It was the exclamation marks that did it for me. When I was one of Margaret Thatcher’s youthful aides I wrote her many notes of advice, which would come back covered in comments from her vigorous blue felt-tip pen.That's what we're looking for, but these idiots now'a'days are too pussy. Like when they spend so much time asking, "Is this a cult?" that, by the time they get around to answering the question, the damn thing's already destroyed people's lives. Let's make a deal in this New Year:
The lady was never a pushover and frequently I failed to convince her. There would be remarks scribbled in the margin, all too often a simple ‘No!’ My male pride could deal with rejection, but not that brutal exclamation mark.
It felt like a dagger to the heart.
Yet compared to some of her Cabinet Ministers, I got off lightly. The release of confidential Cabinet records from 1980, her first full year as Prime Minister, reveals Westminster as a battlefield with Mrs T laying into opponents and doubters on all sides.
In Opposition, some had openly mocked her as the Finchley Housewife; now, out of earshot even her friends began calling her La Pasionaria (a heroine of the Spanish Civil War who declared: ‘They shall not pass’), Attila the Hen and The She-Elephant.
She shouted at the Governor of the Bank of England. She berated her Chancellor. A paper from Peter Walker, a Cabinet ‘wet’ who urged compromise with Europe, was sent back not simply with the stark ‘No!’ scribbled in the margin four times but even a capitalised ‘NO!’ to make sure the message got through.
She didn’t waste time on compromise, she relished the battle of wills and ideas, and sometimes that battle grew almost physical. Her ‘handbaggings’ became notorious.
‘It was like facing the chariot of Queen Boadicea,’ a Minister whispered to me in awe, ‘complete with whirling blades.’
If you have to ask, you end it - are we clear?
Here's another one - free tattoo removal for girls.
And another one:
Let's all agree there's no "faith-based healing" and arrest anyone who says otherwise - starting with Oprah Winfrey.
And, finally, forget "socialized medicine" in America - or anything else being socialized - just forget it.