Foreign Office Got Reagan Wrong, Thatcher Got It Right

Foreign Office Got Reagan Wrong, Thatcher Got It Right

Confidential documents released by the National Archives show the disdain of the British Embassy in America toward Ronald Regan. The Times reports they warned London that he found it “difficult to engage in serious discussion”, warnings that Margaret Thatcher ignored: leading to a one of history’s most remarkable political partnerships.

The archived files show that British Diplomats voiced their concerns about President Reagan and his wife Nancy ahead of the couple’s 1982 tour of Europe. They claimed he was a “bumbler” and a “bozo” but did grudgingly state “even if he is, that won’t matter too much if the economy shows signs of recovery.”

Thatcher, was unphased not least because she distrusted the Foreign Office anyway and she was also someone who had been the butt of jokes from the establishment herself.  She is said to have immediately understood the President and the two of them got on incredibly well.

Together they took on vested interest, not least the Foreign Office, to push a much more aggressive line against the Soviet Union. Leading to much more freedom and capitalism for the people oppressed by the Communist system.

On the 200th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Britain and America in 1985, Margaret Thatcher said: “There is a union of mind and purpose between our peoples which is remarkable and which makes our relationship a truly remarkable one. It is special. It just is, and that’s that.”

President Reagan responded: “The United States and the United Kingdom are bound together by inseparable ties of ancient history and present friendship … There’s been something very special about the friendships between the leaders of our two countries. And may I say to my friend the Prime Minister, I’d like to add two more names to this list of affection–Thatcher and Reagan.”

Their friendship followed the 1970s, when the two countries were perceived to have drifted apart. President Reagan is one of the only foreign leaders to have a statue in London (pictured).