Monday 18 December 2017

Mary Kenny: Ailing Thatcher proves women can't have it all

Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

It is now widely known that Margaret Thatcher -- the once formidable and strident prime minster who figures in the 1981 archives as determined to defeat the IRA hunger strikers -- is now a frail old lady suffering from Alzheimer's.

The onset started in 2003, even before the death of her husband, Denis: in the last TV interview that she gave that year, to the writer Linda McDougall, it became clear that she was struggling for words, facts, recollections.

She would start a sentence and lose the thread. On some ground she was surer than others, as is the way with mental decline. The programme was somehow put together with careful filming, but Mrs Thatcher has never really spoken in public since. She has been supported by loyal minders who issue statements on her behalf when sought, such as regret at the passing of a public figure or endorsement of a new Conservative leader.

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