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It will be the first time the 21 guns salute shoots the coffin
January 6, 2012 8:24 AM   Subscribe

Rumours abound in the UK about secret plans by the current conservative government to offer Baroness Thatcher, lately of ill health, a state funeral nearly exclusively afforded to the Royal family.

There's now an e-petition to Her Majesty's government asking for the privatisation of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's funeral, which would be a more fitting tribute to her great legacy and maybe less likely to lead to undignified protests.
posted by vivelame (147 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
(bonus link to the 2008 "mock the week" segment about that topic where i found the title.)
posted by vivelame at 8:25 AM on January 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think the more pressing question is whether we'll see a state funeral for Bob Holness.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 8:26 AM on January 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I don't suppose there is a chance that we could offer her the honor given to a certain reigning monarch? If we could go back and do that in the 80s, it would be even better....
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:32 AM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Seeing a pompous and lavish burial of a member of the Politburo, Rabinovich sadly shakes his head: 'What a waste! I could have buried the whole Politburo with this kind of money!'"
posted by griphus at 8:33 AM on January 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


Something something Cult of Personality something something.
posted by Slackermagee at 8:33 AM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


R in P please, Bob!

As for the Thatch I suggest her funeral be arranged by the lowest bidder, with the vague hope they might just dump the body somewhere to cut costs.
posted by Artw at 8:34 AM on January 6, 2012 [51 favorites]


Will Mark Thatcher be forced to publicly prostrate himself and weep before her flower-bedecked glass coffin before being named the Great Successor?
posted by briank at 8:35 AM on January 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


So... how much to get my company's name on the lid of the casket?
posted by Mister Fabulous at 8:38 AM on January 6, 2012 [12 favorites]


KLEENEX, GET YOUR KLEENEX, TEN FOR A POUND, GET YOUR KLEENEX HERE.

I love it.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:38 AM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


As with Reagan, I would appreciate a formal funeral, just so I can see all the old crooks and toadies on parade, and so easily update my list of those still needing to go up against the wall. It's also fascinating to see who made their Faustian deal so many years ago, and now pray for their own sweet release of Death.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:39 AM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hunter S. Thompson's suggestion for how to dispose of Nixon's remains seems appropriate.
posted by clockzero at 8:40 AM on January 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Oh to be a pigeon on that funeral...
posted by Skeptic at 8:40 AM on January 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


If they must provide a state funeral for Thatcher, could they at least fix a date?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:41 AM on January 6, 2012 [19 favorites]


Who the f*** is leaking this? Tell him to shut his f***ing pie-hole before I jam a s***-log in it.—Malcolm
posted by No Robots at 8:41 AM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


These "privatise Thatcher's funeral" petitions are really very silly. Surely they realise that Sodexo, say, would only outsource the proceedings to France, or Siemens to Germany.
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 8:43 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


OK, OK, let's give her a state funeral...and drape the casket in a EU flag.
posted by Skeptic at 8:43 AM on January 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


Holy shit, if ever there was an event destined to descend into a complete circus, that would be it.
posted by unSane at 8:43 AM on January 6, 2012


(which would suit me fine, by the way)
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 8:44 AM on January 6, 2012


I have a friend with a very large trebuchet. Should make any funeral short and sweet
posted by quarsan at 8:46 AM on January 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


The calls for privatising this event do not go far enough, clearly there is a need to divide the carcass and sell individual shares to interested parties. I am sure that all those who cherish the memory of this Great Lady would be happy to own and honour their own share, and those who do not would have a much shorter journey to make their own personal contributions on to her grave.
posted by biffa at 8:50 AM on January 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Ah. Geoffrey. Fetch me my trousers at once. No, not those; those are my fighting trousers. fetch me my state funeral RIOTING trousers.
posted by Decani at 8:53 AM on January 6, 2012 [23 favorites]


Holy shit, if ever there was an event destined to descend into a complete circus, that would be it.

I'd be very disappointed if it didn't rain milk. Actually, I think I'll go buy some now, and leave it on the rads until I need it.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:53 AM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Instead of Princess Diana mugs, we could have Margaret Thatcher clay pigeons?
posted by Mister Fabulous at 8:55 AM on January 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Reagan Pyramid Nears Completion
posted by XMLicious at 8:56 AM on January 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


First, I think it sets a really bad precedent to start doing state funerals for Prime Minister's this way.

Churchill was the only Prime Minister to get a state funeral in this or the last century, and he was to a large degree a non-partisan figure: he led a national unity government in a time of great crisis.

If you give Thatcher a state funeral, who draws the line on which PMs get them? If Thatcher gets one, surely Tony Blair deserves one too? And if Blair gets one, why not give Gordon Brown or David Cameron one?

Second, I don't really like this petition. A privatized state funeral should be a non-state funeral. It probably wouldn't be that hard for some billionaire crony of Cameron or Thatcher to cough up a contribution, it's a tiny fraction of the tax they've saved. Even if the petition really takes off, it just gives them a nice way to legitimize it.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 8:56 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think of her, a sad, sick old woman who hasn't even been visited by her own children opver Christmas and whose only companion nowadays is a housekeeper / carer and who is obviously confused and probably frightened, and some part of me feels sorry for her.

Then I think of what she did when she was in power, and of all the sad and sick old people she hurt and the younger ones too, whose jobs she destroyed and whose children she deprived of opportunities and whose communities she gutted. There were people who killed themselves during her tenure because of what she did to our economy. She promulgated hatred against sections of the community who were struggling to stabilise themselves at a time of crisis. She turned people against each other, she used the police as an occupying force against striking miners and she fed the greed and me-first egos of her chosen few.

