Lennon opined that Elvis died when he joined the army in 1958; I’d put it slightly later than that (it was when Blue Hawaii came out), but I agree in principle, and I mourned. Thatcher, though, indisputably died when she was mortally savaged by a dead sheep in 1990, and yes, I rejoiced. Celebrating or abhorring her career was appropriate then; it’s a bit late now. So I don’t feel any emotions in either direction now: ‘87 Year Old Woman Dies’ isn’t really a big headline.*
Some will argue that this is a suitable moment to evaluate her legacy. Indeed, whole forests of newsprint and terabytes of server space have been doing just that, with one theme emerging – the Lady was for fighting. So I offer my post title as a respectful epitaph.
By way of evidence, I submit a couple of observations, with suitably martial keywords, regarding Wednesday’s State-lite** funeral:
· Heartlessness: 800 members of various branches of the armed forces active in the Falklands war are to provide the guard of honour, but I don’t recall reading that similar honours are to be paid to the surviving families of the 255 British servicemen and women who died in that conflict.
· Confrontation, or Conformance, take your pick: anyone who behaves in a (non-violent) manner ‘likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress’ along the processional route risks arrest under the Public Order Act.
** It’s not a full State occasion, apparently, because that would involve revealing how it’s being paid for, not to mention invoking democratic processes in sanctioning it.