Let’s go to the Q&A transcript

TONY JONES: Okay. I’m going to just break from the usual routine here of jumping from question to question and I would welcome – what I’m about to say, I would welcome questions from the audience so think about that as you hear this. News is just coming through that Britain’s first Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died. There will be a full report on this on Lateline program after Q&A or on News Radio if you happen to be listening to News Radio but we have been talking about women leaders. We were talking, indeed, about Margaret Thatcher.

BROOKE MAGNANTI: And me with no champagne.

TONY JONES: Now, that’s a tough one.

BROOKE MAGNANTI: Yeah.

TONY JONES: Now, Elvis Costello once wrote a song saying he would stamp the dirt down on her grave. But I think time has passed now and people have a slightly different view of Margaret Thatcher. Do you think that’s true or not?

BROOKE MAGNANTI: I do think it’s true. I mean we have to remember as well that when Richard Nixon died in the United States people had an enormously different view of him. He went away post-Watergate, came back tanned, rested and ready as an elder statesman and certainly Margaret Thatcher did that extremely effectively. But she has sort of transcended what the policies of her day were to become iconic, either as a figure of hate for the left or a figure of reference for the right. In a way both are really, really valuable because they light a fire under people’s aspirations, whether you agree with her or disagree with her. Having that focus, it’s probably an incredibly stressful place to be as an individual thought. And, again, going back to this notion that no one person can really embody the hopes of the entire group of people that they’re supposedly representing. To be honest, going and looking and seeing what has changed post-Thatcher in terms of representation of women as MPs in the UK Parliament, it’s improved but not by a whole lot and I suppose the hope really here is that post-Julia Gillard more and more women will enter politics but Britain didn’t manage to do it. So here’s hoping Australia does.

TONY JONES: I think I might have misspoken earlier. I said “first Prime Minister”. Of course I mean first female Prime Minister of Britain. Janet Albrechtsen, your thoughts on the loss of Margaret Thatcher?

JANET ALBRECHTSEN: Well, I think it is a sad moment. I think Margaret Thatcher will be remembered for not only being the first female Prime Minister of Britain, but one of those rare politicians that has a series of convictions, whether you agree with them or not. I mean what I find most offensive about many modern-day politicians is there’s just – they don’t really believe in anything. I would much rather see, you know, a politician on the left who sincerely believes in a set of convictions than this sort of whatever it takes attitude that has set in on both the left and the right and I admired Margaret Thatcher’s convictions. I happen to agree with many of them, not all of them, but many of them. You know, occasionally when a country hits rock bottom, you really need a strong individual like Margaret Thatcher to make the really, really tough decisions and she did that. You know, there were strikes, there were bodies heaped up in the streets because – you know there were just strikes all over the place and Margaret Thatcher was one of those people who believed in what she did. She came in and she said – and she took on the unions and she transformed what was a very backward economy into a far more open economy and that is not an easy thing to do and it’s certainly not an easy thing for a woman to have done it when she did it.

TONY JONES: Okay. We’ve got a question from the audience there.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: I sense that the public is increasingly frustrated, disillusioned and embarrassed by politicians and with the political process.

TONY JONES: Yeah, I’m sorry about that. We’re talking about Margaret Thatcher here for a moment. So if you have a question about Margaret Thatcher, please…

AUDIENCE MEMBER: It leads onto the political base.

TONY JONES: Okay. All right. Okay, go ahead.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: My question is then: how can women combat this situation and return politics to the original principle of service to the community, based on values of excellence, honesty, accountability and transparency for the common good?

TONY JONES: Okay. All right. Thank you very much. Okay. I will throw it to Germaine Greer. If you want to reflect on your in terms of Margaret Thatcher. I’d just like to get your thoughts about Margaret Thatcher before we move onto other questions.

