Thursday, April 11, 2013

Margaret Thatcher: “There is No Such Thing as Society.”

Interview for Woman’s Own (“no such thing as society”), September 23, 1987. Margaret Thatcher Foundation. Also find it here and here.

“No such thing as society”: what it means for today’s welfare debate. By Isabel Hardman. The Spectator, April 9, 2013.


I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand “I have a problem, it is the Government's job to cope with it!” or “I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!” “I am homeless, the Government must house me!” and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then also to help look after our neighbour and life is a reciprocal business and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations, because there is no such thing as an entitlement unless someone has first met an obligation and it is, I think, one of the tragedies in which many of the benefits we give, which were meant to reassure people that if they were sick or ill there was a safety net and there was help, that many of the benefits which were meant to help people who were unfortunate—“It is all right. We joined together and we have these insurance schemes to look after it”. That was the objective, but somehow there are some people who have been manipulating the system and so some of those help and benefits that were meant to say to people: “All right, if you cannot get a job, you shall have a basic standard of living!” but when people come and say: “But what is the point of working? I can get as much on the dole!” You say: “Look” It is not from the dole. It is your neighbour who is supplying it and if you can earn your own living then really you have a duty to do it and you will feel very much better!”

There is also something else I should say to them: “If that does not give you a basic standard, you know, there are ways in which we top up the standard. You can get your housing benefit.”

But it went too far. If children have a problem, it is society that is at fault. There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate. And the worst things we have in life, in my view, are where children who are a great privilege and a trust—they are the fundamental great trust, but they do not ask to come into the world, we bring them into the world, they are a miracle, there is nothing like the miracle of life—we have these little innocents and the worst crime in life is when those children, who would naturally have the right to look to their parents for help, for comfort, not only just for the food and shelter but for the time, for the understanding, turn round and not only is that help not forthcoming, but they get either neglect or worse than that, cruelty.

How do you set about teaching a child religion at school, God is like a father, and she thinks “like someone who has been cruel to them?” It is those children you cannot . . . you just have to try to say they can only learn from school or we as their neighbour have to try in some way to compensate. This is why my foremost charity has always been the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, because over a century ago when it was started, it was hoped that the need for it would dwindle to nothing and over a hundred years later the need for it is greater, because we now realise that the great problems in life are not those of housing and food and standard of living. When we have got all of those, when we have got reasonable housing when you compare us with other countries, when you have got a reasonable standard of living and you have got no-one who is hungry or need be hungry, when you have got an education system that teaches everyone—not as good as we would wish—you are left with what? You are left with the problems of human nature, and a child who has not had what we and many of your readers would regard as their birthright—a good home—it is those that we have to get out and help, and you know, it is not only a question of money as everyone will tell you; not your background in society. It is a question of human nature and for those children it is difficult to say: “You are responsible for your behaviour!” because they just have not had a chance and so I think that is one of the biggest problems and I think it is the greatest sin.

The GOP Needs to Talk About Bush: Part One. By Walter Russell Mead.

The GOP Needs To Talk About Bush: Part One. By Walter Russell Mead. Via Meadia, April 11, 2013.

How Vladimir Putin Beat FEMEN. By Matt Gurney.

A topless demonstrator with a message on her back walks towards Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, during their visit of the Hanover industrial Fair Monday. JOCHEN LUEBKE/AFP/Getty Images.

How Vladimir Putin Beat FEMEN. By Matt Gurney. National Post, April 11, 2013.


It’s certainly true that under Putin, Russia has slid backward into autocracy, and Putin has serious human rights abuses to answer for. He is an entirely legitimate, even deserving, target of protest. But Shevchenko is more right than she knows when she huffs that no leader of a European country would react the way that he did. And that’s the problem with FEMEN: Its shock tactics work best in politically correct countries where they’re least needed. Polite, civilized societies may be unsettled by angry slogans written across bare breasts, but in the countries where human rights are weakest and women most oppressed, the whole thing comes across as an amusing absurdity, at best.

Whatever power FEMEN had was invested it in by the politically correct discomfort of Western leaders when presented with anything controversial or, especially, sexual. That’s not going to work on Putin, a guy who poses for pictures (while topless himself, no less) of animals he shot, to show off to his own people how macho he is. Indeed, Putin has now given voice to what a lot of people probably feel inside — even though FEMEN often targets worthy causes with their protests, their tactics are, well, silly. They don’t help their cause by getting naked, and can actually hurt it. Putin has laughed at them, and that’s made him more powerful.

“I liked it”: Putin takes a different view protesters after being confronted by angry topless activists in Germany. AP. National Post, April 8, 2013.

The feeling isn’t mutual: Topless protester hits out at “bastard” Putin after Russian president’s ogling. National Post, April 9, 2013.

Vladimir Putin topless protest: Femen activist speaks out. By Jeevan Vasagar. The Telegraph, April 9, 2013.

Put Your Shirts Back On, Ladies: The case against Femen. By Naheed Mustafa. Foreign Policy, April 8, 2013.

Femen attacks Putin in Hannover. Video. Russia Today, April 8, 2013. YouTube.

