The government appears to be in blatant damage control mode after weeks of horrendous headlines and disgruntled Labour voters by attempting to distance themselves from the left’s arch nemisis Margaret Thatcher. Harriet Harman today attempted to dispell rumour of a state funeral for the former PM by saying ‘there are no plans, those stories are not accurate,” This shows just how desperate this government have become. They are aware that their core supporters are vhermently opposed to a state funeral for the greatest peacetime Prime Minister this country has ever seen and in these desperate times they are doing all they can to reassure their core vote that ‘they are on their side’.
However the very fact that they have taken this long to quash these rumours tells us all we need to know. New Labour has done all it can to court Margaret Thatcher from the time of its conception. The vast majority of top New Labour stooges have never hidden their admiration for the Iron Lady, nor have they attempted to distance themselves from her legacy. Both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were at pains to stress their respect for Lady Thatcher, both inviting her to tea in Downing Street and refusing to condemn her premiership. Indeed, Blair’s programme for the 1997 election confirmed all Mrs Thatcher’s free-market reforms of a deregulated, non-planned, largely privatised economy with a flexible labour market, marginalising the trade unions and local authorities, while publicly disowning Left-wing shibboleths such as redistribution.
The fact that the country are even considering the possibility of a state funeral for Thatcher directs us to the type of Prime Minister she was. She was no ordinary PM, she was extraordinary. Most PM’s, like Callaghan and Heath, are bade farewell in private however it is widely accepted that the Iron Lady could never go out in private and is deemed by many to be worthy of the same honours bestowed upon Churchill, Nelson, Wellington, Darwin and Gladstone. Having said this the debate over whether Margaret Thatcher merits a state funeral will rage for some time to come but ultimately the result will be the same: Margaret Thatcher will be given a state funeral because it is what she deserves however inconvenient that fact may be for the government and its core vote. New Labour owe almost everything they are as a party and we owe almost everything we are as a country to Margaret Thatcher and a state funeral is the least she deserves.