Years ago when she was in power, I impersonated Margaret Thatcher… the suit I wore had been ordered by Margaret Thatcher from Aquascutum, which she then cancelled.
Margaret Thatcher was a hypocrite. That’s what I put in my head. I thought
there’s the child in the hospital bed and there’s the TV camera. I’m going to show the world how much I care.
The photographer Michael Roberts was going mad with delight, “and it needs one more thing, you need to put a little doubt in your head, do they believe me?”. That’s how we got her.
This cover for Tatler was blownup on billboards during English fashion week, even I had to look twice to believe it was me.
One week later Tatler’s editor Emma Soames got the sack – I’ve never asked Emma if there was any connection.

The Iron Lady:
I don’t think the film is going to show the real damage that she caused in the world.
She helped to release financial madness, now the pyramid scheme has crashed.
She’s definitely a woman of her time and our time, when will we wake up and take the long term view: Financial crisis is a symptome and the herald of climate change –  coming soon, apocalypse in 2020. Politicians are dumb (Obama never mentions the word, climate). When are we going to listen to the scientists. Stop climate change.

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  1. I just have a hard time looking past the things that she did right for our country- reinvigorating the economy, reforming outdated institutions, reinvigorating the foreign policy; saving the Falkland islands from the Argentinians.
    Could you explain how in your view, she is responsible for our economic problems?

    Comment by Patrick Hawkes on 11/01/2012 at 4:41 pm

  2. Dear Patrick,
    Margaret Thatcher was responsible for financial deregulation, getting rid of Britains exchange controls and our economy changed to a service industry. I thought of us as a Banana Republic – selling not bananas, but services – we serviced America and international finance. She was a disciple of Adam Smith, even today he’s on our banknotes and yet his doctrine of free-market competition is at least 200 years out of date.
    If she had had long-term vision the Iron Lady would have acted differently.
    She wasn’t the first Decontroler nor unfortunately the last. Others who came later gave the banks total freedom.

    Comment by Vivienne on 11/01/2012 at 7:07 pm

  3. Patrick, are you insane?… ok here are some things for starters she sold off our country, she brought in Poll Tax leading to riots and general dissent, mass unemployment, Clause 28 I mean I could go on and on here but I think you should really go off and learn this stuff and then come back and tell us what Margret Thatcher did right for this country?

    Comment by Anthony Thorpe on 11/01/2012 at 6:52 pm

  4. I am so glad you posted this image. I heard about it so much and I finally get to see it!

    Margaret Thatcher well and truly ruined this country, the true horror of which we are only just seeing today. Whilst, yes, she always stuck to her word, she managed to create an underclass of people, with no prospects. She managed to completely rip communities apart, communities which relied so heavily on mining as a means of living. And her wonderful ideas of privatisation have helped to create many of the problems which we have today; namely the distribution of wealth being so unfair, the rich seem to be becoming richer and the poor seem to be made poorer. Privatisation was a means to make a quick buck. Unfortunately she did not at all seem to have a long term plan, and we are now suffering because of this.

    Whilst I cannot, and will not, claim to be an expert on her politics (I am only 18 and was of course not there at the time) I know at least a little about the world and our country and I have no shame in saying that she was possibly the biggest factor in bringing this country to its knees, and we don’t seem to have worked out yet quite how to stand up again.

    I do apoligize if I have ranted a little here, but it is a topic about which I am very passionate.


    Comment by James Emmett on 11/01/2012 at 9:26 pm

  5. Margaret Thatcher was by no means a shiny penny, but to say that she caused to economic crisis in our world today is absurd.

    For a start off, the WORLD WIDE Economy is shit, so blaming Thatcher for the problems in the world is stupendous- there are for more realistic facts that provide reasons for the crap that the economy is in at the moment.

    You could say, that we no longer Export as much as we do- And to some extent you can blame this on thatcher, but its more realistic to blame the emerging economies of places like China, India ect where it is far more cheaper to produce goods. This isnt Thatchers fault, its companies exploiting the markets and profiting massively from it. Other reasons for the economy being wank, is the idea of corporate greed- which is related from what I have already mentioned. I think that one of the BIG issues that have caused the shit economy is WAR. Iraq and Afghanistan (and to an extent terrorists) have put massive strains on government spending, causing inflation!

