Damage Control

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.

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10 thoughts on “Damage Control

  1. Surely a PM has to have done something memorable to have the honour of a State Funeral? The feeling within the general public is that Thatcher has done nothing to deserve a funeral, and people are glad to see the back of her. The only argument I’ve seen for her getting a state funeral is she was the first female PM. That’s it.

    This is from people of all walks of life and all ways of voting, from Greens to BNP and all parties in between.

  2. whoa whoa, I was going to stay out of this one but not after that. ‘Thatcher has done nothing to deserve a funeral,’ She is far more than just the first female Prime Minister, although that is a remarkable achievement in itself, she is the longest serving of modern times, she revived a broken and barren economy, her polices transformed not only her party and her country but her opposition! She completely revamped the entire political, social and economic landscape of this country and she is recieved with warmth, respect and indeed affection the world over.

    With Ronald Regaan her courageous and resolute determination not to give an inch to Soviet Marxism led to the end of the Cold War without a shot being fired. She fought tooth and nail against trde union militants and fat cat union bosses which mean we have grown up virtually free of power cuts, rubbish strikes and all the other abhorrent things that union used to do when they didnt get their way. She set this country free, she fought for those who could not fight for themselves in the Falklands and she was toppled not by public vote but by her own party.

    Also remember something, Mrs Thatcher never lost an election, even after all of her ‘nasty’ reforms (as labour would put it) she still won the 1987 general election with a majority of 101, bigger than Labours now so by that reckoning Labour are more unpopular than thatcher by a mile. In adition poll after poll continually finds that Margaret Thatcher is the most popular post war prime minister by a long chalk. You can dillude yourself all you like that ‘the feeling of the general public’ is against the idea of a state funeral. I don’t know who youve been speaking to but thats certainly not the feeling im getting.

    Thatcher will get a state funeral because she, perhaps more than any other, deserves it. Yes it was a painful transition, yes there were hardships to be faced, yes unemployment did rocket but the long term economic prosperity this country has been has nothing to do with New Labour, it is to do with the reforms implemented by thatcher that have given us the conditions for long term economic growth. She saved this country and if that doesnt deserve a state funeral I dont know what does.

  3. I’m generally considered the more toned down member the of the BUCF committee, and sometimes the level head for Dan’s All Out Thatcher praise; but I agree with him 110% on this one.
    To say that Thatcher did nothing to deserve a state funeral and that people will be glad to see the back of her is just absurd. Even hard core leftys can’t deny what she did and the benefits for our country she provided.

  4. In that case Dan you are totally out of touch with what many people think, mostly those who don’t have a particular political allegance.

  5. I’m going to quote a number of people in a discussion on a football forum about what they think of Mrs Thatcher. These are people with no political allegance:

    “You can’t die if you have no soul.”

    “I think the majority of the country won’t want this. Although she achieved being the first woman prime minister I also think she will be the last. What a balls up she made of this country privatising things left right and centre. The only one good thing to come out of it though is that we surely won’t be voting toff conservatives in again for a long time.

    Back to the funeral though- No way. Only legends should be given such honours. her funeral should be the same as everyon elses and her coffin should be the soap box she loved to think she stood on” – that is from someone who is a Tory supporter

    —————

    “Ask your Dad or other older family members of the family the grief she caused this Nation. ”

    ——————-

    “She is part of our history and should be remembered as the stupid, heartless bint that she is.

    She’s remembered by people throughout the country very well without the need for their wages to play for her funeral, when her family wipe their ***** with money.”

    ——————

    “Well I’d rather it spent on squadies who haven’t got the right equipment they need to fight.

    The NHS and all the sick people that can’t get the right drugs

    The schools that are in a **** state and need more teachers, books etc

    Not some tyranical old bint that tried her best to **** this country up!”

    ———–

    “I think we can safely say this will be one of the least attended state funerals in history.
    While people flocked to pay their respects to Churchill, Princess Diana and the Queen Mom they will be paying people to turn up to this one to make it look good on the tele!”

