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Her divisiveness is far from being the only reason Thatcher should not get a State funeral

Posted on 22 December 2011 | 6:12pm

That the idea of a State funeral for Margaret Thatcher is even on the agenda says something for the extent to which the Right wing in Britain still sings the best tunes the loudest across our politics and media. And yes, I am aware that Gordon Brown expressed his support for the notion – I thought it was a mistake then and think it so now – but only because at the time he was trying to sing one or two of those tunes himself.

Winston Churchill was by common consent – a view widely held when he was alive, and one which has cemented itself in history – a great man and a great Prime Minister whose leadership was fundamental to victory in the Second World War. Regardless of people’s politics, virtually all could see and appreciate that greatness. That near universal sense of acclaim and respect cannot be claimed by supporters of Margaret Thatcher, or indeed for any other Prime Minister since Churchill. Indeed, the one who gets nearest was his direct successor, Clement Attlee; he achieved a huge amount during his short tenure, but it was too short to merit the full State send-off.

Those who argue that Margaret Thatcher merits such an honour point to the fact that she was Britain’s first woman Prime Minister, her role in the Falklands, her role in the cold war, and her impact in changing Britain’s approach to the economy. Only the first of those really marks her out as special. None of the others, alone or combined, put her remotely near the Churchill league, let alone Nelson or Wellington.

Yes, her leadership was vital in the Falklands War, but the war cannot be compared with the Second World War, nor her leadership with Churchill’s. Yes, she got on well with Ronald Reagan and did business with Mikhail Gorbachev, but their role in bringing the Berlin Wall crashing down was considerably greater than hers. As for the economy, this is the place where a dominant right-wing media has rewritten to the point of romanticism the role of a leader who presided over massive unemployment, social division and a series of policy catastrophes of which the poll tax was the most telling but not the only one.

Those who argue that she shouldn’t get a State funeral because she was a divisive Prime Minister are right. But that is far from being the only reason. The main one is that she wasn’t as good in the job as her supporters would have you believe, and a lot of the changes she made to Britain were for the worse not the better.

  • Ian Blades

    Correct.

  • Ola

    Excellent piece Alastair – she shouldn’t geta a state funeral – period!

  • Keir Dhillon
  • Netshopping99

    Hear hear

  • Catsfather

    Who has ever compared The Falklands with WW2? This in the quickest example of Godwin’s law that I’ve ever seen!

  • MiriamCotton

    A bizarre, deluded, hyporcritical piece from a war crime facilitator/ enabler. 

  • lilsaz

    When I first read that I thought it was a joke and it certainly would be. Thatcher has done nothing to deserve a state funeral.   

  • catrionastewart15

    She shouldn’t get a state funeral because she was a massive cow who played a big part in creating the “I am worth it” while blaming poverty and its social effects on the poor.  As a teenager in receipt of free school meals I remember palpable fear at election time and what she’d do when they got in again.  Now in mid 40s and a higher rate tax payer I am reaonably immune to the worst politicians can do (illegal wars apart) but I always remember the low dread as another Tory government was returned to office. 

  • ZintinW4

    When my Mum died, a fairly nasty and painful death, the only person she would have wished the pain on was Margaret Thatcher. The idea of honouring somebody who systematically set about to not just destroy but too harm the weakest members of our society causes me nothing but revulsion. A State funeral would add insult to grievous injury

  • Davy H

    She would get dumped in a skip if it was up to me.

  • Richard

    I m unsure as to where this chestnut came from, but there is no public appetite for such a state funeral for Thatcher.  She was  a peacetime politician and was more divisive than any other politician in the last century. Her legacy will be argued about by Britons for generations.

    You could help us all out, Al, by telling us why GB is in favour. Was it because after Thatcher, he was the most divisive politician of his age?

  • Anonymous

    No state funeral for sure, but let’s not forget what an abject country we were by the winter of discontent – and why oh why did New Labour borrow such much off the money men that we are now screwed for decades.

    One cheap point from you, but the pain of repayment is on all of us for the rest of our lives.

  • Janiete

    How right you are to say of Thatcher that ‘a lot of the changes she made to Britain were for the worse not the better’.
     
    The financial crisis has made many people reflect on present undesirable aspects of our society and it’s hard not to draw the conclusion that the rot started in the 80s. The growth and under regulation of the financial sector, a low wage service sector and diminished manufacturing began with Thatcher’s free market vision.
     