    As stated, she pissed people off, ruined peoples lives. But she stuck up for what she believed in, adapted to new situations and represented the country with an Iron Fist.

    Comment by Nicholas on 11/01/2012 at 11:38 pm

  6. I love you.

    Comment by Patrick Hawkes on 11/01/2012 at 11:41 pm

  7. Ah. I love people who knock Maggie T.

    First off, brought this country to financial ruin? Over her 11 year term as PM, she rose the countries GDP by almost 25%. How is that bringing it to ruin?

    That aside. I don’t think it is wrong disliking a PM. It all depends where you are in teh country and what you do for a job etc. But remember this, when she got into power, she said that things would be tough, Britain was in debt, and there would be hard times ahead to work our way out of it. WHY was the country in debt? The previous LABOUR Government.

    And she was right, she had to do some unpopular things, that did cause riots, but that is purely because all the people who were used to hand outs, to benefits and not having to work or save, suddenly found life a lot tougher.

    However, people who did work hard, who saved, who didn’t borrow money, their life got much better over the 11 years she was in power. People however do not realise the hard times she lead the country through were caused by the “borrow now, pay later” ideas of Labour. They just thought it was down to her. But she put the country back on it’s feet, sure some things changed, and not all thigns I agree with, but we were in a damned better state than what we started with her.

    Until the next time labour got in, and did the usual, borrowed loads of money, gave it away to dossers who lived on benefits which of course makes them popular, til the country breaks and someone else has to clean it up.

    All this aside, main thing, the woman was elected to power three times. So she was doing enough right to keep a majority of the country happy…

    Comment by Adam on 12/01/2012 at 12:16 am

  8. Also, people who complain about “oh, the mines”, they still could have jobs and so on. She just took the power they held in unions, the fact that because Labour and previous Governments cowed to them, and wouldn’t upset them. She got in power and stood her ground, and that just pissed them off.

    She’s called the Iron Lady for a reason, and it is no bad thing. She aligned herself with allies she believed in, and stood up for what she thought right, and against those who needed it. Something more PMs should do, from all parties really.

    Finally, blaming any one person/Government for the current state of economy is daft. Sure, maybe someone could have handled it better, but we will never know. As it is, the World has gone down the toilet a bit, not because of one person 20 years or more ago. If anything the borrowing that occurred since she left power is partly to blame. But as someone else pointed out, our exports are lower because we do not make things like we used to, and other countries can afford to do it MUCH cheaper.

    Comment by Adam on 12/01/2012 at 12:22 am

  9. Of course she isn’t entirely to blame, but she started us down the slippery slope. We no longer have any control. By giving the rich the means to stay rich, regardless of the state of benefits now or then, it means that the rich stay rich, the poorest of the poor wil never have a chance.

    A good friend of mine said to me once that the Conservatives are very good at steadying the boat. Whilst many people were not a fan of her politics Margaret Thatcher did what, at the time, was neccesary and she ruled with an iron fist. An inspirational WOMAN maybe, but not an inspirational politician. The privitisation that she was enamoured with has meant that now we have to bow down to the people who have been given the opportunity to monopolise and control. This politics has paved the way for consumption and mass Propaganda on a huge scale.

    This blog is about fighting propaganda, reducing consumption and trying to understand the world I live in. I cannot help but feel that Margaret Thatcher very much got the ball rolling towards the state that our society is in today. A society in which consumption is king.

    Comment by James Emmett on 12/01/2012 at 8:05 am

  10. “This woman was once a punk”
    – How fantastic can you get?
    I honestly do not know enough facts on historical/political matters to start expressing my opinions on Thatcher, although from reading the posts above I seem to have acquired knowledge I didn’t know before, so thank you all.

