Margaret Hilda Roberts|
13 October 1925
Grantham, Lincolnshire, England, UK
8 April 2013 (Age 87)|
Westminster, London, England, UK
|Alma mater||Somerville College, Oxford, Inns of Court|
|Title||Prime Minister of the United Kingdom|
|Religion||Church of England|
• Carol Thatcher|
• Mark Thatcher
|Founder of||Centre for Policy Studies|
|Wikipedia page||Margaret Thatcher|
Margaret Hilda Thatcher was UK Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990 and leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. A Soviet journalist called her "The Iron Lady", a nickname which became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style.
As Prime Minister, she implemented policies that have come to be known as Thatcherism.
- 1 Rise to power
- 2 Brighton bombing
- 3 Foreign policy
- 4 Lockerbie lacuna in Maggie's memoirs
- 5 Fall from power
- 6 Post Resignation
- 7 Death
- 8 Affiliations
- 9 Related Documents
- 10 References
Rise to power
The 11th February 1975 brought the highpoint of a long campaign when Edward Heath was finally deposed as Leader of the Conservative Party and replaced by the relatively unknown Thatcher, his former Education Secretary. Her successful leadership campaign in which she beat William Whitelaw by 146 votes to 79, had been run by her private secretary, Tory MP and former MI6 officer Airey Neave, whom David Teacher points to together with Peter Wright, G.K. Young and Le Cercle key player, Brian Crozier, who set up "Shield", a secret group quite possibly with the express purpose of getting her elected by any means necessary.
"the next day she suddenly stood up and launched into a three-minute Thatcher special. I can't remember the topic, but you can imagine. The room was stunned. Here's something for your conspiracy theorists. As a result of that speech, David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger and the other Americans fell in love with her. They brought her over to America, took her around in limousines, and introduced her to everyone."
German intelligence reports on Le Cercle written in late 1979 and early 1980 which were published in Der Spiegel in 1982 suggest there was a "Thatcher faction" within MI6 in the lead-up to the Conservatives' 1979 election victory; a November 1979 report quotes a planning paper by Brian Crozier about a Cercle complex operation "to affect a change of government in the United Kingdom (accomplished)".
The Brighton bombing occurred on 12 October 1984 at the Grand Hotel in Brighton where Prime Minister Thatcher and her cabinet were staying for the Conservative Party conference. A long-delay timer supplied by Provisional IRA quartermaster Fr Patrick Ryan triggered the bomb which was alleged to have been planted in the hotel by IRA member Patrick Magee between 14 and 17 September 1984. Although Thatcher narrowly escaped injury, five people were killed (including two senior members of the Conservative Party) and 31 were injured. Giving evidence at the Brighton bombing trial in May 1986, forensic expert Alan Feraday said that he had examined hundreds of Provisional IRA bombs - so many he could not give a number. "The devices were deadly accurate," Feraday told the jury. "Of the six 48-day timers that had been set and recovered from Glasgow the worst was six minutes adrift and the best 10 seconds."
Patrick Magee was convicted of the Brighton bombing, sentenced in September 1986 and received seven life sentences. Magee was released from prison in 1999, having served 14 years in prison, under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.
Apartheid AppeaserWinston Churchill is quoted as saying:
"An Appeaser is one who feeds a Crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
As Prime Minister in the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher adopted the role of "Apartheid Appeaser" in relation to the South African regime led by P W Botha who was also known as "Die Groot Krokodil" (Afrikaans for "The Big Crocodile"). While black South Africans were being slaughtered by the apartheid regime, and Margaret Thatcher was calling the ANC a terrorist organisation branding Nelson Mandela a "terrorist", she was doing all she could to block the sanctions which most of the world imposed in response to the barbarity of the regime. "I have found myself to all intents and purposes alone in resisting sanctions," she wrote to "The Big Crocodile" in apartheid South Africa.
Ex-minister and ex-ANC activist Pallo Jordan told the Guardian "I say good riddance. She was a staunch supporter of the apartheid regime". Jordan accompanied Nelson Mandela on a visit to London in 1991, which included a meeting with Thatcher. "Although she called us a terrorist organisation, she had to shake hands with a terrorist and sit down with a terrorist. So who won?"
