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Thatchers Funeral- "A Ceremony on the Sly"
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| Words: 788 | Submitted: 24-Apr-2013
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“A Ceremony on the Sly”.
The Guardian – Leading Article – Wednesday 10/04/2013.
The leading article in the Guardian on Wednesday 10th April 2013, just day’s after the death of Margaret Thatcher, while acknowledging that she was deserving of a ceremonial public funeral argues against it becoming a state funeral. It also suggests that there are significant concerns that surround her funeral that are deserving of open and respectful consideration by parliament.
Published just two days after Margaret Thatcher’s death this article reflects on the significant public debate that has ensued since on many aspects of her life and legacy and what is considered an appropriate way to mark her passing. The article acknowledges that she was an important figure in Britain’s recent history, exceptionally so, as “she changed the face of the country irrevocably”. However it goes on to state that it is self-evident due to the level and diversity of public debate in the subsequent few days that she was also an exceptionally polarising figure dividing opinion deeply. Between the two extremes of opinion it suggests the majority view also delivers a mixed verdict on her legacy. With very little consensus being established today it also argues that it is too early for the verdict of history given that her legacy is still affecting events here and now.
With parliament due to sit on the day the article was published to effectively pay tributes to Lady Thatcher it suggests that all views be allowed expression in that event. It calls for key players on all sides to be given the opportunity to contribute. This it believes would support its view that there remain deeply divided opinions on her legacy and achievements. The article argues that this will evidence the divisive nature, albeit importance, of her time as prime minister. As such it concludes such a controversial figure should not have a state funeral as such events are for heads of state and only in exceptional circumstances should this rule be broken for, as it puts it, “towering and exceptionally unifying national figures such as Winston Churchill”.
While the article does not explicitly rule Lady Thatcher out on being a “towering” figure, calling her a “major figure”, it does state absolutely that she was not a unifying one. As such it reasons she should not have a state funeral.
There is acknowledgement that a state funeral for her may have been considered appropriate in the past by Gordon Brown, who was a Labour prime minister, and that there are people who are actively campaigning for one now without being explicit who they are. However the article dismisses their wishes by referring to the apparent acknowledgement by those planning the funeral and her family that ...
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