    I’d like to reiterate what James has said, Thatcher seemed to be (from what I have learnt) the Queen of consumerism, .. ‘business as usual’ as it were – although an opposing opinion was that she stuck to her guns and she was a DOER, and she fought out against popular opinion, all be it, maybe not in ‘good’ terms, but we need a leader … or a cultural revolution that is going to have the same attitude (emphasis on the word attitude) as Thatcher, and just don’t take no for an answer.

    Not someone who will go to ‘war’ on climate change, as lets face it, the word; ‘war’ would imply that either side has an equal chance of winning. We’re dealing with nature here, Gaia, .. no way is there an equal chance. She wins every time over any politicians opinion. We need a human to vouch for her, in fact, we need the world to, not just one person, which is why I admire you so much Vivienne for enlightening those who don’t already know, and passing on knowledge.

    Comment by Sam on 12/01/2012 at 4:34 pm

  11. My response to The Iron Lady, whose short-term policies now look rusty.

    This will probably be my last response as I don’t want to get involved in the detail of the pros and cons of Thatcher’s politics.
    After reading all your responses I think Patrick Hawkins sums up the official view which many accept, and that she put the ‘Great’ back in Great Britain. I think it is a short term view and if you look at my Family Tree you will see why I think so: Thatcher agrees with the mechanistic idea of Progress; this leads to monopoly capitalism (I am not a Marxist but I must use this term as it is the only one we have which describes our system). Monopoly capitalism is supported by the trickle-down theory; if we leave everything up to business and the free-market everyone will benefit. (Adam Smith) In reality, competition leads to monopoly and big fish eat little fish (An example of this is the idea of poor people buying their own houses and when they can’t pay the mortgage then the house eventually ends up belonging to a conglomerate – or as happens today the debt owed to the bank is then listed by the bank as an asset)
    Yes, a lot of us got richer as the UK converted to service industries. We were called ‘yuppies’. And when we got the North Sea oil bonanza (surely something to do with Thatcher being credited with raising GDP) there were articles in the press saying we would be so rich that we would not need to work much any more and what would we do with all that leisure.
    Thatcher used the money to help business e.g. the electricity companies (now privately owned) were allowed to convert North Sea gas into electricity so that they would thrive in the competitive market; we would have had a lot more energy if we had used the gas direct (short term thinking with no view to general long term benefits or the environment).
    If I had really been Thatcher I would have used this wealth to reduce the size of classes in school, Education is the thing that could really enrich our country and surely all those extra teachers would help the circulation of money and wealth.
    Regarding the miners, I don’t see the benefit of a job where the miner spends 3 hours each crawling underground to the coal-face and produces 1 bag of coal per day. But is the answer simply to shut down the mines and add to the dole queue – which is subsidized by the taxpayer? – not of course by business.
    All this is what I mean when I say, if she had thought differently she would have acted differently. (Just as today if governments saw Climate Change as a priority they would act differently and we could stop it)
    The mechanistic outlook then, which supports only business interest represents
    the short-term conformity of Thatcher’s policy.
    Of course, alone she is not responsible for economic collapse, but by sticking to her principles she made more efficient the machinery which leads to collapse.
    You need heart and head to have vision and that’s why I call her a hypocrite: she did not care and used her status as a woman to pretend she did.

    Comment by Vivienne on 13/01/2012 at 4:05 pm

  12. This discussion is dominated by the Hindsight bias and Slippery slope fallacy. I doubt any party in power will ever be judged as “doing a good job” someone always gets upset. I’m pro-democracy but feel our system is too preoccupied with superficial issues, make sensationalistic attempts to “wow” the public, and participate in infantile verbal bloodbaths with the opposition as if playing a game! Albeit unrealistic isn’t it time to work together and jump off the monopoly board?

