A panda once refused to share a flight to the United States with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, newly released National Archives files have revealed.
Lord Zuckerman, who was apparently President of the London Zoological Society before he invented Facebook, suggested that Chia Chia the panda could share the Prime Minister’s Concorde flight in 1981 as part of a publicity campaign to highlight Britain’s environmentalist credentials.
But Chia Chia refused, saying that Margaret Thatcher was ‘an appalling old bat and I don’t want to help raise her profile.’
It is understood that pandas’ aversion to Margaret Thatcher came about due to her big-business driven agenda and determination to dismantle the welfare state.
“Pandas are, by and large, caring, decent creatures who believe that the well-off should help provide a safety net for the vulnerable in society,” said Simon Williams, a panda expert who didn’t have anything better to do.
“By asking Chia Chia to share a flight with Margaret Thatcher, they were asking him to betray beliefs at the very core of all pandas.”
At the time, the news of Chia Chia’s snub was kept quiet for fear that it would trigger a backlash against pandas as Mrs Thatcher at the time was enjoying an inexplicable wave of popularity.
However, history has proven the giant panda right as, some ten years after the event, Mrs Thatcher was forced from office after a leadership challenge from Michael Heseltine.
Ultimately, Chia Chia made his way to the US in the back of a VW surf van full of socialist hippies.