GERMAINE GREER: Well, Margaret Thatcher certainly is probably the most influential British politician in my lifetime but the important thing to understand is the party she influenced was the Labour Party, who learnt her policies and applied them and she also imbibed quite a lot from the Australian system, where you turn your working class and stakeholders and get them to live out a life of debt and DIY, which keeps them out of trouble and off the streets. So Mrs Thatcher imbibed all of that and applied it in her own way. So we had the sell-off of council housing. Now, of course, we have a huge housing shortage, et cetera, et cetera and so on. But people mustn’t forget two important things. One is the sinking of the Belgrano, which is a war crime which she strangely got away with and the other thing was the Al-Yamamah arms deal which was connected with the BOAC bribery business that was suppressed and so on. Massive corruption. Now that she has completed her days and she has been very much reduced recently. I see her quite – I saw her quite often and she was still doing all the traditional things that she always did, using the same language and so on, but never quite knowing where she was, but now that she is no longer a problem, in that we can start to actually investigate what happened with the Al-Yamamah arms deal and why is it that her son, who is an idiot, is actually a multimillionaire, these are all things we have got to work out. There is a good deal of re-assessment to be done in the case of Margaret Thatcher.

TONY JONES: And very briefly did you admire her as a woman? She basically climbed the highest porticos of power in Britain and that was no mean feat?

GERMAINE GREER: Well, but you have to understand how it was done. There were no women around her. She was actually elected by her own party to serve as the new brew that would bring about reforms that would be very unpopular. Then they figured they could unload her and start again. When they actually came to unload her, it was done in the most callous way and now Tony Blair, who is her most famous disciple, is a multimillionaire, probably a billionaire. Margaret Thatcher didn’t get any seats on any lucrative boards, none of the easy money came her way. She actually did lecture tours, which is outrageous someone of her political eminence should be reduced to that. Believe me, the British establishment got their revenge on Margaret Thatcher.

TONY JONES: And we have one more question down the front. You had your hand up there

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Margaret Thatcher came from a relatively elite background and do you think it would have been different if she…

BROOKE MAGNANTI: Shopkeeper’s daughter in Grantham.

GERMAINE GREER: No, she didn’t. That’s wrong.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: That’s awkward.

BROOKE MAGNANTI: Sorry.

TONY JONES: That’s OK. We will move along now. We’ll go to other questions. We’ve got a question on a completely different subject from Lucy Welsh.

Source.

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73 Responses to Let’s go to the Q&A transcript

  1. Amfortas

    Shopkeepers are definitely ‘Elite’ in a socialist’s eyes. Thatcher’s dad was a BOSS (hiss, Boo)

  2. Rabz

    What staggering ignorance, unhinged hatred and utter stupidity.

    Unbelievable.

  3. JC

    What a stupid program. I watch it for the laughs .

    Good to see a hooker moralising over maggie.

    It’s really a upside down world in leftville

  4. Bazza

    300 quid for a hooker with a face like the outer skin of a golf ball.
    And she is proud of the fact she was selling her bajoot.

  5. Lazlo

    Well, but you have to understand how it was done. There were no women around her. She was actually elected by her own party to serve as the new brew that would bring about reforms that would be very unpopular. Then they figured they could unload her and start again. When they actually came to unload her, it was done in the most callous way and now Tony Blair, who is her most famous disciple, is a multimillionaire, probably a billionaire. Margaret Thatcher didn’t get any seats on any lucrative boards, none of the easy money came her way. She actually did lecture tours, which is outrageous someone of her political eminence should be reduced to that. Believe me, the British establishment got their revenge on Margaret Thatcher.

    GG gets this pretty right. What she fails to understand though is that by 1990 the British establishment had merged with the EU establishment. ‘The colleagues’ had to get rid of her because she was a potent threat to ‘the project’.

  6. Gab

    Margaret Thatcher didn’t get any seats on any lucrative boards, none of the easy money came her way. She actually did lecture tours, which is outrageous someone of her political eminence should be reduced to that. Believe me, the British establishment got their revenge on Margaret Thatcher.

    Yes because only rabidly left-wing ex-politicians are elite enough to do lectures tours. btw, Thatcher earned $50,000 per speech.

  7. Gab

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: Margaret Thatcher came from a relatively elite background and do you think it would have been different if she…

    BROOKE MAGNANTI: Shopkeeper’s daughter in Grantham.

    GERMAINE GREER: No, she didn’t. That’s wrong.

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: That’s awkward.

    BROOKE MAGNANTI: Sorry.

    TONY JONES: That’s OK. We will move along now.

    hahaha! What an ignoramus.

