In this week’s Spectator Fraser Nelson offers his readers a funny little insight into ‘Operation Humanise Gordon Brown’:

"It is rumoured that his aides have littered little ‘smiley’ stickers throughout his paperwork, and inside his car, reminding him to grin at every occasion."

But as, I think, William Hague has said: Brown is learning how to smile but not when to smile.  In yesterday’s cliche-laden acceptance speech Labour’s great clunking fist grinned at nearly all of the wrong times.  One political leader who did not have smiley faces in her paperwork was Margaret Thatcher.

Thatcher1In today’s Sun, Trevor Kavanagh makes the case for Margaret Thatcher to win ITV1’s search for the Greatest Living Briton.  Here are some highlights from his article:

"17 years after she left Downing Street, her name is still invoked with awe by every rising politician across Europe.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel and new French President Nicolas Sarkozy are both hailed as the new Margaret Thatcher."

"Her reforms turned Britain painfully but triumphantly from the “Sick Man of Europe” into one of the world’s strongest economies.  They ended the tyranny of militants and Marxists such as Arthur Scargill, who tried to destroy her elected government.  She gave union members a choice on whether or not to strike — and mostly they didn’t. She gave council house tenants the chance to buy their own home — and overwhelmingly they did… We take these things for granted today. Labour would like to give the impression they nodded along with approval.  But they opposed her every inch of the way — because they loathed everything she stood for.  The fact is that if Tony Blair, Gordon Brown or Neil Kinnock had their way, we would still be at the mercy of union militants."

"I travelled with her as she broke new frontiers around the world.  She was the first foreign leader to visit parts of the Communist world — at the invitation of leaders who gained kudos from her presence at their side.  She can claim credit for standing up to the Soviet Union and, along with US President Ronald Reagan, helping to bring down the Iron Curtain.  Russians queued for a glimpse of her as she dazzled leaders including Mikhail Gorbachev."

"Political journalists knew where she stood before she opened her mouth. She was straight as a gun barrel."

Related link: Mrs T is top PM says BBC’s History magazine

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