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Margaret Thatcher Rare Interview With Miriam Stoppard 1985

 

Dr. Stoppard

For people who are so much in the public eye, it must be quite difficult to protect your private self from the public view. Have you developed a second skin that protects you?

Prime Minister

No. It is practically impossible. You are quite right. Practically impossible to protect your private self from public view and you do not grow a second skin. Everyone says: “Well you must. You must kind of put on an armour!” No matter how toughs some of my colleagues in politics, if there is anything horrid said about them it wounds them. You can see it does, and of course, it hurts and wounds oneself. The only kind of protection you can grow is that if you know horrid things are being written by a particular paper or person, not to read them, because if you do, well you do think about it and you really have got other more important things to think about.

 

Dr. Stoppard

If you did not have some kind of protecting mechanism, surely, there are things in the press like cartoons and parodies and caricatures, they would really hurt quite a lot.

Prime Minister

Well caricatures are different, you know. I roared with laughter at caricatures of other people and I really think some of myself are rather good. Caricatures are different. They have something else. They are not just malicious; they have a cleverness about them, you know, a genuine cleverness, or a wit, and that is fantastic.

 

Dr. Stoppard

And you like that?

Prime Minister

When someone was interviewing me once and said: “Do you know that somewhere you are called ‘That bloody woman!’?” I had no idea, and it bothered me for a time and I thought: good heavens, whatever sort of picture have they got? But then, I just put it out of my mind and carried on. But it was not very nice at the time. Caricatures though, they are really funny.

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