So good to hear:
It seemed to come out of nowhere. No one knew who’d started it – perhaps it was purely instinctual. But as the hearse came into view, the crowds found themselves breaking into applause – applause that followed the hearse all the way along the route, until it drew up at the church of St Clement Danes. Then, once the coffin had been loaded on to the gun carriage, and the horses moved off, the applause started again – and followed the procession all the way to St Paul’s.
Down the roads it spread and spread, gently rippling, a long impromptu chain of respect and appreciation.
The applause wasn’t rowdy; there were no whoops or whistles. It was steady, warm, dignified. But it was also, somehow, determined. At Ludgate Circus, protesters began to boo and jeer – only to find the rest of the crowd applauding all the more loudly to drown them out.
It has often been said that Baroness Thatcher appealed to the silent majority. They weren’t silent now.
Ever since the news of her death last Monday, we have been told one thing above all else about the former Prime Minister: that she was divisive. Well, maybe she was. But you wouldn’t necessarily have known it yesterday along the route of her funeral procession. From Westminster to St Paul’s, mourners crammed the pavements, in places standing 12 deep.
Melanie Phillips laments the loss of civility in Britain…I would say its long gone throughout the planet:
What was so moving, in the end, was that Baroness Thatcher was buried as a simple Christian. Borne on a gun-carriage to St Paul’s cathedral as a great warrior statesman, Margaret Hilda went as a humble human soul to meet her ultimate fate, as must we all. But what a faith she had, blazing out in those magnificent, soaring hymns and readings that she had apparently so carefully chosen.
The funeral ceremonial was pitch-perfect, solemn but beautiful and uplifting, and choreographed and staged with flawless precision. This after all is what Britain still does so well. So much so that some foolish folk have allowed themselves to get carried away and claim that this shows Britain essentially still remains the same great country it always was.
What a short attention span such individuals must have. Sure, the protests that had been threatened for the funeral, by people whose gross disrespect for the dead suggests an equivalent and alarming contempt for the living, were kept at bay or drowned out by the many who made a point of standing up for elementary decency along the route.
But Britain is now a country where behaviour that was once unthinkable is now routine. Where the mob is unleashed every minute on social media to make vile remarks, to bully and intimidate. Where reasoned argument has been substantially replaced by vilification and insult. Where so many have been moronically parroting the conformist whine of the day, that Mrs T had been a divisive figure — as if any true leader does not create argument and controversy.
Where young people are so devoid of compassion or respect for another human being, so convulsed by hatred as a result of their narcissistic incredulity that there can be any viewpoint other than their own, that they actually gloated and danced in the streets over the death of a frail 87 year-old who had lost her mind. And then they and those who shared their point of view of Lady Thatcher actually accused her of making Britain selfish and uncaring!
It is indeed becoming a selfish, brutalised, uncaring society. But this is the result of fundamental social and cultural changes — like the fragmentation of the family, the refusal to transmit a common culture through education, the balkanisation of Britain through multiculturalism, the victim culture which gives a free pass to certain privileged groups for their bad behaviour.
And it’s getting worse, but on this day the jeers were drowned out.
The Daily Mail has a video recap of the funeral:
Her importance to Britain was displayed by not only the amount of spectators to the procession but by those who attended the funeral…with one exception, the United States. Obama shamefully did not send anyone from his administration.
Dignitaries queued as the doors to St Paul’s opened. Former prime ministers Tony Blair and Sir John Major arrived together, before David Cameron arrived with his wife Samantha.
The guest list included all 32 members of the current British Cabinet and 30 former members of Lady Thatcher’s Cabinets from her premiership from 1979 to 1990.
International guests included 11 serving Prime Ministers from across the globe and 17 serving Foreign Ministers. In total 170 countries were represented.
Former Labour prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown rubbed shoulders with Baroness Thatcher’s successor Sir John Major.
He did send higher level representatives to the dictator Hugo Chavez funeral however. I have a feeling Margaret Thatcher would snicker at this although and highly doubt she would have been surprised.
In the end it was a beautiful and well deserved service for a great leader.
Rest in peace Margaret Thatcher.