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Thatcher To Get State Funeral. Not Yet, Sadly.

Posted in Fury Home, People, Politics, Today's Society with tags , , , , , , , on July 13, 2008 by bootlegmarkchapman
Om hold for now

On hold for now

Anyone who spends as much time as I do on various Internet message boards will have been at risk this morning of signing on to a forum and seeing in the “Latest Topics” a reference to the news that Baroness Thatcher is set to be given a state funeral.  As excitement built and fingers clicked mice, we were set for colossal disappointment, as it turns out that the story concerned advance planning for a future ceremony when she finally edges one to the slips.  Champagne went back on ice, street parties were cancelled and the special china went back into cupboards all over the country.

The question of why her descent into Hades should be given a state send-off will have been a secondary concern for those of us hoping that 2008 will be the year our Thatcher-Mugabe-Doherty accumulator finally pays out.  But it is a valid one.  Even Churchill didn’t get the full trimmings. and he is considered by many to be the greatest Briton in history.  Churchill saw off global fascism, Thatcher’s only war triumph came against some shepherds.  Though the Baroness saw off many of her arch-enemies, it has to be remembered that those enemies included British industry.  Ready though her supporters are to trumpet that Thatcher “saved Britain”, all she actually did was mortgage its future for a short-term boost.

  • “She gave countless working-class families the chance to buy their council houses” – by taking out mortgages they could ill afford.
  • “She was unstinting in her defence of people’s freedoms” – except the Chilean people’s freedom to not be executed, tortured or “disappeared”.
  • “She had the courage of her convictions, and didn’t run the country by focus group” – no, that would have entailed listening to someone else’s opinions.

The same people who will pen hagiographies of Thatcher when she goes are the people who bemoan the lack of respect in today’s society, the lawlessness of youth in ghettoised inner cities.  The same people who never stop to think that respect may be incompatible with the selfishness encouraged in Thatcher’s Britain, and that crime is encouraged by poverty and unemployment.  But why would Thatcher have encouraged respect in the people of Britain anyway?  Given the job she did raising her own son, who sees no harm in aiding an illegal coup d’etat in Equatorial Guinea (allegedly … oh fuck it, sue me, good luck getting a payout), it’s hardly surprising that the Britain she created is so short on decency.  My generation is often referred to as “Thatcher’s children”.  I can’t stress how glad I am that that is just a metaphor, and that I have a good mother instead.

I’m aware of the irony of casting aspersions on other people’s levels of respect and decency in a post where I make clear my impatience for the death of an 82-year-old woman, but let’s just say that the breakdown of society has caused me to let a bit of hypocrisy slide.

So the celebrations may be postponed, but the plans for my area’s street party remain in my briefcase.  There may yet be another few false alarms, but let’s view it as a chance to stockpile supplies.  If there is to be a state funeral for this awful, awful woman, then let us match it with our jubilation.  For all the people who died poor and unheralded thanks to the country she created in her own image, and who will not be able to raise a glass, let’s make sure that – if she can look up and see us from where she’s going – she is left in no doubt that there IS such a thing as society.  And that we’ll be queueing to dance on her grave.

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