Amid all the suffocating claptrap celebrating Margaret Thatcher in the media, only the British themselves seem able to provide a refreshing hit of brisk reality.
Two important conservatives departed this life within days of each other. One was a world-historical figure with extravagant political gifts, the other's misgivings about politics led him to counsel Christians to undertake a political "fast."
Thatcher, who died Monday at 87, was a towering but polarizing figure. Many aspects of her legacy -- the transformation of Britain into a postindustrial society -- will long be debated. But one of her greatest contributions is beyond dispute.
The conservative Thatcher vastly reshaped Britain with her economic policies, pulling the country back from 35 years of socialism and ushering in a new era of privatization.