ever had, to public celebrations and expressions of personalised vitriol, including during her funeral."

Gruesome Foursome (talk) 19:34, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

  • That looks promising. What sources would we use? --John (talk) 12:52, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
    If think this hits the mark of what I wrote quite well, although obviously it doesn't support the last four words as it was published before the funeral. Gruesome Foursome (talk) 14:21, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
    The last four words don't add much anyway, so we could just drop them. Malleus Fatuorum 16:40, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
This discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
  • Houdini-esque manipulation of interpretations thereof, maybe...? Face-wink.svg What, too soon?!?! Basket Feudalist 13:47, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
  • I agree. --John (talk) 16:49, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

I've added the sentence minus the last four words to the Death section, with that source. Gruesome Foursome (talk) 13:52, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Looks good: neutral, clear and succinct. Malleus Fatuorum 14:08, 26 April 2013 (UTC)


Thatcher actually had a series of minor strokes in 2002. ( (talk) 18:30, 25 April 2013 (UTC))

So what? I expect she also suffered from a number of head colds throughout her life, and the odd bout of flu. The article in fact already mentions this anyway, and puts it in context: "Thatcher suffered several small strokes in 2002 and was advised by her doctors not to engage in further public speaking." Satisfied? Malleus Fatuorum 18:51, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
The lead could be better. At the moment it says She withdrew from public speaking due to ill health in 2002 following a stroke. Mr Stephen (talk) 18:56, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
It could indeed. Malleus Fatuorum 19:04, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Falklands in introduction

The polls show that support was already returning to the Conservatives before Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands on 2nd April 1982. ( (talk) 20:07, 25 April 2013 (UTC))

What's your source for that claim? Malleus Fatuorum 20:48, 25 April 2013 (UTC), you have a point. There was a slight resurgence in the economy and in Thatcher's poll ratings prior to the war. We used to have it in the lead but it got removed by one of the short-term visitors we had because it wasn't referenced in the lead. As everything in the lead was referenced to material in the body, perhaps we can have it back now that most of the visitors have moved on? It's still there in the body, and still referenced. --John (talk) 21:04, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
I have restored this; it should never have been removed. It is extremely well sourced in the body of the article. --John (talk) 11:10, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
It was removed per WP:WEIGHT in a previous discussion. ----Snowded TALK 12:19, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
  • It was removed wrongly I would argue. Th only source cited in that discussion was this one; it states

    This present article contends that the stepwise regression procedures employed by Sanders et al. are misleading, particularly when predictor variables are highly intercorrelated. Box-Jenkins analyses demonstrate that the Falklands strongly influenced Conservative support, net of the effects of macroeconomic conditions and personal economic expectations. The significance of the latter variable in the models confirms Sanders et al.'s argument about the role of subjective economic variables in party popularity functions. Non-economic variables are also relevant, however, and popularity functions that model them correctly will enhance our understanding of both the economics and the politics of party support.

The source the article uses is Floud & Johnson 2004, p. 392 which states

By 1982 inflation seemed to be coming under control - it had fallen substantially and was still declining. At the same time, the beginnings of economic recovery in terms of output (although not unemployment) helped contain the 'headline' deficit and so reduced the fiscal tightening that fulfilment of the MTFS demanded.

I am not seeing how the former falsifies the latter. We are not in the business of ideological wordblindness here, are we? That would be a shame. --John (talk) 19:12, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

    • You know I'm really surprised that you made the edit given that you had participated in the previous discussion, but didn't think to mention that. Ideological blindness of word or thought is as you say undesirable. The source is a contrarian one and you did not respond to the original questions and comments. ----Snowded TALK 19:27, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
      • Well, you've stated your opinion that the Floud and Johnston source is "contrarian" but you haven't answered my question; how does the article contradict the book source? I am all ears. --John (talk) 19:50, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

The claim in the article is that economic recover was a factor that lead to a resurgence of support for the Conservatives. I suggest that some editors should have a look at the opinion polls at the time so they understand the facts for themselves - available here [8]. Immediately prior to the Falklands War the Conservatives were in the very low 30% and rose within weeks to 50%. That was a resurgence, and that was due to the Falklands War. That is the reaon why the vast majority of sources state that the Falklands war led to the large rise in Conservative support. Regards Fishiehelper2 (talk) 20:47, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

        • Gosh. The text before you removed it was

          Thatcher's popularity during her first years in office waned amid recession and high unemployment, until economic recovery and the 1982 Falklands War brought a resurgence of support, resulting in her re-election in 1983.

