Margaret Thatcher 336

By chance I knew Margaret Thatcher rather better than a junior civil servant might have been expected to, not least from giving her some maritime briefings during the First Gulf War. On another occasion Denis and I once got absolutely blind drunk in Lagos – I had been given him to look after for the day, and the itinerary started with the Guinness brewery and went on to the United Distillers bottling plant, before lunch at the golf club. I had to reunite him with his spouse for the State Banquet and quite literally fell out of the car. Happy days.

I can say I was on first name terms with her – she always called me by my first name. Except unfortunately she thought that was Peter. I recall she came out to Poland when I was in the Embassy there and I was embarrassed because she knew me, and thus greeted me more warmly than my Embassy superiors. The problem was lessened by her continuing to call me Peter very loudly, even after I corrected her twice.

In person she was frightfully sharp, she really was. If you gave her a briefing, she had an uncanny ability to seize on the one point where you did not have sufficient information. She also had that indescribable charisma – you really could feel when she entered a room in a way I have never experienced with anybody else, not Mandela or Walesa, for example. You may be surprised to hear that in person I found her quite likeable.

Yet she was a terrible, terrible disaster to this country. The utter devastation of heavy industry, the writing off of countless billions worth of tooling and equipment, the near total loss of the world’s greatest concentrated manufacturing skills base, the horrible political division of society and tearing of the bonds within our community. She was a complete, utter disaster.

Let me give one anecdote to which I can personally attest. In leaving office she became a “consultant” to US tobacco giant Phillip Morris. She immediately used her influence on behalf of Phillip Morris to persuade the FCO to lobby the Polish government to reduce the size of health warnings on Polish cigarette packets. Poland was applying to join the EU, and the Polish health warnings were larger than the EU stipulated size.

I was the official on whose desk the instruction landed to lobby for lower health warnings. I refused to do it. My then Ambassador, Michael Llewellyn Smith (for whom I had and have great respect) came up with the brilliant diplomatic solution of throwing the instruction in the bin, but telling London we had done it.

So as you drown in a sea of praise for Thatcher, remember this. She was prepared to promote lung cancer, for cash.

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336 thoughts on “Margaret Thatcher

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  • Jemand - The Truth Hurts

    Habbabkuk, I have a theory (prob. not original) but it describes a process of increasing entropy in the commentary of blogs in that they initially attract highly ordered, relevent, intelligent discussions that descend into chaos, disorder, hostility and stupidity. This process can often be seen in threads as well.

    A blog that is liberal in its moderation, like this one, also has qualities similar to high-rise, low-income housing developments. At first, nice people move in, friendships are formed, people feel secure and everything is mostly orderly. But after some time, a certain kind of social dynamic develops. Young males form gangs and loiter around high traffic areas, corridors, stairwells to harrass women and the elderly. Drug dealers move in, tenants form anti-social alliances. Neighbours fight and some folk don’t dare venture outside. Decent people move out, thereby accelerating the process of descension of an estate into a slum.

    This blog, has gangs, thugs, crackpot dealers, nice people who feel intimidated, commentators who fight back, alliances that exchange hostile comments. It has turned into a slum.

  • Michael Culver

    If any wish they may see a 6 by 8 ft portrait of Thatcher,Kissinger,Suharto and Bliar on my website. It was painted back in 98 and is titled “Batting for Britain”. A large screen will help. Enjoy. It,s companion picture is named “Taming the Timor” If you need it there is also a bit of text. B

  • trowbridge h. ford

    Right, I just dreamed up the following:

    1. The crash of the Space Shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986 with a laser satellite on board which could prevent any Soviet land-based ICBM from a successful launch by blowing them up while being fueled.

    2. The assassination of Sweden’s stats minister Olof Palme, apparently by Captain Simon Hayward who had been recruited for the job by a former Met Deputy Superintendent who liaised with MI6, and KMS Ltd. security service which evaluated the performance of Palme’s bodyguards, and killed him when they were nowhere to be seen when he returned home after seeing a film on the fatal night.

