Remembering Margaret Thatcher: Commemorations, Tributes and Assessments

Remembering Margaret Thatcher: Commemorations, Tributes and Assessments

Remembering Margaret Thatcher: Commemorations, Tributes and Assessments

Remembering Margaret Thatcher: Commemorations, Tributes and Assessments

Excerpt

The Rt Hon David Davis MP

The day that Parliament was recalled to recognize the passing of Lady Thatcher was memorable in many ways. Margaret Thatcher was as controversial in death as she was in life.

The plans for her funeral had been published — drawn up under Prime Minister Tony Blair, approved by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and implemented under Prime Minister David Cameron — and they came under immediate attack as being too costly. Technically not a state funeral, it was that in all but name, attended by the Queen and all living Prime Ministers.

Similarly criticised was the recall of the House of Commons this day. Normally only done under conditions of national emergency, it was unheard of for Parliament to be recalled for the death of an erstwhile Prime Minister. Some of the carping was from the extreme left, but not all. Some was from the cashstrapped lower middle classes who were hit hardest by the government’s austerity measures, from that part of middle England that she herself represented so well.

So, ironically, I think Mrs. Thatcher herself would have agreed with the critics of spending so much in austere times. I can just see her now, furrowed brow, shaking her head and saying “The cost, my dear. The cost!”

But history would not be denied, and neither should it have been. This was a celebration of a lady of enormous personal and political greatness. Not only did she defeat the Marxist dogma of her day, she was the living proof that, contrary to Marx, individuals could make a difference.

People tend to assume that past history was inevitable. In fact, the world was incredibly lucky that we had the triumvirate of Reagan, Gorbachev, and . . .

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