Barry Soper: Will Prime Minister Theresa May follow Maggie Thatcher's footsteps?

Maggie Thatcher and Prime Minister Theresa May both come from humble beginnings. Photos / Getty Images, AP
Maggie Thatcher and Prime Minister Theresa May both come from humble beginnings. Photos / Getty Images, AP

The first, Maggie Thatcher, was a grocer's daughter with a very posh accent, Britain's new, steely Prime Minister Theresa May's a vicar's daughter, so they both came from relatively humble beginnings.

The only real similarity between Britain's two female Prime Ministers though, is their husbands.

Denis Thatcher was forever at his wife's side, although few ever heard him speak.

The new Prime Ministerial consort Philip May looks strikingly similar to Denis Thatcher and both men had a long career in finance.

Our Prime Minister of the day Rob Muldoon idolised his British counterpart, even once offering to send a frigate to the Indian Ocean to stand guard during Maggie's Falklands War.

John Key's relationship with Theresa May isn't as cosy.

He met her in her role as Home Secretary last year and tried to get a better deal for the sixty three thousand kiwis living in Britain but came away empty handed.

Meeting Maggie Thatcher once at a Commonwealth meeting in Melbourne in 1981 was a most unpleasant experience.

Questioning her about the tenth death in prison of an IRA hunger striker a few months earlier, she raised her eyes towards the ceiling, sniffed and imperiously dismissed me with the flick of her gloved hand as a young man, and declared she wasn't going to be trapped into answering questions, and stormed off.

Let's hope Theresa May's a little more agreeable, even if she will be drinking from a poisonous chalice, toasting the United Kingdom's newly declared independence.

She's appointed the undiplomatic Brexiter Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary to do the spade work with the European Union which he's likened to an Adolf Hitler project, which should get him off to a good start.

He'll no doubt now be hoping that his past observations are forgotten by their targets. Like Hillary Clinton, who he'd like to see as President the United States, but describing her as having dyed blond hair and pouty lips and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental home.

Boris is now saying in his new role the United States will be at the front of the queue when it comes to apologising.

If in the unlikely event that Donald Trump wins the White House, a meeting between the pair would certainly be a sight to behold, for starters it'd be a bad hair day on either side of the Atlantic.

And whilst he's in the apologetic mood he could think about saying sorry to the Papua New Guineans who he likened to his own Conservative Party, indulging in orgies of cannibalism.

Given what he and his party have been through in recent months, he'd know all about that.

- NZ Herald

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