- The March 1982 bombing of the ANC office in London
- The assassination of anti-apartheid activist Ruth First in Maputo, Mozambique on 18 August 1982
- The break-in at the London apartment of Socialist International Secretary-General, Bernt Carlsson, in April 1983
- The apartheid regime's possible involvement in the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher on 17 April 1984
- The murder of the family of anti-apartheid activist Marius Schoon in Angola on 28 June 1984
- The murder of Sweden's Prime Minister Olof Palme on 28 February 1986
- The murder of President Samora Machel who was killed in an aircrash on 19 September 1986
- The 1987 plan to kidnap the entire ANC leadership in London
- The attempted assassination of ANC representative in Brussels, Godfrey Motsepe, on 4 February 1988
- The murder of ANC representative in Paris, Dulcie September, on 29 March 1988
- The targeting of UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, on Pan Am Flight 103 on 21 December 1988
Lunch with P W Botha
On 2 June 1984, Margaret Thatcher controversially invited South Africa's president P W Botha and foreign minister Pik Botha to a meeting at Chequers in an effort to stave off growing international pressure for the imposition of economic sanctions against South Africa, where both the US and Britain had invested heavily. Although not officially on the meeting's agenda, the Coventry Four affair clouded both the proceedings at Chequers and Britain's bilateral diplomatic relations with South Africa.On 5 June 1984, Thatcher made a lengthy statement in the House of Commons about the visit to Chequers by the two Bothas, but she omitted any mention of the Coventry Four affair:
"We had over five hours of discussions. I was accompanied by my right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary (Geoffrey Howe) and my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, Pentlands (Mr Rifkind), the Minister of State. The meeting was a working one, and the discussions were comprehensive and candid. They covered the problems of southern Africa as a whole, including Namibia. There was considerable discussion of the internal situation in South Africa. I made clear to Mr Botha our desire to see peaceful solutions to all the region's problems. On Namibia, we agreed that early independence for Namibia was desirable and should be achieved as soon as possible under peaceful conditions. We also agreed that all foreign forces should be withdrawn from the countries in southern Africa so that their peoples can settle their destinies without outside interference. The withdrawal of South African forces from Angola is an important first step in this process."
From Chequers to LockerbieThe distance by road from the Prime Minister’s country residence in Buckinghamshire to the site in Scotland of the Pan Am Flight 103 crash on 21 December 1988 is 310 miles. It took more than 4½ years for President P W Botha to complete the murderous journey from his meeting with Mrs Thatcher at Chequers to the sabotage at Lockerbie:
"Opponents of South Africa's apartheid system have promised Mr P W Botha a ‘hot reception’ when he visits Britain tomorrow (2 June 1984) to lunch with Mrs Thatcher at Chequers. During his trip to Europe, which includes visits to Bonn and Lisbon, Mr Botha will be trying to persuade European leaders that South Africa has ‘adapted’ enough to be readmitted into the international community. In November his constitutional changes, which leave the country's 18 million blacks with absolutely no representation, were approved by 60 per cent of the all-white electorate in spite of the opposition of the liberal Progressive Federal Party (PFP). The United States, however, welcomed the new constitution as ‘a step in the right direction’, and it is clear that Mr Botha enjoys the confidence of the Reagan administration. Since the 1980 presidential election, the United States has taken up a position of ‘constructive engagement’ with South Africa, friendly relations in the hope of averting a red revolution in Southern Africa, and also towards the goal of the departure of the Cuban troops in Angola. Mr Botha has taken advantage of this policy to invade Angola with virtual impunity, to bully other neighbouring ‘Frontline’ states, and most recently to bring Mozambique to its knees as 100,000 people died of starvation at the same time as South African-backed terrorists stopped food supplies to drought-stricken regions. The Mozambican president, Samora Machel, was forced to sign the Nkomati Accord and thus expel the ANC, which is committed to the overthrow of apartheid."(Extract from The Catholic Herald of 1 June 1984.)
PM's "double standards on terrorism"
On 7 December 1988, British diplomat Patrick Haseldine wrote a letter to The Guardian criticising Margaret Thatcher for her "double standards on terrorism":Text of Haseldine's letter:
"It is all very well for Mrs Thatcher to inveigh against the Belgians and the Irish with such self-righteous invective. Naturally, she would not care to admit it but in the not too distant past her allegations of being soft on terrorism and allowing political considerations to override the due legal process could have been levelled at Mrs Thatcher herself. Remember the "Coventry Four"? These were the four (white) South Africans brought before Coventry magistrates in March 1984 and remanded in custody on arms embargo charges. Rumour has it that Mrs Thatcher was rather annoyed with the over-zealous officials who caused the four military personnel to be arrested in Britain. Rightly, she refused to accede to the South African embassy's demand for the case to be dropped but she was keen for the embassy to know precisely how the legal hurdles governing their release and the return of their passports could be swiftly overcome. Thus the First Secretary at the embassy stood bail for the "Coventry Four", having declared in court that he was waiving his diplomatic immunity. (The embassy did not, however, formally confirm the waiver.) Then a petition to an English Judge in Chambers secured the repatriation of the four accused. Clearly, Mrs Thatcher wanted the four high-profile detainees safely out of UK jurisdiction, back in South Africa and off the agenda well before her June 1984 talks at Chequers with the two visiting Bothas (P W Botha and Pik Botha). Strange that Pik Botha, the foreign minister, was able to find an excuse for not allowing the "Coventry Four" to stand trial in the Autumn of 1984. Stranger still that Mrs Thatcher failed to denounce Mr Botha's refusal to surrender the four 'terrorists' (cf declaration by U.S. Governor Dukakis that South Africa is a "terrorist state").
