Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Thatcher's funeral was a political broadcast

This wasn't simply a funeral. It was a political stunt; a taxpayer funded political broadcast; a triumphalist victory parade.

Along with her friends, loved ones and Britain's political elite, some of the most repellent figures on Earth had generously turned up to pay their respects. One was Henry Kissinger.

 Contrast all this pomp to Clement Attlee: Churchill's deputy prime minister when the country was at war with Hitler, whose party won a higher share of a vote than anything ever achieved by Thatcher's Tories, whose government rebuilt war-ravaged Britain and founded the NHS and welfare state.

His was a modest funeral, attended by 140 guests, which “epitomised Attlee's love of simplicity and directness,” as newspapers put it at the time.

Harold Wilson led Labour to four election victories, and was quietly buried in a Sussex churchyard.

But today, Britain's Age of Austerity was suspended for a day – to remind us which side won.

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