Previously published in Examiner
Part 13 of the Margaret Thatcher series
This series will now look at the only female prime minister of England and the only female prime minister of Canada. The series will end with three male governors of Quebec, so important to Montreal men and women’s history and the three female governor generals of Canada. Two of the three females came from Montreal.
To learn more about Canadian Prime Ministers and other Canadian or Quebec politics, both McGill University and Concordia University in Montreal offer wonderful political science degrees, that you may want to look into.
For further reading, Montreal’s Concordia University has a wonderful women’s studies program at the Simone do Beauvoir Institute
Margaret Thatcher Strong and powerful Icon for the Status of Women, in Britain, USA, Canada and Montreal, though her policies were not necessarily pro feminist.
The End of the Cold War Years and Political Alignment with US President Ronald Reagan
It was the last years of the cold war, and Margaret Thatcher identified closely with the US president Ronald Reagan as they both distrusted the Soviet Union and communism. Margaret Thatcher was in favour of the NATO decision to deploy USA Cruise and Pershing missiles over Western European countries. There were 160 cruise missiles in Berkshire, England at RAF Station Greenham Common in 1983. This stance again caused massive protests from the UK based Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) Instead of powering down as they wanted, she tripled the UK nuclear power by purchasing the Trident nuclear missile submarine system from the USA. This purchase cost the British people ‘£12 billion.
However, Thatcher was against the US invasion of Grenada in 1983, which was highly criticized in the UK, Canada, and the United Nations, for the Cold War politics. Grenada was just a small country of 100, 000 people. The US was against the building of an air-strip offered by Cuba. The Invasion of Grenada was hailed as “a flagrant violation of international law”
Margaret Thatcher’s strong defense ties with the USA was further employed in the Westland Affair. The British helicopter industry was failing. There was a rescue bid by an Italian Company called (Agusta) which would integrate Westtland, Agusta and British Aerospace (Bae). Instead Thatcher merged Westland with the American Sikorsky Aircraft Company causing yet another government scandal.