    Has privatization of essential services resulted in better provision or value for money?  Thousands of young people benefited from apprenticeships funded by previously nationalized industries and local authority based direct works departments. Opportunities which don’t seem to be provided by the overly profit driven private sector.
     
    We don’t have anywhere near enough social housing because Thatcher believed in creating a nation of owner occupiers. No thought was given to likely consequences but we can see them now. First time buyers can’t get mortgages. Not a problem in the 80s when mutual Building Societies provided a sound financial service based on limiting loans to what buyers could realistically afford to pay back. This started to unravel in the 80s and made the ridiculous rise in the cost of private housing possible.
     
    Of course Thatcher did more damage in other areas which, thankfully, the Labour Party reversed or improved in education, health, policing, child poverty and, until the crash, employment. Anyone who views Thatcher as making a positive contribution to our country clearly has no interest in the welfare of the overwhelming majority of British people.

  • Tony Soph

    Spot on. The only time I ever wan to see That Woman draped in the Union flag is if she attempts an ill-judged impersonation of Geri Halliwell.

  • Frankly, we ought to be giving every Prime Minister a state funeral – that we don’t is shocking

  • Fenham

    Her govt’s policies did untold harm to my home city & region.
    The effects are still there 30 years on. Her rigid economic policies stuffed the UK
    No bloody way does she deserve a state funeral. But as you argue not for any particular reason other than she wasn’t as good as she & her toadies reckon

  • uest

    a State funeral !!!

    I thought thay said an estate funeral and the proplr on the White City estate and other estates accross Londion have been prepearing for this day for ages. Shovels at the ready !!

  • Anonymous

    See, I think the 2008 financial crisis was caused by Clement Atlee*.
    Whats that you say? It couldn’t have been his fault because he had been out of office for donkeys years by that stage?Ok… yet thatcher and reagan are to blame for the 2008 crisis despite being out of office 18 and 20 years respectively.In that case I’m definitely going to blame the crash of 2030 on Gordon Brown.**

    I do think that some legacy of the thatcher reagan years played a role, along with other things, in the crash – the monetarist policies.

    But some of you really need to question how much you know about economics before commenting further. Here is a hint, and a bit of homework:

    I’m certain that you guys think of thatcher/reagan/friedman as right wing economically.
    Actually monetarism is centrist. Keynesian is left wing. Communism is far left. So what is right-wing (not its not the far ‘right’ as they are socialists economically.)

    *I don’t think so really, I think Clement Atlee was one of the greatest leaders we, or anyone else, ever had.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think Thatcher should have a state funeral.

    For whatever reason, there was a lot of unemployment and crime in the early 80s, her watch.

    We borrowed too much in the 1970s and became an uncompetitive economy.There are only two ways out of this – a crash now, or stagnation followed by a bigger crash later.
    She chose the former, and won 2 elections afterwards.Bush/Brown/Obama/Cameron chose the latter.

    We had a highly subsidised economy. She chose to end some subsidies abruptly, but others are still going to this day. I.e the miners stopped being subsidised but we kept the direct and indirect subsidies to farmers and big businesses such as supermarkets and banks. (Two ways I can subsidise you – one I can give you money, or two I can make your competitors spend money ie regulation.)

    So the price of other activities was artificially high compared to mining, therefore they couldn’t compete without subsidy.
    Better would have been to end all subsidy at the same time, then I think mining and manufacturing could have stayed productive.

    If you look at real capitalism, at the real right wing economists, they would abhor any policies which result in destruction of real jobs, real industry, real goods, real wealth in favour of service or paperwork based jobs including banks.

  • Anonymous

    There is a lot I agree with in your post.
    I’d just say that the country was in bad state by the 70s so something had to be done, and the overwhelming majority of British people did vote for her 3 times.

    I think it was a minority who suffered under her government, but it was a very large minority (3.6 million unemployed for a start) and I think it could and should have been avoided.