Conspiracy with Reagan
On 2 December 2010, in a video conference link to staff and students at the London School of Economics, Muammar Gaddafi alleged that the case against Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi had 'been fabricated and created by' Britain's former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former US President Ronald Reagan. He suggested that the CIA had been behind the 21 December 1988 Lockerbie bombing which killed 270 people.
"These are the people who created this conspiracy" said Gaddafi, referring to the alleged role of Thatcher and Reagan in Megrahi's conviction and life sentence over the attack on Pan Am Flight 103. "The charges directed towards Libya were based on unfounded evidence in an attempt to weaken the Libyan Revolution and limit its resources and abilities".
In making his allegation, Gaddafi did not include George H W Bush. This may suggest that if Thatcher and Reagan had indeed 'fabricated and created' the Lockerbie bombing case against Libya, they would have done so in the interregnum between the 8 November 1988 US presidential election and President Bush taking over from Reagan on 20 January 1989.
Gaddafi's alleged Lockerbie conspiracy could well have been hatched on 15 November 1988 when President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher were photographed in the White House library and would undoubtedly have discussed Iran's threat to retaliate massively for the shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655 by USS Vincennes on 3 July 1988 with the loss of 290 civilian lives. The two leaders might then have decided to open secret negotiations with Iran and seek to limit the revenge attack to just one US aircraft. The US and UK would not have wanted to antagonise the Iranians further by blaming Iran for the retaliation, so would have selected 'mad dog' Gaddafi to be their whipping boy. Western intelligence agencies (including apartheid South Africa's National Intelligence Service) would have been party to such negotiations and would have had a say in selecting the sacrificial aircraft.Lockerbie bombing), President Reagan phoned Downing Street:
"Margaret, I understand you have just returned from the site of the Pan Am crash. I want to thank you for your expression of sorrow on the Pan Am 103 tragedy. On behalf of the American people, I also want to thank the rescue workers who responded so quickly and courageously. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this accident, both the passengers on the plane and the villagers in Scotland".
On 28 December 1988, seven days after the Lockerbie bombing, when there was as yet no evidence ostensibly pointing to Libyan culpability, in one of the last acts of his Presidency, Ronald Reagan extended sanctions against Libya and threatened renewed bombing raids. The joint US/UK investigation into the bombing soon found 'evidence' pointing towards Libya for the sabotage of Pan Am Flight 103. According to author and journalist, Ian Ferguson, it was a case of 'reverse engineering' whereby Libya had been fitted up for the crime and the inculpatory evidence followed (see the 2009 documentary film Lockerbie Revisited).
South African nuke deal
In what has been described as a sanctions-busting trip, a youthful David Cameron visited South Africa in 1989 accompanied by Conservative MP, Sir Kenneth Warren and nuclear weapons inspector, Dr David Kelly, who had made several earlier visits to South Africa when he was given access to the covert nuclear weapons research facility at Pelindaba, near Pretoria.
The purpose of Cameron's trip was to arrange for three of South Africa's nuclear weapons to be shipped to Oman, to be stored in case they were required in Iraq. The remaining six nukes were destined to travel from South Africa to Chicago. The next phase of the operation was that, once the weapons had left South African soil, the UK Government would reimburse the South African firm Armscor and the British firm Astra through the middle man John Bredenkamp.
At Government level it would be dealt with primarily by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) using Ministry of Defence money. To keep this out of Parliament and out of the public domain, Thatcher reportedly signed off these weapons (just before leaving office in late 1990) under a special Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) - describing them as metal cylinders rather than nuclear bombs.
In April 2010, it was reported that £17.8 million from this secret nuclear deal found its way into Conservative Party funds.
"Proud to be British"
In 1989, the Rössing mine was jointly owned by Rio Tinto Group and the Iranian Government, and was supplying uranium to develop Iran’s nuclear programme. Mrs Thatcher was so impressed with the Rössing Uranium Mine that she declared it made her "proud to be British", a sentiment echoed by David Cameron.
