I saw her as thrillingly anti-establishment; as much of a punk, and as brilliantly British, as Vivienne Westwood, who once impersonated her on the cover of Tatler.
Margaret Thatcher had the virtues most valued in today’s culture: innovation, energy, daring. She was Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, and Lady Gaga all rolled into one — and a thousand times more consequential than any of them. In today’s techno-business jargon, she was the ultimate political disruptor: determined to shake things up, unleash competition, challenge and confront vested interests. To be transformative, being reasonable doesn’t get you very far. In government, it is unreasonableness that improves -people’s lives.
I’m indebted to Gerald Smith for his expert take on the health of Henry VIII. I don’t in fact endorse the Whitley-Kramer postulate that Henry was Kell positive and went on to develop McLeod syndrome; I just throw it on the table …
Hilary Mantel, Budleigh Salterton, Devon.