No. No state funeral for someone like her.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 8:58 AM on January 6, 2012 [51 favorites]


Pete Wylie: The Day That Margaret Thatcher Dies! (NSFW)
posted by Mister Bijou at 8:59 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


An enormously expensive funeral... Meanwhile, "society doesn't exist."
posted by uraniumwilly at 9:01 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Memories and resentment of the social and economic damage of the 1980s remain bitter as the new Hollywood film opens": Tyneside veterans of Thatcher years boycott 'The Iron Lady'

posted by Mister Bijou at 9:03 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


As much as I dislike actively wishing for someone's death, one hopes that the number of people willing and ready to dance on her grave will necessitate a change of plan to sea burial.
posted by mippy at 9:05 AM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Margaret Thatcher refused to meet Sarah Palin. Ten points to Gryffindor.



OK, the story turned out to be bogus, but still, cool story.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:06 AM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't care much either way, as long as Elvis Costello gets to perform at the ceremony.
posted by trip and a half at 9:07 AM on January 6, 2012 [16 favorites]


briank, only if he had the Algerian military on hand to help him find his way to the funeral.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 9:15 AM on January 6, 2012


I say they should sling her down a disused mine shaft, put a "Toxic Waste" sign over it and leave it at that.
posted by Decani at 9:16 AM on January 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Dammit, stop taunting me with this until after she's ACTUALLY dead.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:16 AM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


If I were in charge of this, I'd suprise people by claiming it'd be a state-funded royal funeral, but then have a Tibetian sky burial sponsored by Red Bull.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:18 AM on January 6, 2012 [11 favorites]


OK, the story turned out to be bogus, but still, cool story.

The 'bogus' claim comes down to 'Nuh uh! The Liberal Media made that up!', as claimed by a correspondent at the Telegraph, which is pretty stolidly conservative. Color me skeptical.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:20 AM on January 6, 2012


After her sarcophagus is placed in the burial chamber, David Cameron will be ritually strangled, embalmed and then placed with her to serve for eternity... oh wait, not that kind of state funeral.
posted by ennui.bz at 9:23 AM on January 6, 2012 [17 favorites]


Funeral plans aside, how do they plan to deal with the ten-foot-high crystal of uric acid that'll build up on the grave each week thereafter?
posted by sourcequench at 9:26 AM on January 6, 2012 [20 favorites]


Is this like how after a book gets adapted into a movie it gets a new cover and prominently featured at amazon and barnes and noble?
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:26 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


As much as I dislike actively wishing for someone's death, one hopes that the number of people willing and ready to dance on her grave will necessitate a change of plan to sea burial.

Dancing? I honestly believe her body will be stolen unless it is buried in a secure vault. Oborne is right about the state funeral issue: Thatcher is far too divisive. I expect the current economic problems and Conservative government make the feelings worse. I know it sounds like crazy talk, but I bet the problem bodysnatching is considered during her funeral planning.
posted by Jehan at 9:26 AM on January 6, 2012


Ten points to Gryffindor.

Oh please, she was Slytherin as I am a skull.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:27 AM on January 6, 2012 [11 favorites]


on the rads

Ok, I tried Googling...what the hell does this mean?
posted by adamdschneider at 9:27 AM on January 6, 2012


adamschneider: a radiator.
posted by LN at 9:30 AM on January 6, 2012


I find myself with mixed feelings. When she dies the only thing I'll be sad about is all the unbearable, inaccurate and downright insulting hagiographies that will be banded about by every media outlet for weeks. It'll be like a ghoulish version of the Diana funeral, but with more wobbly jowls.
posted by ob at 9:38 AM on January 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


So this is the second Thatcher post in a week. I grok she's a polarizing figure, but the collective response has been mostly outrage filter and pile-on.
posted by k5.user at 9:43 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't care much either way, as long as Elvis Costello gets to perform at the ceremony.

Morrissey, The Beat, Mogwai, The Blow Monkeys....there are so many options.

Me, I think holing up with whiskey and a good Spotify playlist starting with the above are going to be my way of avoiding the general media coverage.
posted by Infinite Jest at 9:44 AM on January 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Honing cruelty gets ugly quick, but this is devastating.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:44 AM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


a radiator

Ah. Thanks. Another useless pluralization like "maths".
posted by adamdschneider at 9:44 AM on January 6, 2012


The reason that they shouldn't do this: there will be angry people shouting, people pelting the hearse with rocks and garbage, mass arrests. The UK doesn't need that kind of stain on the image of state funerals.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:47 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, whew! It's only Thatcher. I thought the Tories were planning a funeral for the state.
posted by dhartung at 9:52 AM on January 6, 2012 [28 favorites]


Surely a public urinal would be the proper memorial. The line would be a bit long at first but over the years it will thin out. I suspect it might even be a pilgrimage for future generations.
posted by doctor_negative at 9:53 AM on January 6, 2012


k5.user: "So this is the second Thatcher post in a week. I grok she's a polarizing figure, but the collective response has been mostly outrage filter and pile-on"

Wait until the actual obituary thread. I'm gonna go hide for a week just to avoid the negative energy emissions MetaFilter will be emitting.
posted by charred husk at 9:53 AM on January 6, 2012


As for the Thatch I suggest her funeral be arranged by the lowest bidder, with the vague hope they might just dump the body somewhere to cut costs.

Plenty of unused coal mines around…
posted by schwa at 9:54 AM on January 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Honest question from a non-Brit: are there a lot of people in Britain who see Thatcher as a revered public figure and who would want or appreciate a state funeral for her? Pretty much everything I've seen suggests that she's highly regarded only by the small circle of VIPs that run the country, not by the majority of citizens of the UK.

Here in Canada, state funerals are a matter of course for Prime Ministers, but as in the case of Jack Layton, exceptions can be made for revered public/political figures whose death causes an outpouring of emotion from citizens. If that's the sort of exception they are thinking of for her, one would presume they have the actual numbers of support to back that up.
posted by LN at 9:57 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


The west-midlands IWW has been waiting.
posted by phrontist at 10:00 AM on January 6, 2012


After her sarcophagus is placed in the burial chamber, David Cameron will be ritually strangled, embalmed and then placed with her to serve for eternity... oh wait, not that kind of state funeral.