You're disputing the causality of "brought", inasmuch as I can decode what you are trying to say. Your opinion about the opinion polls is not in the least germane here, I would regretfully say. We could perhaps use a different wording, if you think it goes further than the source. --John (talk) 21:12, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

The claim that I am disputing - as I'm sure you fully appreciate - is that 'economic recovery....brought a resurgence of support'. There is no doubt, as countless sources make clear, that the falklands war brougt a resurgence of support. However, there is little evidence to suggest that 'economic recovery' was a factor. I trust that is clear. By the way, I make available the opinion poll data to allow editors to see for themselves the evidence that 3rd party sources are commenting on as this will help us in deciding whether some opinions may be getting undue weight. Regards Fishiehelper2 (talk) 09:34, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

Margaret Thatcher Foundation

The article includes the following, "After leaving the House of Commons, Thatcher became the first former Prime Minister to set up a foundation; it closed down in 2005 because of financial difficulties.[197] " but I can't seem to find the closure in the source provided.

Also, seems to suggest the foundation is still running. In fact, it recently released personal papers from 1982. Can someone clarify? (talk) 20:04, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

The source quite clearly says "Thatcher was the first to set up her own foundation to try to secure her legacy and propagate her ideas, but funds ran out and it closed down in the UK in 2005." Closed down in the UK, not closed down full stop. Malleus Fatuorum 20:20, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
Nevertheless I have adjusted and clarified the text, and added another ref for the closure in 2005. --John (talk) 20:22, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
Puzzle solved. Thank you. (talk) 20:42, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

Friendship with Jimmy Savile

Margaret Thatcher had a friendship with Jimmy Savile the DJ and TV personality. It was discovered after his death he was a pedophile.[9] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Coachtripfan (talkcontribs) 16:49, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

What that shows is Savile currying favour with people in power - nothing significant or worth mentioning about Thatcher. Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:57, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Margaret Thatcher: Authorised biography

Those editing this article may be interested to know that BBC Radio 4's Book of the week this week is extracts from Charles Moore's newly published biography of Margaret Thatcher. You can listen to them at Richerman (talk) 17:56, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

To incorporate that material would require work Richerman, not just the exercise of ignorance, prejudice and lazy POV tagging, so it won't happen. Malleus Fatuorum 18:13, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Thatcher's Death

Why not include a reference in the section of Margaret Thatcher death that the Queen attended her funeral? The Queen's attendance is significant and indicative of Thatcher's importance(as a leader and a woman) and should be included in her biography. If the Queen regularly attended funerals, I would agree its useless information. However, the Queen rarely attends funerals outside her family. In her over 61 year reign, Thatcher is only the second Prime Minister(Churchill was the first) that the Queen has attended. It is worthy and should be included.— Preceding unsigned comment added by ksk2875 (talkcontribs)

I weakly disagree. We don't need the Queen's attendance at her funeral to establish her uniqueness. It certainly belongs in the death article though. Not sure about here. --John (talk) 20:39, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
Are you editor or protector of this article? Can your weak disagreement prohibit me from adding context and relevance to this biography? --User:ksk2875 (talk)
No to both, but you do need consensus to add this and I don't see it. --John (talk) 12:01, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

Father scandal

It is claimed her father the grocery shop owner, Alfred Roberts, used to grope young female assistants [10](Coachtripfan (talk) 13:26, 2 May 2013 (UTC))

Relevance to this article? Nil. Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:47, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
Campbell, vol 1: "... unsubstantiated and dismissed by those who knew him." Mr Stephen (talk) 16:57, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
... and besides, the literary outcome is still in need of some scrutiny. Allegedly. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:47, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

Thatcher's Death

Why not include a reference in the section of Margaret Thatcher death that the Queen attended her funeral? The Queen's attendance is significant and indicative of Thatcher's importance(as a leader and a woman) and should be included in her biography. If the Queen regularly attended funerals, I would agree its useless information. However, the Queen rarely attends funerals outside her family. In her over 61 year reign, Thatcher is only the second Prime Minister(Churchill was the first) that the Queen has attended. It is worthy and should be included.— Preceding unsigned comment added by ksk2875 (talkcontribs)