    • Dave Simons

      Mas unemployment in the 1980s didn’t just happen by coincidence, any more than the Miners’ Strike of 1984. It was part of a strategy clearly sketched out by the likes of Nicholas Ridley before the 1979 general election. It was the application of an old Tory policy to undo the 1945 settlement, something the likes of narrow-minded backwoods Tories like Thatcher must have seethed about from the start.
      When you say the country was in a bad state in the 1970s I hope you remember that it was more equal than it has been since the Thatcher counter-revolution. As for all those wicked strikes, remember that inflation was in double figures and people were naturally trying to maintain their living standards in the face of it. The inflation may have had something to do with the 1973 Yom Kippur war and the price of oil – it might not have been caused by inflationary wage claims. Thatcher’s ‘freedom’ was totally one-sided – shackle the unions and liberate finance – and we can now enjoy the fruits of the latter policy as we face another insecure new year. If the country was in a bad state in the 1970s it was utopia compared to now, after three decades of ‘neo-liberalism’. As a UK citizen I would be ashamed of my country if Thatcher got a state funeral, and I don’t think Michael Martin should have lobbied for that awful statue in Westminster.

    • N Mead

      The overwhelming majority of British people did not vote for the Conservative Party led by Thatcher:
      In 1979 just over 33% of the electorate voted for them, in 1983 it was just under 31%, it was just under 32%.
      Granted this compares favourably to the 23.5% who voted for the Cameron-led party, but even so it doesn’t merit a state funeral.

  • Anonymous

    I think a right wing government would have kept the coal mines open.There might have been different conditions for wages and unions, but they could have been open. And today, they could flourish.

    But for all the lefties who wanted them to stay open, as did I, how many of you will join me in saying that they should be reopened today?

    The coal mines in Australia have flourished under their right wing government.

    But most lefties will say “We can’t open the coal mines, its bad for the environment.” So they are fine with coalminers being out of work, as long as it is for environmental reasons and not economic ones – in which case they should spare us a little bit of the moralising.

  • Marklazenby

    Wrong

  • All PM’s should be given state funerals. 

  • MarkM

    Alistair. What can we do about this? How do we stop this becoming a reality? I will write letters, send money. What?

  • Mike

    Thatcher the Destroyer. Give her a burial in one of our disused mine shafts followed by millions of tons of concrete. 

  • Libdem

    Presumably Anthony you mean whilst they’re still in office…

  • Repugnant individual.
    Divisive vampire.
    The scars remain vivid across the land. So many areas never recovered from her blitzkreig, as for being the first female premier – I do not believe that she enhanced the role of women at all.
    Ghost of Christmas past, repeats worse than brussels – that she might be honoured in this way would be, well, as – you know – like turkeys voting for well, you know what. Likewise they too should get stuffed.
    Many will have a bottle of bubbles set aside to mark her demise.
    Like the turkeys too I imagine it will be hot where she is heading.

  • AC, what an appalling post, the Lady is still alive, also your MASTER TB it can be argued will not agree with this post, without Lady T you could not have changed the Labour Party in to New Labour, you owe her your career in many respects. The glorious 18 years of Conservative Rule allowed for TB, do you think TB would have gotten elected dog catcher in the Labour Party without the Party being out of Power for 18 years. At least Lady T never invaded anyone the last time I looked, she stood up to President Reagan when he invaded a Commonwealth Country, what did TB ever do, just ask Bush 43 how high he should jump. Really have you forgotten the lessons of New Labour, get over the fact that Ed Miliband cant afford to have you back in any role, IRAQ, big place in the Middle East, 2003 time frame, do you recall. Also its Christmas AC, you should know better, I am sure as TB does religion he will be praying that you shut up on this kind of thing, does not do him any good, lets recall Iraq report coming, is this spin to change the subject, get cover from the Guardian. Appalling AC, just I was starting to like you through the diaries.

  • Olli Issakainen

    Mrs T and Ronald Reagan started deregulation and financialisation of economy. We are now paying heavy price for neoliberalism.

    Ps. Merry Christmas to Alastair Campbell and his family from Finland! Also to all regular readers of the blog and to all Burnley fans.

  • Dave Simons

    It’s a good opportunity to recycle the epitaph I’ve posted previously on this blog.

    LINES ON A PROPOSED STATE FUNERAL FOR MARGARET THATCHER (after Byron)

    Posterity will never see
    a nobler grave than this.
    Here’s what’s left of Mrs T.
    Coachload – stop, and xxxx

    (Byron had Castlereagh in mind).

  • Quinney

    Her funeral should be put out to private tender to make sure the taxpayer gets the most value.