More on Femen here, here, and here.

USC Political Science Professor Darry Sragow: Republicans Are “Really Stupid and Racist.”

“Stupid and Racist”: Video captures professor ranting against Republican Party. By Oliver Darcy and Josiah Ryan., April 10, 2013. YouTube. Also at American Thinker.

USC Political Science Professor Darry Sragow Tells Students Republicans Are “Stupid and Racist.” Video. America Live with Megyn Kelly. Fox News Insider, April 11, 2013. Also find video here.

The far-left running wild again. Video with Charles Krauthammer. The O’Reilly Factor. Fox News, April 11, 2013.

Christmas Abbott, Jacksonian Pioneer on the NASCAR Frontier.

Christmas Abbott hopes to become Sprint Cup’s first female pit crew member. By Bob Pockrass. Sporting News, April 10, 2013.

Meet Christmas Abbott, NASCAR’s first female pit crew member. By Andrew Sharp. SB Nation, March 15, 2013.

Christmas Abbott is a NASCAR pioneer as fitness buff becomes the first female to step into the pits full time. By Jaime Uribarri. New York Daily News, April 11, 2013.

Meet NASCAR’s First Woman Pit CrewMember: Christmas Abbott. Video. ABC News, November 19, 2013. YouTube.

CrossFit: Meet Christmas Abbott. Video. CrossFitHQ, December 5, 2012. YouTube.

Ann Coulter: Thatcher Wanted To Teach Palin How To “Speak Proper English.”

Coulter: Thatcher Wanted To Teach Palin How To “Speak Proper English.” Audio. Real Clear Politics, April 8, 2013. MofoPoliticsYouTube.

Coulter: Thatcher wanted to teach Sarah Palin “to speak proper English.” By Jeff Poor. The Daily Caller, April 8, 2013.

Did Margaret Thatcher diss Sarah Palin? By Robin Abcarian. Los Angeles Times, April 8, 2013.

Margaret Thatcher to Sarah Palin: don’t bother dropping by. By Nicholas Watt. The Guardian, June 7, 2011.

Margaret Thatcher refuses to meet with Sarah Palin. By Tony Pierce. Los Angeles Times, June 7, 2011.

Margaret Thatcher did not “snub” Sarah Palin: The truth about the Iron Lady and the former Governor of Alaska. By Nile Gardiner. The Telegraph, June 13, 2011.

Sarah Palin was not snubbed by Margaret Thatcher, former aide says. By Tony Pierce. Los Angeles Times, June 14, 2011.

Sarah Palin lines up UK trip – and a visit to Lady Thatcher. By Simon Walters. Daily Mail, June 13, 2010.

Thatcher and Palin? Out of frame, out of bounds. By Patt Morrison. Los Angeles Times, June 15, 2010.


One thing that I know, because I know people who know her, is when Sarah Palin first burst on the scene, the political scene, she wanted to have a meeting with Palin, because she saw raw political talent, but wanted to teach Sarah Palin to do what she did.

To teach her to speak proper English. Palin did not meet with her, and just a year or two ago, when Sarah Palin was promoting some reality show or something, she went to England. And she announced to the press that she was planning on dropping by to see Lady Thatcher, and Lady Thatcher put out the word that she was not available.

What, I think, a lot of us saw, that Sarah Palin did have raw political talent. And if she had been willing to put her nose to the grindstone and pursue improving herself, speaking proper English, reading stuff, knowing lots of things, she could have been great. She’s a fine person, but that isn’t what she’s pursuing.

Michelle Malkin Slams “Creepy” MSNBC Ad: “Hands Off My Kids!”

Michelle Malkin Slams “Creepy” MSNBC Ad: “Hands Off My Kids!” Video. Hannity. Fox News Insider, April 10, 2013.

MSNBC: Your Kids Belong to the State. By Rush Limbaugh., April 8, 2013.

Melissa Harris-Perry: Mainstream Lib. By Rush Limbaugh., April 10, 2013.

MSNBC-Melissa Harris-Perry says “kids belong to whole communities.” By Mike Shortridge. Washington Times, April 7, 2013.

Your Kids Aren’t Your Own. By Rich Lowry. National Review Online, April 9, 2013.

Melissa Harris-Perry “Doubles Down.” By Andrew Johnson. National Review Online, April 9, 2013.

A bizarre but revealing collectivist rant about kids. By Kyle Wingfield. Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 9, 2013.

Why caring for children is not just a parent’s job. By Melissa Harris-Perry. MSNBC, April 9, 2013.

Melissa Harris-Perry: All Your Kids Belong to Us (Not the Parents). Video. NewsBusters, April 5, 2013. YouTube. Also at NBC.

How 1960s Radicals Ended Up Teaching Your Kids. By Michael Moynihan.

How 1960s Radicals Ended Up Teaching Your Kids. By Michael Moynihan. The Daily Beast, April 10, 2013.

The Crisis of Realism in Foreign Policy.

The Crisis of Realism. By Jonathan Levine. The National Interest, April 5, 2013.

Moralism and Realism. By Paul R. Pillar. The National Interest, March 26, 2013.