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Ronnie loves Maggie..true

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The news today ( 28th July) is that Blair is flying to Washington for a prearranged visit..but inevitably the war in the Middle East will be discussed. I have mentioned that Blair is retiring (when..we don't know) and people in his Labour Party (critics are calling it the Labor Party) are openly knocking his rather slavish support for the US.

The latest problem is that American bunker buster missiles are included in the 'Care Packages' for Israel and are being routed via a Scottish airport. This makes us rather more of a target for extremism ..however our little stint in Iraq possibly overshadows this as a concern.

'A rift has appeared ' was the BBC's take on it..although my feeling is that Israel probably will survive the controversy as it probably has enough already. 'We need a ceasefire' is what the Guardian today thinks Blair will bleat..I mean say.

The Guardian noted that Hezbollah has had serious damage inflicted on it and Israel may be ready for a cessation of their campaign...because of the military position... rather than as any response to appeals for peace.

I have previously suggested that our relationship with the States has been close for ages but never quite as obviously cringing as it appears now. When Reagan was president, the power ratio was just the same but no one would ever think of the Prime Minister in those days, the unforgettable Thatcher, in the same terms as we see Tony.

1980..Reagan is president. The joke was 'What is flat and glows at night.. Iran if Reagan is elected. (Plus ca change eh?) Now the only reason why we were not as concerned as we might be by events across the pond is that, at the same time, Britain was being afflicted by what seemed worse. Thatcher had wrested control of the Conservatives in '76 and by '79 had won an election and had her talon on the button. We had her number as "Thatcher the Milk Snatcher".

When I first came to Britain I remember, even as a kid, thinking free school milk to be a strange thing. I did not have the language then, but it was a profound and wonderfully egalitarian thing. Obviously a socialist idea? No. It was Churchhill! (even if he saw it as a Conservative would ..."putting milk into children is a good investment")


Thatcher, as Education Secretary, saved a few million by stopping this. With hindsight she was not being mean to poorer people, she was establishing a point. State help was not her idea of a modern world. So she would be hated? No, a lot of people loved the idea that we should not throw their tax money about profligately and we kept firing up Concorde instead.(I was appalled by this expensive, smelly monstrosity.)

Anyway, she had hit a nerve with the Brit public who agreed with her that all the problems in Britain were the fault of greedy workers and the Europeans, despite the Anglo French supersonic cooperation. She would not take any French merde, she would look west for something more palatable.

She was the first TV leader who clearly did not like foreigners and made no effort to disguise it. She did however, like the old ham, once in the white hat, now the White House.

She and Reagan hit it off at once. They complemented each other. At school she had been "snobby Roberts", the grocer's daughter. Her accent was pure baloney, a cross between local Grammar school and Princess Highpitch. Before her elocution lessons she sounded like Monty Python's auntie.

Reagan, though, would not be able to tell. She sounded class, was clever and was a foaming right winger like him. He was handsome, unlike poor Dennis, her husband, who frightened even the children of fellow Conservatives. The leaders had one other thing in common. Embarrassing offspring.

Reagan's son was a ballet dancer, not say, a football star and Thatcher's son was greedy and dredged new depths to pursue his business interests. He followed her round the world quite openly using her name to make money. People talk about her blind spot for him but some of the stories are more than indulgent mum.

Next..Mark Thatcher invades Africa ..with 3 Public School chums.

 

'Hamish ' is an antiwar writer socialist- scientist and musician living in Scotland.

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