  • Quinney

    Alastair, thought you’d like this piece from an FC United of Manchester website.
     “As recently as the 1957-58 season the top flight clubs in England played on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. On Dec 25th 1957 Manchester United played Luton Town at Old Trafford winning 3-0 with goals from Bobby Charlton, Duncan Edwards and Tommy Taylor. 24hrs later both clubs reconvened at Kenilworth Rd where Taylor and Scanlon netted to salvage a 2-2 deaw for United.

    Back to back features were common then in the festive period with unusual scorelines and reversals of fortune often a feature.
    By 1963 however Christmas day features were gone and Matt Busby took his players to Turf Moor on Boxing Day for the match with Burnley. Inspired with 4 goals from Andy Lochead and the dazzling skills of Willie Morgan the Clarets trounced united 6-1 and Busby accordingly made changes for the visitors visit to Old Traffors on the 28th. George Best returned to make the second first team appearence of his career and ran Burnley ragged along with fellow winger Willie Anderson. Best scored the first senior goal of his career and United ran our 5-1 winners.”

  • Ehtch

    Shows what country we have got – been banging on about this for years since milk Snatcher Thatcher and her old english corner shop WWII food couponed fucking bred mentality – she was a nutter, nutter brought up, and the higher eschelons of the Tory Party used her as the new Attlee in a pay back way. She was used and abused by her, pathetically, until she finally went cuckoo. Anyway, feeding and supplying your customers the required foodstuffs to keep them healthy SHOULD be the aim, so to reduce the NHS burdon, without a dog in the manger attitude, as with Scotland. Fucking stupid bint!
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/dec/23/vitamin-d-scotland-food-multiple-sclerosis

  • Johnhenry

    Absolutely NO WAY should Thatcher get a state funeral. She was extremely divisive and we are now living through the nightmare of Thatcher political economy. I spent many hours in the late 80’s and early 90’s bringing about her downfall and take some small credit along with many others who led the Tories to have to ditch her. She was insane!! and will not want to see a state funeral for such a person. She destroyed the lives of many people in this country. Took this country to war for a piece of dirt in the South Atlantic. NO WAY!!

    John Henry

  • Jim Brant

    I largely agree, except about Churchill. He was not seen in such a rosy light in many parts of the UK. His career was characterised by almost unmitigated failure except for his leadership during the war, and the working class north of Watford remembered that and never put him on a pedestal.

  • Anonymous

    If you are posting from an anti-Thatcher perspective, I’m not sure you want to go down the route of electoral facts and figures!
    Your 33% is obviously of the total electorate, rather than of those who actually voted, of which she got a majority (the word overwhelming is a bit subjective I guess.)
    You should include the rest of the figures, seats, voter turnout etc for major, blair, cameron too.

    Anyway, I agree that she shouldn’t get a state funeral.

  • Anonymous

    I just replied to you on a previous blog Dave.I’m not convinced the country was more equal in the 70s – there were still a lot of disenfranchised people, and a lot of people with excessive power.
    I think the majority preferred the state of affairs in the 80s, though there are weaknesses in this, the ‘tyranny of the majority’ is not to be encouraged.

    I would say that inflation is always caused by expansion of the monetary supply, ie printing money. Thats what inflation is. That cat was let out of the bag in the 70s, mainly by Nixon. Reagan was much more successful than Thatcher, and much more right wing (if you call free market capitalism right wing), in his efforts to curb it. 21 million jobs were created afterwards.

    Anyway, I would prefer equality to capitalism.But noone I’ve ever met has ever wanted equality, when I spell out what equality would mean. I’d be up for it but noone else ever is.The next best system is free market capitalism.

  • Anonymous

    The aim should not have been to encourage finance/services over manufacturing/heavy industry, or to liberate/shackle unions or finance. The aim should have been to liberate people. and let them decide what to buy and who to work for.

    The financial crash was caused by moral hazard in the form of government deposit insurance, which guarantees bankers will be protected from loss by government bailout.

    People on this site seem to have swallowed the line too easily, from all 3 parties, that the crash wasn’t the governments fault. It was.

  • Anonymous

    I wish people in the UK could think for themselves rather than swallowing “the message”.
    Alastair, I suppose I must congratulate you, this and many other messages on your site show that people believe what they read in the papers.

