Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher — PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES For black South Africans in search of a powerful defence of affirmative action, whose story is best to tell? Whose career provides the greatest inspiration?Margaret Thatcher would probably not make it into the top 100 on anyone’s list. But the world is full of surprises.In 1958, Thatcher, a 32-year-old mother of two small children, competed to become the Conservative Party’s parliamentary candidate for Finchley in North London.She was up against three men. Each was considerably older and more established than she.This was not the first time Thatcher had tried to stand for parliament. She had been a member of the Conservatives for more than a decade and had run and lost two previous campaigns to compete for a parliamentary candidacy.Possessed of preternatural energy, she was nonetheless tiring; even the most persistent cannot repeatedly beat their heads against a brick wall.The day before the Conservatives of Fin...

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