I weakly disagree. We don't need the Queen's attendance at her funeral to establish her uniqueness. It certainly belongs in the death article though. Not sure about here. --John (talk) 20:39, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
Are you editor or protector of this article? Can your weak disagreement prohibit me from adding context and relevance to this biography? --User:ksk2875 (talk)
No to both, but you do need consensus to add this and I don't see it. --John (talk) 12:01, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

Father scandal

It is claimed her father the grocery shop owner, Alfred Roberts, used to grope young female assistants [11](Coachtripfan (talk) 13:26, 2 May 2013 (UTC))

Relevance to this article? Nil. Ghmyrtle (talk) 14:47, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
Campbell, vol 1: "... unsubstantiated and dismissed by those who knew him." Mr Stephen (talk) 16:57, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
... and besides, the literary outcome is still in need of some scrutiny. Allegedly. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:47, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

Thatcher-SAS-Pol Polt

[here]João bonomo (talk) 10:16, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Was British foreign policy in Cambodia ever considered a major part of Margaret Thatcher's politics? Was it associated with her personally? Mr Stephen (talk) 17:50, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes.Just like nixon. João bonomo (talk) 15:18, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

Thatcher's Famine Irish grandmother

Alf Robert's mother Ellen Smith was born in Ringstead Northamptonshire to parents Catherine Sullivan and Thomas Smith. By the time of the 1861 census Thomas had died but the census reveals that Ellen's parents were one of 2-3 million who had fled the aftermath of the Great Famine in Ireland 1847-51. The census records that their two oldest children,John 1840 and Mary 1844, were born in Kenmare in the early 1840s and there is a significant gap before their English born children, twin boys born in 1853.This gap can only be speculated to have happened as a result of infant mortality from 1847-51 and the prime cause of that in the Kenmare area in those years would be starvation or associated diseases. These would be Margaret Robert's great aunts and uncles.

Ellen's birth must have been close to the time of her father's death and any possibility of memories passed on about her parent's Irish life would be diminished by the struggle to exist in a new country, new language and way of life.Her death when Thatcher was 10 could account for the fact that Thatcher seemed not to be aware of her Famine Irish connections. The respectable Alf Roberts may have deemed it a skeleton best preserved in the deeper recesses of the family grocery business. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:13, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

That's quite a lot of information to be drawn simply from "the census". Do you have any actual source(s)? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:15, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
Whatever it "could account for" sounds like original research to me - so, not appropriate for this article. Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:09, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

Interesting Margaret Thatcher and Leila Hatami Iranian actress

Interesting similarities between Margaret Thatcher and Leila Hatami Iranian actress See the link .It was very strange — Preceding unsigned comment added by Maryam Teymori (talkcontribs) 21:32, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

I removed this comment, as someone else did before, because Wikipedia is not a forum, i.e. is not intended for chitchat. Rothorpe (talk) 16:10, 15 August 2013 (UTC)


the assertion "The privatised industries that demonstrated improvement often did so while still under state ownership." seems contentious: any sources for it? Gravuritas (talk) 21:40, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

I believe this is sourced to here. --John (talk) 21:50, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

Heath and Thatcher

Rjensen's edit to "Heath and Thatcher never reconciled" incorrectly implies animosity on both sides, or at least does not make it clear which of the two did not want reconciliation. The section that he had previously deleted made it clear that Heath resented Thatcher winning the leadership from him, and that the resentment lasted until Heath's death. I am not aware of any source that says Thatcher had strong personal feelings, positive or negative, toward Heath, though her policies as they developed became very different from his in government. So Rjensen's wording is not as informative as my version. I'm sorry for the way worded the description of my own edit: I was trying to summarise the above as briefly as possible. Gravuritas (talk) 17:51, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

I agree with your edit. If you have ever seen interviews of Thatcher where she talks about Heath she always refers to him very informally as "Ted". Whereas Heath loathed her. In Douglas Hurd's entry for Heath in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Hurd states that: "She never regarded him with the resentment that governed his attitude to her."--Britannicus (talk) 18:59, 1 September 2013 (UTC)