  8. boy on a bike

    Denis Thatcher was a very successful businessman – apparently he was already a millionaire in the 1960s. If he managed to hang onto his money, there would have been no need for Maggie to pimp herself around like Tony Blair did.

  9. She was actually elected by her own party to serve as the new brew…

    The ABC’s semi-literate transcribers strike again. The old besom, appropriately, surely said “new broom”.

  10. H B Bear

    “That’s awkward. [I’ve given the game away].”

    Q&A is even more ridiculous when reduced to transcript. Who would have thought that was even possible?

  11. Louis Hissink

    I wonder if that clutch of hens realise that the UK Labour party is manipulated by the establishment, along with the tories and liberals, sort of a round-robin…

  12. dan

    GG was disagreeing with the audience member, not Mangnanti (spelling?). Despite GG’s many failings, especially the fact that her writing has become incomprehensible, she would definitely be acquainted with Thatcher’s biography as is everyone in the UK over the age of 40.

    Btw many people like hearing the sound of their own voice and would be quite happy to be paid to travel around the world to give speeches.

  13. Louis Hissink

    Deadman, I hardly think the ABC has stenographers listening to the tape and transcribing it. Rather its a dictation program that would be translating it.

  14. boy on a bike

    Greer blames Thatcher for a housing shortage in the UK – from selling off council housing. Of course she’d never consider extremely restrictive planning regulations as having anything to do with it. Idiot.

    There’s actually plenty of housing available up north – but no one wants to live there any more, so a lot of houses are vacant and are being demolished. New housing developments in the south can’t keep pace with demand because of green belts and the like – a favourite of loonies like Greer.

  15. Alfonso

    Excellent precedent from Brookey, she should standby for Gough’s demise celebration party …..we are.

  16. JakartaJaap

    Germaine….death….trample….dirt

  17. tbh

    Denis Thatcher was a very successful businessman – apparently he was already a millionaire in the 1960s. If he managed to hang onto his money, there would have been no need for Maggie to pimp herself around like Tony Blair did.

    That was my initial thought too. Maggie would have been in demand for speaking engagements and would have been able to be pretty selective about it. She wouldn’t have needed the money.

  18. H B Bear

    Curiously, Brooke Magnanti could probably still learn something from Tony and Cherie Blair about prostituting yourself.

  19. tbh

    Predictably, one of my lefty mates has posted Elvis Costello’s “Tramp the Dirt Down” on Facebook. He would have been a young man in Wales during the 80’s and would carry much butthurt over her stewardship. Funny that he lives in NZ now and not the UK.

  20. rebel with cause

    I think it is a magnificent achievement on Thatcher’s part that she still ticks her enemies off after all these years. A woman who achieved great things and had nothing but contempt for feminism – Thatcher messed their little leftist minds up something fierce.

  21. Leigh Lowe

    You can take the slag out of the brothel ……..

  22. Leigh Lowe

    Germaine….death….trample….dirt

    Oh yeah.
    I am saving these up for …. oh, I dunno …. Nelson Mandela maybe.
    Just watch their heads explode when you start bagging Nelson and his crooked ex.

  23. candy

    I think there is a streak of envy in g. Greer about Maggie Thatcher. She had only been deceased a couple of hours and she was badmouthing her, really tactless the host of the show egging them on like that.

  24. Jim Rose

    GERMAINE GREER: Well, Margaret Thatcher certainly is probably the most influential British politician in my lifetime but the important thing to understand is the party she influenced was the Labour Party, who learnt her policies and applied them and she also imbibed quite a lot from the Australian system, where you turn your working class and stakeholders and get them to live out a life of debt and DIY, which keeps them out of trouble and off the streets.

    So Mrs Thatcher imbibed all of that and applied it in her own way.

    That is rather insightful summary of thatcher as any albeit it followed by a rant on issues that no one under 40 would remember.

  25. TONY JONES: Yeah, I’m sorry about that. We’re talking about Margaret Thatcher here for a moment. So if you have a question about Margaret Thatcher, please…

    So the rent-a-crowd supplied with McTernan’s talking points wasn’t listening, missed the question and just read the first point? Surely they had a staffer there to manage things?

  26. Tintarella di Luna

    candy you mean Tony TotallyTacky Tactless Jones? He’s made in the image of that other hero-journalist George I-got-thoroughly-owned-by-Maggie-Thatcher Negus. ALPBC all the way.

