Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Thatcher Laid To Rest - And The Left's Promised 'Violent Protest' Falls Flat
Baroness Thatcher was laid to rest today in a state funeral attended by the Queen.
Her flag-draped coffin was carried from a small chapel in Westminster to St. Paul's Cathedral for the funeral service escorted by members of Britain's military, including 700 veterans of the Falkland's War.
The Angry Left had promised 'violent protests' and had promised they would pelt the coffin with eggs and coal. For a sample of that rhetoric, look at the comments section here.
In the end, thousands of people lined the road to pay tribute to the Iron Lady,many of them throwing white roses in her path while the promised 'protest' turned out to be a joke. According to Reuters, hardly a conservative friendly site, only about two dozen people booed or turned their backs on the coffin, chanted 'ding dong the witch is dead' or booed.
The Daily Mail was a little more charitable, characterizing the number of protesters as around 200 at most, scattered throughout the crowd.
While security was heavy, both the military and the police had said that they would not impede protest. And since the Thatcher Haters are not noted for qualities like common decency, I can only ascribe the lack of attendance to cowardice.
It's one thing to make a speech to the converted, be a has been pop star singing an insulting song to try and resuscitate your career or to leave a hate-filled, anonymous comment on line.It's another to go public, where you might just have to engage in a vigorous debate at street level, if you get my meaning.
The funeral service was attended by 2,300 mourners, including a number of heads of State including Canada's PM Harper, Israel's PM Netanyahu, PM Mario Monti of Italy and Polish PM Donald Tusk. The Obama Administration was conspicuous by its absence, saying it was 'too busy' to send anyone just now. America was represented by former Secretaries of State James Baker, George Schultz and Henry Kissinger, all of whom attended as private persons. And by a private,mostly Republican delegation from the U.S. House of Representatives.
It's actually quite fitting that no one from the Obama Administration could be bothered to attend the funeral of one of our staunchest allies, a woman who played a large part oin defeating the Evil Empire.Mrs. Thatcher didn't care much for commies and socialists in life, and I'm sure her spirit doesn't miss them now.
One particularly moving moment in the service came when Baroness Thatcher's grandaughter Amanda Thatcher, 19, read from the book of Ephesians to mourners.
Her reading, delivered with remarkable poise and confidence called for the righteous to put 'on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil'.
And one off putting note came from the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, who in his remarks at the funeral called Thatcher 'just an ordinary woman' and referenced the Tolpuddle martyrs, a 19th century group of icons for Britain's trade unions, whose strangling grip on Britain's faltering economy was successfully broken during Thatcher's administration.
The Bishop, like a lot of Church of England clergy is fairly Left wing in his outlook (Thatcher, by the way was a Methodist) so his remarks were not entirely unexpected.
Margaret Thatcher was not 'just an ordinary woman'. She was an extraordinary woman from an ordinary background. There's a big difference.
Quite simply, she was one of those rare people who saw something wrong and decided to do something about it, and she refused to be put off. She had her defeats, and her autobiography recounts them. But she had her victories too. And in the end, what matters is that she was willing to get in to the arena in the first place, because someone had to.In the end, she fought the battles she had to fight and left things better than she found them, which is all you can really ask of a leader.
So the greengrocer's daughter who changed so much has made the passage, to be reunited with her beloved Denis and her great friend Ronald Reagan.
A number of people along the procession and in the service were openly weeping as they said goodbye to Baroness Thatcher today. She was a symbol of Britain's greatness, and perhaps part of what they found so sad was their sense that greatness has departed and will not return.