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State funeral planned for Thatcher

July 14th, 2008 · Posted by Skuds in Life/Politics · 43 Comments · Life, Politics

No prizes for guessing which newspaper headline got me most excited today…  it was this one in the Guardian.   The excitement passed when I realised that it was untrue: in my book a plan is not a plan if it has no date attached to it.    I do not think it is deserved though.  Surely a state funeral is for only two types of person – a head of state regardless of what they were like or somebody universally admired by the nation.  While some people out there might well worship the old ratbag there are just as many who despise her.  Has anybody else polarised opinion and divided the nation as much as her?

I wouldn’t object to a state funeral for her though, I’ll just be greatful for any sort of funeral for her.  In fact why stop there?  Why not arrange for a public holiday and street parties as well?


43 Comments so far ↓

  • ian irvine

    I really had to check the date and make sure it wasn’t April 1st.

    For what would she be honoured- mass unemployment, sky high interest rates, home repossessions, eleven years of class war? Or for claiming that ‘there is no such thing as society’?

    My guinea pig’s more deserving of a State funeral.

  • Hiro

    Oh does this mean we can “Dance on her grave?” Sorry but to me she was just plain evil.

  • Mr Mike

    For what would she be honoured- mass unemployment, sky high interest rates, home repossessions, eleven years of class war?

    Seems to be happening again

  • Rob Glover

    OK, I’ll bite, I’m wearing the flame-retardant underwear.

    When she came to power, the country looked like this:

    You could be dismissed for not joining the Union at work.

    The state ran an enormous number of businesses which were inefficient and sheltered from competition.Each year, the costs would go up and output was either level or down. Nationalized industries could never be allowed to go bankrupt,and the workers didn’t have to worry about losing their jobs. Some trade unions, such as SLADE, were out of control. Strikes were called without properly consulting the workforce, and unions often could (and did) strike their employers to near bankruptcy because they knew the government of the day would bail them out.

    All these companies were owned by the Government –

    National Freight Corporation, British Aerospace, Cable and Wireless, British Oil, British Sugar, British Telecom, National Bus Company, British Airways, British Petroleum, British Steel – not to mention of course the water and electricity utilities.

    The Callaghan government of the time was talking still about more nationalisation – banking, building, road haulage, insurance.

    The full context of the “society” quote is:

    “I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand “I have a problem, it is the Government’s job to cope with it!” or “I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!” “I am homeless, the Government must house me!” and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then also to help look after our neighbour and life is a reciprocal business and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations…”

    In the context of the time, what’s unreasonable about that?

  • Mr Mike

    Well said that Man !!!

  • Hiro

    So the Tories have gone and done a complete 180 then. A disc goes missing “Its the governments fault” a bank nearly goes under “It is the governments fault.” A yob stabs another “Yeah you guessed” Sorry but I was on the miners strike as a young plod…I saw man’s inhumanity to man from “Thatchers Army” She revelled in pitching one side against another. She should never be forgiven!!! Even worse she got her arsehole of a son a baronetcy!!!

  • Danivon

    Nelson, Wellington, Darwin, Palmerston, Gladstone, Disraeli (declined), Field Marshall Roberts, Edward Carson and Churchill.

    Carson is an odd one. I know he was the founder of the UVF. If he can have one, then someone as divisive as Thatcher can get one. Hell, Scargill could get one…

  • Skuds

    Well Rob, I’m sure there were closed shops, but there were also places where you could be dismissed for joining a union (as there are now).

    Another way of looking at it was that working people who were the largest group in the country had some sort of power and Thatcher restored the natural order whereby a select few are in charge while the majority are dispersed by divide-and-conquer tactics. Hell, even the Labour party is run by ex-public school types now.

    That’s not to say that many of the union leaders didn’t get a bit intoxicated by power and once they had a bit got greedy for more.

