J.P. Stern

‘You are going much too fast,’ Mrs Thatcher said on the News at One on Friday, 10 November, ‘first Poland, then Hungary, then – er, Czechoslovakia, now Eastern Germany ... ’. Heigh-ho, this was Neville Chamberlain’s ‘Czechoslovakia’ all over again, the far-away country of which we know little. The second half of the sentence was omitted from the television interview shown later that day. The slip of the tongue shows the extent of Mrs Thatcher’s informed interest in the quiet revolution that is happening in Central Europe, the levée en masse of which the Czechs had at that stage formed no part.

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