Brian Edwards Media

From Our “How (not) to get a Word in Edgeways” Department

The doyen of British interviewers, Sir Robin Day, asks Margaret Thatcher on Panorama whether Thatcherism has left the nation divided.

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11 Comments:

  1. Bless her. Never missed a beat.

  2. Aaaaaahhh. I knew it was going to be a mistake to click on the link.

    Brian, we returned to N.Z. in ’87, to escape having to listen to that woman for any more than the 7 years we had had to endure. I thought such nightmares had been consigned to history. Thanks a bunch for dragging that out…

  3. Mad as a mongoose then, mad as a mongoose now.

    I first went to Britain in 1983 (in my late teens) and helped out the (somewhat obscure) Lincoln City branch of the Brit Labour Party on Election day.(Forced to sit next to a morbidly-obese middle-aged Thatcher-loving Tory woman from the Shires, while acting as scrutineer. Believe me, it was no picnic).

    And watching that mid-1983 General Election campaign unfold, I just remember thinking what an extraordinarily BAD actress Thatcher was. Not even remotely convincing. And your video (above) simply re-inforces that for me. Mind you, the Tories never took much more than 40% of the vote during the Thatcher years, so obviously the majority of Brits weren’t all that convinced either.

    The remarkably eccentric, bowtie-wearing (and therefore almost certainly LibDem-supporting) Robin Day may well have been the doyen of British interviewers, but he appears to have been completely useless on this occassion. There was really no excuse for letting her dominate to that extent (regardless of her ferocious reputation).

    For me, the only positive thing about the Thatcher Government was her husband, Dennis. One of the most (completely unintentionally) hilarious public figures of the decade. I don’t know if it was because he was permanently sozzled, but the man appeared to have absolutely no sensory perception whatsoever. Margeret was constantly forced to turn him in the right direction to face Press photographers and so on. Seemed to have no idea where he was.

    The irony, of course, being that I’ve now just ‘done a Thatcher’, myself. By writing such a longwinded comment, I’ve prevented others from “getting a word in edgeways”.

  4. “For me, the only positive thing about the Thatcher Government was her husband, Dennis. One of the most (completely unintentionally) hilarious public figures of the decade.”

    The — hilarious — closing scene of the 1981 James Bond movie, “For your Eyes Only”, parodies Denis Thatcher in a way you’ve described. Margaret is in the kitchen, on the phone, congratulating Bond on his latest fait accompli; Denis tries to sneak one the freshly-baked biscuits from the tray, and gets rapped on the knuckles. It was priceless!

  5. There aren’t many people in this world who turn my stomach, but you’ve managed to find one of them there and it isn’t Robin Day. God, what a vile, vile creature she was.

  6. Funny how in much less eloquent ways, the current Government is promoting the same anti-union, lower taxes attitudes. I cannot imagine John Key being able to string one sentence coherently let alone a 3:08 tirade.
    What would Brian have done to get a word in edgeways?

  7. Sitting through 3 minutes and 8 seconds of that was like sitting through as much time tied to a chair with red-currant jam sandwiches strapped tightly under my armpits. The end came with a such a sense of relief.

    Did she really believe what she was saying? Maybe that was what gave her such power: the stern steady gaze of self-righteousness, the sure sword of sanctimoniousness, the impenetrable shield of self-defined rectitude, all these marking the True Believer; whilst the jackals, sharks and vultures circle around about, ready to feast on her slain. (Mind you, she was right about the betrayal of their own by many Union leaders, not that that came as a huge surprise).

    That one of those jackals was her boy suggests strongly to me that she was lying in her teeth; but maybe she had a blind spot so far as he and all the other fatcatists were concerned.

    The puzzle to me is: why did the Queen elevate Mrs Thatcher to the peerage? Did she have something against them?

    Cheers,
    Ion

  8. The puzzle to me is: why did the Queen elevate Mrs Thatcher to the peerage? Did she have something against them?

    Because Britain is a constitutional monarchy, and the Queen acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and her other ministers.

  9. Yeah, I have a vague memory of that scene, Merv. But a much more vivid one of the mid 80s BBC Comedy ‘Anyone for Dennis ?’.

    Brilliant impersonations of an always-mildly-pissed Dennis (by Actor-writer John Wells) and the ferocious (but frequently-embarrassed-by-Dennis) Maggie (Angela Thorne). The script centred on the Thatchers family life at Chequers. Off-spring, Mark and Carol, were played very realistically as the highly spoilt but somewhat dim brats that they so patently were. In each episode Mark would be trying to acquire large wads of cash from his mother (“mumsy” as he called her) for yet another decidedly dodgy scheme.

    Well, that’s all based on memory, but now I’ve just done a quick bit of googling and I see John Wells was also, in fact, the very actor who played Dennis in the ‘For Your Eyes Only’ scene !

  10. The puzzle to me is: why did the Queen elevate Mrs Thatcher to the peerage? Did she have something against them?

    Because Britain is a constitutional monarchy, and the Queen acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and her other ministers.

    Is that ‘advice’ as in ‘instructions’?