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The Thatcher Memoirs (Unredacted)

September 12, 2012

It had been a busy week and Dennis and I were looking forward to a restful weekend at Chequers when I got the call on Saturday afternoon from Bernard to say there had been some trouble with Liverpool fans at a football match in Sheffield. He was up at home in South Yorkshire and was going to check things out. Dennis put the television on and called me into watch and we could see it was not going to be good and, quite quickly, Bernard called again to say we were going to need to put out a statement.

He had been talking to some of his friends in South Yorkshire Police who he knew from local Freemasons dinners and events and things were looking bad for them. He said we should go up to South Yorkshire the following day to make sure that we looked concerned, busy and involved. He agreed to contact Douglas as well.

I was quite worried. We owed a big thank you to the South Yorkshire force after all they did to help us way back during the Miners’ strike and I remembered how the Freemasonry link allowed us to have communications with them outside some of those irritating official channels. We knew they were on our side. We could hardly say the same thing about Liverpool where the Council was a constant irritation.

On the Sunday morning, we headed up to Sheffield. Dennis reminded me to put on my sombre face and imagine the fans came from Bromley! Poker-faced Douglas was always helpful on these occasions as he could talk for some while without saying anything.

Before going to the stadium, we had a quick briefing from a chap called Bettison from South Yorkshire police and a couple of others. Bernard had got hold of him and also a local MP called Irvine Patnick. This was always going to be a confidential discussion because everyone in the room was a Freemason and to be trusted. We had to do what we could to protect our friends in South Yorkshire who knew that they were in trouble. Bernard and the MP talked about what we could say. ‘It’s all right’, I said ‘as long as we all hold our nerve and stick to the story.’ As Dennis had said with his customary chuckle, our people would believe it if we said that people in Liverpool ate babies.

Afterwards we went to the ground and did the usual sympathetic face. I made sure we talked up the work of the emergency services and the police blah, blah, working without the help of angry drunken fans (neatly implied but not stated). We left Irvine Patnick to start working on the news story and Bernard called Kelvin down in Wapping (because he owed us favours to tell him what the line was). We left Patrick to make the regretful statement and waffle about all the things we might do and deepest sympathy etc.

It wasn’t quite the weekend I’d expected and we went back to Downing Street where over a welcome gin and tonic we saw the hints about the bad behaviour and drunkenness of the fans beginning to emerge in the evening’s late news bulletin.

We now had a real opportunity to come down hard on violence in football and encourage the judges to hand out some major sentences for working class aggravation as well as a handy stick to hit Liverpool with. We had given some payback to the South Yorkshire police and patted Kelvin the poodle. Not a bad weekend really!

 

PS This is not really an unredacted version of Mrs Thatcher’s Memoirs and is, of course, entirely fanciful.

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