"Margaret Thatcher deserves every honour – apart from a state funeral" runs the headline in Peter Oborne's piece for the Telegraph. As David Cameron says, 'let me be absolutely clear', I have no problem with the second part of that headline. Where are the unifying acts that warrant the distinction of a state funeral? Despite some lingering resentment of his use of troops against miners in 1910/11, that Churchill deserved the honour is beyond dispute in reward for a nation's gratitude for leading us to victory in what was our greatest time of need .
Oborne perpetuates the myth implied in Thatcher's triumphant pose with the union flag with his assertion: "our former prime minister remains magnificent: brave, impervious, indomitable, the giantess of our time".
The reality for others in the myth-making process is different. Her dead heroes lie far from home in the cold, distant Falkland Islands while others feel the shiver here. We may no longer be held to ransom by devastated industrial muscle but that has been replaced by the tyranny of bankers. Our manufacturing base has been replaced by an over praised service sector with its financial muscle. The result? Pauper's funerals increasing at an alarming rate, millions unemployed including over a million young people with little if any hope of a job, home ownership beyond the reach of increasing numbers of young people while out of control bankers ruin the lives of our people, something Herr Hitler failed to do, thanks to Churchill.
The unity that a state funeral would imply is absent. Many whose lives were ruined by Mrs Thatcher would happily picket a state funeral. Common sense should prevail but that is something else in short supply these days. A state funeral is not something to be devalued. Value for money was one of Mrs Thatcher's main tests even if often flawed, but a legacy admirably expressed in this e-petition.