    Comment by James on 13/01/2012 at 11:58 pm

  13. P.S Great picture Vivienne, someone with photoshopping skills/know-how should emulate the Thatcher Illusion 🙂

    Comment by James on 14/01/2012 at 12:08 am

  14. I love reading the SZ Magazin (which is a German magazine once a week in a great daily newspaper that I never manage to read enough) but one of the nicest things of the week is the Friday SZ Magazin in which I read the interview with V.W. (of course not the German car :-)). Sorry, for my bad English. I am German – not 100% but I was This interview guided me to this website. Fantastic! I am not into fashion and therefore not into V.W. design but I really like your political awareness.
    UK is not my country and M.T. was not “my” iron lady, I wouldn’t say I know a lot about M.T. but obviously more than some of those who posted their thoughts here.
    She did what was necessary at that time? Sorry, I don’t agree. A while ago, I watched a critical documentary movie about M.T. and I remember one thing that her husband said: We didn’t know where the Falkland islands were when my wife started the war! Isn’t that sentence saying a lot about it? Many English people that I met so far actually said the same. So was it really necessary? She stood up for what she believed – OK but she stood up in the name for many, many others that did not believe in what she did as well. To say it simple: if I am a vegetarian and don’t eat meat, would I eat a steak just because someone else is convinced that a steak is healthy and I must eat it?
    No, not in my name would have been the right answer.
    And to think that M.T. does not deserve any critism for the current situation is wrong. My impression of politician (no matter in which country) is that they try to do everything that works to keep them in politics – no matter what will be after their time. Thinks that are decided NOW can and do affect decisions and developments in future as well. No need to give now a huge list of examples. We need politicians who care and who make substainable and not temporary working decisions.
    What we have at the moment around the world is fast-food-type of polictics and this is very, very scary.

    Vivienne thanks for this blog. You are still PUNK to me (and I never was :-)).

    Comment by Nina on 25/02/2012 at 2:10 pm

  15. I am old enough unlike many commenting here to remember . Thatcher created the exact opposite of hippy mentality She made people greedy and compete with each other but it was all trickery . She sold off everything that made Britain great all out biggest resources France owns most of our water , transport , car companies , gas, water you name it and she sold them ! Noticed a Falklands reference earlier . She made huge cuts to the naval defenses there ordered it herself and when it all kicked off played it down .Clause 28 was a law that meant children in schools were not allowed to be taught the existence of Gay people ! Why ? leading kids to have even more pressure on themselves thinking there is something wrong with them and leading to further mental health issues and suicides . The fact her own party turned on her as it is common knowledge she was so empowered she refused to listen to even her most powerful and wise advisors to her own detriment (thankfully) She had a fantastic PR team internationally that would have you believe she was this super woman . It took a labour goverment to lower the age of consent and bring in gay marriage also and abolish clause 28 . YES we are still suffering in this country as a result of what she did It is not just China ! Thats a ridiculous argument . The statistics of hat she did good for the Uk were merely re shuffling of figures and numbers to mask the truth . today still they are turfing old ladies from care homes , cutting funding to the most vulnerable and mental health services meanwhile they think nothing of spending 47 billion on a train service so you can get from Kent to Birmingham 20 minutes quicker ! ? Not to mention the Olympics . The tories have always been and always will be selfish liars They do things that could barely be describes as human There are many you dont even hear about How kind of Cameron to boast of 180 new jobs in Somerset . A hotel could do that No prizes for guessing why the French would want the power plant on our soil not there own ! (Japan is a clue) The conservatives only got in power by default The Liberal democrats conned us ! They wont be re voted in next time that’s for sure and they know it Long Live Vivienne Westwood for caring about the planet and people and peoples freedoms The depth she has inside transpires creatively to her fashions Inspirational genius for all the right reasons !!!

    Comment by stephanie starlet on 02/03/2012 at 12:15 am

  16. Dear Stephanie
    We seem to share the same opinions about Margaret Thatcher but not about nuclear power. Sorry, Stephanie, at one time I would have agreed with you about the desirability of nuclear energy but after much research and the inescapable fact of the urgency to stop climate change, we believe in nuclear power – we are not talking about bombs!
    The press uses scare tactics to spread their propaganda and feed the public’s fear of the very word ‘nuclear’. I suggest you read what James Lovelock has to say – see my blog ‘Imaginary Fears’, posted 24th August.
    You could also read what George Monbiot has to say on the subject throughout his blogs, especially You just might change your mind.

    Comment by Vivienne on 14/03/2012 at 4:05 pm

  17. So agree!

    Comment by Verónica Borthiry on 26/06/2013 at 4:08 pm