Margaret Thatcher was a racist

Secret files published on ex-Prime Minister Thatcher

High standards, impatience and a dash of racism: after 30 years of secrecy, government files reveal details about former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

High standards, impatience and a dash of racism: after 30 years of secrecy, British government files on former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher have been released - and they reveal details about the personality of the Iron Lady.

Thatcher's sharp regiment is most evident in angry, handwritten notes in the margins of the files. On a letter from her Treasury Secretary Geoffrey Howe, Thatcher noted critically with a blue fountain pen: "This is a very bad piece of paper and one can only benevolently assume that the Treasury Department is currently 'busy'." On a document in preparation for a working lunch with the then Federal Chancellor Helmut Schmidt (SPD), the "Iron Lady" asked: "Does the Chancellor have a sense of humor?"

No "karate ladies" for Thatchers

Thatcher is also said to have personally tried pistols to find the best model for the Northern Irish police. During a visit to Japan, she turned down a bodyguard made up of 20 "karate ladies" specially assigned for her. Reason: "The Prime Minister would like to be treated in the same way as the other heads of delegation", the karate ladies had to stay in the training camp.

As the British "Guardian" reports, the files also reveal the Prime Minister's racist tendencies. When the United Nations asked London to accept 10,000 Vietnamese boat refugees, it is said to have rejected the request first: If they put foreigners in social housing instead of "whites", there would be riots. She also prefers refugees from countries like Poland and Hungary - these could "assimilate more easily".

Love for whiskey

But Thatcher's love for whiskey is also documented. When the Prime Minister visited France in June 1979, the British embassy staff in Paris paid for alcohol and cigarettes from duty-free sales for her. The officials later sent the bill to the Prime Minister's office. She proves that Thatcher bought a bottle of her favorite Teachers whiskey, a bottle of gin for her husband Denis, and 200 Benson and Hedges cigarettes.

The files were released by the National Archives in London on Wednesday. The basis is a law that enables the publication of secret documents after 30 years.

(Ag./Red.)