    ————

    “Yeah, she destroyed a community and industry all rolled into one, costing her billions, sold everything off privately, which we’re all now paying for, and then came the ultimate insult, poll tax.

    Not to mention 4m unemployed, boom and bust and ludicrous interest rates.

    Not the kind of history that deserves money spending on it in my view.”

    They were comments from the first three pages of a 15 page thread.

    In the first 100 or so posts, only 2 were in favour of a state funeral, and one was because she was a woman.

    The majority of people in Britain don’t think she deserves a state funeral, and what she did abroad doesn’t matter to anyone.

  6. Mark,

    Although a Conservative myself, I do think you have a point. Aside from whether one thinks the Thatcher reforms were right or wrong, the pace of change was divisive and has left a lot of bitterness towards her. This must be taken into account when a decision is made.

    I’m not sure a majority object to a state funeral though, and quoting a discussion forum is not a scientific sample of public opinion. Personally I think you will find a good portion of the public do think she significantly improved the economic performance of the country after the misery of the 1970s. The fact that she was the first female PM and one of the longest serving, are more objective arguments in favor. If she falls short of the state funeral she will almost certainly have a ceremonial funeral like the queen mother.

  7. I personally believe the only PM that deserves a state funeral in post war times is Mr Churchill, who did get one. Considering Neville Chamberlain’s attitude, WC’s attitude towards the war saved us from the Nazi Empire and so he deserved one which he rightly got. There can be arguments for MP’s like Robert Peel and Aneurin Bevan who founded the Police Force and NHS respectively. But I don’t think Mrs Thatcher changed the face of British life or Politics enough to deserve one. Maybe a ceremonial funeral I’d agree with that, but not a state one.

    If someone asked me whether Tony Blair deserves a state funeral, I’d say the same thing. He transformed the Tories and was a fantastic statesman (although he made many blunders as PM) but certainly isn’t deserving of a state funeral.

    My personal opinion is that a PM has to have done something life changing to deserve state funeral recognition. Mrs Thatcher divided public opinion rather than uniting them and for that doesn’t deserve one. I don’t think her legacy is enough.

    The point of the posts from the discussion forum was only to highlight the public resentment towards her, not as back up to my point.

  8. Mark Im only going to pick you up on one issue because i think dan has covered the rest. ‘Maybe a ceremonial funeral I’d agree with that’ makes all your previous arguments redundant and suggests you are just being pinikity. How can you object to a state funeral but agree to the possiblity of a ceremonial one. What sets Mrs Thatcher apart from any other PM? Why are you ok with a ceremonial but not a state?

    The differences between a state funeral and a ceremonial funeral are limited. Instead of troops drawing the gun carriage it’d be horses. All in all it costs pretty much the same and looks just as grand. I am not saying Thatchers funeral isnt devisive, of course it is. I am sure that there are a great many who oppose it but what I am contesting is your notion that everyone is against it because they certainly aren’t. I believe a majority would actually be indifferent towards it or slightly pro.

    Margaret Thatcher was devisive but her achievements were enormous and there are many millions who would wish to see her recieve some form of final honour. Now that the issue of a ceremonial funeral has been raised, I too would be in agreement with that as, unlike a state funeral, it would be unlikely to be a national holiday meaning the whole country’wouldn’t have to come to a standstill for it which would be respectful to those who would not wish to take the time to honour her.

    I believe a state and ceremonial funerals should be reserved for those who have been of greatest service to the state and have done something for the benefit of the state, not because they are popular. You don’t have to be popular to do great things. Thatcher, whilst not entirely popular in some quaters, did alot for this country and she secured our economic stability for many years to come. Even the labour leadership see this. For that she deserves some form of ‘special’ funeral whether it is a state funeral or not would be open to debate

  9. No decision has actually been made yet. Labour have disgustingly used Thatcher’s future death as a political football in a sick attempt to gain the votes of middle england.

    Basically, there will be a range of plans in place. The public response to her eventual death, though hopefully not soon, will determine which plan in enacted. The appropriate state memorial will be added before Thatcher’s own private arrangements.

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