The intention is to write a long piece about the first volume of Charles Moore's authorized biography of Margaret Thatcher, Not for Turning, and I have started reading it. Unusually, the Preface is fascinating as it describes how the whole project came about and Lady Thatcher's own attitude and behaviour. Much of it Mr Moore told us at the launch, which was held, rather grandly in the Banqueting House in Whitehall, beneath the Rubens ceiling with the speakers standing by the window through which Charles I had stepped out to the scaffold. (But I digress.)
It is, however, fascinating to read how little interest Lady Thatcher had in self-analysis or in examination of her past life. In this she was the exact opposite of Sir Winston Churchill: for her the deed was the only thing that mattered, not its description (accurately or otherwise) afterwards.
Like all remarkable leaders, she had a great egotism. She always believed that she, and she alone, rescued Britain from its post-1945 years of semi-socialist decline. She believed that the "-ism" which derived from her married name would make a permanent different to the history of human freedom.But she was not at all touchy, or even anxious, about what history might say about her.A remarkable case of self-confidence. How many other leading politicians could show anything similar?