  27. Splatacrobat

    There is a good deal of re-assessment to be done in the case of Margaret Thatcher.

    Greer’s code for “Now she is dead I can slag her off with impunity.”

  28. Splatacrobat

    but now that she is no longer a problem, in that we can start to actually investigate what happened with the Al-Yamamah arms deal

    Greer’s code for “Now she is dead I can slag her off with impunity.”

  29. What on earth is Billy Bragg going to write songs about now?

  30. JC

    That was my initial thought too. Maggie would have been in demand for speaking engagements and would have been able to be pretty selective about it. She wouldn’t have needed the money.

    In 1997 or so, our bank had maggie speak to a small group of our better hedge fund and mutual fund clients.

    Her fee was around $60,000 plus costs.

    She gave a speech that lasted around 45 minutes, took questions for about the same time and then had an informal chat with a few of us after people started to go home.

    It was worth the money.

  31. Splatacrobat

    and why is it that her son, who is an idiot, is actually a multimillionaire, these are all things we have got to work out.

    Multimillionaires are rarely idiots whilst most outspoken feminazis are.

  32. tbh

    It was worth the money.

    I’ll bet it was. Not only did she align with economic liberalism, she also conveyed the message very well too. Seeing footage of her speeches and of question time in the Commons, she came across as a skilled communicator.

  33. Splatacrobat

    Margaret Thatcher didn’t get any seats on any lucrative boards

    Does Greer know if Thatcher actually sort out board positions and was knocked back or was just lying to create a narrative to call her own?

  34. Splatacrobat

    TONY JONES: Now, Elvis Costello once wrote a song saying he would stamp the dirt down on her grave.

    So Snowcone just announces the news of Thatchers passing and uses this little spicks and specks gem as the lead in, framing the first question.

    Despicable.

  35. Myrrdin Seren

    Splat

    Does Greer know if Thatcher actually sort out board positions and was knocked back or was just lying to create a narrative to call her own?

    We may never know, but Our Germs seems to be giving the oleaginous Tony Blair a right bagging – and for that my opinion of the loopy old commo and national embarrassment is ever-so-slightly lifted.

  36. Happymonkey

    TONY JONES: Now, that’s a tough one.

    That the best you’ve got, you weak douche?

  37. Splatacrobat

    To be honest, going and looking and seeing what has changed post-Thatcher in terms of representation of women as MPs in the UK Parliament,

    Thatcher didn’t become PM to get more women into parliament. She became PM to fix Labour’s fuck ups and make Britain great again.

    Women followed her lead unlike Gillard who is still destroying the joint.

  38. JC

    Does Greer know if Thatcher actually sort out board positions and was knocked back or was just lying to create a narrative to call her own?

    We may never know, but

    Actually we do.

    There is no way that if Maggie sort board positions she would have been refused by any board of any major firm in the western world. For a long time Maggie was extremely popular in the US and any Fortune 50 firm would have crawled over coals to have her on the board.

    Maggie decided to go the speech making route. It would have been extremely lucrative for the first several years after her retirement and she would have been able to call the shots in terms of when she was needed.

    Greer is just a fucking moron for suggesting Maggie didn’t get invited on boards. Maggie didn’t want them.

    Can someone please commit Greer to a mental ward. She doesn’t appear at all well.

  39. Aliice

    JC Greer has always had a bitchy side….it was quite amusing and razor sharp when she was younger – but now its babout commenting on peoples clothes and whether anyone asked Maggie to a board position…cant help thinking she has lost a bit of her famed edge, being fair.

  40. lem

    Elvis Costello also wrote “Watching the Detectives” ….beware Julia..

  41. Happymonkey

    Gillard who is still destroying the joint.

    Speaking of which, the ‘destroy the joint’ facebook page is a barrel of laughs.

    Check out these:

    Thatcher destroyed the ability for people to say that women would make better leaders

    Hey at least she busted the myth that women can’t be leaders because they’re soft, caring and nurturing. But unfortunately sexists can still say ‘this is why we shouldn’t have a woman in charge’.

    Described as having ‘balls’.
    Um……..

    would never aspire to be like her…she behaved like a man in a dress!

