Thatcher 'cannot remember start of sentence'
Updated: 2005-12-10 14:14
Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher's short-term memory has faded
to the extent that she cannot remember the start of a sentence by the end, her
daughter Carol has revealed.
The "Iron Lady", 80, who has suffered a series of minor strokes, can still
vividly recall events in the distant past but no longer reads much because it is
"pointless", Carol Thatcher said, describing her mother as "very frail".
"For someone who had such an exciting life, she doesn't take well to having
time on her hands," journalist and broadcaster Carol, 52, told the Daily Mail
"She doesn't read much because of her memory loss. It's pointless. She can't
remember the beginning of the sentence by the time she reaches the end. She
picks up on little bits of the news."
Thatcher, who was Conservative PM from 1979 to 1990, spent Wednesday night in
a London hospital after feeling faint.
Declaring "I feel fine," she checked out Thursday.
Former British prime minister Margaret
Carol Thatcher said: "The memory loss is very strange because her
recollection of distant events is still sharp. A friend commented to her the
other week: 'Oh, Margaret, it's like rationing!'
"Immediately, my mother sparkled and this fellow got 15 minutes on wartime
privations, including all mum's favourite recipes for Spam.
"She can talk very lucidly about things that happened half a century ago but
she cannot remember the last minute. She's had a series of very small strokes
and that's the net effect.
"People say: 'It must be really annoying for you,' but I always say: 'No,
it's incredibly frustrating for mum'."
"She had such a brilliant memory -- like a website. She could quote inflation
statistics going back years without reference to a single note. It must be so
infuriating for her.
"And, of course, she misses dad."
The former premier was hit hard by the death in 2003 of her husband, Denis
Thatcher, as well as by a four-year suspended prison sentence given in the last
year to her son Mark for his part in a coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea.
"She just sat and worried when she was on her own," Carol Thatcher said of
the scandal involving her twin brother.
She said she was not close to Mark Thatcher.
"We don't talk to each other. I don't know where Mark is living now."
Carol Thatcher last week emerged the winner of a prime-time British reality
television show set in an Australian rainforest, titled "I'm A Celebrity... Get
Me Out Of Here!"
The show involves several gruelling challenges, including eating foul dishes,
with the contestants voted out by the public one by one.
"The kangaroo testicle was squelchy, a bit disgusting and very difficult to
chew," Carol Thatcher told the Daily Mail.
On hearing of yet another Thatcher election victory, her mother commented:
"I'm proud. She showed true Thatcher spirit."
The now Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven set Britain on a new course in the
1980s, transforming the kingdom's woeful economy into a powerhouse.
In October she celebrated her 80th birthday at a five-star London hotel with
guests including Queen Elizabeth II, Labour Party Prime Minister Tony Blair --
who has expressed admiration for her and appropriated many of her policies --
and other luminaries.
Admired by some, despised by others, Britain's only female prime minister
radically changed the nation during her 11 years in power, rivalling wartime
leader Winston Churchill for a place in the history books.