1 January 2009

“May we bring hope” – 30 years since Margaret Thatcher took office as prime minister

Barack Obama isn’t the first successful politician to talk about ‘hope’.

On 4th May 1979, Margaret Thatcher became the first woman prime minister of the UK, and concluded some lines from St Francis of Assisi with a contrast between ‘despair’ and ‘hope’ as she entered 10 Downing Street (see clip below).

The quotation was supplied to her by speechwriter Ronald Millar, who reflects on it (and how she delivered it) in the same video clip.

The New Year is a more personal 30th anniversary for me, as it was during the UK general election of 1979 that I first started recording political speeches on audio tape (video recorders had still to become widely available).

So I'll be using this as an excuse to revisit some of that early work in future blog entries, which will start with some comments on ‘Margaret Thatcher and the genesis of female charisma’ – that has some resonances for the likes of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin.


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