Archive (Hoskyns MSS)

Conservatism: Hoskyns diary (meeting MT with Norman Strauss at Flood Street) ["a more or less complete failure ... She is a limited, pedantic bore, with no lateral grasp, very little humour"]

Document type: Declassified documents
Source: Hoskyns papers (privately held)
Editorial comments:

Misdated Sunday 25 August 1976 in original text. There is a tactfully edited version of this entry in John Hoskyns's memoir Just In Time (2000), p24.

Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 197 words
Themes: Conservatism, Conservative Party (organization)

Sunday 26 August 1976

At 6.15 pm Norman and I set off for Flood Street to meet Margaret Thatcher. She met us at the door and we were there, in her rather boringly elegant drawing room, from 6.30 pm till 12.30 am. It was a more or less complete failure. We were trying to give a structure out of which she could build a speech which said that change and recovery were possible if people believed it enough to act on that assumption. She never really grasped that there was little else to say and instead nitpicked Norman’s semantics; she didn’t seem too jet-lagged after her Indian trip. But she was very disappointing. Defensively holding forth, lecturing us on things we were quite well aware of. I showed slight irritation once & Mr T [sic: Mrs T?] looked at me, stunned that I shouldn’t be party to the inevitable mild sycophancy which makes her feel she’s so much more remarkable than she is. She is a limited, pedantic bore, with no lateral grasp, very little humour. I may be wrong but that was my view. God help the Tories ...

Afterwards Norman and I sat and talked in my car till about 2 am.