    When a business or industry has employers and employees working together constructively it leads to greater success. I mentioned before where the French government and businesses encourage union membership and it works OK for them. Our failure was the failure of unions and employers to give an inch to each other, and that was a failure on both sides. The answer was not to crush the unions as we have now found out, especially where entire industries have gone.

    As for all those nationalised industries, half are now in the hands of foreign owners that are in turn owned or part-owned by foreign governments. If they were going to be owned by a government it might as well be ours.

    The other industries were asset-stripped and sold off so that ownership again rested in a few hands rather than many – again back to the perceived natural order.

    And what a good job banking was never nationalised instead of all getting bought up by the Spanish!

    As for the Thatcher quote, it sounds remarkably similar to what Cameron was saying just last week, and that is a bit of a clue as to what he is really about.

    By the way Owen, thanks for that comprehensive list of people who will be spinning in their graves – hopefully very soon.

  • ian irvine

    Rob Glover wrote: ‘In the context of the time, what’s unreasonable about that?’

    The time that M. Thatcher said that was just after her 1987 landslide victory. Three years later she was gone. She hadn’t died in office, or retired gracefully, but had been PUTSCHED by her own Party. Wounded first by Anthony ‘Stalking Donkey’ Meyer, then finished off by Michael Heseltine and John ‘Back to Basics’ Major.
    If Margaret Thatcher was such a marvellous leader, then why did the Tory Party get rid of her?
    Was it because they were worried about their electoral prospects, or was it because, belatedly, they recognised the damage she was doing to this country?

  • Richard

    And the Rothschilds & Rockefeller’s of this world are laughing at us – whether left/right, rich/poor, dependent/independent, ill/healthy – all the way to their private banks – within the US Federal Reserve & Bank of England.

    We are puppets on their strings – pitifully unaware of it…and powerless to do anything about it.

  • Ash33

    I didn’t think she should have a state funeral but I’ve changed my mind.

    If it gets all the Lefties so steamed up then I think we should have one every year.

    Anyway I think you lot are so ungrateful to Thatch – after all if she hadn’t come along and re-shaped the political scene the Labour Party wouldn’t have become a Right-wing Party and would still be languishing in opposition.

  • Hiro

    Ash33, aint it nice to be able to post on this blog without the need for big brother moderation and your post gets seen. Try it on Cllr Crow’s site. Say anything anti tory and he does not publish.

  • Danivon

    Ash – You think Thatcher should die every year? Blimey, and I thought you liked her.

  • Richard

    I think Thatcher should “lie in State” when she joins the majority – that way her death will be consistent with her life.

    And Hiro, what is “Cllr Crow’s site” exactly – is that the same as Cllr Smith’s ?

  • Skuds

    Hiro – how do you know I let everything through? 😉

    As it happens I can’t really see the distinction between state funerals and ceremonial funerals like Di and the Queen Mum had – the same sort of subtle distinction as there is between the various flavours of honours and the same level of interest from me.

    In fact, like with the honours system, I can’t see why we persist with them, and should be phasing them out rather than expanding their remit to include politicians – and especially not ones who are deeply unpopular with large chunks of the population.

    Certainly when a funeral is going to be so ‘popular’ that large crowds are likely its a good idea to have it on a big scale though, to give the masses the opportunity to lob bunches of flowers at the coffin. Or rotten vegetables. Whatever is appropriate. Having a grand procession would seem to be inviting the latter.

  • Hiro

    In the time of a “Credit Squeeze” should there even be talk of a Funeral where we pick up the bill rather than her multi millionaire son?

  • Hiro

    “Hiro – how do you know I let everything through? ” Because you are more honourable?

  • Skuds

    You are too kind – but its idealism rather than honour. Mind you I’m becoming less idealistic as time goes on. I can see myself deciding to delete something just because I feel like it.

  • Richard

    So, ‘Duncannitus’ isn’t a virus only caught by Tories then 😉

  • Skuds

    Ha. I didn’t say I had deleted stuff yet, but I am inclined to be less precious if anyone decides to be just plain nasty.

