Monday, 15 April 2013

Thatcher and alcohol

One extraordinary thing about Margaret Thatcher’s death is that there has been no mention anywhere in the media of her alcoholism.

It was an open secret in Westminster that, by the end of her premiership, she was putting away a bottle of scotch a day (or rather, night, since she was notorious for staying up very late). I heard from a reputable source in the mid-1990s that she was receiving medical treatment for alcoholism.

Her husband Denis’s fondness for a G&T was well known but there was never any mention of his wife’s heavy drinking. As with Charles Kennedy’s problem before it burst into the open, it was known about but not talked about.

Media reticence was understandable while Thatcher was alive, for fear of a defamation lawsuit. Now she is dead, the continuing taboo is hard to explain.

1 comment:

  1. At least, like Clement Davies, she was never visibly the worse for drink.


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