MRS THATCHER HAS IT TAPED!
Tory leader Margaret Thatcher will not be tricked into controversial speeches at private functions—not after the recent British Leyland episode.
As guest of honour at a dinner for Finchley Rotary Club last week Mrs Thatcher made the traditional address to the gathering.
If anyone was expecting a political or “off the record” statement, they were soon disappointed.
“Mayor and Mayoress, Mr President and Mrs President, ladies and gentlemen—and all of you hiding your tape-recorders!” she started.
Her speech was clearly in keeping with the informal atmosphere of the evening.
The dinner, at the Thatched Barn Hotel, Borehamwood, was attended by 150 people and organised by the entertainment committee—Aubrey Haywood, Bill Horstead and Bill Bottom.
Mr Arnold Lever, president of Finchley Rotary Club, gave us a taste of what was to follow.
Proposing the Royal Toast, he said: “I'm a northerner, so let us make the toast to Her Majesty the Queen—and the Duke of Lancaster.”
Councillor Burton, mayor for six months, made particular mention of two Finchley Rotarians, Eric Burton—no relation—and his wife, Molly.
They had contributed “yeoman service” to the club, he said, with special work to a twin town in New Zealand during the past 26 years.
Then it was the turn of the MP for Finchley, and Mrs Thatcher lost no friends—and probably gained a few—with a jocular and witty address.
Referring to the tape-recorder incident at the Leyland meeting, she said: “It seems that young man has shown us it pays you more to write about public people than to actually be one!”
She said it was her nineteenth appearance at the annual dinner and added: “Some things haven't changed and one of them is the wonderful service performed by Rotary clubs the world over.”
She also mentioned her visits to China and America: “They represent a world of difference between their ideals of society.
“In China, everything is for the state, but we live in a do as you would be done by society,” one which centres around the individual.
“The Chinese don't believe in the individual at all—look at what happened to Mao Tse-Tung 'sJiang Qingwife after he died. I am told that over there it is not advisable to be married to a politician.”
Then she added with a grin: “Over here it seems women stand a better chance as politicians themselves.”