I can't be the only person who watched Episode III hoping that Jar-Jar would be forced to do something similar, right?
posted by Navelgazer at 10:03 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


So this is the second Thatcher post in a week. I grok she's a polarizing figure, but the collective response has been mostly outrage filter and pile-on

If this is surprising to you, then you clearly don't understand just how polarizing she is. The sentiments expresed in the Mock the Week segment linked by vivelame and benito.strauss above are not exaggerated. As Frankie Boyle says there, "For 3 million, they could give everyone in Scotland a shovel and we would dig a hole so deep that we could hand her over to satan personally."
posted by klausness at 10:05 AM on January 6, 2012 [21 favorites]


A handy reference tool, brought to you by Metafilter's own armoured-ant.
posted by Optamystic at 10:07 AM on January 6, 2012


Honest question from a non-Brit: are there a lot of people in Britain who see Thatcher as a revered public figure and who would want or appreciate a state funeral for her?

Sure, Thatcher has support from a real cross section of society: most of south Oxfordshire, the whole of Kensington and half of Chelsea.
posted by Jehan at 10:07 AM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Another useless pluralization like "maths".

I have never in my life heard the phrase 'on the rads'. Must be a regionalism. You do the 'math'.
posted by mippy at 10:10 AM on January 6, 2012


adamdschneider: "Ah. Thanks. Another useless pluralization like "maths"."

Care to offer up a more sensible abbreviation for mathematics? Like it or not, that one actually makes sense.

Also, think of how ridiculous "Physics" would sound if we called it "Physic." Actually, "Physic" sounds like a British-ism, but I digress...

If we want to mock the British for their odd linguistic quirks, let's focus on words like "aluminum," which was coined by the British scientist who discovered the element, and was subsequently defined in the OED using the spelling that Americans use today. Later on, the British ignored their own conventions, and added some extra vowels to the word for no goddamn reason.

This is why Britain can't have nice things. Also, rhyming slang. What sort of crazed lunatic came up with that, and then somehow managed to propagate it throughout an entire culture?

posted by schmod at 10:13 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, think of how ridiculous "Physics" would sound if we called it "Physic."

I prefer to call it "The Phyzz."
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:18 AM on January 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


>I don't care much either way, as long as Elvis Costello gets to perform at the ceremony.

Link for those who have not heard "Tramp the dirt down".
posted by rongorongo at 10:18 AM on January 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Thatcher is a hero for freedom. The only thing that comforts me in seeing leftists getting out of hand is how certainly they will call down upon themselves, and so richly deserve, the firm hand of the new Thatcher(s) our generation will bring forth.
posted by MattD at 10:20 AM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


LN, as with any democracy, there will probably be a lot of people who aren't bothered one way or the other. Mrs Thatcher represents (as alluded to above) a polarising figure and philosophy in British politics and stirs very strong emotions in a lot of people. Interestingly, the polarisation will probably also take the form of a geo-economic polarity as well - the famous North - South divide, which appeared as the capital and South East of the country drew away from the Midlands and North (and South West as well, to a degree) in terms of economic growth and prosperity. So in my view, it's likely that people to the north of the line will generally feel more negatively than those who lived south of it, although this is of course not an absolute distinction at all. This short Guardian piece sums up the current situation.

On preview, what Jehan said much more succinctly.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 10:23 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


doctor_negative: Surely a public urinal would be the proper memorial. The line would be a bit long at first but over the years it will thin out. I suspect it might even be a pilgrimage for future generations.

There's a pub in the west end of Glasgow – it's called The Lismore, for anyone who wants to drop in for a pint – in which each of the porcelain urinals in the gents featured, at perfect pissing height, a portrait of one of the army generals responsible for the most horrific acts of the Highland Clearances. Above the urinals, at eye level, was an explanation of who these men were, what they did, and an exhortation to "feel free to give these great men the respect they deserve".

Get a job lot of white porcelain urinals, each with a Thatcher cartoon (you wouldn't even need a plaque like the Lismore felt necessary) and you could, ahem, clean up. There are entire cities in Scotland and Northern England where you could sell at least one to every pub there.

Just in case this isn't clear: I'm not really exaggerating. That's how deep the Thatcher hatred runs.
posted by Len at 10:24 AM on January 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


Thatcher is a hero for freedom.

Papers published by the Foreign Office reveal the extent of Margaret Thatcher's opposition to German unification.

Mrs Thatcher, who was used to influencing European leaders, could not convince them of her position on re-unification, even though she argued that re-unification might weaken the Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev.

posted by dng at 10:26 AM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thatcher is a hero for freedom. The only thing that comforts me in seeing leftists getting out of hand is how certainly they will call down upon themselves, and so richly deserve, the firm hand of the new Thatcher(s) our generation will bring forth.

So... freedom is best served up by a firm hand, eh? Freedom is slavery, eh?

I don't know how anyone could manage to hold such amazingly, blatantly self-contradicting ideas in their heads at the same time without blowing up.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:28 AM on January 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


"Also, rhyming slang. What sort of crazed lunatic came up with that, and then somehow managed to propagate it throughout an entire culture?"

They didn't. It was used by a very small number of people living in London, and then by tourist attractions. I'm sure you're not parochial enough to think that British people come in two flavours - cockney sparras or toffs in top hats - but many outwith the UK do, and it is v.annoying. (See also: calling British stuff 'English'. Not to the Scots, it ain't.) For example, the most (unintentionally) hilarious thing that ever ran in the New Yorker.

Anyway. Thatcher, yeah?
posted by mippy at 10:28 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


MattD: Thatcher is a hero for freedom. The only thing that comforts me in seeing leftists getting out of hand is how certainly they will call down upon themselves, and so richly deserve, the firm hand of the new Thatcher(s) our generation will bring forth.