    3. The plan to blame the assassination on imprisoned Soviet spy Stig Bergling was completely frustrated by the KGB being informed of what was afoot, and making sure that Bergling did not flee to the USSR when he was on compassionated leave from prison to get married.

    4. The Soviet Intelligence Services has been fully informed that the Anglo-Americans hoped that Palme’s killing would lead to a non-nuclear conclusion of the Cold War, thanks to what Harvard scholar Joseph Nye had written in Nuclear Politics.

    5. Thanks to the spying by the Agency’s Rick Ames, the Bureau’s Robert Hanssen, the Israelis’ Jonathan Pollard, and the US Navy’s Walker spies, the Soviets were able to blind the West about fueling any ICBMs when Alexandr Litvinenko’s train inspectors discovered the Toshiba cargo container which was filled with sensors to determine any such efforts, and the Red Banner fleet was totally prepared to sink any effort to destroy its underwater nuclear deterrent by the surprise.

    6. To make up for Bergling not being made the scapegoat, the Swedish investigators tried to make the “Mad Austrian’ apparently aka Josef Fritzl, Christer Petttersson, and Victor Gunnersson look like Palme’s assassin, but to no avail, making it necessary to not only silence them, but also the Soviet spies who had converted the most dangerous incident in the Cold War into just another fiasco.

    7. The Brits in running their surveillance of East Germany had missed the 82, nuclear-armed SS-23 missiles which would have reduced Europe, especially the UK, to rubble if the shooting had ever started.

  • doug scorgie

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    11 Apr, 2013 – 7:09 pm

    I find it interesting that you support a racist white supremacist Habbakuk.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Doug “Son of Mary” Scorgie waxes indignant:

    “Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    11 Apr, 2013 – 7:09 pm

    I find it interesting that you support a racist white supremacist Habbakuk”


    But we only have your word for it that Jemand’s a racist white supremacist, don’t we Dougie.

    Given your track record on this blog, why should we believe you?


    La vita è bella, life is good!

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Jemand :

    That’s an interesting theory, Jemand, and I like the metaphor. What was this blog like at the beginning (as Mary keeps saying, I only came to it a few months ago)?

    This thread and the previous one are particularly dire, but this is clearly because the loonies are simply externalising and focussing their fears and frustrations onto an easy target. Why, some of them were probably still pissing into their pampers in 1979.

  • Jemand - The Truth Hurts

    How am I a racist and white supremacist, Dougie?

    I’ve never expressed hostility or attributed negative qualities towards any so-called “race”. I’ve never claimed white superiority over anyone else. You’re just lying to cover up the fact that you’re a hopeless idiot and a loser who had his nose rubbed in his own dirt. 

    For other people who might read this thread, let me make clear that I accept all people of all ethnic origins as my equal brothers and sisters. My daughter is half Asian, my friends come from different parts of the world. 

    The false claims by this fraud, Doug Scorgie, are the malicious insults of a person with a poor character and personality disorder. He expresses his frustrations in discussions by resorting to ugly lies. He appears to have low self-esteem for his personal failings and unattractive personality. So he attempts to compensate by attaching himself to a left leaning online group and mimics the sounds of those whose approval he craves. He even dares to attack perceived non-members to gain positive attention, but in doing so, he leaves a trail of evidence that reveals the sinister creature that he is.

  • Jemand - The Truth Hurts

    Habbabkuk, I’ve only been posting since last year, attracted by discussion of Julian Assange of whom I am a firm supporter. I think you arrived before me. The tone between various commentators was already openly hostile on some issues. The behaviour was very much like the bullying we observe in teenagers at school.

    There is something of a loose establishment, where some longtime posters think they enjoy special rights that free them of having to justify their political arguments and interpersonal behaviour. We can observe this kind of behaviour in other groups including those of other animal species. Chimpanzees are a good example.

    Some great conversations took place before and I was forced to rethink my positions on some issues, resulting in both moderation and reinforcement of my views. Lately, I’ve grown tired of the noise and pre-emptive hostility based on imaginary offences and presumed attitudes.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    Trowbridge @ 8:07

    I always enjoy your entries. If only you could supply corroboration for your experiences. I really mean that, even if you think I’m just trolling you.