  • Hiro

    “So, ‘Duncannitus’ isn’t a virus only caught by Tories then ”
    So who are these councillors who keep making complaints against him?

    “I am not sure I can say lying as it may tempt a certain Labour Councillor who seems to habitually make vexatious complaints to the Standards Board about Conservatives Councillors to complain about me.” (from his blog)

  • Danivon

    Surely making a series of vexatious complaints would be a matter of public record, so why does Duncan need the innuendo?

  • Hiro

    He seems to make innuendo all over the place. He is also anti free speech. I made a comment on his web site about John Major being the “last honest PM.” Yes THE John Major who had the affair with Edwina whilst preaching “Family Values” it did not make it through the “Moderation”

  • Skuds

    I really must be out of touch because I haven’t heard of anyone making complaints about anyone else, vexatious or otherwise.

    The SBE website would yield the answers though.

    The thing about the standards board is that, well… its a bit crap. When a complaint is actually upheld they always seem to say that its not worth doing anything about it. And they take far too long to ever come to a conclusion.

    Of course, the whole system is bunged up with tit-for-tat complaints emanating from parish councils. Maybe it would work a lot better if we did away with parish councils?

    I think the whole enterprise was over-ambitious and it should have concentrated on the important things – failures to declare interests and words or deeds that are blatantly offensive, immoral or dishonest. Instead the system is clogged with grey-area complaints about lack of respect or bringing an authority into disrepute.

    It’s nice to not be hindered by it any more 😉

  • Skuds

    I just took advantage of a small bit of down-time to check the Standards Board website. There is not a single complaint in there for either Crawley Borough or West Sussex County. This means that there has not been an upheld complain in either authority in the last two years and there has not been a ‘not guilty’ verdict in the last six months.

    I also checked the Adjudication Panel website and there is a similar lack of CBC and WSCC complaints there – just one case where a (ex) councillor Clausen was suspended for two years back in 2005.

    Either there was a slew of ‘vexatious’ complaints that stopped at least six months ago, or all the alleged complaints were recent enough to still be in progress (the site only lists closed cases) or somebody is exaggerating – but I’m sufficiently out of the loop to know which it is.

  • Richard

    As a campaigner, I have found the Standards Board and the Local Government Ombudsman to be a complete waste of time…’the house always wins’.

    Both institutions hinder freedom of speech and expression,especially at Council Meetings- if I was a councillor I would probably spend most of my time in front of the Standards Board, being a bit of a ‘loose cannon’ at times.

    Councillors should be free to call each other names – especially ‘if the cap fits’.

    To my mind, verbal attacks at council meetings are healthy signs of a vibrant democracy – but I do draw the line at physical punch-ups, entertaining though they may be to spectators…although when I think of Cllr …. . No, I won’t go there.

  • Hiro

    I hear from a mate that Cllr Crow has been “vexatious” towards me (or rather a pseudonym of mine) going to check it out further later? I guess I should not have tried to post on his web site a differing view on how “Honest” John Major is/was.

  • Richard

    Cllr Crow’s political musings can be enlightening sometimes – especially insofar that he is Crawley’s puppet for County Hall’s political elite in Chichester.

    But as for any intelligent dialogue with him…

  • Hiro

    He is even more enlightening when he poses as “Mulder” on various forums.

  • Richard

    So I understand – which is another reason why his ‘enlightenments’ should be treated with amused contempt.

    I have also to admit this is ‘personal’…so my rationality of thought might be suspect.

    For example, ever since he – under whatever pseudonym he was at the time – monstrously accused the Gatwick City Forum of being “anti-Semitic”, I now not only treat his ideas with contempt – I also treat them as dangerous.

  • Hiro

    I saw that reference to “anti-semetic” which was a really a nasty cheap shot.

  • Richard

    It was beyond a “nasty cheap shot”, Hiro.