Just to make sure, Thatcher, who funded, gave international legitimacy to, and was close personal friends with actual fascist regimes – the kind of regimes who would quite happily murder entire football stadiums of politically inconvenient civilians, who would take activists out in helicopters over the Pacific, disembowel them and throw them into the ocean – is a hero for freedom?
posted by Len at 10:29 AM on January 6, 2012 [31 favorites]


Oh, and by the way: current death toll under the Pinochet regime in Chile: 40,000.
posted by Len at 10:30 AM on January 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


are there a lot of people in Britain who see Thatcher as a revered public figure and who would want or appreciate a state funeral for her?

Yes, there are a lot of people who think very highly of Margaret Thatcher. There are also a great many people who hate her with a fiery passion.

Pretty much everything I've seen suggests that she's highly regarded only by the small circle of VIPs that run the country, not by the majority of citizens of the UK.

How many people on Metafilter voted for G.W. Bush either time? And yet...

I don't think badly of Thatcher, but I don't think that she should have a state funeral. She was only a head of government and I oppose anything that moves the system even closer to a presidential system, which is what state funerals for PMs would do.
She did some good things that needed to be done, but she also did many foolish things, and she did many of the needed things in unnecessarily abrupt, divisive, and harsh ways.

State funerals are for people who are symbols of national unity. Winston Churchill got one, but he led a non-party government during the war, and anyway had changed parties several times in his career.

Apart from the Royal family, only four people had state funerals in the 20th century. Only four! And all of those were before WWII. State funerals are rare occasions, and the test for deserving one has to be extremely strict. I know people who are ardent admirers of Baroness Thatcher, including one current conservative MP who happily describes himself as an Arch-Thatcherite and none of them believe that a state funeral is appropriate.
posted by atrazine at 10:31 AM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Care to offer up a more sensible abbreviation for mathematics?"

Sure. Math. Physics isn't an abbreviation.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:31 AM on January 6, 2012


Thatcher is a hero for freedom.

She freed us from having to hear about evil homosexuality in schools, yeah.

She also helped free South Africa from apartheid. Oh no, wait.
posted by Jehan at 10:32 AM on January 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Sure, Thatcher has support from a real cross section of society: most of south Oxfordshire, the whole of Kensington and half of Chelsea.

Other way around, surely. All of Chelsea is pretty pricy, but North Kensington isn't exactly toff territory.
posted by atrazine at 10:35 AM on January 6, 2012


Physics isn't an abbreviation

Not for "Physical Sciences"? I always assumed it was.

Anyway, Thatcher. Evil, wicked person with not a shred of empathy.
posted by idb at 10:42 AM on January 6, 2012


I have never in my life heard the phrase 'on the rads'. Must be a regionalism.

Canadian regionalism, I suppose although I didn't realize it before now. Put it on the rads, bleed the rads, bang the rads, whatever. Apologies for creating a derail.

posted by Capt. Renault at 10:45 AM on January 6, 2012


state funeral
Socialism.
posted by Flunkie at 10:52 AM on January 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


Well, right-wing authoritarians do seem to like their "firm hands". I suspect that more than a few of the conservative men who supported Margaret Thatcher were sexual submissives, to whom she was an ideal fantasy figure come to life - even Christopher Hitchens, darling of the modern atheist movement, wrote an account of meeting her in which he describes her basically topping him in a semi-pornographic way. She was the nanny who raged against the nanny state.

If right wing authoritarians were more concerned with competency, fixing problems rather than fixing blame and serving something other than their bizarre fantasies of strong leadership (see also GW's inept attempts to pretend to be Harrison Ford in Air Force One), then how much better a place the world would be.

Friend to freedom? Friend to a class war that shattered Britain's industrial base and consolidated the power of the asset speculators in the City of London, more like.
posted by lucien_reeve at 10:55 AM on January 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


I suspect that more than a few of the conservative men who supported Margaret Thatcher were sexual submissives

While that's literally true (we know this as the moment they got big on morals and Victorian values and what-not that they all got outed) it seems unfair to assume a link.
posted by Artw at 10:57 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, you know what my brain didn't need today? A visual of Thatcher semi-pornographically topping Hitchens.
posted by Optamystic at 11:00 AM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dieux et son droit
posted by 7segment at 11:03 AM on January 6, 2012


Not for "Physical Sciences"? I always assumed it was.

It is not.
posted by adamdschneider at 11:08 AM on January 6, 2012


I don't care what the rest of you say, Thatcher was a hero of freedom. The freedom of billionaires to exploit, and the freedom of the exploited to dream of becoming billionaires.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:11 AM on January 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


A lot of people commenting in this thread could use a good physic.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:14 AM on January 6, 2012


I suspect that more than a few of the conservative men who supported Margaret Thatcher were sexual submissives, to whom she was an ideal fantasy figure come to life ...

In her prime, I suspect she could have administered an exemplary caning.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:15 AM on January 6, 2012


Other way around, surely. All of Chelsea is pretty pricy, but North Kensington isn't exactly toff territory.

I admit to never actually having been to either Oxfordshire, Kensington, or Chelsea.* They could be populated by giant child–eating lizards in clown costumes for all I know, but they would by Tory–voting lizards for sure.

*Though before you judge my provincialism, ask yourself if you've ever been to Scunthorpe or Grimsby, or seen Doncaster from anywhere but the train. No?
posted by Jehan at 11:23 AM on January 6, 2012


*Though before you judge my provincialism, ask yourself if you've ever been to Scunthorpe or Grimsby, or seen Doncaster from anywhere but the train. No?

I have been to all those places. Also: Gainsborough, Worksop, and Grantham, where Thatcher hailed from.

My parents now live near Grantham, in a little village on the Lincolnshire Edge. They both voted for Thatcher and every year they sing carols at the local Tory MP's castle. Yes, castle.

And of course they are as poor as church mice.

tl;dr: it's not just toffs.

