4 October

It's the feast day of St Francis of Assisi, a man whose reputation can stand the damage done to it by Margaret Thatcher's appropriation of his words when she won the 1979 election.
October 2009

'I would just like to remember some words of St Francis of Assisi, which I think are really just particularly apt at the moment,' she declared on the steps on Downing Street. 'Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.'

Thatcher went on to bring discord, error and despair in great measure to Britain over the next decade. But since she managed to do so with the burning faith of a true fanatic, never let it be said that she was entirely incorrect in her homily.






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