I wasn’t alive during Margaret Thatcher̵...

I wasn’t alive during Margaret Thatcher’s rule, but here’s my opinion anyway

Today Britain showed the world how, sometimes, we’re very much a divided nation. I’m not a massive fan of Margaret Thatcher, but equally I wouldn’t say I hate her. Hate’s a very strong word to use against someone I’ve never personally met. The policies she brought in have affected our nation, of course, but as Right Rev Richard Chartres stated, “today she is one of us.”

Maybe the £10m spent on her funeral suggested otherwise – I can’t see the same being spent one someone who worked as a retail assistant their entire life – and of course people may think it’s a waste of money. But then again, had there been no risk of violence from protesters, perhaps less could have been spent on security? On the other hand, there are those who saw her as the Iron Lady, a woman who shattered the glass ceiling and did what she could to make the nation a better place, who see a state funeral as a proper sending off.

Put simply: there are two sides to every coin.

Honestly, I feel no emotion towards her. What I did feel today, however, was disgust and embarrassment for the people who were childish enough to turn up to someone’s funeral, regardless of who she was, and show a complete lack of respect, not just for the deceased but for her mourning family too.

You may tell me I have no right to an opinion because I wasn’t alive during Thatcher’s time in power, but just as you’re able to voice how you feel, so am I. So forgetting all her policies, her mandates and her actions, I’ll tell you what I do know:

I know that today, family and friends gathered together to say goodbye to a loved one. I know that six horses pulled a coffin containing a dead woman through the city among crowds of people, quite against their natural instincts. I know that a very brave young lady did something that most adults wouldn’t be able to do, as Amanda Thatcher stood up to recite a reading at her grandmother’s funeral, in front of an audience that spanned the globe.

Now what they deserved, if you ask me, was to be able to say goodbye without having to listen to protestors shouting outside, and without having to watch people throw things at the horses. Politics shouldn’t have made an ounce of difference today because, let’s be honest, her time in power ended way back in 1990. No one expects the country to forget the policies she brought into place, but what should be expected is, for at least one day, to put debates and anger aside. Because causing a scene that the woman herself cannot even see or respond to only upsets a family that’s done nothing wrong.

I don’t just want to dwell on the negatives of the day though because there were many positives.

The horses behaved impeccably considering the situation, young Amanda was amazingly brave, flags were hung at half mast to prove that somewhere respect was being shown, the entire ceremony ran on time as was expected, everything looked as perfect as it could for such a sad event, a strong and consistent sound of applause rang through London. It’s these little things that show the world that ok, we might not have agreed with each other, but we weren’t going to act like children and play tit-for-tat.

I’ll finish this with the handwritten words visible in the wreath that lay upon the coffin: “Beloved mother. Always in our hearts”. They ring true and remind us that at the end of the day, Margaret Thatcher, despite the controversy during her life, was ultimately just a woman that meant a lot to her family even if she didn’t always end up doing the very best for the country.

By Shannon.