General

   By a Newsnet reporter

The protests anticipated for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral today largely failed to materialise as the centre of London was swamped by a massive police presence.

Meanwhile, speaking during an interview with BBC Radio 4 prior to the funeral service, Prime Minister David Cameron claimed that: “We are all Thatcherites now.”

During the interview, Prime Minister David Cameron insisted that rather than opening divisions in British society, Mrs Thatcher had actually settled them.  He went on to claim that her rule had fundamentally altered the political, social and economic landscape of the UK, and had turned everyone into a Thatcherite, a veiled reference to how the Labour party has adopted many of the economic and social policies introduced during Thatcher’s term in office. 

Mr Cameron said:

“In a way we are all Thatcherites now. It is inevitable some people take a different view, but the point about division is important because she was a bold politician who recognised that consensus was failing … she created a new consensus.”

In comments which are likely to be contested by many who opposed Mrs Thatcher, the Prime Minister added:

“One of the things about her legacy is some of those big arguments that she had had, you know, everyone now accepts.”

Despite well publicised attempts on social media to organise protests during the funeral procession to St Paul’s Cathedral, the vast majority of the crowd lining the route were supporters of the late Prime Minister.  Some threw blue roses in the path of the funeral cortege. 

The Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps had written to local Conservative constituency parties asking party members to line the route of the funeral to ensure that there was a good turn out.  Mr Shapps wrote:

“I encourage all Party supporters – and all Margaret Thatcher supporters – to make every effort to come to London and pay your own respects to her memory by lining the Procession route. I can think of no better way to show our profound gratitude.”

The only sign of protest came from isolated boos and a small group of protesters who turned their back on the funeral procession as it passed by.  There were no reported arrests.

The service in St Paul’s Cathedral was attended by 2,300 official mourners, including members of Mrs Thatcher’s family, and all cabinet ministers.  The Queen and Prince Philip attended the service, the first time the head of state has attended the funeral of a former prime minister since the state funeral of Winston Churchill in 1965.

All living former Prime Ministers were also present.  Ed Miliband was in attendance as the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, and Alex Salmond in his capacity as First Minister of Scotland.

Mr Salmond said in a statement prior to the service:

“It is important we [the Scottish government] attend the funeral, I do on behalf of the people of Scotland and do so properly because that is the right thing to do in terms of the funeral – but I can well understand why many, many people would see that sort of cost as disproportionate.

“I don’t think anyone should celebrate anybody’s death and I say people shouldn’t celebrate anybody’s passing but people are entitled absolutely, absolutely entitled, to put forward their point of view.”

Mr Salmond described Lady Thatcher as the unwitting “hand maiden of a return of Scottish democracy” because the Scottish Parliament was re-established in no small measure in reaction to her term in office.

The plans for the full ceremonial funeral complete with military honours were first approved by Tony Blair.  Some newspapers and commentators have speculated that he wished to set a precedent for his own funeral.

Although for many of those watching on televsion, and even the official mourners, the funeral was a curiously unemotional affair, Chancellor George Osborne was seen to shed tears during the service.

Meanwhile Samantha Cameron was seen to giggle as she chatted with other mourners, while former South African Prime Minister FW de Clerk chewed gum.

In his eulogy the Bishop of London likened Mrs Thatcher to the Tolpuddle Martyrs, a group of early workers rights activists who were transported to Australia in chains for attempting to set up a trade union to protest against the lowering of their wages, after being convicted under a law which banned the taking of “secret oaths”.

The Right Reverend Richard Chartres said:

“After the storm of a life led in the heat of political controversy, there is a great calm. The storm of conflicting opinions centres on the Mrs Thatcher who became a symbolic figure – even an ism.

“Today the remains of the real Margaret Hilda Thatcher are here at her funeral service.

“Her upbringing was in the Methodism to which this country owes a huge debt. When it was time to challenge the political and economic status quo in nineteenth century Britain, it was so often the Methodists who took the lead. The Tolpuddle Martyrs, for example, were led not by proto-Marxists but by Methodist lay preachers.”

