On This Day…

aireyneave_young

30 years ago today on the 30th March 1979 Airey Neave, the Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and one of Margaret Thatchers closest advisers, was assassinated in the Commons car park by an Irish Republican bomb planted in the front of his car. The reaction from friends and political opponents alike was one of deep shock at the loss of one of the most iconic politicians of that generation who in his military career managed to escape Colditz Castle. A visibly distressed Mrs Thatcher said: “He was one of freedom’s warriors. No one knew of the great man he was, how great a man he was, except those nearest to him. He was staunch, brave, true, strong; but he was also very gentle and kind and loyal. It’s a rare combination of qualities. There’s no one else who can quite fill them. I, and so many other people, owe so much to him and now we must carry on for the things he fought for and not let the people who got him triumph”

The despicable Irish National Liberation Army released a statement a few weeks later stating “In March, retired terrorist and supporter of capital punishment, Airey Neave, got a taste of his own medicine when an INLA unit pulled off the operation of the decade and blew him to bits inside the ‘impregnable’ Palace of Westminster. The nauseous Margaret Thatcher snivelled on television that he was an ‘incalculable loss’—and so he was—to the British ruling class” The election of Margaret Thatcher to power just a few weeks later would see the terrorists, and all those who use violence as a political weapon, laughing on the other side of their faces…

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9 thoughts on “On This Day…

  1. “The election of Margaret Thatcher to power just a few weeks later would see the terrorists, and all those who use violence as a political weapon, laughing on the other side of their faces…”

    Sorry what does that mean?

  2. Its a broad statement in regard to Thatchers policy regarding terrorists and terrorism. When the Iranian Embassy was seiged in 1980 she authorised SAS troops to storm the building. When the IRA terrorists went on hungerstrike in 1981 she let the buggers starve to death when others might have flinched. When the Argentinians annexed sovereign British territory she fought them back. When the Libyans bombed a Berlin nightclub she let the Americans launch strikes from British airbases. When Iraq invaded Kuwait she was one of if not THE first Western leader to call for action aganst Saddam.

    What I was getting at was terrorists met their match with Maggie Thatcher. If you want to find the REAL architecht of peace in Northern Ireland its not Blair… its not even Major its Maggie Thatcher. She gave the Irish government its first real power in the provence with the Anglo-Irish agreement. It was her who sought out and silenced the terrorists and let them strave themselves to death. She deprived them of the oxygen of publicity upon which they depended and refused to cower in the face of their terror. She set the precedent that Blair and Major were to follow.

  3. In the case of the Iranian embassy it’s hard to imagine any PM giving in to the demands of the terrorists. As for ‘terrorists met their match with Thatcher’, that’s ridiculous. I agree with Thatcher’s approach 99.99% but to say that her approach ‘starved the terrorists of publicity is a bit of a joke. It’s not as if the world’s press didn’t notice the Iranian hostage crisis. People had been allowed to die in hunger strikes long before Thatcher. (The first was in 1917 but I’m sure you’ll find a way to give credit for that to a grocery store that was set up in Grantham 2 years later.) In the opinion of many, the results of those strikes actually led to greater success and publicity for Sinn Fein. In any case I don’t think the 100,000 people who atteneded Bobby Sands’ funeral were extended family. I suspect he managed to get some publicity after all.

  4. How many people attended his funeral is irrelevant. Yes there was a great deal of sympathy for him at the time that extended far beyond ‘family and friends’ but as with everything thatcher did in politics her action, or lack of, over the hunger strikers was never for short term gain.

    Almost everything Thatcher did was about the ‘bigger picture’ and the long run. In the long run her refusal to bow to their demands made terrorists realise that this was a woman who was prepared to let them blow themselves up and starve themselves if need be. She wasn’t caving to their demands and it paved the path for peace.

    In time the moderate majority came to realise she was right to do this, as did the Irish government, and significant foundations for peace which would stand the test of time were laid. The realisation she understood then when others were looking for concessions was we cannot let bullies and terrorists dictate Northern Irelands destiny.

    Just a few weeks ago Martin McGuinness came out and labelled the men who killed those soldiers and policemen ‘traitors’. These are the same people he would have once labelled martyrs or heroes. Progress has been made because people like Thatcher stood up to these cowards.

    The fact is people like Bobby Sands chose to take their own life. Its a pity the orgaisation to which they were attatched never gave such choice to their victims. If it were not for people like Thatcher allowing shocking things (to the civil mind) like the hunger strikes occurring then we would not have the peace we do today.

    And you agree 99.9% with Thatcher?! Jesus wept lol… shall I copy and paste that to your BULS counterparts?

  5. I agree with 99.99% with Thatcher’s approach to terrorism which was an appproach that had been followed for decades if not centuries. What I don’t agree with is this idea that she some how revolutionised the world’s attitude to terrorism. very little changed under Thatcher when it comes to terrorism.

    I’m saying that this statement is total garbage: “She deprived them of the oxygen of publicity upon which they depended…”. They got more rather than less publicity over their actions and continued their terrorist campaigns. Thatcher did not establish a new approach to terrorism but followede a sensible approach to it. It’s actually pretty pathetic that her fan club feels the need to pretend that she somehow struck fear into the hearts of terrorists across the world.

  6. Things did change under Thatcher. She was alot more hardheaded when it came to terrorism. When others might have backed down or said ‘its not our fight’ she got stuck in. When the terrorists such as Sands started throwing their toys out of the pram she said ‘do your worst’. When Argentina invaded the Falklands there were those on the Labour benches who called it an ‘unneccessary war’. When Iraq invaded Kuwait most of the world was united in its rhetoric and condemnation but reluctant to do anything about it. She stood strong and urged even the leader of the free world not to ‘go wobbly’. When the prevailing policy in regard to Soviet Communism has been one of containment she said that wasn’t enough.

    So yes her approach might have been not all that different in terms of actual action but it was in her decisive and determined nature that the difference lies. Other leaders took to long to come to their eventual decisions. She knew almost instinctively what to do and did it.

  7. “When others might have backed down or said ‘its not our fight’ she got stuck in.”

    Can you give a clear example of when other PMs would have actually backed down? and ‘getting stuck in’ might sound wonderful at a Tory pie-and-pea supper but it isn’t actually a policy. All your comments just describe what you like about her style.

    “So yes her approach might have been not all that different in terms of actual action but it was in her decisive and determined nature that the difference lies.” Decisiveness and determination mean nothing if they don’t change your actions. We all know you’ve ‘got a thing’ for Thatcher but don’t try and justify it by reffering to her terrorism policy.

  8. haha!! ‘pie and pea supper’… ‘got a thing’… I think i’ll leave it at that lol. It’ll make a nice conversation piece at the ‘pie and pea supper’ lol.

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