Furor on Thatcher state funeral plans brings New Labour retreat

This is a music video from Britain by Elvis Costello: Margaret Thatcher – tramp the dirt down.

From British daily The Guardian:

Harman: we have not agreed Thatcher state funeral

* Patrick Wintour, political editor

* Saturday August 2 2008

The government has not agreed to grant Lady Thatcher a state funeral, contrary to reports last month, Labour’s deputy leader, Harriet Harman, said yesterday.

Harman, who ended her week in charge of the government [as Prime Minister Gordon Brown was on holiday] yesterday, declined to comment on whether a state funeral should be held, but said she had been told by other senior figures in the government that no decision to hold a state funeral had been made.

“There is no arrangement on this and those stories are not accurate,” she said.

Reports about the possibility of a state funeral for Thatcher first emerged last month. The Mail on Sunday said that the Queen and Gordon Brown were in discussions with Thatcher’s private office concerning the arrangements, although it added that plans for a formal procession could be jeopardised by a lack of troops to line the route as the armed forces were overstretched in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The report was not denied by the government and caused uproar among Labour party members. The Guardian’s letters page was inundated with readers furious at such a honour being granted to someone whose policies were blamed for costing thousands of people their jobs.

Thatcher should only be allowed a state funeral if the contract is put out to compulsory competitive tender and awarded to the lowest bidder. Any offers?” was one of the more polite responses from readers.

The last former prime minister to be given a state funeral was Sir Winston Churchill. State funerals are routinely accorded only to monarchs, although Buckingham Palace was forced into a compromise following the sudden death of Princess Diana in 1997.

3 thoughts on “Furor on Thatcher state funeral plans brings New Labour retreat

  1. Pingback: Margaret Thatcher whitewashed on film | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Brown looking for Thatcher’s advice | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Babyshambles banned in Blairite-Brownite Britain for rocking | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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