Emulate Margaret Thatcher, Santiago urges fellow politicians


Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The present crop of political leaders should emulate the integrity, competence and efficiency of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the first woman prime minister of the United Kingdom, who died recently, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said.

Santiago said the influence of Thatcher, called the Iron Lady of the ’80s, on world politics will remain indelible in political history.

She identified Thatcher, who was buried Wednesday, as one of her role models, together with Cleopatra and Marie Curie.

“She was a nonpareil political genius,” the senator said.

Santiago recounted to the Inquirer how she met Thatcher in Manila in 1994 after Santiago lost the 1992 presidential election to Fidel V. Ramos.

Epitome of forcefulness and conviction

“She was amazing. Lady Thatcher had obviously read up on me. She called me ‘Miriam’ and in effect taught me that in politics I should be thorough, passionate for change, tenacious and fueled by determination,” she said.

“Thatcher was the epitome of forcefulness and conviction. Like a student, I was so happy to listen to her,” the senator recalled.

Santiago said that when Thatcher came to Manila, she had lost weight but was still sharp as ever.

She described her British idol as a person of few words, a “disciplined mass of kinetic energy,” both intellectual and physical.

“I sensed that she did not suffer fools gladly,” Santiago said.

Santiago said that at the time, she brought to the meeting a copy of Thatcher’s bestselling biography, “The Downing Street Years,” and Thatcher obligingly autographed the title page.  In return, Santiago gave her a copy of her own book, “Cutting Edge,” which Thatcher requested her to sign.

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  • $5699914

    Thatcher: a stateswoman. a warrior. no non-sense when it comes to the defense of her nation. patriotic.

    Santiago: who????

  • Pinoy Bodoh

    Stop being corrupt politicians and raise the economic prosperity of your own country before trying to emulate leaders of developed countries.

  • Cue_Vas

    One thing’s for sure. Lady Thatcher never lawyered for the impeached official. Two as of last count.

  • boybakal

    Thatcher and Santiago have similarities…both fierce competitors, forceful.
    The only difference is…
    Thatcher is called Iron Lady, whereas
    Santiago is called Iron rust Lady….medyo may kalawang na.

  • $18209031

    Stop extoling the limey bxxxxx She is not revered in UK . The fact many Britishers revel in her death is an antithesis of who she is. Stop praising this limey bxxxxx.

  • ang_dagat

    I am really surprised that so many here admire this racist woman. Take note what she said to Bob Carr about Asians.

    I happened to live and work in London during her ‘reign’. I was a foreman on a building project with some 50+ workers under me. The majority of these came from ‘up North’. Many had to leave their families behind. Many were the only worker in an extended family. The stories were all the same. Father, brother, sister losing job due to factory closures etc.

    Thatcher sold the family silver in order to make the economy ‘look better’. That silver is gone for ever. Although there were some good points in what she did; in most cases the poor got poorer.

    If any other PM was in power at that time the peace process in Northern Ireland would have come about earlier, and thus saving many lives.

    So Miriam’s ‘model’ would ensure that all investment would be in Manila, and allow the provinces to become even poorer. Miriam, my dear, think before you speak. Surely you can find some other way to ‘get in the news’

  • ian martinez

    Mrs Thatcher was also the most hated, divisive leader in British history, she allowed the bankers to mushroom the national debt, creating the illusion of wealth with borrowed money. British people think of her like Filipinos think of Marcos.

    She liked to give the impression of saving taxpayers’ money, but after she was fired, she claimed 750,000 USD of public cash from the “ex Prime Minister” fund, despite being married to a multi millionaire and earning huge amounts herself from lecturing, she was just a monumental clever hypocrite

  • ian martinez

    Number 2 in the national music chart in England this week “Ding Dong the witch is dead”, TRUE!

    Thatcher was totally reviled in UK

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