“I hate communists.”

margaretthatcherFrom Claire Berlinski’s “There Is No Alternative”: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters:

In the mid-1980s, the prime minister was urged by her foreign office, against her better judgment, to receive a notorious Congolese communist at 10 Downing Street. No sooner had the hapless Marxist seated himself in her drawing room than she fixed him with an acid glare. She introduced herself with these words: “I hate communists.”

Mortified, the translator stammered, then rendered Thatcher’s comments thus: “Prime Minister Thatcher says that she has never been wholly supportive of the ideas of Karl Marx.” One trusts that the visitor nonetheless guessed from her expression where he stood.

Hatred of communism, hatred of Marxism, hatred of socialism — and an unflinching willingness to express that hatred in the clearest imaginable terms — was the core of Thatcherism. It was absolutely sincere. It was absolutely personal.

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