  • doug scorgie

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    11 Apr, 2013 – 8:36 pm

    “But we only have your word for it that Jemand’s a racist white supremacist, don’t we Dougie.”

    No it’s straight from the horse’s mouth Habbabkuk:

    “In contrast to the crimes committed by various private people and mistakes committed by governments, the Australian government (Fed + State) spend literally billions of dollars to raise the well-being of Aboriginal people, EVEN to the point of funding exclusive radio and tv stations AND broadcasting of anti-white propaganda that uses the old tricks of sarcasm, exaggeration, omission and disdain. A minority of Aborigines, self-loathing white people and shabby journalists produce these shows as part of their far-left agenda. You are probably too stupid to understand, but there are quite a few Aborigines who hate white people. I’ve been spat on, harrassed and my one-time wife was called a “fucking Chinese cunt”.

    “Yes, I am creamy white, and male – the most hated demographic in the world today. But that’s my fault for being born that way and for all the bad things I did over the last few hundred years to other people all around the world. Pardon me all over the place for being born.”

    (Jemand – The Truth Hurts 11 Apr, 2013 – 6:01 pm)

    His ranting above speaks for itself. He is a White-Australian supremacist and I don’t think he is trying to hide the fact; he might be proud of it and you have latched-on to him for some reason.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Doug “Son of Mary” Scorgie (21h58) :

    Many might opine that anyone you badmouth must be a good guy.

    Seriously though, you misunderstand other people’s posts as usual. Or perhaps you just pretend to misunderstand to give yourself an excuse to sound off. You’re a bit of a troll, aren’t you.

    Just a thought for you to sleep on.


    La vitya è bella, life is good!

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    I note that the Bilderberg Group is getting a bit of an outing on this and the previous thread.

    Is this today’s conspiracy theory?

    I suppose it makes a change from the international Zionist conspiracy.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    Must’ve hit a nerve with ‘Bilderberg’

    Better contact your handlers…

  • Jemand - The Truth Hurts

    Doug Scorgie is white too, so by his logic he is obviously a white supremacist racist.

    This fool, seemingly without realising it, is contributing to the polarisation and tribalism that characterises interethnic disharmony in multi-ethnic communities. When extremist organisations form, like neo-Nazi groups, ordinary uncommitted people naturally find their aggression and hostility repulsive. But when ordinary people are falsely and maliciously accused of racism for naively discussing social problems in open, they are pushed towards sympathising with these organisations and supporting the likes of the British National Party which appears to be enjoying increasing popularity. My prediction is that the BNP will evolve, with the help of Doug Scorgie and his kind, to shed its most publicly disturbing attributes to find a sufficiently popular far right, anti-ethnic platform that will ensure its political success. Good on you, Dougie.

    The New Left, after a change of branding to divest themselves of their historical complicity in the horrors of Communism and environmental destruction of primitive heavy industry (amongst other failures), have claimed exclusive rights to anti-racism, multi-culturalism and interethnic harmony to improve their image. It makes recruiting young people easier. Followers of this political creed are just like the moronic followers of cult-like religions – Scientology? They learn the mantras and slogans without any comprehension of how they integrate with the greater social truth and set about like rabid Chinese cadres to harrass and cajole people into the new social order. Bullying is inherent to this dynamic, as Doug Scorgie ably demonstrates, and the result is a fomenting of anti-Left sentiment that makes recruitment into far Right groups more easy.

    Doug Scorgie has demonstrated the very same personal attributes of ethnic supremacists and racists of whom he has falsely and maliciously accused me of being one – ie dishonesty, intolerance, crudeness, superficiality, ignorance, hate, stupidity, aggression, superiority, exclusiveness, offensiveness and a pathological desire to control others (as far as that can be achieved on the intergoogle).

    And all of you who have read this unfortunate exchange, can see the deception that is being played out. Dougie has accused me of being a white supremacist and racist but cannot (will not?) reconcile his lies with the fact that I defended two black French-speaking girls against the racist abuse of a white skinhead on public transport (alluded to on other thread). Why would I do that?