Thatcher is one of those things Of Which We Do Not Speak at family gatherings.
posted by unSane at 11:39 AM on January 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


PS grew up in Retford, veritably the Arsehole of England.
posted by unSane at 11:39 AM on January 6, 2012


Another useless pluralization like "maths".
We have more than one equation, you see.
posted by fightorflight at 11:43 AM on January 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Yes, I did a year of Mathematic as an undergrad.
posted by unSane at 11:45 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, think of how ridiculous "Physics" would sound if we called it "Physic."

I prefer to call it "The Phyzz."


No. "Phyzizics".
posted by steambadger at 11:54 AM on January 6, 2012


A visual of Thatcher semi-pornographically topping Hitchens.

Not to derail, but how is that image semi-pornographic? Better, but still not great lighting? More lighting on Hitchens, less on Maggie? Isn't it kind of an either/or situation, like either you're into it or you're not?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:54 AM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


They both voted for Thatcher and every year they sing carols at the local Tory MP's castle. Yes, castle.

And of course they are as poor as church mice.

tl;dr: it's not just toffs.


I know there's folk like that, but I don't understand them. I mean, intellectually I understand, but I still want to shake them and shout, "What's wrong with you?"
posted by Jehan at 12:00 PM on January 6, 2012


MattD, you're an ill-informed clown shoe.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 12:05 PM on January 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


I know there's folk like that, but I don't understand them. I mean, intellectually I understand, but I still want to shake them and shout, "What's wrong with you?"

Generally, they have different value systems than you do.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:19 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


>State funerals are for people who are symbols of national unity.

Hardly. Gladstone was detested by Ulster Unionists because of his support for Irish Home Rule. Churchill was never forgiven by trade unionists for his actions during the General Strike. Carson left a toxic political legacy behind him in Northern Ireland (as well as being the man who destroyed Oscar Wilde). Haig is remembered today as the butcher of the First World War.
posted by verstegan at 12:20 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


secret plans by the current conservative government

They really really appreciated her support of her close friend Augusto Pinochet and all he did to 'stablize' Chile.
posted by Twang at 12:21 PM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thatcher was, inadvertently, the muse for many great songs (as Infinite Jest and a few others have pointed out), so she has that going for her.

My favorite Thatcher/music story was of the poor Thrashing Doves. She expressed a mild fondness for one of their songs and it probably murdered their career.

---

Metafilter, when Maragaret does finally pass, let's not post "." or lengthy rants about what an awful political leader she was. Let's simply post links to the wide catalog of anti-Thatcher songs and dance. We'll make the point and have a much better time.

My contribution will likely either be this Belle and Sebastian track that features the line "My output is in decline/I was burned out after Thatcher" or maybe this Jam track which, while not explicitly about Thatcher, owes some of its success to the climate her government created.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:21 PM on January 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


Generally, they have different value systems than you do.

Thanks, Mister Obvious.
posted by Jehan at 12:30 PM on January 6, 2012


Enough with the physics/maths derail. Thatcher's degree was in chems.
posted by hangashore at 12:30 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


"T for Toxteth, T for Tennessee/T for Thatcher, that girl made a wreck out of me..."
posted by mippy at 12:32 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Joey Michaels, you might want to check out the latter part of this thread - we had such tuneful fun amusing our little selves ...!
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 12:33 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Actually, more like spread evenly throughout - my memory sucks.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 12:36 PM on January 6, 2012


'Thatcher out' style of political satire is in again

Time becomes a loop. Hopefully Ben Eltons knighthood will become quantumly entangled in the chronostructure and we will be unable to manifest himself again.
posted by Artw at 12:36 PM on January 6, 2012


Martha My Dear Prudence: Oh, thank you for pointing me to that thread!
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:47 PM on January 6, 2012


How how charade you are.
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:58 PM on January 6, 2012


>I don't care much either way, as long as Elvis Costello gets to perform at the ceremony.

Link for those who have not heard "Tramp the dirt down"


Thanks! I should have posted a link myself, but I was finishing coffee and running out of the house. Thanks to this thread I have, however, been happily humming and singing snatches of this tune (my favorite off the Spike album) all day, much to the consternated bewilderment of most of my coworkers.
posted by trip and a half at 1:35 PM on January 6, 2012


Stand Down Margaret
posted by Meatbomb at 1:36 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I Did It My Way
A spot of Spitting Image anyone?
posted by dougzilla at 1:39 PM on January 6, 2012


let's focus on words like "aluminum," which was coined by the British scientist who discovered the element, and was subsequently defined in the OED using the spelling that Americans use today. Later on, the British ignored their own conventions, and added some extra vowels to the word for no goddamn reason.


That's nonsense. It was changed to bring it in line with the convention for elements not a British whim. The French also call it aluminium, and in Spanish it is aluminio. Excluding Al, there are 81 elements ending in '-ium' and 3 in '-um'. So which is the more conventional spelling?

Also, "Back to Victorian values! I hope you're satisfied, Thatcher!"
posted by NailsTheCat at 1:47 PM on January 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


"You fascist junta!"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:56 PM on January 6, 2012


"Thatcher's Britain! Thatcher's BLOODY Britain!"
posted by mippy at 2:33 PM on January 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


That reminds me, what's the opposite of a dot?
posted by fullerine at 2:43 PM on January 6, 2012


Ridiculous idea to invest all that money in a state funeral, when it will all be wasted as soon as night falls and she rises again, night after night, trying in vain to quench her ceaseless thirst for the blood of innocents.
posted by reynir at 2:48 PM on January 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


I would certainly chip in for the silver bullets and the stake, if that helps.
posted by unSane at 2:53 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


> That reminds me, what's the opposite of a dot?

I use *, representing an anus...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:57 PM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Back to Boyle. Most of us who were in opposition in the 80's felt like this.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:22 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love this thread. The ease with which my visceral hatred for the only public figure i ever hated was re-animated by the thought that we would collectively honour her surprised me.

