On the eve of the 25th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s 1979 general election triumph, Simon Heffer says the Iron Lady has a new spring in her stepIn her 79th year, widowed after a long and happy marriage, and having endured indifferent health, Lady Thatcher might seem to some to have become vulnerable, damaged and a target for pity. Certainly, a spiteful profile of her in a Sunday newspaper a few weeks ago gave the impression that the Iron Lady was now like a cross between Miss Havisham and Lady Circumference, a mixture of the tragic and the absurd.
Deborah Ross joins her mother on a trip down the aisles of Britain’s favourite food chainWhen I was growing up, my mother always went to Sainsbury’s, the Sainsbury’s on Ballards Lane, Finchley. I must have accompanied her sometimes because I can remember the marble counters, the rotating saw of the ham-slicer, turned by hand, and, strangely, hairnets. What she most remembers is that ‘for £7 a week I fed four children, one dog and a husband’.
Forget Dame Shirley Porter, says Theodore Dalrymple. If it’s real scandal you are after, consider the millions wasted as a result of public service corruptionDame Shirley Porter is the unacceptable face of corruption, a rich woman taken in gerrymandering (had she started off poor, no one would have minded). But though the sum of money she was initially required to pay Westminster Council in restitution was enormous, and the sum she agreed finally to pay pretty substantial by the standards of 99.
Rod Liddle says that Blair’s great U-turn on immigration has placed the Labour party to the right of Ray Honeyford — the man once vilified as a racistDo you have a core of Britishness within you? Trevor Phillips, the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, is anxious for us all to have one, even if we are not quite sure what it is. Trevor reckons he has one, at any rate. Perhaps it was implanted along with his OBE back in 1999.