London — Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher returned Sunday from an all-day, seven nation Asian tours and encountered opposition charges that she had gloated to her foreign hosts about defeating a 5lweek miners’ strike.
Mrs. Thatcher flew into London’s Heathrow airport aboard a Royal Air Force jet from Saudi Arabia, the last stop on her 22,000mile journey, where she had talks with King Fahd.
Mrs. Thatcher’s comments that British labor unionists were now “learning the facts of life’? Fueled opposition displeasure about the trip, which took her to Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Saudi Arabia.
“She does not show the flag, she washes dirty linen. She is not boosting Britain, she is bashing Britain and before audiences of leaders many of whom have no more than a nodding acquaintance with liberty,” Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock said.
The pro Conservative Sunday Telegraph commented as Mrs. Thatcher returned that she was entitled to feel satisfaction over the collapse of the coal strike last month and subsequent decisions by post office workers and rail men not to strike, but added: ‘‘Perhaps she was unwise to voice it so plainly when abroad.”
The independent Sunday Times, however, praised the prime minister, saying foreigners are “‘shocked by the militancy, the destructiveness and the sheer bloody-mindedness of some British trade union leaders.”’
“Mrs. Thatcher is now telling the world that she can and is doing something about it,’’ the Times said. “Why not preach that message to the world?”
Article extracted from this publication >> April 19, 1985