I was transported back 25 years to my early adulthood, a time I was under-employed in a rich southern city like most of my mates. *No-one* in our generation and our class voted Tory. I spent a lot of time trying to work out why other people did.

Breadheads.

Like the poor, they're always with us.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:56 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


MattD, you're an ill-informed clown shoe.

Approved, not because I agree with name-calling in threads (although I heartily disagree with MattD pretty much consistently) but because the awesomeness of the phrase "ill-informed clown shoe" as an insult. I am totally stealing that one.
posted by echolalia67 at 5:05 PM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


We have a bottle of Bollinger in the fridge with Maggie's name on it. I have recently set Is Thatcher Dead Yet? to my home page. The day of her funeral, we're throwing a party. I have already reserved the caterers, but I am accepting bids to sponsor the open bar.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:19 PM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't think she ought to have a state funeral. She only ever did one good thing, which was to support Bosnia. For the rest of it, I saw friends lives ruined and lost because of her policies.
It's a pity she has such a pathetic family situation, but I am sure she is financially well covered compared to many people.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 9:40 PM on January 6, 2012


It's a pity she has such a pathetic family situation

I find it harder to muster any pity. Her mantra through her political career, and the mantra of those who adore her, is personal responsibility. If you don't have a job, then it's your fault. If your children don't have a job, or steal or riot, the shout goes up of 'where are the parents'. If you're still travelling by public transport at the age of 26, according to her you can count yourself 'as a failure'. The poor are poor because they are feckless and lazy. Personal responsibility.

So, if her children either don't care for her very much (which is the impression I get of Carol) or are a charmless, arrogant, boorish, coat-tail-hanging loan-sharking, coup-organising failure as a human being (Mark, take a bow), and don't want to be with her at Christmas in what might be her last year alive, well, whose responsibility is that? What does that tell us? Who brought them up? Who made them what they are?

Personal responsibility. Can't blame society, as the whole not-existing thing gives it the perfect alibi.
posted by reynir at 2:19 AM on January 7, 2012 [12 favorites]


Katjusa Roquette - as far as the family situation goes, I suspect she is reaping what she sowed to a degree. Mark and Carol were twins and she always heavily favoured Mark. As reynir says he is not the nicest person, it seems, so obviously found something better to do with his time over the festive season.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 3:33 AM on January 7, 2012


She was the first female Prime Minister but she did nothing to advance the causes of women or feminism in any way, in fact during her 'reign' in fact the gender gap continued to get larger. She won the Falklands 'war' but that probably could and should have been avoided in the first place (with the loss of 255 British and 649 Argentines). She brought the then Tory bugbear of inflation down (it's the deficit now) at the cost of rampant unemployment and gutting the manufacturing base, doubling of poverty and inequality rates, and grow levels (bar a brief spike at the beginning) lower than the 'sick man' days of the 70s. The economy only survived by pouring all the oil money into it (which, had it been properly invested instead of wasted on unemployment benefit, we, not Germany, could have been the lead economic power of Europe now). She 'gave away' council houses to those that could afford them (my gran certainly could not) and crushed democracy and working class solidarity by destroying the unions and bringing in the poll tax (a handy side effect of which was thousands who would have voted Labour vanished off the electoral role) as well as supporting dictators and apartheid. She was no Churchill.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:40 AM on January 7, 2012 [11 favorites]


I know Grantham (where she was born) very well, having lived there in my late teens and living not too far away now. There's always been talk of a statue there or adding 'birthplace of' to the town signs. I can't see one surviving unvandalised.

Ironically I read that due to the Tory Austerity cuts on the council budget they have closed Grantham museum that had a display on Thatcher. The perfect legacy.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:49 AM on January 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, I'm going to tell Thatcher that we've got a bomb. And
if she doesn't do something to help the kids by this afternoon,
we're going to blow up England.
posted by Snyder at 4:55 AM on January 7, 2012


A state funeral for Baroness Thatcher would cost between £2 and £3 million.

Government cuts in 2011 alone have hit the most vulnerable (the elderly, children in care, etc.)

A costly state funeral for that woman would be an obscenity.
posted by humph at 8:31 AM on January 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Vitriol aside, it will be interesting to see how this plays out when the time comes. A state funeral for Thatcher would require an all-party agreement in the House of Commons, I guess. David Cameron would support it, partly to appease his own backbenchers and partly to make Ed Miliband squirm. It would put Miliband in a difficult situation: if he supported it, he'd be slaughtered by his own party, but if he didn't, he'd run the risk of looking petty and vindictive. He might well decide to grit his teeth and support it, reckoning that nobody under 40 would remember or care much about Thatcher anyway.

I can think of two things that might prevent a state funeral: (1) if the Queen objected, or (2) if the family said no. (As it happens, there is a precedent for both these situations. In the case of Gladstone, Queen Victoria didn't want a state funeral but was overruled by Parliament; in the case of Florence Nightingale, a state funeral was offered but declined by the family.) It wouldn't be surprising if the Thatcher family got cold feet at the prospect of a state funeral and the public demonstrations that might ensue (hundreds of Londoners taking down their trousers and mooning at the hearse in full view of the world's television cameras ..). So it could end up with a state funeral being offered by the Government, on behalf of a grateful nation, and graciously refused by the family: the perfect English face-saving compromise.
posted by verstegan at 10:05 AM on January 7, 2012


> Another useless pluralization like "maths".

Ah, no. Capt Renault is clearly buying enough milk that several radiators will be required. Rancid milk bombs for all!
posted by scruss at 10:20 AM on January 7, 2012


DarlingBri: "We have a bottle of Bollinger in the fridge with Maggie's name on it. I have recently set Is Thatcher Dead Yet? to my home page. The day of her funeral, we're throwing a party. I have already reserved the caterers, but I am accepting bids to sponsor the open bar"

Me, too. I've already warned my work I'll be off the next day - I just hope I'm not travelling and miss all the fun.

