"So signal was the Iron Lady’s character that she would have been a giant in any age. We should be grateful, however, that her talents were so peculiarly suited to the desperate situation in which this country found itself – and rue the fact that in our current straits, we have no one to match her. She may have divided opinion, and occasionally even outraged it, but she lifted this nation from decline and despair, and restored it to success, influence and prosperity. It is hard to appreciate the scale of her achievements, and to acknowledge the depth of our debt to her. But what can certainly be said is that, if she had never been prime minister, or even if the IRA had succeeded in its grisly work in Brighton in 1984, this country would undoubtedly be poorer, and the ambit of the free world smaller. If Britain is still Great, it is because of this greatest of Britons."