Lockerbie lacuna in Maggie's memoirs
The following is an extract from Chapter 7 "The Lady’s not for Remembrance" of Dr Jim Swire's upcoming book "Lockerbie" (soon to be made into a feature film by producer/director Jim Sheridan) which identified a Lockerbie lacuna in Mrs Thatcher's memoirs "The Downing Street Years":
One day after the Lockerbie explosion she walked upon the field where lay the crushed cockpit of Maid of the Seas. By the Church of Tundergarth she stood wrapped against the Scottish cold, around her across the hills and streets and gardens lay two hundred and seventy bodies and bits of bodies and a broken town. Moving through the debris, she commented:
- “One has never seen or ever thought to have seen anything like it. And I don’t think anyone else has, either. I went to the other site where the petrol contained in the wing exploded. Many houses were damaged, it looks very much worse in daylight.”
Yet that freezing Lockerbie hillside and town strewn with the remains of the dead; our first traumatic memorial service in Dryfesdale Parish church; repeated pleadings by the bereaved for a personal hearing at Downing Street; revelations of international terrorism on a massive scale; German, Iranian, Syrian and Palestinian reputations questioned; the most severe peace-time attack on her nation since the Second World War – all in some mysterious way were expunged from her version of British history. Among nine hundred and fourteen pages of tightly written text, hidden deep in the chronology, the reader would find but four words: ‘December 21 - Lockerbie bombing’. Such an event demanded an entire chapter of its own. Yet not a word, not a whisper. Could it be that the Lady wished to erase the event from British and world memory? That would have been a naive expectation, and Thatcher, above all things, was not naive. We bereaved sent her a respectful and polite letter, asking why her memoirs made no mention of our tragedy. She replied regally:
- "We wish to add nothing to the text".
This, from the comfort of her Chester Square home she presumed to be sufficient of a reply.
It would take a further fifteen years before another angle to the story would emerge. In August 2009, the then retired Member of Parliament for Linlithgow and Father of the House, Tam Dalyell, revealed that in 2002, in a conversation with Thatcher, she claimed that she had not written about Lockerbie because she “knew nothing” of Lockerbie:
- "I was the chairman of the all-party House of Commons group on Latin America” explained Dalyell. “I had hosted Dr Alvaro Uribe, the president of Colombia, between the time that he won the election and formally took control in Bogota. The Colombian ambassador Victor Ricardo invited me to dinner at his residence as Dr Uribe wanted to continue the conversations with me.”
- “South Americans are very polite. A woman, even a widow, never goes alone into a formal dinner. And so, to make up numbers, Ricardo invited me to accompany his neighbour Margaret Thatcher. I had not spoken to her, nor her to me, for seventeen years."
- "As we were sitting down to dinner, I tried to break the ice with a joke about a recent vandal attack on her statue in the Guildhall. I said I was sorry about the damage.”
- “She replied pleasantly: 'Tam, I'm not sorry for myself, but I am sorry for the sculptor.'"
- Raising the soup spoon I ventured: 'Margaret, tell me one thing - why in eight hundred pages...'"
- "She purred with obvious pleasure. 'Have you read my autobiography?'"
- "‘Yes, I have read it. Very carefully. Why in eight hundred pages did you not mention Lockerbie?'"
- "She replied: 'Because I didn't know what happened and I don't write about things that I don't know about.'" (Thatcher's knowledge of events was confirmed on 17th December 2009, in a Yorkshire Post column by her former Chief Press Secretary Sir Bernard Ingham. He describes the shock in Downing Street on the evening of the bombing, and an overnight journey by the Thatcher entourage to view the Lockerbie devastation.)
- "My jaw dropped. 'You don't know? But, quite properly as Prime Minister, you went to Lockerbie. You witnessed it firsthand.'"
- "She insisted: 'Yes, but I don't know about it and I don't write in my autobiography things I don't know about.'"
But she did write on the subject of Lockerbie, not in another autobiography, but in her 2002 publication "Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World". In it she simply says: “Libya was clearly behind the bombing of Pan Am 103... Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was a Libyan intelligence agent, and it exceeds the bounds of credibility to imagine that he was not doing the Libyan leader’s bidding.” This, in a four hundred and seventy page lecture to the world, was her entire arsenal of proof that al-Megrahi was guilty of the attack.
Fall from power
Bilderberg specialist Jim Tucker attributes her downfall to a decision made at a meeting of the Bilderberg group, because she refused to allowed British sovereignty to be dismantled. When he asked her about it, he reports that she whispered back that she considered it a "great tribute to be denounced by Bilderberg".
