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“Lying here, she is one of us, subject to the common destiny of all human beings”. Speaking at
Margaret Thatcher's funeral yesterday (17 April) , the Bishop of London reminded us of what a funeral is actually about.
That a politician as divisive as Margaret Thatcher should polarise opinion in death is probably not surprising. Unfortunately, responses on both sides of the divide have done little but entrench bitterness and have pointed yet again to the sterile confrontationalism of so much of our politics.
What is there to say about Margaret Thatcher’s legacy? So much has already been said. It’s not just tasteless to celebrate a person’s death: it also seems terribly futile and diminishes our own humanity.
I was two years old when Margaret Thatcher came to power, and thirteen when she resigned.
Thatcher’s policies led to mass unemployment, leaving my father on the dole for much of my childhood. I started secondary school the year that Section 28 was brought in, banning schools from presenting same-sex relationships as legitimate.
"Don't Hate, Donate: Be the society Thatcher said didn't exist". That is the message of a website (http://donthatedonate.com/) established in the wake of news of the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher today (8 April 2013), following a major stroke and long-term illness.
UK government Cabinet papers from 1982, now released under the 30-year disclosure rule, confirm that the dismantling of the welfare state, the privatisation of the NHS and the savage cutting of public services has been a long-held ambition of the Conservative party.
Around the time that Norman Tebbit made his famous comments about unemployed people getting on their bikes, my father was doing just that.