A debate in the Scottish Parliament about the legacy of Thatcher to Scotland has been postponed so as not to coincide with the funeral.  The debate had been called by Green and independent MSPs who had put forward the motion “There is still such a thing as society”.

The Scottish Conservatives branded the timing “provocative and insensitive”, and after a meeting of Holyrood’s business bureau the debate has been rescheduled for tomorrow.

Comments  

 
#
Diabloandco
2013-04-17 16:01

To be fair to Mr Osborne ,most of us carry the baggage of past losses to every funeral we attend and emotions spill over.
But thons a pathetic wee face is it no?
 
 
#
maisiedotts
2013-04-17 18:13

I’ll believe his tears when he cries tears of remorse for all those affected and/or made homeless by his ‘bedroom tax’ not before!
 
 
#
Macart
2013-04-17 19:02

Cameron doesn’t speak for me maisie. As for Osborne I can well believe he was a devout follower of Thatcherism, a new age high priest no less. This was nothing less than an appalling show of political rhetoric and I can’t believe that Mr Cameron is unaware of just how offensive it is to those of us who felt the full force of Thatcher’s reshaping of Britain in the eighties.

PS Leo says hi and misses the squabbles. There’s a bit more, but this isn’t the forum for it.
 
 
#
maisiedotts
2013-04-17 20:06

Got it! I’m just appalled by the sycophantic outpourings – fair enough if you are related but it really smacks of hysteria “people’s princess” style.

Anyway I’m glad it’s over.
 
 
#
Macart
2013-04-18 06:33

She’s gone, but her legacy and adherents to her ethos remain. Time to repair the damage and the best way to get the ball rolling is a YES vote next year. She tore the industrial working heart out of Scotland and now we get the chance to rebuild.
 

 
#
Indy_Scot
2013-04-17 16:30

“We are all Thatcherites now”.

It is comments like this by David Cameron that only goes to show that the Conservatives do not get Scotland.

Clearly the only way that Scottish people can lose this Thatcherite label is by Scotland becoming Independent.
 
 
#
clootie
2013-04-17 16:41

A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.
– John F. Kennedy
 
 
#
ituna semea
2013-04-17 19:03

The passing of a political Titan has been marked despite the cavilling of the chattering left. Margaret Thatcher was judged by the people on three separate occasions.
 
 
#
jdman
2013-04-17 21:20

“The passing of a political Titan has been marked despite the cavilling of the chattering left. Margaret Thatcher was judged by the people on three separate occasions.”




And on three separate occasions rejected by the people of Scotland
 

 
#
hetty
2013-04-17 17:09

It’s just appalling that the tories and lib dems (with labour’s blessing) are spending millions on this funeral, when so many people are desperate for a hot meal nevermind a home. She definitely did not deserve this funeral payed for by the people, she ruined so many lives and this still resonates, her policies are still active and lives are being destroyed once again. I am fed up seeing so many empty shops in town, with so many out of work, with councils making cuts they can’t afford, while at the same time the rich get much much richer, many of them driving around like crazy in their massive range rover cars.
I haven’t been to North East England and my hometown, Gateshead, for about a year, I dread to think what it’s like there. For a country to condemn so many to the scrapheap while allowing tax dodging by the super rich is immoral, unethical and unforgiving. We need a YES vote in 2014 to avoid anymore destruction of lives and communities at the hands of the very priveleged.
 
 
#
scotsmanc1
2013-04-17 18:12

Morrisey the singer’s letter to the BBC and the Daily Mail is a good read. Hope the link is OK

true-to-you.net/…/
 
 
#
gus1940
2013-04-17 19:11

The blitzkrieg of praise for Thatcher to which we have been subjected for the last 10 days just helps to emphasisise how different Scotland and its people are from England and hopefully will cause thousands of the undecided to come off the fence and vote YES in 2014 – it certainly won’t have caused people to flock to Better Together.
 
 
#
clootie
2013-04-17 19:13

O/T

BBC Reporting Scotland – employment figures and growth in Scotland – “We are just catching up with England”
We are a region of the UK when that suits the BBC but with figures such as this we need to compare the Scottish average with the English average. The reason-if you take out the South of England skew on the data we are significantly outperforming ever other region. Now given the decay in employment as you travel North from London would the figures be as good without a strong Holyrood – I doubt it.
 
