Giles Fraser took my breath away in an article on 17 April 2013, the day they buried Thatcher.
I like reading Giles Fraser’s articles, they are clever and more than anything else thought provoking. Most of the time I agree with him, occasionally I will disagree with him, though I would not tell him so simply because he would ‘hang me out to dry’ and I am a wimp.
The first gasp was the Giles voted Conservative, for Margaret Thatcher, his politics are very much left of centre and I thought he had gone mad, or had been deceiving us. The explanation given was amusing and understandable; the United Kingdom needed a dose of Thatcherism to kick-start the revolution.
I was prepared for almost anything from this columnist who was writing from a left-wing perspective on one of the most right-wing leaders. I was not prepared for this, referencing Canon Mark Oakley
He illustrated the point with reference to the funerals of Hapsburg royalty.
As the funeral procession approached the closed doors of the Imperial chapel in Vienna, a voice from inside would ask, “who is it?”. The grand chamberlain would read out a long list of grand titles. The voice from the church then replied: “We know him not.” The chamberlain would try again, with a shortened version, and received the same reply. Finally, the chamberlain knocks on the door. Again comes the question, “who is it?”, and this time, eschewing all pomp and ceremony, he answers: “A sinner in need of God’s mercy.” “Him we know; enter,” comes the reply.
Having read this several time its still gives me the tingles, from a Christian perspective Thatcher’s achievements and crimes don’t mean anything, the pomp and circumstance, the deference is now meaningless. There is just ‘a sinner in need of God’s mercy’
Even if we do not believe in God the truth is all finery and high esteem (or not) is now meaningless, it is just a corpse.
Ten days have gone since her death was announced, I have had time to get angry, rehearse my complaints, remember with bitterness her time in office, and I am almost ready to move on. She is dead, no more. That is not the complete truth, because I was brought up in the harsh realities of Thatcher’s Britain and it is really not that easy.
At best I can use my thoughts about Thatcher to compare with Attlee, and the blog I wrote about him as rekindled an socialism of hope and progress.
Death is the great democracy, we all will face it and when we do our importance will not be mentioned.