The Celtic fans agree - We're having a party when Thatcher dies, jelly and ice-cream when Thatcher dies.

It's not the first time, either. For some reason, Thatcher thought it would be a good idea to show up as guest of honour at the Scottish Cup final in 1988, at the height of the Poll Tax protests in Scotland. The anti poll tax campaign handed out red cards, which were brandished amidst an enormous chorus of boos as she took her seat. A second round of boos followed as she lifted the trophy just prior to the presentation. A most edifying spectacle, although unfortunately I can't seem to find any YouTube footage.
posted by Jakey at 11:06 AM on January 7, 2012


"Margaret Thatcher waged a 'secret war' against civil rights groups and protest organisations after the Tories won the 1979 election, a memo has revealed.
A specialist army intelligence unit was used to infiltrate groups including the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmamemt and Peace Pledge Union so soldiers could carry out spying missions ordered by the Ministry of Defence."

Using the army to infiltrate legitimate, peacefulcivil rights groups and protest groups? A true hero for freedom!

(Sorry, it's from the Mail. Wash your hands after reading.)
posted by reynir at 2:07 PM on January 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm very much on the side of Thatcher in this argument, although not unequivocally. Its funny how those who criticise her seem so forgetful about what went before - the strikes, the appalling, useless nationalised industries and the national decline. It was painful, but her legacy was to replace that national paralysis with economic growth that lasted until it was strangled by Labour and by international recession, long after she had left office.

She showed real leadership in the Falklands conflict and in incidents like the Iranian embassy siege. Sure, more might have been done in the former case to avert the war - but can you tell me of one major UK commentator at the time who realistically foresaw the invasion? Together with Regan she played a vital part in ending the cold war and in allowing millions to be freed from the oppression of the Soviet state.

Perhaps the thing that seems to annoy some people so much is that she was a woman, who achieved the very highest position in society, but who rejected some of the lazy notions of positive discrimination - who got there on her own wit and talent and believed others should do the same. Its interesting to read even some in this thread, who perpetuate strange sexual explanations for her success. I'm sure if the posters look carefully, they will realise a pretty dramatic sexism in these suggestions - the old argument that a woman can only succeed through sex rolled out again.

Sure, she had big failings - her gratitude to Pinoche blinding her to his abuses and her failure to listen to reason on the poll tax to name but two - but I believe that these were overshadowed by her achievements. I think it is pretty telling how quickly many of her detractors resort to personal attacks to make their points, rather than reasoned arguments.

So, all that being said, I think there is absolutely not one tiny chance that she will be granted a state funeral. There is no more polarising figure in British politics and, even if there were, as the poster inaccurately states, a Conservative Government, they would not court the controversy that paying for one would generate. However, as we have a coalition government, with the Liberal Democrats, many of whom are no fans of Thatchers, to say the least, there is no chance of it happening. I also rather suspect that Thatcher (assuming she left instructions before her ill-health set in) would not wish one. I'd expect a privately funeral with strong representation from UK political leaders, foreign ambassadors and the like...

In the meantime, we can go back to the joyful spectacle of watching grown adults wish death upon a frail elderly woman - a kind of sick macho posturing that is pretty distasteful...
posted by prentiz at 5:15 PM on January 7, 2012 [1 favorite]




"...the joyful spectacle of watching grown adults wish death upon a frail, elderly woman..." oh we've done much worse than this. For more 'joyful spectacle' see the Kim Jong Il or Osama bin Laden - or you know, commentary on other leaders that we think were pretty shitty.
posted by honey-barbara at 8:55 PM on January 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Perhaps the thing that seems to annoy some people so much is that she was a woman, who achieved the very highest position in society

Some of the criticisms made in this thread:

the jobs she destroyed
the communities she gutted
the people who killed themselves in despair as a result of the above
turning communities against themselves
using the police as an occupying force
cronyism for the chosen few
opposition to German reunification
funding, giving legitimacy to fascist states
proclaiming herself best friends forever with a man responsible for a death toll of 40,000
making portraying homosexuality in any favourable light in schools illegal
supporting the apartheid regime
shattering Britain's industrial base
over her period in power the gender gap widened
and poverty doubled
and inequality doubled
and growth slowed
and the one time bonanza of North Sea Oil was wasted
that the poll tax was a deliberate attempt to push opposition voters off the electoral role
and that she brought the army in to spy on domestic protest groups

But yes, it's obviously the fact that she was a woman that annoys people so much. Sexist pigs.
posted by reynir at 1:51 AM on January 8, 2012 [8 favorites]


honey barbara - even if you accept the comparison - which I wouldn't - don't you think there's a difference between the deaths of Kim Jong Il and Bin Ladin - who were still active leaders, and Thatcher, who stoppped being so two decades ago? In the former case their deaths hopefully will lead to an end to some of the evil they caused - in the latter in can only be bitter revenge at best. It does somewhat trivialise the thousands murdered by Bin Ladin or the millions murdered and starved in North Korea to compare the people responsible with a democratically elected UK Prime Minister, btw, no matter how bad you think her.

Reynir - I'd argue that, in the long term Thatcher protected British jobs, although the process was very painful. I'm also a bit mystified as to why opposing German reunification (which I am a long way from convinced she did) is an evil along side the others you list? Clearly it was an enormously risky process for the West German economy and created a formidable power block in the EU which we are still coming to terms with - seems that it may have been wrong to do so, but hardly a moral wrong?
posted by prentiz at 2:25 AM on January 8, 2012


Well, I'm justifying a comment here that I didn't make, but I'm guessing that opposing German reunification is viewed as a moral wrong because it takes no account at all of the rather understandable desire of the German people to see their country - which had been arbitrarily torn apart down the middle by the superpowers, with all the history that followed of people killed trying to get from one side to the other, reunified now that the superpowers had finished with it.

As for her opposition, my reading is that she was less than keen...

