Michael Dobbs on Margaret Thatcher

Lord Dobbs

I rather enjoyed Lord Dobbs’ speech on the Second Reading of the Fixed-term Parliaments Bill, not least when he recalled his days working for Margaret Thatcher:

“I was fortunate, indeed honoured, to be with my noble friend Lady Thatcher in Barnet town hall in 1979 watching her own count on the night of her election victory. I was the first to be able to tell her that she had won. I was with her the following day in Downing Street as she took her first steps across the threshold as Prime Minister and quoted St Francis of Assisi:

“Where there is discord, may we bring harmony”.

Yes, I have to admit that I thought we had lost her there for a moment.”


About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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2 Responses to Michael Dobbs on Margaret Thatcher

  1. franksummers3ba says:

    Lord Norton,

    The “Prayer of St. Francis” is quoted bt then PM and now Lady Thatcher and is a beautiful bit of Roman Catholic Poetry. It is often rendered as a hymn. Almost certainly it was written not as forgery but as an homage to the man who brought peace to warring city States, Cathari and Orthodox doctrinal but bloody wars and to places where muslims and Christians had never discussed faith peaceably before him it is very apt. However, it was at once passed out a conference before being published elsewhere and therefore received as though it were his work and that caused it to become his most popular poem. As both a Catholic and a student of literature I find this tragic because St.Francis was in my view a rather great poet. The Canticle of Brother Sun, some of his little sermons on Christmas and other ‘fiorelli” only exist in varied corrupt variants but enough is there to make him in my view a truly great poet. I always feel a bit sad when someone as learned and eloquent as Lady Thatcher quotes this homage by an ecclesiastic schloar of the early nineteenth century or so as her link to his words.

    Just moaning as usual — no real point to make.

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