• Podcast 38 | Week of 14.04.2013
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AMONG THE GOOD Riddances this past week were exhibitions of ill grace from British citizens not yet born in 1979, the year Margaret Thatcher captured the office of Prime Minister. It happens that 1979 is a year I recall vividly — from the retreat of Pol Pot to the televised campaign ads of former California governor, Ronald Reagan, boasting (ironically, as it would turn out) his reduction of the public debt, to the Iranian hostage crisis. To remember the flavour of those days is to begin the accounting of Thatcher’s political successes.
It wasn’t long ago that one would hear it said the world will be a different place when women are in charge. But then came the masculine regimes of Indira Gandhi — from whom a politician as dirty and ruthless as Richard Nixon recoiled — and Margaret Thatcher. From then forward, the essentialist claim that female leadership is distinct from its male counterpart could be put forward only with laboured qualifications and irony.