"We do not want a united Germany," Margaret Thatcher told President Gorbachev at a lunch meeting in the Kremlin in September 1989, two months before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
...
"If there is one instance in which a foreign policy I pursued met with unambiguous failure, it was my policy on German reunification," she later admitted.

(Telegraph)
posted by reynir at 2:45 AM on January 8, 2012


@ prentiz: Perhaps the thing that seems to annoy some people so much is that she was a woman To the hammer, everything is a nail. To the gynocentrist, everything is an affront to women.

The things that annoyed me so much were her infliction of deranged monetarist policy on the nation, her squandering of the once-in-a-universe opportunity of North Sea Oil to fund it, and her destruction of civil society by her conception of us as rational utility maximising agents transacting with one another in a market (what I do, apparently, when I mow my elderly neighbour's lawn).

The configuration of her genitals plays no part in that critique.
posted by falcon at 4:41 AM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


her legacy was to replace that national paralysis with economic growth

This is the big lie of the right, as I've said before on average the rate of growth went down under Thatcher from what it has been during the 70s. See here. Plus there was a big recession in the late 80s, early 90s just after she departed so the economy was hardly robust.

The idea that she (and Major after her) left Britain leaner and fitter is just a fallacy. They left it emaciated and gutted. Well paid, unionised manufacturing jobs - that allowed people to spend and create a decent economy - were replaced by low paid insecure service jobs - where people had to live on loans and credit. And the new jobs were just as state-subsidised as the so call clapped out nationalised industries ever were, what with lowered taxation on employers etc.

The left don't hate here because she was a woman. The hate here because she was more vicious then any man.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:03 AM on January 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


" ...the strikes, the appalling, useless nationalised industries and the national decline ..."

Strikes - the union movement was effectively broken as a means of managing the relationship between employer and employee during / after the government of Mrs Thatcher, so no, there weren't many strikes after she'd been PM for a while. We can discuss whether the union movement had enjoyed too much power under Wilson / Heath / Callaghan and / or was abusing that power, or we can consider whether the punishment so heavily outweighed the crime as to be immical to the re-establishment of healthy working relationships and the continued protection of the rights of ordinary working people against the arbitrary whims of their employers, but the fact is she set out to destroy the miners quite deliberately because she knew if she did no other union would dare challenge her. And we know what flowed from that decision, and none of it was positive.

Useless nationalised industries - that provided cheap and reliable energy, water, transportation systems, raw materials and employment. They were privatised, in the name of letting people buy into and benefit from these activities. Which people did - and then sold on their shares almost immediately. So we are left with the worst of all possible worlds - energy, water, railways etc that are not owned by the country or its people, that are subject to pressures that originate well beyond this country's borders and where the profits that should be being used to update and maintain them are being hived off into unrelated areas; leaving us with pipes that leak millions of pounds' worth of water during droughts, trains that are overcrowded, tracks that are unsafe, energy supplies that are wildly and increasingly expensive and which we are a captive market for (and thus surely out of step with the principles of the free market espoused by Thatcherite policy) and so on.

National decline - I'm not an economist, so I am wary of talking about something I'm not familiar with, but others have pointed out that this doesn't seem to have stopped / been mitigated - I would refer to something I said in the other Thatcher thread, though, about how we're still spending billions on repairing the damage that was caused by rampant deindustrialisation on a huge and damaging scale, and how even nowadays there is still a demand for Uk manufacturing but we simply don't have the infrastructure left to capitalise on that demand. Because of a policy of running down the country's manufacturing capacity and replacing it with service jobs and financial activity - and we all know where that got us. Deregulating the financial markets also didn't help much, did it?

Fall of communism - I see a lot about Reagan and internal Soviet pressures here - not so much about anyone else. Maybe some talking ("Mr Gorbachov is someone with whom we can do business" or the like). Again, I'm not a historian so I can't legitimately comment further.

I don't class myself as particularly left-wing at all. I just saw what I saw and felt what I felt at the time. And I too don't think the reason people don't like her is anything to do with her being a woman. It's to do with her policies, her approach and her personality, all of which combined together made for something devastating and ultimately highly destructive.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 5:44 AM on January 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


Oh and re The Falklands. Callahan, back in the 70s when the Argentines were getting bullish, just sent a submarine down into the South Atlantic for manoeuvres and they backed down. Not a drop of blood spilled.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:19 AM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Re economic "salvation" - both Thatcher and Reagan came to power soon after and to some extent due to the worldwide global recession caused by the 1979 oil crisis. There were not necessarily structural problems in the economies they inherited, but it was a great excuse.
posted by idb at 12:18 PM on January 8, 2012


Perhaps the thing that seems to annoy some people so much is that she was a woman

In the sense that the hard of thinking will be less likely to elect another female leader on the thoughtful grounds of 'well, look at the last one', yes. Otherwise, abject bollocks.

You do realise that many who still feel a visceral dislike of the woman are female, yes? My mother voted for her first time round as she thought a female leader may make a difference - she says it's one of the biggest regrets of her life.

(I was born on the day the Falklands conflict started, by the way. THATCHERBABY.)
posted by mippy at 12:43 PM on January 8, 2012


I'm also a bit mystified as to why opposing German reunification (which I am a long way from convinced she did) is an evil along side the others you list?

Read Anna Funder's Stasiland. Life on both sides of the wall was extremely unpleasant for the majority of Berliners.
posted by mippy at 12:45 PM on January 8, 2012


mippy: Read Anna Funder's Stasiland.

Yes. Yes, do this, regardless of what you think of Thatcher (or anyone else mentioned in this thread). It's a brilliant, weird, heartbreaking, wonderful book. It's worth it for the story of the party functionary and the plate alone. (I won't spoil it by saying any more.)
posted by Len at 6:15 PM on January 8, 2012


I don't know how anyone could manage to hold such amazingly, blatantly self-contradicting ideas in their heads at the same time without blowing up.

Money.
posted by liquidindian at 6:32 AM on January 9, 2012


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