Controversial topic: Margaret Thatcher – for and against

A controversial topic with vocabulary to match highlighted in bold. If you do not understand any of the language, please ask me about it in the comments section and I will try to help with an explanation.   You can listen to me reading the whole text aloud on the grey audio player below.   Without any question of a doubt, the biggest news story in the UK in the last few weeks has been the death of Margaret Thatcher and the quarrels surrounding her legacy. She was the Prime Minister (the political leader of the country) for the whole of the 1980s. Not only was she the first female to be elected to rule a European country, but she was also the longest ever serving Prime Minister with 11 years in power from 1979 to 1990. In that time she made a huge number of significant changes to Great Britain, which are still being felt today. She was an incredibly controversial figure: you either loved her, or hated her. Even in death, she still splits the country down the middle into staunch supporters and those who despise her. It is very difficult to make an objective assessment of her political legacy, as she is still so divisive and the debate rages on as to whether she was good or bad for the UK. Some commentators have been saying that she saved the economy of Great Britain just before it was too late and others are adamant that she destroyed the fabric of society and promoted greed, money and individualism as the only important things in life. It is undeniable though that she is considered as a symbol of Great Britain. When people abroad think of the UK, the cliches are The Queen, The Beatles, fish and chips, Princess Diana, Winston Churchill, Harry Potter and Margaret Thatcher, right? But not many know about her political decisions that have friends and enemies alike:

  1. Taking away schoolchildren's free milk
  2. The Falklands war
  3. Fighting the coal miners and trade unions
  4. Economic deregulation
  5. Privatising state-owned companies
  6. The poll tax
  7. Selling off council houses cheaply
  8. Selling off school sport fields
  9. Scepticism towards Europe
  10. Helping end the Cold War

  The anti-Thatcher hate campaign has continued with:

  1. Some people having 'Thatcher Death Parties' in city streets
  2. Protest song going to number 2 in the pop charts called 'Ding Dong the witch is dead'
  3. Protests planned for her funeral which is costing £10 million

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