I don't have much to say about the death of Margaret Thatcher. I felt she was a divisive PM wedded to an economic model whose whirlwind we are currently reaping. But this comment from Peter Oborne in today's Telegraph (here) is, I think, very apposite.
In particular - and he's not alone in this - he contrasts the funeral of Clement Attlee with that proposed for Thatcher. You could argue that he was the prime minister who most profoundly shaped the post-war world in which we still live. And yet just 150 friends and family attended his quiet service in 1967.
I wonder whether this tells us something about how attitudes to public service have changed for the worse over the past generation. Politics seems to be less about serving the public good than about promoting sectional interest. A selfish and self-serving society gets the politicians it deserves, I guess.
The most poignant comment on Thatcher's death was from Russell Brand (of all people) in yesterday's Guardian (here) where he said: 'The blunt, pathetic reality today is that a little old lady has died,
who in the winter of her life had to water roses alone under police
supervision. If you behave like there's no such thing as society, in the
end there isn't.' Everyone deserves better than that, even those who create the conditions for society to fall apart around us.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Public service versus public pomp
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1) In yes prime minister a large scale funeral was described as "a heaven sent opportunity to meet with world leaders to discuss things".
I think that should explain why Thatcher is having such a funeral
2)"I felt she was a divisive PM wedded to an economic model whose whirlwind we are currently reaping"
All Thatcher's fault - the banks falling over in 2007/2008 has nothing to do with Brown's FSA been incompetent. I guess if the crash had happened after 50 years of New Labour some people would still blame Thatcher!
3) One thing I disliked her for was after 10 years she still blamed Labour for everything - at
least she didn't do it for 18 years!
She introduced the economic model that was taken up by New Labour; their light touch regulation was a continuation of the previous 15 years of infatuation with free markets and the free-flowing capital needed to grease its wheels. Blair was Thatcher's true son economically.
I totally accept Margaret Thatcher was a divisive Prime Minister( - though it is worth remembering she was reelected x3)
I am not sure you give enough weight to the total mess the country was in in 1979 and thus you do not give enough credit to Mrs Thatcher for turning things around .it is a stretch to say the seeds of today were planted
When she was in power .one might es easily say the seeds of the winter of discontent were sown by Clement Atlee but that is a bit silly isn't it?
I think I am right in saying that Many more mines closed under Harold Wilson than under Margaret Thatcher(an inconvenient truth) and yet most people (me included ) remember him with fondness
As for Russell Brands well written piece I think the evidence is that Mrs Thatcher had more friends for someone of her age ,than most when she died
I think too that any serious judgement of Thatcher should include her role with others in ending the cold war and bringing freedom to eastern Europe
Of course it is fair to say she made mistakes ,some big ones, but she did some good as well as some harm ,all leaders do I guess
At her funeral I would rather remember the good
All the best
I might be wrong about this but I can't help feeling that being divisive is part of the job description of a Prime Minister.
My real issue with the State Funeral is the complete waste of cash that could otherwise be put to constructing (or repairing) affordable homes to replace a few of the thousands turned over to the broken dream of home ownership for all. This would provide jobs and training for those doing the work and homes for many - now that would be a legacy.
"their light touch regulation was a continuation of the previous 15 years of infatuation with free markets and the free-flowing capital needed to grease its wheels."
Not true Mrs Thatcher never suggested
that the bank of England stop regulating the banking sector.
It was something Brown thought up on his own
She also never advocated the Government spending more than it spends.
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