  • Libdem

    Given the state of the unions vis a vis the government, we should all be grateful to Thatcher. I’m sure you’ll remember the ‘winter of discontent’ under a Labour government, the unions were interested in one thing and it wasn’t the interests of the members, it had to do with power.
    The unions lost it for Labour just as they will with Miliband and Balls in charge!

  • Dave Simons

    The equality statistic has been in the news fairly recently. I can’t remember whether it was 1977 or 1979 but one of those dates has been quoted as the one year since World War Two when the gap between rich and poor was at its narrowest. And that’s how it feels to someone who has lived through the period – things starting reverting after either the IMF bail-out of 1977 under Callaghan, or Thatcher’s ascendancy in 1979. Either way the latter accelerated the trend – it was, after all, what essentially she was all about.

  • Anonymous

    Well I think she conceded, if thats the right word, in the video of her last hoc appearance in 1990 that the country had become more unequal. But that both rich and poor had got richer, with a better standard of living.

    I can see both sides of the argument. I’d like to progress from a bicycle to a ford fiesta, but if my neighbour progressed to a ferrari, i might prefer we both go back to bicycles.

    Also, economic equality is only about 25-33% of equality, so other measures are needed for equality.

    Anyway, I hope we and the other other residents of this country are equal enough to have a good christmas, best wishes to Dave, AC and all the readers.

  • Johnhenry

    I agree with one of the comments below that ther funeral should be put out to private tender for one of the hellish Children of Thatcher to deal with. A state funeral for such a vile person is unthinkable. “NO! NO! NO!”

  • Johnhenry

    I agree with one of the comments below that ther funeral should be put out to private tender for one of the hellish Children of Thatcher to deal with. A state funeral for such a vile person is unthinkable. “NO! NO! NO!”

  • Dave Simons

    I think we should all progress from our ferraris and fiestas to good old bikes – preferably ones with mudguards, lights and bells, and ridden by people who have read and comply with the Highway Code! An alternative is shank’s pony and one of the best footpath networks in the world – a means to really discover the country you claim to love, as opposed to flashing past it on a motorway from shopping mall to service station to new build to chain pub. Happy New Year!

  • Dave Simons

    I think we should all progress from our ferraris and fiestas to good old bikes – preferably ones with mudguards, lights and bells, and ridden by people who have read and comply with the Highway Code! An alternative is shank’s pony and one of the best footpath networks in the world – a means to really discover the country you claim to love, as opposed to flashing past it on a motorway from shopping mall to service station to new build to chain pub. Happy New Year!

  • GJ

    It still makes me grind my teeth, every time I switch on the One Show, or some other right-wing vehicle at the BBC, only to be fed more soft-hearted nonsense about that old bag.
    The current generation of young people, who never experienced the Thatcher years, are being brainwashed by the media, into thinking she was somehow, ‘great’?
    The only thing she had going for her, as you said Alistair, was that she was a female, in a predominately male profession, at that time. Indeed, it could be argued, that she became iconic, for women.
    But you don’t become great because of gender, but by your deeds in office. 
    She had a few decent moments, by today’s standards, but then many things leaders look better in today’s light. The Reagan and Bush Senior Administrations look placid and appealing, compared to the Neo-Con’s of Bush Junior.
    However, it is the legacy of social decay, high unemployment, the Poll Tax, and let’s not forget the dead-end of the YTS scheme, which was, in reality, a slave labour policy. 2 years of sweeping floors and making coffees and digging ditches, left a generation of young people with no skills, and no money in their pockets.
    I do remember Gordon saying she should have a state funeral, and thinking that he had been told to say it, to appease the Daily Mail. It was a mistake, like you say. In fact, a big mistake, as there are many more, who remember the destruction Mrs T rent, across British Society. She was, in reality, the mother of the Scottish parliament. Had Thatcher, not endorsed such a xenophobic policy, over the poll tax, by introducing it North of the border, then there would have been no seperate parliament, and the cost of setting it up. Nor would there be the West Lothian question. 
    However, it was in the mining communities, that she did her worst; where she can never be forgiven, for her divide and conquer policies. It was here, that she left permanent scars, in the face of history. It was here, that she tore apart the fabric of British society. It was here, that she left her trademark of stripping the dignity from good people. 
    Yes, she will be remembered – but not for prosperity; but for shame.

