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The Iron Lady is gone, but Thatcherism is alive and well

Commentary: Her influence lives on in the spread of austerity in UK and Europe.
Margaret Thatcher Conservative Party HQ 2013Enlarge
A portrait of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher hangs on the wall at the Conservative Party headquarters in Finchley in north London on April 10, 2013. British lawmakers interrupted their holidays for a special session of parliament on April 10 to pay tribute to Margaret Thatcher, who died on April 8 at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke. (Andrew Cowie/AFP/Getty Images)
The reason Margaret Thatcher’s death continues to divide opinions and arouse strong emotional reactions has to do more with the controversial legacy of her policies in the current economic environment, than with her personal history and individual qualities.
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Chatter: Should Britain stay or should it go?

Brits are offered a choice between in and out of Europe, Israel's new government will be same-same but different, and cheese finds new ways to kill you.
ChatterEnlarge
Graphic. (Antler Agency/GlobalPost)
Brits are offered a choice between in and out of Europe, Israel's new government will be same-same but different, and cheese finds new ways to kill you.
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Falklands referendum: Islanders to vote on sovereignty

"We are holding this referendum not because we have any doubts about who we are and what future we want," Falklands politician Gavin Short said, "but to show the world just how very certain we are about that."

Nancy Cameron: British PM's daughter, 8, left in pub

The Camerons were "distraught" when they realized the mistake, according to the prime minister's spokesperson, and immediately returned to the pub in search of Nancy.
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British Prime Minister David Cameron was on a charity run yesterday when word of a serious Tory party fundraising cash for access scandal erupted around him. (LEFTERIS PITARAKIS/AFP/Getty Images)

UPDATE: Bowing to pressure, David Cameron has published a list of Conservative party donors who have had dinner with him privately.  Details here.

Just two weeks ago British Prime Minister David Cameron was riding high. He had learned everything there was to know about basketball at President Obama's side during a highly photogenic and successful trip to Washington.

Despite continued tough economic news his Conservative party's poll ratings were up.

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Austerity budgetEnlarge
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer heads for the House of Commons to deliver his budget speech (tucked away in the little red box.) (CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

Budgets are inherently dull. Outside the Beltway do many Americans pay attention when the President sends his annual budget request to Congress?

But here in Britain, no mater how dull the details,  there are weeks of speculation about what the annual budget will contain in terms of taxes and measures to encourage this or that part of the economy. On the day itself, the 24 hour news stations go wall to wall with the story, statistics fly like a seminar in business school.

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Obama and Cameron meeting: British pundits' take

Divergent views of Washington DC love-in
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British Prime Minister David Cameron seems a bit overcome by it all during last night's White House State Dinner. British pundits are keeping an eagle eye out for signs that Cameron is succumbing to proximity to the imperial power. (Alex Wong/AFP/Getty Images)

When British Prime Ministers visit American Presidents pithy analysis flows among the British punditocracy like West Coast wines at a State Dinner.

Most of this comment is focused on the current state of the most over-used cliche in British journalism: "the Special Relationship."

A lot of the speculation focuses on it's dangers: "Is it more "Fatal Attraction" than "Love, Actually?" asked Channel 4's veteran Washington correspondent Matt Frei.

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President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have a lot of things on their agenda today, including the world economy. But I doubt the President will be so rude as to ask the PM about the latest unemployment figures in Britain.

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Scottish independence: is it only a matter of time?

EDINBURGH — The question of Scottish independence, which rose again in 2007, is a battle of identity and personality as a contest of ideas and policies.

Britain, Argentina: more Falkland's anniversary saber rattling

As anniversary of war approaches, Britain sends another warship to patrol waters around the Falkland Islands
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Prince William puts his helicopter pilot game face on at maneuvers last year in Canada. The heir to the throne's deployment to the Falkland Islands has angered the Argentine government. (Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

The 30th anniversary of the start of the Falkland war is just two and a bit months away. Most of the time this sort of anniversary sees old foes extending the hand of - if not friendship - at least respect and honor for the dead.

But not this time. As I blogged two weeks ago, the leaders of the two countries, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Argentine President Christina Kerchner were involved in some nasty rhetoric.

Now, the nastiness is escalating. Kerchner has arranged with neighbor Mercosur countries in South America to impose a ban on all Falklands flagged boats landing on the continent.

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