Margaret Thatcher’s funeral

Posted by Tim Ireland at October 13, 2010

Category: Tories! Tories! Tories!

This entry was posted on
Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
8:48 am and is filed
under Tories! Tories! Tories!.

The 85th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s birth should serve as a reminder that some of her supporters are already planning for her death, and recently even floated the idea of a state funeral:

Daily Mail – Lady Thatcher to be honoured with State funeral
Guardian – State funeral planned for Lady Thatcher
Guardian – Harman: we have not agreed Thatcher state funeral
BBC – Thatcher state funeral undecided

We’ve had a change of government since then, and I’d like to ask if the proposal that we give Margaret Thatcher a state funeral is being seriously considered (or even quietly approved), especially in light of the savage and immediate cuts to expenditure the Tories insist are a necessary evil at this time.

I’m shooting myself in the foot here, as I did plan to sell DIY tap-shoe kits to the large crowds that would be sure to gather specifically to protest this expenditure, but I would also urge David Cameron and others to look at the logic of a privately-funded funeral:

Where there is discord, may we bring harmony.

You may recall the fuss in the streets when George W. Bush invited himself to town and awarded himself the honour of a state visit, and no-one in Blair’s government dared to object.

Many of the people I spoke to at the relevant protests were angry about the illegal invasion of Iraq, but stated quite clearly that they mainly objected to Bush being honoured in ceremonies and events paid for out of the public purse. It wasn’t the entirety of their case by any means, but it was this aspect that greatly swelled the number of protestors then, and I firmly believe a similar objection to public money being spent will lead to large and ugly protests if Margaret Thatcher is awarded a state funeral.

This confrontation can be avoided simply by honouring Margaret Thatcher appropriately upon her passing (and when I say ‘appropriately’, I do not mean according to a leftist doctrine that exists mainly in the minds of paranoid right-wing pundits).

Where there is error, may we bring truth.

Thatcher’s clearly stated political philosophy involved reduced state interference and a spirit of entrepreneurialism enabled by a free market; marking her passing with a state funeral that is agreed or even discussed in principle before her death risks labelling her an opportunist (fairly or otherwise), and if Thatcher is a believer in the free market and her supporters agree, then surely the most fitting tribute to the woman is to make a show of numbers and support their argument with a privately-funded funeral.

Where there is doubt, may we bring faith.

I not only propose that we take Margaret Thatcher at her word and attempt to honour her political legacy appropriately, I further propose that we tie this in with David Cameron’s flagship initiative; Big Society

If we’re to have soldiers lining the streets, for example, then let’s see them do so of their own free will in their own free time. Similarly, a volunteer workforce can organise the event, marshal on the day, and clean up afterwards.

I acknowledge that in some areas there are limits to what private money can do, particularly when it comes to policing the event, and on that note…

And where there is despair, may we bring hope.

I understand that many people will never forgive Margaret Thatcher for her actions, but I would trust even these people agree that there’s little point in shouting at a passing coffin if the relevant ceremony isn’t costing them anything.

So in closing I propose that if the Tories do embrace this idea and agree to drastically minimise the cost to the public, then their opponents should do the same, and minimise the cost of policing the event by taking potential confrontation out of the equation.

Save your energy for a private party, because if the Tories agree not to be ultra-hypocrites about this, there’ll be a lot to celebrate.

OK, I’ve presented my case. Does anyone have any objections that don’t involve merely shouting ‘leftist’ at me or accusing me of stalking a sweet old lady?


  1. Lostinnorfolk says

    My friends & I (seriously) plan to peacefully protest if she is given a state funeral (the highest honour this country has & given to practically no one outside the monarchy) by following the route dressed as Munchkins singing Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead.

    You are very welcome to join us.

  2. Mark MacLachlan says

    I'm sensing a sponsorship opportunity here, perhaps BUPA or the Co-operative funeral service could have their corporate logos on the coffin. The Pall bearers might enjoy sporting hedge fund operators on their outfits, in a style not too dissimilar to today's snooker players.

    The potential merchandising of commemorative souvenirs is monster, with scale models of the funeral hearse, disabled action men as Falkland Island veterans, and of course the exclusive 'Belgrano inside the exclusion zone' tea towel. A limited edition Wedgewood 'Scenes from Orgreave' in delicate china is a sure fire seller.

    Naturally the whole event will be televised on a pay-per-view basis on Murdo-Vision…

  3. Scotch says

    Very lovely. And where there is darkness, you bring some light. Oh hang on, that’s the miners again.

  4. Carl says

    I thought the sponsorship deal could be between British Steel and the NUM….

    * shouts "leftist" and runs round in circles, hiding from Tim as he hits me with rolled up 1984 copy of New Statesman…

    Perhaps we could sort out some brown envelopes beloved of her party so much to fill to the brim with some of the old folding stuff. And urge all those Essexboy city bankerwankers who did so well off her to fill it. And then send it to Dame Shirley Porter, 'cos she obviously still needs the money…

  5. nick says

    You have all missed a trick here. The sponsorship should be done by the likes of Group 4. That way, her corpse will probably be lost somewhere along the M4.

  6. Bunty says

    Timbo, I don't like you, but you're spot on here.

  7. @JimmyHSands says

    "there’s little point in shouting at a passing coffin"

    Indeed, which is generally a pretty good indicator that this is precisely what the SWP will do. For the rest of us it's hard to work up steam. It was twenty years ago. Millions of people have no recollection of the Thatcher premiership. Thatcher for example. Isn't the ideal solution to put hatred aside and mark her passing in a way that unites rather than divides. Why not street parties for children like the Jubilee?

  8. Rumbold says

    This is pretty unpleasant.

    • Tim_Ireland says

      I expect some ugly confrontations if a state funeral goes ahead, which will be even more unpleasant.

  9. The Prof says

    Quite appropriate, in view of the cuts in uneccessary public spending.

  10. polly says

    absolutely no state funeral, and I will go a step further, the royal wedding is badly timed too – they can pay for that themselves

  11. @Stefing says

    I'll happily stump up for a state funeral – as long as we don't have to wait for her to die first.

  12. George says

    She's last person who should have a 'nationalised' state funeral. The whole thing should be paid for privately and the coffin can be sponsored by all her corporate catamites so that it is covered in logos like the overalls F1 drivers wear.

    Don't know how much ad sspace on a coffin goes for these days, but I'm sure some enterprising person will work out how to sell it.

  13. Stuart Bromley says

    Perhaps she could be dropped down a very deep disused mine. I am sure there would be a large number of ex miners that would offer their services for free on the day.

  14. Big Ed says

    Americans know She is a great Lady,

  15. wilmalobban says

    How about disco lights and some dancing music? I've got my happy feet ready and waiting.

  16. Andrew Baker says

    All you leftist loud-mouths, It's thanks to people like Thatcher that our country wasn't ruined thanks to the workers unions subsidised by the labour party. You all seriously need to research what you preach! Without information you can have no opinion on anything. And don't say you heard what she did from the mouth's of your vile mouthed labour loving parents. They are typical labour supporters who were quite happy to be kept down and depending on the labour party. If you want to direct your anger at someone, Tony Blair is your man. He destroyed this nation, and almost destroyed our identity. He is the real criminal.

    • Tim_Ireland says

      Don't lecture me about research if you're going to carry on about "labour loving parents" and Blair. You're wrong on both counts, and a few moments of research would have told you that.

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