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Open Forum: Margaret Thatcher's politics

The new leader in the Minnesota Senate, Republican Amy Koch, counts former United Kingdom Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as her political hero (Star Tribune, Dec. 24.), following Sarah Palin's identical revelation in her new book, "America by Heart."

What's odd is that these arch-conservatives, teeny-boppers during most of Thatcher's reign, apparently don't know about her decidedly leftish political views. Here are samples of public policies supported by Thatcher and her Conservative Party.

Government health care. In Britain the government delivers comprehensive health care for all. And yes, abortions are legal and paid for by taxpayers.

 Public-funded college. Students qualifying for advanced degrees don't pay college tuition, the taxpayers do.

Public broadcasting. As a regular listener to BBC World Service, I enjoy this 100 percent taxpayer paid news service with no advertising.

Gun control. This would surely shock "deadeye" Sarah, the killer of Alaskan fauna. Hand guns aren't allowed for citizens and hunting guns are regulated and licensed.

Prohibition of death penalty. No state-sponsored murder is allowed in the United Kingdom, a condition of membership in the European Union.

Public-funded elections. British elections are spirited and relatively short. Private money in electioneering is absent, avoiding America's version of legalized bribery.

Taxes. Margaret Thatcher, now 85 and retired with a government pension, pays overall taxes that are 40 percent higher than in the US.

So here's the truth about Margaret Thatcher. Not only were her politics to the left of Sarah Palin and Amy Koch, she was far to the left of President Obama.

Imagine this. Margaret Thatcher pays 17.5 percent sales tax when she buys her new car. Next she fills her tank with gas costing $7.30 a gallon (over 80 percent tax), and then (gasp!), she drives off on the left side of the road!

David Strand