Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister, had believed that South Africa should be a “whites-only state”, claimed a former top diplomat of the UK.
Sir Patrick Wright, former head of the UK Diplomatic Service, made the claim in his diary, reports Independent.
Extracts from the diary were published in the Daily Mail yesterday in which Sir Patrick made several explosive claims about the former British premier.
Sir Patrick, the most senior civil servant of the Foreign Office during the final four turbulent years of Margaret Thatcher’s premiership, wrote in his diary on many of Thatcher’s antipathies of which he had a front-row view.
The diary entries began with Thatcher’s views on apartheid-era South Africa, according to which she had expressed a desire for a “pre-1910” South Africa, reports Independent.
“She opened the conversation by thrusting a newspaper cutting about Oliver Tambo [ANC president] in front of us, saying that it proved that we should not be talking to him… She continued to express her views about a return to pre-1910 South Africa, with a white mini-state partitioned from their neighbouring black states,” Sir Patrick wrote in his diary entry on a conversation that took place over a lunch he was invited to with Thatcher.
When Sir Patrick inquired her about the desire and said whether it would be an extension of apartheid, she replied asking, “Do you have no concern for our strategic interests?”
Margaret Thatcher believed South Africa should be a “whites-only state”, according to the diary.
Sir Patrick also went on to claim in his diary that Thatcher “loathed” Germans and wanted to “push” Vietnamese boat people into the sea.
He claimed Thatcher was “at her worst” during the Vietnamese boat people crisis in 1989, reports Independent.
About 70,000 Indo-chinese boat people fled Vietnam following the Vietnam War and arrived in Hong Kong and five Southeast Asian countries.
According to Sir Patrick’s diary entries, Thatcher apparently favoured a policy of “pushing off” the Vietnamese boat people and refusing to allow them to land.
The diary entries also referred to Thatcher's "Germanophobia", as Sir Patrick wrote, “She seems to be obsessed by a feeling that German-speakers are going to dominate the community”.
“Any talk of German reunification is anathema to her,” he added.
Thatcher’s views on foreign matters reportedly led her foreign secretary Douglas Hurd to remark: “Cabinet now consists of three items: parliamentary affairs; home affairs; and xenophobia,” the diary read.
It also claimed that Thatcher disliked men with moustaches because they ‘looked like hairdressers’.