England Watch. A View on The Thatcher Funeral.

Baroness Thatcher Died last week and, conveniently for the TV news channels, nothing else of note happened for two days.
That was the impression given to anyone this side of the Orion Nebula.

Yes she was the first woman Prime Minister. But her legacy reduced the chance of there being a second one in the foreseeable future.

Yes she had the balls to take on the Argentinian invasion of the South Atlantic Territories. A good call.

Yes the Trades Unions did need curbing. But their communities should not have been decimated in the way that they were.

Yes she was right to give council house tenants the right to buy their homes. She was totally wrong to take that money into Government coffers preventing councils from building new homes to replace them. Thereby it is a direct result of Thatcher’s policy that England has such a dire shortage of social housing.

Yes the ‘Pole Tax’ had some merit, but the way in which it was forced on the country lead directly to riots on the streets and a feeling that democracy was for ‘them not us’.

This afternoon her coffin was taken to Westminster and will lie in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft. There was a private service for family and friends and it should have stayed at that.

If anything was guaranteed to stir up anger and resentment in sections of the country it is the thought of Maggie Thatcher being given a ‘semi-State’ funeral similar to those of The Queen Mother and Princess Diana.

Let us not lose sight of the fact that she was not defeated at the ballot box by the will of the people.
She was unceremoniously dumped out of Downing Street by Tory Members of Parliament desperate to protect their own arses and jobs.

Thatcher was seen, quite correctly, as a liability to the Tory Party and with her as PM it had no chance of winning the next General Election. The electorate, and many of her own MPs, considered even her influence to be toxic, and so it proved to be to John Major, initially seen as her preferred choice as successor.

We may never know exactly how many millions of pounds her funeral cost; there will be 700 members of the armed services who could have been training or on well-earned R and R.

It must be gratifying to the people of South East England to know that they live in such a safe and idyllic environment that there are 4,000 Police Officers with nothing better to do for the day than to make sure that one very expensive box gets smoothly from A to B.

The mark of a great Prime Minister is that they leave the country feeling united.

By that measure Thatcher is not a great Prime Minister. More Ramsey McDonald than Winston Churchill.


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