 
#
fittie
2013-04-17 23:38

clootie –Brewer on newsnight was thrashing about determined to put a negative spin on the lastest employmemt figures in Scotland
 
 
#
Diabloandco
2013-04-18 07:19

Ah! the Scottish media!
I am amazed by its ability to turn good news into bad.
We have the Herald doing its doom-sayer about the figures too.
I did try to post there but I think I have been black balled so to speak!
I think I’ll leave it to the OBE and the Midlands fella to make all the sour comments without fear of contradiction, they at least agree with the Heralds editorial policy and are obviously very welcome commentators.
 

 
#
Alba4Eva
2013-04-17 19:19

I am now into my third week of nicotine withdrawal symptoms (quit date was April 1st) and I am getting lots of sick empty feelings in the pit of my stomach, which I am having to overcome daily.

…but those sick empty feelings are dwarfed by the sick empty feelings from watching the stomach churning BBC and MSM coverage and re-writing of history due to the Thatcher funeral.
 
 
#
WRH2
2013-04-18 00:02

Stick with it Alba4Eva, it will pass! Just think, by September next year, you will have been nicotine free for nearly 18 months. And then we will all be free from Westminster and its malign grip as well.
Good luck! VOTE YES in 2014.
 

 
#
alanski
2013-04-17 19:20

What a vile, repulsive thought… ‘we are all Thatcherites now’. Thanks to David Cameron, we have just improved our chances at the referendum. The man is a lightweight, and people in Scotland will not be impressed by his insulting remark.
 
 
#
bringiton
2013-04-17 19:34

I am pretty sure that the Queen was not amused by Thatchers use of the word WE.Cameron appears to be falling into the same mode.
 
 
#
tartanfever
2013-04-17 19:42

clootie – more details on the unemployment figures:

London: 8.9%

London has had consistently higher unemployment rates for ages, which many people find surprising.

Nations:

England: 8.0%
Wales: 8.2%
N. Ireland: 8.4%
 
 
#
Edulis
2013-04-17 20:48

Carol Thatcher politicised this funeral when she stood outside her mother’s house and talked about the ‘Iron Lady’. It was quite obvious the line was scripted and I dare say rehearsed. The people of the south east bubble are a world apart and I will be glad to get rid in 2014.
 
 
#
Proadge
2013-04-17 21:11

‘The protests anticipated for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral today largely failed to materialise as the centre of London was swamped by a massive police presence.’

Yes, a staggering 4000 police were involved in the operation, including one every three steps on either side of the road for the whole route.
 
 
#
ButeHouse
2013-04-17 22:36

We are all Thatcherites now thinks and says David Cameron.

Well if that doesn’t differentiate Scotland from most of England I don’t know what does.

They might love her – we don’t, is the kindest way I could put it. Role on September 18th 2014.

VOTE YES NEXT YEAR
 
 
#
fairliered
2013-04-17 22:56

Message to David Cameron. I am not a thatcherite, and never will be.
 
 
#
Abulhaq
2013-04-17 22:57

Next year we shall all be dancing on the grave of the British State. What a funeral that will be. Does “British Shinto” aka the CofE have a service for that?
 
 
#
Hirta
2013-04-17 23:59

The Morrissey piece is excellent. If you didn’t read it before, here ya go:

true-to-you.net/…/
 
 
#
call me dave
2013-04-18 02:59

Yes that nailed it !
As well as I’ve seen written anywhere else.
 

 
#
Strak17
2013-04-18 00:16

Has Osborne been told he has to put cash IN the collection plate for the poor and sick?
 
 
#
Diabloandco
2013-04-18 05:53

Someone on another site mentioned the Queen and asked how they will now deal with her funeral after all this pomp and ceremony for MT.
How can it be bigger and better?
Though perhaps the great unwashed will line the streets for the Queen in greater numbers.
Will Mrs Blair attend I wonder?
 

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