London: Hollywood filmmakers have been accused of “distorting history” while portraying Margaret Thatcher as a livid and forgetful prime minister sliding into dementia while she was still in power.
A former Tory minister led the attacks, describing ‘The Iron Lady’ as “grotesque” fiction that should never have been made.
The implication in one scene, during her final Cabinet meeting, is that she is going mad, and berates everyone, especially her longest-serving minister Geoffrey Howe, for their spinelessness in giving in to poll tax protesters.
Baroness Thatcher, played by Meryl Streep in the film, is seen ranting and repeating herself forgetfully with shaking hands and later asking herself “are you unwell?”
There are also scenes where she talks to her husband Denis, forgetting that he is dead.
Former colleagues of Thatcher have rallied to defend Britain’s first woman prime minister while critics argue that Hollywood studios would never dare treat in the same way the late US president Ronald Reagan who had Alzheimer’s.
“It’s a grotesque distortion of history. It’s a load of Lefties in Hollywood wanting to pervert the course of history,” the Daily Express quoted ex-Tory minister Neil Hamilton as saying.
“I was the last person to see her on the night she resigned. I was there until 2am convincing her not to resign. In every respect she was strong, quick and intelligent.
“She was not a ranter and there were no signs of mental decline. She was at the height of her powers and I saw it at close quarters. We have to see this film as a piece of fiction and we are dealing with someone who is still alive so it’s in incredibly bad taste,” he added.