Letter: Lesson of Thatcher's coup

I DISAGREE with Geoffrey Wheatcroft's comments in his article about Margaret Thatcher (Profile, 25 October) that "by the time she audaciously seized the Tory leadership from Heath in 1975, she had begun to frighten Labour seriously".

In fact such was the sexist nature of politics at the time that many were overjoyed at her sudden elevation, honestly believing that a party with a woman leader - and an obviously middle-class suburban housewife at that - would never get itself elected.

The present Baroness Thatcher was originally treated with as much ridicule as poor William Hague is today. A sign of encouragement for the latter.


Grimsby, Lincolnshire