‘House of Cards’ Creator: She Was Made of Steel

Monday, 08 Apr 2013 06:16 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Margaret Thatcher had to battle stodgy male members of her own political party to prove she had the chops as a woman to lead Britain, her former adviser Lord Michael Dobbs says.

“I saw her at times preparing to go into the chamber of the House of Commons on the verge of tears because she knew that because she was a woman they were going to try to humiliate her,’’ Dobbs told Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show.’’

Story continues below video.

“But she would dry her eyes and brace her shoulders and go in there and give them hell. But it hurt.

“Many traditional conservative party members . . . thought that she was a silly woman and that she would stand for one election, she’d be beaten, and then they could get rid of her and get back to business as usual. But of course she showed them a very different way.’’

Dobbs — author of the novel “House of Cards,’’ the basis of the smash Netflix series starring Kevin Spacey — said that when Thatcher was elected prime minister, the United Kingdom was demoralized and continuously ridiculed by the rest of Europe.

“Britain was a laughing stock. It was . . . described as being the sick man of Europe,’’ he said.

“We were on our knees, literally on our knees, and she threw her determination and her clarity of ideas and her willpower and helped drag the country back onto a totally different part.’’

Thatcher also suffered many personal tragedies during her time on Downing Street.

“In those days, being a British politician was a very dangerous affair. We had many of our colleagues killed, blown up by IRA bombings, and they tried to kill Margaret Thatcher,’’ Dobbs recalled.

“I was with her when the news of some of those terrible occasions when her closest colleagues had been killed . . . It was a huge hammer blow to be told one of your dearest friends had been killed because he was one of your dearest friends.

“But that didn’t get her down; that just made her all the more determined. She was called the Iron Lady but she was made of toughened, hardened steel.’’

Dobbs said when Thatcher joined forces with President Ronald Reagan they became an unstoppable force of change.

“What she and Ronald Reagan did was to transform our world. When they came into office, the world was divided into a nuclear stalemate: the Cold War between us and the Soviet Union,’’ Dobbs said.

“By the time they had left office and because of the work they both did and the stands that they took together, there was no Cold War anymore, there was no Soviet Union anymore and it was because of their resilience that the world changed — and the world changed for the better, by and large. They were a great pairing.’’

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