The Plastic Hippo

April 17, 2013


Filed under: History,Politics,Society,World — theplastichippo @ 3:00 am
Image via

Image via

”Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith and where there is despair, may we bring hope.”

Any attempt at ignoring the funeral taking place today at St Paul`s goes beyond turning a blind eye to the pachyderm in the parlour and will probably have the same effect as a whole herd of spooked elephants rampaging through the downstairs loo. Respect, it seems, is mandatory. The interment will be wall-to-wall; the cremation will not be televised.

Any death, regardless of the quality, controversies, successes or failures of the life, is a pertinent reminder of mortality, ambition and the weakness of the human condition. Once, only two things were certain; death and taxes. Now, we can bet our bottom dollar that re-written history will be the inevitable third penny placed on our cold lips to compliment the pennies on our unseeing eyes. The passing of a frail, bewildered 87 year old woman can never be a cause for celebration and those that rejoice at her death are guilty of the same hatred that they assign to her. However, those that adored her are now celebrating her demise with a cynical and disturbingly political feeding frenzy on the still warm corpse. This atavistic tendency has resulted in the current government denouncing any criticism of her life as disrespectful, in extremely bad taste and even mindlessly bigoted. Instead, the blessed Margaret is to be canonised with a state funeral in all but name and her name will be revered as the greatest ever Englishwoman who served her nation without the need of the unnecessary appendages of Winston Churchill.

There can be no doubt that Margaret Hilda Thatcher, nee Roberts, was a formidable political force of nature and was certainly a catalyst for societal change in the United Kingdom, Europe and the rest of the world. If that change was for the better, it remains, to say the least, contentious given the wounds that her death has reopened. Her eulogists state that she allowed the less well off to own their own homes and standing alone defeated communism in Eastern Europe. She trounced the bullying trade unions and was brave enough to see off a dictator who coveted our lumps of rock in the South Atlantic. Her supporters fail to mention that social housing has not been replaced and the bulk of former council houses are now making profit for private landlords including members of her own parliamentary party. The evil of soviet communism has been replaced by filthy rich oligarchs happy to have each other murdered and the demise of the trade unions is matched only by the destruction of UK manufacturing industry. Argentina is still sabre rattling and the British economy is going down the toilet. Churchillian? I think not.

It is unlikely that David Cameron would abandon important meetings in Europe and recall parliament every time an 87 year old woman died, but the opportunity for a three week Conservative party political broadcast was too good to miss. Add to this the bonus of a £2million compensation pay out to MPs for curtailing their extensive holidays and holding the love fest on a Thursday rather than the following Monday when MPs were supposed to back at work anyway, and we have a win-win situation for Thatcher`s children. The much talked of legacy of the Iron Lady remains intact. It doesn`t matter how many heads you have to stand on to get what you want. Greed is good; there is no such thing as society.

Those that offer objection to the deification and the estimated £10million bill for what is not a state funeral, are reminded that she was a mother and a real person. Her actual offspring, a shameless self publicist and racist and an idiot son arms dealer, prison avoider and failed coup d’état organiser, flew in from their overseas tax havens to be at their mother`s side some days after her death. Fortunately, the 10 staff that cared for the Baroness at the Ritz as she slipped away through creeping dementia and stroke will be at the funeral but it is unlikely that they will be mentioned in the estimated £66million will. Some of them may even return to care for their own aging parents about to be punished for having the temerity to possess a spare bedroom or, heaven forbid, have to rely on expensive private health care now that the NHS has been sold off as part of the legacy and inheritance. Disabled, terminally ill and poor people, after all, are now officially scroungers and remain the objects of derision by the right wing press even given the orgy of onanism splashed by Dacre and Murdoch at the death of an old woman at the Ritz.

It seems that David Cameron will read from scripture during the ceremony. According to her wishes, Margaret Thatcher specified that the serving Prime Minister should read a specific lesson from the Gospels. Cameron, therefore, without any sense of irony will read St John`s Gospel Chapter 14 Verses one to three:
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father`s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself: that where I am, there ye may be also.”

Wherever she`s going there will not be a mansion tax but it might get a bit heated over the bedroom tax. Given the threat of “I will come again”, perhaps cremation will avoid the necessity of screwing down the coffin lid and burying her face-down in case she tries to claw her way out. Interestingly, we are told that the order of service will contain lines from William Wordsworth`s Ode: Intimations of Immortality. This will surely please her old friend and confidants General Pinochet and Jimmy Savile, currently preparing her mansion in the Kingdom of Heaven.

There will be no celebration from me today, no tramping the dirt down, no disrespect for the dead, no hatred; no mindless bigotry. Perhaps just the raising of a small glass to the future and the realisation that it takes a long time to dig a hole big enough to bury an elephant.

1 Comment »

  1. Given their already substantial personal wealth and their imminent muti-million pound inheritance, it might have been appropriate for the Thatcher offspring to at least pay for their own mother’s funeral. Even a £10 million bill still leaves more than enough for Mark and Carole to play with.

    But this is a typical dysfunctional family. As endless social studies have shown, an overbearing, self-centered and callous parent, coupled with a weak partner who prefers the comfort of the bottle to the nurture of the family may well produce maladjusted and misguided offspring who have no notion of morality, responsibility and basic common decency.

    Little wonder, then, that the State is once again left to pick up the tab. At least the frail, bewildered 87 year old Margaret spent her last days at the Ritz, being tended night and day by 10 carers. Unlike the frail, bewildered and neglected elderly people who suffered in Mid-Staffs and other equally horrid places that now pass as hospitals.

    The Realist

    Comment by The Realist — April 17, 2013 @ 9:48 am | Reply

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