    As you probably know, a number of very reputable Blog Forums have been closed down by certain internet providers because of complaints from the ‘Zionist lobby” (aka the thought police who have no thought about freedom of speech)) about its “anti-semitic” content (eg anyone who criticises USrael’s war policy).

    Therefore, for Cllr ‘Mulder’ Crow to throw around such accusations puts more than the Gatwick City Forum under serious threat.

    And part of his portfolio as CBC Deputy Leader is ‘Democratic Services’ !!!

  • Skuds

    Bloody hell. 32 comments on one post – a bit of a record around here, but getting away from the point a bit!

  • ian irvine

    But the real ‘anorak’ question is- how many views? (I don’t expect an answer!)
    Yesterday the Daily Mail did a feature on Guardian readers’ responses to the State funeral idea. It reproduced many of the letters and emails that had been sent in or posted on various forums. There were also a few from the New Statesman . I think it was supposed to be an insight into the mind of the average Guardian reader. Funny, they didn’t include any of the opposing comments from Guardian readers.
    I wonder what the Mail would make of the comments on this thread?

  • Hiro

    for a bit of fun you should read Mulder’s blog…talk about grandioseness. He reminds of a little poor boy who has been allowed a few crumbs from the masters feast and so declares unwaivering loyality whilst the master enjoys the attention.

  • Skuds

    I could probably find out from the comprehensive log files available to me Ian – but I will take the question as being rhetorical.

    The Mail readers have probably said similar things indiscriminately about people they have never met or been affected by, like Gypsies, Polish builders or the bloke who invented the speed cameras. At least the Guardian squad concentrate their dislike instead of spreading it far and wide.

    You have a strange idea of fun Hiro. I much prefer reading Pootergeek and Chase me ladies I’m the cavalry.

  • Richard

    Completely irrelevant comment – but I’ve got a new name for a band, or a blog, or…


  • Danivon

    Perhaps they could cover 1/2 Man 1/2 Biscuit’s “Song for Europe”

  • Hiro

    Skuds, you should be thankful people do read this blog and comment. I see on “Mulder’s” blog he has had another rant about Cllr’s in Crawley and again about PM Brown. He is the only person to comment on his own blog….how sad is that? No matter anyhow because if you do try to comment he will not publish the comment!!! What is he like in real life (having never having the pleasure….oh matron….not my sort) does he rant in public aswell?

  • Richard

    Cllr ‘Mulder’ has an interpretation of ‘freedom of speech’ which is interesting :

    He believes in ‘freedom of speech’ for those people whose views he agrees with…Goebbels had much the same view

  • Skuds

    There is no freedom of speech on blog comments, or on bulletin boards like yours Richard. Even if there is a policy of letting anyone post anything its is only that way because the owner has decided it will be – a decision that can be reversed at any time.

    And with Blogger/Blogspot sites it is even more fragile as everything is hosted on blogspot’s servers and they can decide to just suspend something according to their own unwritten rules – a well-respected blogger there had his site erroneously labelled as spam just this week and had to write begging letters to get it going again.

    At the end of the day its “my ball, my rules”. Some people like you and I prefer to let anyone on the pitch to kick about with us, and others prefer to play keepie-uppie all alone that’s fine. Its what you feel happy with.

    I’m not sure I am qualified to say what Herr Flick is like in real life.

  • Richard

    “Blog” servers and owners appear to be human – thus fallible. Some are good, some are bad, some are trustworthy, some are not trustworthy.

    Let’s just hope that the servers/owners we choose can be trusted to protect our freedoms – such as the freedom of speech.

  • john

    Thatcher should be given a state execution not a funeral! Her ministerial “hench-men,” during her dictatorship of the UK, should also join her as traitors and be hung from the lamp-posts down the Mall. Her infamous term in power gave Britain the greedy, selfish, corrupt and non-caring violent society that we now endure.