  • Dave Simons

    I understand Olli’s in Finland, but niceties aside, I’m not sure what the quibble is? Are you suggesting that Thatcher and Reagan were not adherents of neo-liberalism, and that Thatcher did not start deregulation and financialisation of the UK economy? I don’t think this is a matter of ‘the message’ or believing what you read in the papers – more a statement of historical fact – ‘The Big Bang’, etc. Perhaps you weren’t in the UK in the 1980s?

  • Is she dead then? Only I live in Australia and I don’t read the newspapers here as they’re appalling, and there’s no guarantee that Thatcher’s death would be covered anyway, as anything outside of the Australian coastline is deemed too far away to be of interest.
    Funnily enough I was at a lunch party yesterday and the subject of Meryl Streep playing Thatcher in the film came up. I said I felt conflicted about seeing an actor I loved playing someone I hated. It turned out the woman sitting opposite me loved Thatcher as she was a ‘good leader’. I was stumped. Couldn’t think of anything to say… in hindsight, ‘So was Hitler’ might have been good.

  • Anonymous

    Dave, that post was written after half an hour on various sites reading versions of “the message”, so while I think the post is correct, it was unfair to dump it all on Olli – sorry Olli!

    I’d be happy to discuss my economic analysis in depth of Thatcher, Reagan, deregulation and so forth, and my view of what caused the crisis.

    For now I’ll just elaborate on “the message”.Labour: “cutting too far and too fast”, “thatcher/reagan caused the financial crisis”, “britain isolated outside Europe”.Tories: “The mess we’re in because of the last labour government”.

    Neo Liberalism is a broad church… the extent to which reagan or particularly thatcher followed it is debatable, though they talked about it a lot.

    Thatcher started deregulation and financialisation of the economy yes. In terms of achieving those two things (not in terms of whether they are desirable) she was unsuccessful at the former and successful at the latter. I.e. we do have a financialised economy now, but we certainly don’t have a deregulated one.

    I was in the UK in the 1980s but in terms of economics I only had experience in those days, I hadn’t studied it.

  • Anonymous

    The cause and effect deception:

    If the economy has a giant revival next year, will people say that Reagan and Thatcher caused it? When it boomed (and it did boom), under Blair and Clinton, did people say that Reagan and Thatcher caused it?
    Are Cameron/Osborne right to say the economic situation now was Brown’s fault? If it then booms in 2 years time (don’t worry it won’t) will that then be due to Brown or Cameron/Osborne? If it then crashes again 5 years later can they blame Brown again?

    Can I blame Gladstone or Keynes for all the problems we have now or is that too far back? How about Nixon? What caused the 1970s problems?

    Surely people can see that this type of blame game, from left or right, is sheer politics with the flimsiest economic evidence behind it.

  • Anonymous

    I believe that moral hazard caused the crash, not deregulation or liberalisation.

    We had a system where bankers knew they had a bailout guarantee from the government, because of the fact that banks have our deposits and the government insure them. Therefore its guaranteed that the government will bail out the banks, as it doesn’t want us to lose our money or to have to fork out the deposit insurance.So the banks knew they could take risks, if they win they take the profits, if they lose we taxpayers pay for the losses.

    We should have a safe banking system for depositors (and not this vickers ringfence, its still dangerous.) Safe banks or bank accounts, where deposits cannot be lent out.

    Then allow bankers to gamble with money they raise, but not the money guaranteed by deposit insurance. Then if they want to lend to NINJAs, buy CDOs or lend to Greece they can – but if the bet goes bad they lose and we can laugh at them.

  • Janiete

    You can only be referring to those who come here to oppose AC and the Labour viewpoint, as there aren’t any newspapers carrying a Labour ‘message’.

    The only exeption could be the Mirror but that’s hardly into serious politics. I don’t read the Mirror or any other tabloid but have developed my political views from taking an interest in current issues and my own life experiences.

    People in the UK are exposed constantly to a right and centre-right view of domestic politics, in the press and broadcast media. These views are rarely challenged at source, so if people here promote a view from the left it must be because, like me, they’ve thought about it and agree with it.
     
     
     

  • Anonymous

    Janiete I agree that experience is important, most of my own views are based on working in different occupations from blue collar to white collar, and of experiencing living in dodgy areas and nicer areas.I trust those experiences more than what politicians say or what authors write.

