The Grocer’s Daughter

My friend Ewen’s book about Mrs Thatcher has finally come out, so trot along to your local bookshop to buy it; it’s only £12.99. The most striking moment in the opening pages of the book is this one:

“As [John] Campbell points out, the fact that neither of her twins has any strong memories of their grandfather, who died shortly before their seventeenth birthdays, indicates that neither Grantham – nor indeed the Roberts family – loomed very large on Margaret Thatcher’s post-1951 horizon. Perhaps most telling of all in this context is an interview Thatcher gave to Brian Walden at Downing Street in January 1981. She spoke about the influence of her father upon her views and Walden asked her when he had died. Thatcher was flummoxed and asked one of the staff at No 10 to check for her. She was ‘reminded’ by this assistant that her father had died in 1970, at which point Thatcher declared that ‘He died when I was Secretary of State for Education… and a member of the Cabinet’, and she recalled his pride about this development in her career. This indicated a significant lapse of memory, for Alfred Roberts had died at the end of February 1970, which was nearly four months before Thatcher entered the Cabinet.”

— E. H. H. Green, Thatcher, p.17.

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