Monday 8 April 2013

224. Stamps To Commemorate Margaret Thatcher?

With the death of Baroness Thatcher on 8 April 2013, collectors of Commonwealth stamps must expect a number of stamp issues to be released by various postal administrations to commemorate her very notable life. As the first (and only) female British prime minister she made a place for herself in history by that achievement alone but her achievements were far greater than that - she led a massive revolution in British society during the 1980's, drastically restoring the British economy and reversing the then continuing decline of The United Kingdom. She destroyed the strangling power of the trade unions in Britain and, Boudicca-like, she led the British in their defeat of the Argentines after their forces had occupied the British territory of The Falkland Islands (unlike Boudicca, Margaret Thatcher was victorious in her campaign with the result that the military dictatorship in Argentina was overthrown and democracy restored in that country after years of repression). She ruled Britain for a longer time than any other British prime minister of the 20th century. Eventually, after winning 3 general elections and more than 11 years in power, in 1990 she was effectively deposed by the treachery of her own ministers who politically assassinated her in a ruthless manner that recalled the murder of Julius Caesar by the Roman senators. By then she had had a strong political and personal relationship with Ronald Reagan, the President of The United States, and with him she played an important role in bringing an end to Communism in eastern Europe and the fall of The Soviet Union. She had justifiably been given the name "The Iron Lady".
  It must be the case that a number of territories will issue stamps to commemorate the historic achievements of, and remarkable life of, Margaret Thatcher. We must be very suspicious that Royal Mail has long had a plan in place for a commemorative issue to be released to note the passing of Baroness Thatcher - in a way the ground was prepared several years ago when on 14 October 2008 Royal Mail issued a stamp to commemorate Barbara Castle, a far less distinguished socialist female British politician, so that when the time came for a Thatcher issue, Royal Mail would be able to point to political balance in its new issue policies having already been achieved by the Barbara Castle stamp. Presumably, we may expect the announcement of such a stamp issue to take place in the next few days. I would not at all be surprised to find the offshore islands, Isle Of Man and Jersey, and possibly Guernsey, all joining in on a Thatcher stamp issue bandwagon and I imagine that they will also be joined by Gibraltar. Doubtless, some of the more exploitative philatelic agencies (we know who they are) will produce Thatcher stamps with their client territories' names printed on them and we can be assured, quite understandably, that Falkland Islands and South Georgia And The South Sandwich Islands, and possibly Ascension Island and the other Atlantic Islands, will all participate in what will amount to a new omnibus issue. This will be one issue that one can not deny that there is justification for - Margaret Thatcher, love her or loathe her, was a figure of immense historical importance and richly deserves to receive wide philatelic commemoration.

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