SYDNEY – Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr says British leader Margaret Thatcher made an “unabashedly racist” comment about Asian immigration after she left office.
Carr said the “Iron Lady,” who died Monday, had warned him Australia could end up like Fiji, “where the Indian migrants have taken over.”
“I recall one conversation I had with her in her retirement where she said something that was unabashedly racist,” he told ABC television late Tuesday. “She warned Australia against Asian immigration, saying that if we allowed too much of it we’d see the natives of the land, the European settlers, overtaken by migrants.
“She said, ‘I like Sydney but you can’t allow the migrants’ — and in context she meant Asian immigrants — ‘to take over, otherwise you will end up like Fiji.’
“I couldn’t believe it,” Carr said. “It reminded me that . . . there was an old-fashioned quality to her that was entirely out of touch and probably explained why her party removed her in the early ’90s.
“I was so astonished I don’t think I could think of an appropriate reply,” he said.