The Iron Lady, the leader who had no time for diplomatic niceties, who was not afraid to stand up for the truth, who would not back down on the global stage. But the starry-eyed supporters of Margaret Thatcher who have filled the opinion pages over the past week are themselves besotted with a vision of Britain in the world that is both deeply anachronistic and dangerous. Nowhere is the folly of this view more apparent than in Thatcher’s attitude towards Europe, a view that was less a throwback to Winston Churchill than to her 19th-century predecessors. Like them, Thatcher saw the European continent as a stage for balance-of-power politics, with Britain holding the balance. In the 21st century, however, that view is likely to leave Britain outside global power circles altogether.
© The Financial Times Ltd 2014 FT and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.