Magazine article Management Today

Leading into Loneliness

Magazine article Management Today

Leading into Loneliness

Article excerpt

Margaret Thatcher has always managed to convey the impression of not minding being at odds with public opinion. Indeed, it is all too easy to forget that her `economic miracle' was greeted with intense dislike when it was actually implemented in he early 1980s. It should come as no surprise, then, that events which are currently reshaping a new political and economic world have not been wholeheartedly welcomed by the Prime Minister. Changes in Eastern Europe, and hoped-for changes in South Africa, have both been received very differently in Downing Street to other parts of the globe.

Thatcher believes that relaxing sanctions against South Africa at this stage would give an encouraging nod to President F. W. de Klerk. It would be an acknowledgement from the only Western politician who has consistently backed the South African government in recent years. Other leaders have confined themselves to vocal approval of the release of Nelson Mandela, insisting that sanctions should stay in place for the time being.

All sides know that the sanctions themselves are minimal in value. Figures from the British Overseas Trade Board show that visible exports to South Africa were worth [British Pound]1 billion in 1989 (only fractionally more than in 1985) while visible imports from South Africa were worth [British Pound]885 million ([British Pound]990 million), leaving a balance in favour of the UK of[British Pound]153 million. …

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