ToryDiary will return to today’s terror plot tomorrow… in the meantime it would be good to receive readers’ opinion on whether or not Baroness Thatcher should be honoured with a state funeral. I hope, of course, that the whole question will be academic for a good number of years and there is something a little inappropriate in discussing the issue. We are discussing the issue because Downing Street has written to a Labour MP to veto the idea of a state funeral.
Yesterday’s Daily Telegraph slammed Downing Street’s intervention as "very bad taste". Agreeing that it’s premmature to be conclusive about the idea of a state funeral, Stephen Glover, writing in today’s Mail, nonetheless thinks Mrs T deserves an honour that hasn’t been bestowed on a peacetime Prime Minister since the nineteenth century:
"There are millions of British people — not just Tories — who will believe that Margaret Thatcher’s political achievements should be honoured when the time comes. Not many of us who can remember the 1970s would want to go back to them. This determined, stubborn, sometimes maddening and, above all, brave woman did make a big difference to our history. In most respects it has been a good one. Shelve the issue for the time being. There should be no unseemly public argument about Margaret Thatcher’s funeral arrangements. But, when the time comes, we must give her what she deserves."
I was interviewed on Radio 2 this afternoon and argued that it was important to establish whether Mrs Thatcher actually wanted a state funeral but given her worldwide reputation – as an iconic standard bearer for British values and for democracy – Britain should certainly be open to honouring her in this way.