    I don’t get it. Isn’t that mob meant to be for wimmenses? There was more femininity in Maggie’s left big toe than amongst that entire groups’ clientele. Her status and legacy upsets the sensibilities of these lightweights because she never needed to draw attention to the fact she had a vagina.

  42. Jim Rose

    Thatcher earned 50,000 per speech and had her foundation to to run

  43. Happymonkey

    Watch Billy Elliott and see the effect her policies had on the workers of the UK.

    There you have it. Billy Elliot. And quite so.

  44. Tintarella di Luna

    Yeah Ol’ Vinegar-face Greer reduced to coming back to Australia as irrelevance sets in, there’ll be no eruptions when she shuffles off this mortal coil -will we even hear the whimper?

  45. MDMConnell

    I reckon Maggie would be laughing her head off at the sight of a bunch of limp dick Omega-males and frizzled up feminists trying to dance on her grave.

    The fact they had to wait until she couldn’t fight back before finding the balls to stick the boot in would be giving her great satisfaction….

  46. johanna

    Germaine Greer’s portrait of Thatcher as first a stalking horse and then a sacrificial lamb for party misogynists who left her in penury is completely off the planet.

    Absolute piffle, on every point.

    BTW,does anyone remember the interview she did with I think George Negus where he ran the “people say that …” line with her and she demolished him by quietly but persistently asking “yes, but who exactly said that?”

    Some victim.

  47. Carpe Jugulum

    What on earth is Billy Bragg going to write songs about now?

    Teen angst and Justin Beiber.

  48. one old bruce

    “There were no women around her.”

    May these words come back to haunt Greer.

  49. Brian of Moorabbin

    I’m surprised no-one’s brought up the comment by the “indigenous” opera singer who picked up on the young school girl’s theme (that Maggie was from an elite background):

    TONY JONES: Deborah, what are your thoughts listening to this and reflecting on the earlier question which was really about whether sex work is compatible with feminism?

    DEBORAH CHEETHAM: I will get to that in a moment. The young lady who didn’t get to finish her question. I agree Margaret Thatcher, by comparison, did have a privileged life.

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: She was incredibly educated.

    DEBORAH CHEETHAM: It would have been quite a different question had she been black or homosexual in that age. So, yes, she did lead privilege of a sort, even a shopkeeper’s daughter.

  50. Splatacrobat

    DEBORAH CHEETHAM: It would have been quite a different question had she been black or homosexual in that age. So, yes, she did lead privilege of a sort, even a shopkeeper’s daughter.

    So being white and heterosexual is a privileged life? I thought it was a white man’s burden listening to these nuff nuffs.

  51. Robbo

    Here were a bunch of lightweights talking about a genuine political heavyweight. If any of those supercilious dills ever achieved even a tiny bit of what Margaret Thatcher achieved during her great career then maybe we might give them some listening time. Q & A stands for queers and amateurs. No wonder it rates so badly.

  52. johanna

    That’s it, happymonkey. A joy to watch.

    I never understood why Negus was regarded as an ace interviewer. He certainly wasn’t the brightest bulb in the chandelier. He seemed to be the luvvies’ version of Jack Thompson – they kept saying how sexy he was (shudder!).

  53. dover_beach

    DEBORAH CHEETHAM: It would have been quite a different question had she been black or homosexual in that age.

    Quite amusing. Yes, homosexuals in the Civil Service, etc. in London must have found it terribly difficult compared to a heterosexual coalminer somewhere in Wales or the North looking after his family on a single wage.

  54. stackja

    homosexuals in the Civil Service

    The Cambridge Five

  55. wreckage

    So being white and heterosexual is a privileged life?

    Oh yeah, yeah. White is privilege, male is, hetero is, clearly assigned gender is, and so on and so on.

    Now I don’t deny a lot of them make it easier, even a lot easier, depending on your circumstances. But if they are privileges then they are unfair and must, morally, somehow be remedied. Hence the use of that loaded term “privilege”. By casting them as something active we can then make putting the screws on them a fair and just act.

  56. boy on a bike

    Maggie takes the cabinet out for dinner.

    The waiter sidles over. “And what will the Prime Minister be having tonight”.

    “Steak”, replies Maggie.