In 1992 Margaret Thatcher signed on as an international consultant to Philip Morris at a rate of US $500,000 annually, with half to be paid directly to Mrs Thatcher and half to be paid to the Margaret Thatcher Foundation. The Independent reported that Philip Morris paid for a 70th birthday bash for Mrs Thatcher on 23 October 1995 in Washington, D.C. with 800 guests attending and at an estimated cost of $1 million.
Tax Loophole Exploitation
In an article in 2002 on the subject of how 'Rich people are costing Britain millions in lost tax by not registering their houses in their own names', the <Guardian reports that Thatcher's home in Chester Square, London was registered as owned by Bakeland Property Ltd, Jersey. It was acquired in 1991 and Thatcher has it on 64 year lease. The shares for Bakeland Property Ltd are held by two Jersey individuals (Leonard Day and Hugh Thurston) who are the Thatcher family's financial advisers. According to the report, they are 'acting as nominees for a trust with concealed beneficiaries'. The former prime minister's office is reported to have refused to explain why she does not apparently own her own house. Leonard Day in Jersey is reported to have said: "No one's going to tell you about that." The article claims that through the exploitation of legal loopholes 'wealthy individuals... appear to be enjoying the country's choicest property virtually tax-free'. The article also mentions Anthony Tabatznik, Mohamed Al Fayed, David Potter, Tony Tabatznik, Lakshmi Mittal, Uri David, Rupert Allason, Wafic Said, Prince Bandar and Christopher Ondaatje as others who are not the registered owners of their homes who may benefit from such a loophole.
Thatcher's home was estimated to be worth at least £2.5m. As she was not the registered owner she has potentially avoided at least £100,000 in stamp duty and £900,000 in inheritance tax.
Margaret Thatcher died on 8 April 2013. That day a Buckingham Palace spokesman said:
- "The Queen was sad to hear the news of the death of Baroness Thatcher. Her Majesty will be sending a private message of sympathy to the family."
|David Cameron/1989 South Africa trip||video||1 January 2010|
|Maggies's Guilty Secret||article||December 2013||John Hughes-Wilson||A brief resume of the "Arms to Iraq affair" by a former colonel on NATO's international political staff in Brussels. It revisits the abortive rescue of US diplomatic staff held hostage by Iran under President Carter, paving the way for the UK to supply arms to both sides in the soon-to-follow Iran-Iraq war in covert defiance of UN sanctions. The affair remains one of ultra-sensitivity to the UK Establishment which has been engaged in a monumental cover-up ever since.|
- "Biography of Margaret Thatcher"
- "Who pulls the strings?"
- "Bomb expert links hotel device to Glasgow cache"
- "Outrage as Brighton bomber freed"
- "Winston Churchill quotation"
- "Thatcher mourned by few in South Africa"
- Hansard 5 June 1984
- "From Chequers to Lockerbie"
- "Letter to The Guardian December 7, 1988"
- "Fresh facts support PM's critic"
- "Sacked Thatcher critic sues ministry"
- "European Court of Human Rights, Patrick Haseldine vs United Kingdom"
- "Dukakis Backers Agree Platform Will Call South Africa 'Terrorist'"
- "Lockerbie bomber's family preparing to sue Britain for false imprisonment"
- "Reagan phone call to Thatcher at Downing Street"
- "Exploding Lockerbie – Part 2"
- "Lockerbie conspiracy by Thatcher and Reagan"
- "The US and UK lost three nuclear weapons each! Part 3 - What went missing on Prime Minister Thatcher’s Watch?"
- "The US and UK lost three nuclear weapons each! Part 4 - What went missing on Prime Minister Thatcher’s Watch?"
- "UK’s Electoral Commission to investigate Friends of Israel Groups"
- "Cameron's freebie to apartheid South Africa"
- "Rössing Uranium Mine"
- "Flight 103: It was the Uranium"
- "Iron Lady Thatcher denied all knowledge of Lockerbie"
- Streeter, Michael. Behind closed doors: the power and influence of secret societies. p. 169.
- "Legacy Library Articles"
- Evans, R & Hencke, D. (2002) 'Tax loopholes on homes benefit the rich and cost UK millions'. The Guardian 25th May 2002. Accessed 22nd May 2008
- Rob Evans and David Hencke, "Tax loopholes on homes benefit the rich and cost UK millions: Choice homes, virtually tax free", The Guardian, 25th May 2002
- "Ex-Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher dies, aged 87"
- "Guess who is not coming to Margaret Thatcher's funeral"