Friday 28 July 2017

Boris Johnson: Thatcher's true battle was fought against idle men

Boris Johnson

'THE Iron Lady' is the most important political film for years. Nothing and no one has done more, in the 22 years since she was kicked out of office, to rehabilitate Margaret Thatcher.

It is not that it is an accurate historical portrait. I bet she never barked "Sink it!", when her generals asked what they should do with the Belgrano. I know that she wasn't in the Commons car park when Airey Neave was blown up, and I am sure that she didn't run up the ramp to behold his mangled remains. She surely never ranted at her cabinet in quite those terms or subjected Geoffrey Howe to such insane humiliation. She almost certainly never wore a hat in the chamber or tried to push her way into a men's urinal.

But if the film takes liberties, it is poetically truthful. It is true to the essence of Ms Thatcher, and above all, Meryl Streep is amazing. She enters into her; she becomes her: the ruby lips, the flashing eyes, the pineapple hair, the pale skin transpiring at every pore with the fire of pure certainty. Somehow this actress has re-explained to the world what it was like to see, meet and be the West's first female prime minister.

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