Yes….I woke up this morning and Margaret Thatcher is still dead. To be honest, I have avoided news coverage as the parade of Thatcher sycophants from the1980s is irritating. Like so many vampires eulogising Dracula.
The Newsnight and various “specials” are much more interesting …especially the events surrounding her overthrow in 1990. But there is a certain amount of overkill…if you will pardon the phrase.
This is not a “royal” allegedly neutral person who died. This is not Lady Diana. Although Jim Davidson might be persuaded to sing “Candle in the Wind” at St Paul’s…but then that friend of Thatcher has more pressing things on his mind right now. Margaret Thatcher was not Mother of the British Nation …or even the Nations favourite Gran…like the oldQueen Mum….although in fairness at least one of them was a bit of a racist.
But newsreaders wearing black ties (Peter Sissons didn’t do that for the Queen Mum) or black dresses seems a bit over the top. Indeed it IS over the top. This is not a serving Prime Minister who was assassinated. This is a former Prime Minister who died at age of eighty seven.
The “royal” comparison is valid. This is a woman who said “we are a grandmother” which in fairness was more careless in a lI’ve TV moment but she became increasingly and laughably regal the longer she served. This was a Prime Minister who observed that the real “Queen” looked like the sort of person who voted for the SDP.
I am old enough to recall the funeral of Winston Churchill. I actually remember the cortège and a boat along the River Thames. But that as Churchill. Is the comparison with Churchill valid? I don’t think so….the notion that they were both war time prime ministers lies on the bizarre notion that Churchill came to power (unelected) in 1940 and led Britain against the Nazi menace is actually the same as Thatcher leading Britain against the mighty threat of Argentina.
Something in the Churchill funeral was war time era gratitude. A last farewell from the wartime generation….it ha ended only twenty tears earlier. But Churchill was a toff…a top toff….descended from the Duke of Marlborough no less…and the Brits like that kinda nonsense.
Thatcher was no toff. Not a real one. Of course she never lost a General Election. Churchill arguably never won a General Election.
But if I can recall Churchills funeral….I can’t actually recall the funerals of Alec Hume, Ted Heath, Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan. An occasion for family and friends mostly. Certainly not a stat occasion or even a semi-state one. So Thatchers “ceremonial funeral” looks bizarre and even partisan.
Does covering her death and funeral to this absurd extent actually break the Representation of the People Act?