Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Margaret Thatcher has died

I knew she'd been ill for some time, but I was so sorry to hear that Margaret Thatcher had died yesterday morning.  I had the radio on for much of the day, and the coverage was constant.  Henry Kissinger paid tribute to her, and I thought to myself that he must be almost the last of the great names from that era who's still alive. 

Among one of the items I heard on the radio was a CTV interview with Brian Mulroney.  He was very appreciative of Mrs. Thatcher, and spoke about how honoured they'd been to be invited to give eulogies at Ronald Reagan's funeral.  He said that when they were watching her pre-recorded address (she'd taped it the year before, because her faculties were already being worn down by dementia) she said to him (they were sitting together) "Bron, I've gone on too long."  He told her not at all, he'd have liked to hear her say more.  I wondered if she was really speaking only of the speech, or if it was a reflection on having LIVED too long.  I hope not - maybe she was only thinking that her speech could have been shorter.

He said another thing I remember:  that she worked tremendously hard to keep herself informed and educated on every topic she dealt with, even if it required staying up to 3:00AM studying documents.  At every conference, said Mulroney, she was always the best-prepared, "and she had the smallest entourage.  Just one or two aides, and Margaret."

What a telling contrast between the bumptious nobody Obama and his endless train of lackeys trotting and frisking about him.  

Obama's personal security staff itself will be huge, and it has already started making its own arrangements in Mumbai. "A team of secret service agents has already arrived, and has surveyed the areas of his stay and the roads and places on his itinerary," the officer said.
To ensure fool-proof security, the President's team has booked the entire the Taj Mahal Hotel, including 570 rooms, all banquets and restaurants. Since his security contingent and staff will comprise a huge number, 125 rooms at Taj President have also been booked, apart from 80 to 90 rooms each in Grand Hyatt and The Oberoi hotels. The NCPA, where the President is expected to meet representatives from the business community, has also been entirely booked.
The officer said, "Obama's contingent is huge. There are two jumbo jets coming along with Air Force One, which will be flanked by security jets. There will be 30 to 40 secret service agents, who will arrive before him. The President's convoy has 45 cars, including the Lincoln Continental in which the President travels."

Mark Steyn writes often about the royal pretensions of the supposedly egalitarian Americans, but this story of the imperial progress through India is the one that I always remember. 


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