    However when it comes to economic theory I couldn’t have worked it out without study, things are not always what they seem in economics.

    I also do not trust those in power to tell me about economics, as they say what is politically expedient not what is economically sound, hence I don’t agree with Ed Balls or George Osborne.

    “Deregulation/Neo-Liberalism caused the crash” is not something I buy, though neither is “Labour caused every economic problem in the world.”

    As for the papers, what’s your view of the guardian?I’m thinking more of BBC and Channel 4 anyway (I like the Guardian), though I notice there is one poster here who called the One Show a right wing vehicle!

  • Elaine Calvert1

    I was 18 on 3rd May 1979 – the day I eagerly went to cast my first vote.  My dad had talked to me often about the importance of using the vote, most particularly as a woman – which I clearly was on that day!  I was brought up to understand that my vote was important; that I must use it  – given that it was long-fought for, not only for women but for working-class people.  The impending sense of doom that I felt when Margaret Thatcher became the Tory PM is one I’ve never forgotten.  From the sickening references to Francis of Assisi on the steps of No 10 (I do do a bit of God, not least for my children’s understanding of art/literature/life etc), to the selling off of council housing and the promotion of the individual rather than community, the impact of Thatcher on (my) family life and social cohesion – poll tax riots, unemployment, social divides was not only shocking then – it lives on in this current government.  

    I agree wholeheartedly that a state funeral for Margaret Thatcher is not only inappropriate – it is an insult to all the hard-working men and women – like my own parents who have worked full-time since they were 14-yrs old.
        

  • Michele

    I’m coming to this one very late due to being away for a while.
     
    I can’t think of a single reason for a Thatcher state funeral and found Peter Oborne’s comments interesting and this e-petition worthy of a titter!
     
    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/18914

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peteroborne/100125535/lady-thatcher-deserves-every-honour-%E2%80%93-apart-from-this-one/
      

  • Michele

    Your own blog, its targets, shows you to be an extreme right winger.  You seem ignorant of the fact that this topic has not been introduced in to anyone’s thoughts for the first time by AC, it has been in discussion here for at least a couple of years.

    The ‘lady’ is indeed still alive and like many others of her age is apparently neglected by family (when she fell and broke a minor bone a couple of years ago she was kept in hospital for several days longer than should have been necessary – she was uncared for and under-nourished).

    Her simply being the first woman to attain PM-ship is meaningless i.r.o. the status and meaning of state funerals; they have to be occasions when everyone in attendance (invited or spectators) can feel true sadness and feeling of loss for the nation at the passing.

    Like the earliest suffragettes, whose primary interest was votes for the wives and daughters of property owners (while even working men that were not property owners still had none) she was never a woman with altruism. 

    Her novelty does not make her respect-worthy.

    —————————–

    Any readers still looking in to this topic might be interested to know that there is an e-petition suggesting any ‘special’ funeral arrangements should be funded by private investors.  Perhaps if that happens you’ll buy a commemorative mug?

  • Politics Teacher

    We have a plurality sytem in the UK which means no one needs a  majority of votes to win, more seats yes but not more votes. The figures for those who went to the ballot box and voted Tory are never under 42% during Thatcher’s tenure. For the sake of precision however, it’s important to recognise that England supprted Thatcher but certainly not Britain! Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were shunned by Thatcher, let’s not do the same.

  • Anonymous

    True, what’s your suggestion for that then, some sort of independence/devolution/federalism for those regions? I believe in Jeffersonian democracy. Maybe each region or even each constituency should govern itself. But this should only be on the basis that each region receives no payments from other regions.

  • Anonymous

    True, what’s your suggestion for that then, some sort of independence/devolution/federalism for those regions? I believe in Jeffersonian democracy, ie put the decisions as close to those they affect as possible.

    Maybe each region or even each constituency should govern itself. 

  • Anonymous

    True, what’s your suggestion for that then, some sort of independence/devolution/federalism for those regions? I believe in Jeffersonian democracy, ie put the decisions as close to those they affect as possible.

    Maybe each region or even each constituency should govern itself. 

  • Anonymous

    True, what’s your suggestion for that then, some sort of independence/devolution/federalism for those regions? I believe in Jeffersonian democracy, ie put the decisions as close to those they affect as possible.
     
    Maybe each region or even each constituency should govern itself.