    The moral of this story is – nothing is simple.

  • crab

    “all of you who have read this unfortunate exchange”

    Aint nobody got time for that.

    Heated garden fence disputes playing over the radio…

  • Jemand - The Truth Hurts

    Is this happening on this blog?

    There are many ways of bringing discredit to a blog. One way is to introduce anti-j*wish themes within the course of valid criticism of Israel to make it appear extremist. Another is to introduce so much noise, that casual visitors are overwhelmed by the shear volume and incoherence of unrelated information that they decide never to return. And yet another method is to infiltrate the core base of blog supporters by posing as one of them and then setting about attacking genuine commentators who contribute to important discussions.

    Nothing is simple.

  • Mary

    Doug Don’t waste your valuable time with these trolls with their own infantile epithets and their penchant for giving people playground names. I see you are being smeared by one of them by associating your name with mine. The other calls you Dougie, not for any friendly reason I suggest but as a putdown.

    One of them really likes the sound of his own voice and likes to display his/her perceived command of the English language.

  • Jemand

    “The other calls you Dougie, not for any friendly reason I suggest but as a putdown.”

    Very perceptive Mary. Although your anispeptic, perhaps frasmotic depiction of your friend and his reckless use of contrafibularities such as “racist white supremacist” is so overtly compuctuous as to likely give rise to not less than an acute pericombobulation in the unwitting reader.

    As for me “liking the sound of [my] own voice”, nonsense. I have a collection of my own passionate renditions of Barbara Steisand’s greatest hits and I haven’t listened to them in over a week. And “perceived command of the English language”, I don’t have a clue as to what that even means. You just made up that word “perceived” just to confuse me.

  • Komodo

    Jemand, lol. Nice riposte. If I murmur it to myself with what I fondly regard as an Oz accent, it’s even better.

  • doug scorgie

    Jemand – The Truth Hurts
    12 Apr, 2013 – 7:14 am

    “Doug Scorgie is white too, so by his logic he is obviously a white supremacist racist.”

    I’m black actually.

  • Alec

    “So as you drown in a sea of praise for Thatcher, remember this. She was prepared to promote lung cancer, for cash.”

    And Tony Blair once said “why has everyone become so cynical” !

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Doug “Son of Mary” Scorgie :

    “I’m black actually.”

    Thank you Doug but we’re really not interested in the colour of your soul.

    @ Mary (writing to Doug Scorgie) :

    “I see you are being smeared by one of them by associating your name with mine”

    Interesting! We must deduce that Mary accepts that it’s not a good thing for anyone to be associated with her. I heartily agree! 🙂

  • save our NHS

    TEN MILLION POUNDS they are blowing on her funeral, while three A&E departments at hospitals where I live are to close.
    I wonder how many funerals that TEN MILLION POUNDS could have prevented if used to help those A&E departments instead of wheeling a box of decaying meat through the streets of the capital city?

  • Jemand

    Doug Scorgie pulls off his mask and, with a gasp of horror from the other members of the group announces, “I’m black actually.”

    Good for you, Dougie, so am I – in a Bill Clinton sort of way. But that doesn’t free you from the burden of being a racist arsehole. Might explain some of your hostility to me tho’. You can scratch out my previous references to “white” and insert “black”, where applicable. Reads much the same, doesn’t it?

    One of the most popular comedic visitors to “racist” Australia, a personal favourite –

  • trowbridge h. ford

    Google is just engaging in censorship.

    The original link can be found on Veterans Today in my articles posted there – i.e., the one about the most dangerous moment during the Cold War.

  • Michael Culver

    Jemand The Truth Hurts. Last time I looked,this morning,all seemed well on my Timor site,maybe you didn’t follow the site info? I think ,as far as I know, there is no other 6 by 8 ft oil painting featuring both Bliar and Thatcher not to mention Kissinger & Suharto,please have another try I am sure you will be interested.

  • Jemand

    @Michael Culver

    I can’t even access your main site, now (clicked on your name). If you could post a link directly to the image, I’ll persevere.

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