Maggie: A Nation Mourns

Britain ground to a halt today as crowds of ordinary people thronged the streets to say goodbye to a dear leader, Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher, who single-handedly killed Stalin as well as ending child poverty here at home, was probably the most loved Briton of the 20th century, even surpassing the popularity of Winston Churchill.

Alf Grimes, a former coal miner from South Yorkshire, couldn’t stop the tears from rolling down his grubby face. “It were ‘orrible in t’ pit”, he sobbed. “Only Maggie understood, and put an end to our suffering”.

A delegation of West Indians from South London also turned up and sang Negro spirituals as the procession passed. Winston Green, one of their number, reminisced: “I was only a teenager then”, he said, “and Maggie made sure we went home and did our homework, by sending in the police to swamp the streets at sunset. Yes, the truncheon blows hurt, and I still experience the occasional headache, but if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be the CEO of a major international corporation now.” (At least I think that’s what he said – his accent was a bit strong).

But a picture tells a thousand words. Our correspondents in London and Leeds submitted the photos below which really capture the raw emotion of the day. Rarely has the British public experienced such unity. Maggie may be gone, but as these images show, she will never be forgotten.

London (photo courtesy @IveMetJoeBlack on Twitter)
London (photo courtesy @IveMetJoeBlack on Twitter)
Leeds (photo courtesy @IanWhiteNews on Twitter)

5 thoughts on “Maggie: A Nation Mourns”

  1. When I look at these images, I find myself somewhat curious what’s going on in everyone’s minds. I’d assume disappointment, but I can’t be certain.

  2. Did you see the banner at the Easington Collliery club? “The Lady’s not Returning”. Clever, i thought.

    Easington Colliery (like all the Durham collieries) closed in about 1985.

  3. If one intends to use the forces of irony make it subtle. The Maggie piece did all those prancing trolls a disservice. And what with the Dear Leader… one need say no more on this forlorn scrap of anvil satire, except to say that your fans might be a trifle dismayed to find their North Korean idol mentioned even, it is supposed, satirically, in the same breath. But of course the thugs of the rump-Stalinist Arthur Scargill, Soviet funded and living well, bear no more resemblence to the Dear Leader’s cohort than the recently cavorting minions’ hair resemble the blue cockies plume arising from the naked scalp of the original street battlers.

    1. The thing about Scargill is that, whilst he told the truth about Britain having the lowest-cost deep mined coal in Europe (which would also have been the cheapest on the open market, were it not for generous subsidies in other countries), his personal vanity was an obstacle to serious dialogue and made him an easy target for Thatcher in her determination to close so many of this country’s pits.

      And on the subject of Britain’s natural energy resources, perhaps it’s worth reminding people of how Thatcher spent the revenue from North Sea Gas: not on building the national infrastructure, but on bribing the electorate with tax cuts.

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