"What's the good of having bases, if when you want to use them you're not allowed to, by the home country? They're a weak lot some of them in Europe you know. Weak. Feeble."
Through scornful eyes and extraordinary candour, Margaret Thatcher told us what she really thinks. She chose her words carefully - but she never compromised on the power of power and her willingness to be brutal with the truth. The language used by politicians today is the polar opposite. We live in a post-Blairite world of carefully constructed speeches that are painstakingly created to ensure that nobody is offended. Politicians squirm in their seats in television interviews desperate to be inclusive of all views, terrified of being seen to leave out a special interest group or take a hard line on anything.
Politicians who do speak their minds in 2018 are now labelled 'extremist', 'ardent', 'swivel-eyed' and even racist. Politicians with solid, firmly held beliefs of a conservative nature - such as Jacob Rees-Mogg - are considered to be extremists.
Rees-Mogg is a committed family man. He has six children, he is desperately articulate, smart, witty and accomplished. He is by historic standards a rare and enormously talented type of politician. He is also socially conservative with a few unfashionable views. And so, in response, he is disparaged and cast aside by those in the liberal establishment as a 'loony', irrelevant or old fashioned - or as one London-based creative friend called him, 'Just another posh white man.' In these enlightened times, committed public servants of the wrong skin colour are an easy target.
Language is so important - it is all we have. It sets us apart from animals and is the fundamental foundation of human civilisation. This is why it is so terribly damaging to public discourse and freedom of speech when it becomes acceptable in some circles to use racist language. It is especially depressing to see that rare thing - a politician with heartfelt convictions and the gift of being unusually articulate and passionate - fall victim to today's climate of hate towards a certain way of thinking.
Conviction politicians are now labelled 'populist' - a very thinly veiled comparison to history's despotic dictators. This is the new language of the apparently enlightened. Designed to engender fear and stymie intelligent, forceful discourse. This is how the liberal intelligentsia are shutting down free speech - by weaponising language, comparing good people on the right of politics to dangerous despots. Their arsenal of hateful language is huge and they're not pulling any punches: 'bigot', 'racist', 'nasty', 'small-minded', 'extinct', 'extreme', 'sexist', 'homophobic' - the list is endless. One might think that it is the left's paucity of vision and creativity that has allowed for the emergence of this meaningless and destructive use of language.
Margaret Thatcher would be like a fish out of water in a TV studio in 2018. She would be labelled as extremist, xenophobic, racist and backward - simply for defending her country and putting Britain first. Simply for coining a powerful phrase that might hurt some feelings. She would be horrified to see free speech shut down to protect 'feelings'. That is why she might perhaps be referring not to EU leaders but her fellow countryman and woman when she proclaims, "Weak, weak, weak".