One of the forgotten stories in all the obituaries of Margaret Thatcher was the ‘arms to Iraq’ fiasco, which led to a public inquiry, conducted by Sir Richard Scott, into “the export of defence equipment and dual-use goods to Iraq and related prosecutions”. The Economist summed up the inquiry’s findings as follows: “Sir Richard exposed an excessively secretive government machine, riddled with incompetence, slippery with the truth and willing to mislead parliament.”1

However, the Scott report, published in 1996, came before the release of 1981 cabinet papers under the 30-year rule in 2011. Those cabinet papers prove that the Thatcher government was selling arms to Saddam Hussein as early as 1981 and throughout the Iran-Iraq war. According to Sir Stephen Egerton, a former assistant undersecretary in the foreign office, who gave testimony to the Scott inquiry, the Conservative government had misled everyone about the sale of arms to Saddam - British companies were supplying military equipment to Iraq up to 1990.2 AD Harrison (talk) 17:45, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Is this the same Egerton?
'In 1993 he [Sir Stephen Egerton] gave evidence to the Scott enquiry into British military exports to Iraq after it emerged that Customs and Foreign Office officials had tried to prevent the appearance of defence witnesses at the 1985 trial of an arms dealer and three arms manufacturers charged with trying to smuggle machine guns to Iraq via Jordan. Two of the men had subsequently been convicted. Egerton, who had been head of the Middle East department at the time, said that he had been unaware of the interference by his junior officials, though he conceded that it had been "a bad show".'
Gravuritas (talk) 19:26, 9 September 2013 (UTC)


Strictly speaking she was Mrs Denis Thatcher not Mrs Margaret Thatcher.-- (talk) 14:17, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Following several years of poor health

Article today says, "Following several years of poor health..."

The ref talks about months, not years.

So I don't think Wikipedia should talk of "years of poor health" without good references. (talk) 18:52, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

What the source cited says is "Lady Thatcher’s physical and mental health deteriorated significantly over the past decade", which seems clear enough to me. A decade is 10 years BTW, not 10 months. Eric Corbett 19:18, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

The Thatchers with the Reagans standing at the North Portico 1988

The image entitled, "The Thatchers with the Reagans standing at the North Portico of the White House before a state dinner, 16 November 1988" lacks a reference. (talk) 19:02, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

It does indeed, but so what? Eric Corbett 19:11, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

This part;

in the 1950 and 1951 general elections Roberts was the Conservative candidate for the safe Labour seat of Dartford. The local party selected her as its candidate because, while not a dynamic public speaker, Roberts was well-prepared and fearless in her answers; another prospective candidate recalled that "Once she opened her mouth, the rest of us began to look rather second-rate".[14]

Ref 14 is just a link to a review of a book - [12]

I checked the book, and it does not explicitly state those facts.

Please remove that part, or at least tag it as 'not in ref provided" or someth, (talk) 19:13, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

But it is in the ref provided, David Runciman's review. Nobody is claiming that it's in the book he's reviewing. Eric Corbett 19:23, 7 November 2013 (UTC)


"Thatcher was hired by the tobacco company Philip Morris as a "geopolitical consultant" for $250,000 per year and an annual contribution of $250,000 to her foundation"

The source makes no mention of those figures. In fact, it says $1M, not giving any time frame/reason. [13]. (talk) 04:00, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Done Yep. Worse than that, it is an AP story which is reporting on a Sunday Times story. You didn't say what you wanted to change, so I removed that reference. The reference on the next sentence supports everything except the month, which I removed. Thanks, Celestra (talk) 04:23, 8 November 2013 (UTC)


"After the two-year negotiations, Thatcher made concession to the PRC government and signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration in Beijing in December 1984, handing over Hong Kong's sovereignty in 1997.[citation needed]"

-Please remove as unreferenced, tagged for some considerable time (talk) 20:55, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

Why didn't you simply cite it, as I've just done? Eric Corbett 15:08, 10 November 2013 (UTC)


  • "muddled the Falklands conflict" - verbatim copy of [14]
  • "proud of becoming the first Prime Minister with a science degree than the first female Prim" - source says, "she was much more proud of being the first prime minister with a science degree than she was to be the first woman prime minister" [15]

I've rewritten the first passage[16] but not the second. The latter is a reasonable paraphrase. But if you can think of a better way to accurately convey the meaning, feel free to make a suggestion. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 02:00, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

That would require a little bit of effort though. Much easier to complain and tag. Eric Corbett 17:12, 10 November 2013 (UTC)