    “And what about the vegetables, Prime Minister?”

    Maggie looks around the table at her cabinet. “They’ll have the same”.

  57. papachango

    she should standby for Gough’s demise celebration party …..we are.

    actually… let’s not sink to the level of these gutterslime

  58. Lazlo

    Good points JC regarding board appointments and the speaking circuit.

    I stand by my assertion that it was the Euroslime, embodied by the likes of Heseltine and Heath at the time, that ultimately did her in. Her brand of sovereignty was inconsistent with what the colleagues had in mind.

    Most are unaware how much the balls have been cut from European governments in deference to ‘EU Directives’

  59. JC

    Thatcher earned 50,000 per speech and had her foundation to to run

    In 1997 or 98 I recall she charged 60K to our firm from what I was told. I would imagine that by that time her rate would have been slipping so she would have been earning more when she resigned.

  60. Richard Pennell

    Thatcher was the daughter of a local politician, owner of two shops, and married to a millionaire who paid for her education. That seems privileged compared to the average coal miner or shop assistant, yet when a schoolgirl suggested she was relatively privileged she was shouted down by Greer and Magnanti, two well-known feminists, who didn’t object when Jones a senior male journalist cut her off before she finished her question. What sort of example is that of free speech, affirmation of feminism or encouraging the young to participate? And why do none of the other bloggers think it mattered except one who thought it was amusing? Suppose the girl had been your daughter, humiliated by the great and good on national tv?

  61. Alfonso

    Alas papa, when I want your advice about party time subjects I’ll be sure to ask, until then etc…
    Gough attempted to destroy lives and businesses, we just recovered but it was a close run thing, we will celebrate his end vigorously.
    Those with no skin in that game best stick to thumbsucking.

  62. Popular Front

    Maggie looks around the table at her cabinet. “They’ll have the same”.

    Thanks bike boy, I laughed out loud.

  63. Jannie

    Janet Albrechtsen’s dignity brings a little bit of class to that Q&A pit. She must feel like taking a long shower after the show though. I still cannot bear to watch it, its bad enough reading the Cat commentary and transcripts.

  64. Thatcher was the daughter of a local politician,

    Pop Roberts was an alderman in a small town. He didn’t become Mayor until the late 1940s, when Mags was off at Oxford. He also seems to have left politics altogether in 1952, a year after Mags married.

    owner of two shops,

    So?

    and married to a millionaire who paid for her education.

    Erm – Mags went to Oxford on a scholarship and graduated in 1947 with a chemistry degree, which she used to support herself by working in an actual job. She married Denis in 1951. He paid for her legal studies so that she could qualify as a barrister in 1953.

  65. Gab

    Suppose the girl had been your daughter, humiliated by the great and good on national tv?

    I would die of shame if a daughter was in the Q&A audience.

  66. Jim Rose

    In 1997 or 98 I recall she charged 60K to our firm from what I was told.

    this gold plated speechmaking circuit amazes me. clinton’s fee may be 250k.

    are they that full of insight. what is the transaction about?

  67. johninoxley

    I don’t know why Janet does it. Having a shower after that lot would still leave you feeling dirty.

  68. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    “Suppose the girl had been your daughter, humiliated by the great and good on national tv?”

    It wasn’t.

    Please privilege us with your next argument – cogent would be good – in support of your contribution.

  69. Suppose the girl had been your daughter, humiliated by the great and good on national tv?

    I would die of shame if a daughter was in the Q&A audience.

    I would die of shame if she she was in the Q & A audience for any reason other than to stir the lefties into a frothing rage, AND she didn’t get her facts right about Margaret Thatcher when they’ve been in the public domain for decades for all to see.

  70. Phillipa, without seeing the Q&A session, I would say the young lady is no longer bestest friends with the person who gave her the bullet to fire.

  71. Not happy

    It was my daughter…

    who comes from South Western Sydney, single parent family (not divorce but widowed, so she has endured the pain of watching her father die due to cancer) and has made her way in her educated life via scholarships and views herself as having a privileged life in comparison to those she went to Primary School with.

    I did not die of shame, I was proud that she had the courage to ask a question., one which she never got to finish. As the remarkable Deborah Cheetham says…it is all about point of view.

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