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QUOTATIONS: How other people see us (1) – Margaret THATCHER

April 10th, 2010 · 2 Comments · Books, PEOPLE, quotations

Harper an Collins, London, 656 pages

"Margaret Thatcher - the Path to Power" (Harper Collins, London 1995, ISBN 000 255806 8, 656 pages)

Interesting insight on her visit to Ceausescu in the mid 1970s: “Margaret Thatcher – the Path to Power” (Harper Collins, London 1995, ISBN 000 255806 8, 656 pages)

pp. 354:

“Ceausescu was playing a ruthless game in which ethnic tensions (with Hungary), East-West competition (between NATO and the Warsaw Pact) and rivalry within the communist world (between Soviet Union and China) were exploited as seemed appropriate at any juncture. (…) Although he became ffective leader in 1865, it was not until 1974 that he united the functions of Party Leader and Head of State and Government. From now on he was freer to indulge his political fantasies. For what we Westerners did not sufficiently grasp was that Ceausescu was a thrawback both to Stalinism whose methods he employed and indeed to a more traditional Balkan despotism for which the promotion of his family and flouting of wealth and power were essential trappings. Ceausescu himself never struck me as anything out of ordinary, just cold, rather dull, spewing forth streams of statistics and possessing that stilted formal courtesy that communists adopted as a substitute for genuine civilization.

Ceausescu and Nixon

Ceausescu and Nixon

We discussed the Soviet threat and he gave me a long account, faithfully mirrored later by guides, diplomats and factory managers of the astonishing successes of Romanian economy. He was particularly proud of the level of investment which, as a share of the national economy certainly dwarfed that of the Western countries. In fact, of course, misdirected investment is a classic feature of the planned economy; it was just that Romania whose people apart from its ruling elite its lived in poverty, misdirected more than other.”

pp. 355:

Elena Ceaausescu – from polymers to polygons:

Elena Ceausescu: she began to indulge in a personal fantasy world which matched her husband's absurdity.

Elena Ceausescu: she began to indulge in a personal fantasy world which matched her husband's absurdity.

I was also shown around a scientific institute specializing in polymer research. My guide was none other than Elena Ceausescu who had already began to induulge a personal fantasy world which matched her husband’ absurdity, if not in human consequences, she was determined to win a Nobel Prize in chemistry for work on polymers. it subsequently emerged that she could barely have distinguished a polymer from a polygon. But behind the defences of translation and communist long-windedness she put up quite a good show.

NOTE: For more information on the above visit and its bearing on human rights in Romania read:

“Blouse Roumaine – the Unsung Voices of Romanian Women”.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Patt

    “She could barely have distinguished a polymer from a polygon…” That’s a great line. I’ll remember it.

    But it also makes me think about how I don’t know what was going on with Elena Ceausescu or any of the women during that time. I should have a look at that book and find out more.

    • editor

      Thank you for your comment; I am glad you liked the quotation – as you say it is a good line.
      Seen in the political context of the time when almost all world leaders were fawning in front of Ceausescu, Thatcher’s stance was lucid and forthright; she was no fool!
      I will certainly add some more quotations regarding Romania from this book: here I must declare an interest asT hatcher interceded personally with Ceausescu to allow my family who lived at the time in Romania to come for a visit to England – this was after the Helsinki Agreement which Ceausescu had signed, which included articles about Human Rights and “free movement” (oh, yes!)…

      If on the other hand you are seeking more quotations on Romanian women you will find over 600 of these (19th and 20th centuries respectively) in the Anthology presented on this site:
      and which can be accessed online.
      thank you.

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