Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lady Thatcher's Funeral

Margaret Thatcher will be the first prime minister since Churchill to get a state funeral, reports the Mail on Sunday today, a decision it unsurprisingly firmly agrees with. Unfortunately, the Falklands victor may not have enough troops to line the route of her funeral cortege, as they are all in Afghanistan and Iraq. One hopes the troops would have been there as an endorsement, rather than to quell any potential unrest en route!

8 comments:

D Carnell said...

Do I need say anything?

What an absolute disgrace.

Let us hope this is as acurate as a Daily Mail health scare story.

consultant said...

State funeral, victory parade, protest march... they all look pretty similar really.

Pier said...

I fail to believe it is true.

If it is, Gordon Brown would exceed even the harshest claims of incompetence directed at him.

a) The 'core' vote won't like it

b) No one, apart from a few hard-nosed neo-liberal bastards who benefited from her destruction of the unionised labour movement, actually believes she is deserving of one.

c) It is an offence to Winston Chruchill, the only other PM since the war to receive a state funeral, that she is considered in the same category. Chruchill was a complete c*nt for most of his existance, but for a brief 5 year period he united Britain in 'her time of need' (ooh, cliche), and good on him for that. Thatcher, on the other hand, was divisive at the best of times, cruel and incompetent at the worst.

Give Blair a state funeral.

consultant said...

Give Blair a state funeral.

Next Monday maybe?

GM said...

First woman premier, longest serving of the 20th. century, changed the economic structure of British society, won a war, defeated communism....you don't have to like someone who's getting a state funeral, but you can hardly fail to acknowledge their significance to the state that's burying them.

Pier said...

'First Woman Premier' - Yes, but she hardly did anything to advance women's rights, and is by no means held in high regard by women's rights movements.

'Longest Serving of the 20th Century' - Yes, but her 11 year period isn't much more than Blair or Asquith, and let's not forget the fact Stanley Baldwin pretty much ran the country for almost 15 years as well. She was lucky to win in 1979, and she would have been out in '83 if it weren't for...

'Changed the Economic Structure of Britain' - Yes, 3.5 million people unemployed, Inflation Rates regularly above 10%, Interest Rates of 1above 10%, the destruction of 25% of all British Manufacturing Industry, the move from direct to indirect taxation, cutting social welfare, they are all something to be proud of...I accept she did SOME good, but her economic record is her most divisive - half benefited and half were excluded - hardly a triumph.

'Won a war' - Are you serious?! She didn't win the war, the troops did. She was the one who cut defense funding and the South Atlantic Patrol Craft which basically gave Galteri the green light. She was lucky. The British Army were close to losing, British men lost their lives for what can only be described as a publicity stunt. Going to war, especially over such a ridiculous issue, is no justification for a state funeral.

'Defeated Communism' - Don't get me wrong Giles, I didn't do History at Bristol, but I'm pretty sure that wasn't her. If she had any say if perestroika or glasnost I'll eat my hat. She may have had some involvement in defeating communism at home, but given that 'Communism' in Britain manifested itself in Arthur Scargill and Militant in Liverpool City Council, you can hardly expound this as a huge achievement.

As to your belief that her significance to the state should trump her unpopularity, that's ridiculous. If taxpayers money is to be spent on a celebration of someone's life, it should be spent in good heart in that that person's life benefited a significant majority of British citizens. She didn't.

GM said...

There is so much to take issue with in your response that it is almost worthy of a separate post. However, a few notes will have to suffice.

On women's rights, the very fact of her arrival at the top of the political tree was a clear triumph for women's rights. What you mean is she didn;t join specific women's interest groups or promote women simply because they were women. She achieved more by her success - which allowed women to say that there was no job barred to them - than many feminist activists have done with all their words and posturing.

On the war, of course troops won it - as they always do, including for Winston Chruchill in World War 2! but you won't find a soldier today who wouldn't rather have Thatcher's leadership than that of Blair or Brown. Once the war was agreed she ensured absolute support for the military leaership, and ensured the free flow of whatever funds they needed to pursue it. I remember talking to a couple of regulars on CCF camp a year ago, and though too young to have fought in the Falklands, they represented the still prevailing view in the military, that Thatcher was one of their best leaders and defenders. Many of them loathe Brown and Blair for what they have done to the military. As for defending the Falkland Islanders from illegal rule by a truly deplorable dictatorship, even a New Labour supporter - for whom reality and illusion long seem to have merged - can hardly just dismiss it as a publicity stunt. The call for action to free the Falklanders was fully supported by the Opposition Leader, Michael Foot, at the time - but then, as a man of principle who had once attacked the Muncih appeasers, he at least understood the importance of freedom.

And on communism - my point there is a little flippant perhaps, but many of the post-communist politicians of Eastern Europe do credit Thatcher and Reagan with creating the conditions internationally that finally forced Gorbachev to first reign in the worst excesses of his regime, and finally watch its abandonment!

Ben Ross said...

Does no one think a state funeral would be an absolute disaster. The number of socialist pierpaolos disrupting the 2-3 day procession would be embarrassing for this country.