Thursday, 22 December 2011

Say No to plans to give Thatcher a state funeral!

In today`s Daily Telegraph, there was an interesting piece by the journalist/writer Peter Oborne about secret plans which are being made to give the 'milk snatcher' Margaret Thatcher, a state funeral.

In the last 200 years, only four British prime minister's have been awarded a state funeral - Wellington, Palmerston, Gladstone and Churchill. The proposal to give her a state funeral did not originate from the Conservative 'Monday Club' as many might think, but was the brainchild of Gordon Brown, the former New Labour prime minister.

According to Oborne, secret discussions have been taking place without public debate to give Thatcher a big public send off at the taxpayers' expense, at a time when public services are being cut along with state benefits and people losing their jobs. Though Oborne admires Thatcher, he argues against giving her a state funeral which he believes would insult "many honest patriotic people".

Many abhor Thatcher's memory and I include myself among them. Yet there is one thing she said that I entirely agree with. Thatcher was once asked what she felt was her greatest legacy to the country and she replied, "Blair and New Labour."

A number of petitions have been set up including "No state funeral for Thatcher" which when I last checked had attracted 6,638 signatures. It can be found here.

In Oborne's article he refers to a letter from David Farham, a former miner who wrote to his local newspaper 'The Shields Gazette'. It is worth quoting:
"I am proud to say I was on strike for 12 months in the 1984-85 strike, when Thatcher used the full might of the state to defeat us. I would stand on a picket line now if it would prevent her having a state funeral. She had a near-pathological hatred of trade unions, and referred to us as the 'enemy within', but what did we do that was so treacherous? We struck to prevent pit closures and to protect jobs, with disastrous consequences. Look at the former pit villages which she left devastated."

In his 'a history of MI5', Christopher Andrew, says that Thatcher took greater interest in the intelligence community than any other prime minister since Winston Churchill and demanded prompt action to deal with the 'wreckers' in British industry. He also says that Thatcher demanded that M15 identify all the 'wreckers' even though this contravened their so-called 'Charter'.

Although the 'Iron Lady' (a name she acquired due to her hatred of trade unions), left office in 1990, she continues to receive allowances from the taxpayer under the 'public duties cost allowance'. Despite her mental and physical infirmity, she has received £535,000 from the taxpayer since 2006 for costs incurred from public duties.

To give the woman who was one of the most divisive leaders in modern times, who destroyed the livelihoods of thousands of British working people and who admired, the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, a state funeral, would be an outrage to public decency. Say no to a state funeral for Thatcher the milk snatcher.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Today Michael White in the Guardian writes: 'In our intrusive, impatient age, they erect statues to the living and film their painful decline as clinically as if it were a pit community.' The thing is Thatcher may be on her last legs as the forthcoming film 'The Iron Lady' shows but she knocked the union bosses off their perch in the 1980s and they've never recovered since. That act represented a defeat not just for the miners, but for any concept of syndicalism that lacks an anarchist component: that lacks a vision that goes beyond narrow workism. In underlining this requirement Thatcher made a briliant contribution.