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Paying for the Margaret Thatcher Funeral

I’ll pay my share of the Thatcher funeral cost and that of two objectors if they’ll pay my share of government spending I don’t like.

Any takers?

UPDATE: At least Mr Cameron is being as consistent as I would have expected.

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22 comments to Paying for the Margaret Thatcher Funeral

  • Mr Ed

    Indeed, and whilst the meda reports focus on what £x could have bought, I never seem to hear the other option ‘This money could have been left in taxpayers’ pockets, and left them with a higher standard of living’, which is the moral option.

    On the subject of waste comparisons, this article compares the cost of the recently scrapped 9 Nimrods (a rehash of the Comet) with the cost of 3 Spaceshuttles, and change, mainly for effect rather than accuracy.

    If they cared about waste,they might support a Bill of Attainder for those involved in this debacle. I’d consider joining the authorised firing squad, if asked.

  • James Strong

    Of course you can hold the opinion that it’s OK for the taxpayer to pay for a politician’s funeral.
    However,occasional visitors to this site might infer that that position is a libertarian one. It is not.

  • Antoine Clarke

    I said, I’d be willing to pay my share. What part of voluntary do you not get?

  • David Cameron is too stupid to be anything much

  • James Strong

    @ Antoine Clarke:
    Your ‘voluntary’ is after the event; the event being that the money has already been spent.
    Your ‘voluntary’ would have had value if there had been a subscription to cover the cost of the funeral in advance of it taking place, but it doesn’t have value now. There wasn’t such a subscription; there is no mechanism to do what you say you would be willing to do so we might as well debate how many such voluntary contributions you can fit on the head of a needle.

  • James Strong. Don’t be an arse. I rather doubt they asked Antoine Clarke before the fact. Nor did they ask me. We were not, and never are, given a choice.

    But then the people pissing about the cost in the media are, I would wager, 99% of them in favour of imposing costs for things they do approve of on me… and on Antoine Clarke, so do you think we give a flying fuck about such folks being forced to pay for Thatcher’s funeral? Do you think that might be the point Antoine Clarke was making? Take a guess.

  • JohnB

    Insofar as anyone justifies a funeral worthy of respect in a context of having contributed to the welfare of others, then Margaret Thatcher was worth whatever was spent.
    As for David Cameron’s comments. I think it was generally perceived that the GBP realised and realises that we owe Margaret Thatcher, and those who worked with her, a great debt. We did not become a soviet satellite state.
    However it was a bit too risqué for David to hang out there too long.

  • Sam Duncan

    James, that’s fair enough (and I tend to agree that public subscription would have been the fairest method; there should be much more of that) but surely the point Antoine is making with his offer is that on the on the scale of things the taxpayer shouldn’t be lumbered with, it barely even figures. Nobody will take him up on it because they’d be out of pocket by a small fortune. Per capita, the funeral was a few pence compared, for example, with hundreds of pounds for the Olympics and thousands for welfare. Yet this is what some people choose to protest about.

  • Richard Thomas

    Sam. True enough. But isn’t this used to justify most spending (or at least failing to cut it)?

    Though with that said, I have little doubt that the funds spent (and more) would have been easily raised on a voluntary basis. Though that would likely have raised the ire of those complaining even more.

  • Richard Thomas

    In fact let’s push to make government funerals funded on a voluntary basis. I’d look forward to the day when Brown is wheeled through London on a hand-cart.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    As far as the Libertarian view of government-funded funerals for former PMs (presidents on this side of the pond) goes, a certain amount of graciousness despite ideological impurity is called for. Or to put it another way, simple good manners says we shouldn’t begrudge even those we damn to perdition their bon voyage.

  • Paul Marks

    I am dirt poor and I am also willing to pay my share of the cost of the funeral.

    Especially as the figures quoted (day after day) in the media about the cost of the funeral turned out to be a pack of lies.

    And YES I am willing to pay the share of the cost of the funeral of any leftist WHO IS PREPARED TO PAY MY SHARE OF GOVERNMENT SPENDING THAT I DO NOT LIKE.

  • Richard Thomas

    PFP: I disagree. In fact, I think it is quite likely a symptom of the fact that politicians have simply got too much power. Stretch limos, private jets, entourages… What connection do these people have to the people they purport to represent anymore?

  • Mr Ed

    The objections to the cost are, in fact, an argument for the deceased to have had a State funeral, like General-at-Sea Robert Blake or Sir Isaac Newton, as the expenditure on a State funeral is approved by Parliament, honouring the principles established by the Civil War.

    A State funeral might also have been less irksome to Cdr ‘Sharkey’ Ward DFC.

  • Subotai Bahadur

    Acknowledging the value of her deeds as PM to Britain and the world, and remembering her honoring and honorable presence at the funeral of our President Reagan; if your country would have opened a subscription for the costs of the Iron Lady’s funeral, there would have been Dollars pledged in addition to Pounds.

    Also far from wealthy, but would have sent some.

    Subotai Bahadur

  • Mr Ed

    Public donations still pay for such things as the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which still operates in the Irish Republic too, having saved 139,000 lives, and to keep a Vulcan bomber flying. Many an old statue or monument in England has been installed after fundraising by subscription.

    The problems with fundraising for a funeral are presumably decomposition and decency whilst the funds come in, taste perhaps preventing precipitate donations?

    How much VAT did that song make? It might have covered a bit of the cost.

  • Laird

    PfP, I also disagree. The state should not be paying for the funerals of anyone who does not die in combat while in its service. Remembering Thatcher’s (or any former president’s) service to the country is fine but should be costless. The family and/or subscriptions can pay for the funeral. And as for it taking too long to arrange for subscriptions, (a) I don’t believe it’s true (funds for various disasters are set up within days of the event), and (b) the estate can always borrow the funds and repay them afterward. Hey, if politicians can do it for (losing) political campaigns their estates can, too.

    We are asked to pay (via taxes) far too much for our retired rulers. Lifetime pensions, numerous other benefits, even personal security. It’s ridiculous to the point of offensiveness. We provide lifetime Secret Service protection to our ex-presidents. Why? After 5 or 10 years out of office who cares about them? Seriously, would anyone be trying to assassinate Jimmy Carter? Why? (Does anyone even remember that he’s still alive?) But when he does die you know there will be an elaborate and expensive state funeral for one of the most ineffective presidents in our history. The government should just send a bouquet of flowers; that’s more than sufficient. His estate and his fans (both of them) can pay for the funeral.

  • Laird, you had me thanking god for not sipping something while reading that:-)))

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Laird
    April 28, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    PfP, I also disagree. The state should not be paying for the funerals of anyone who does not die in combat while in its service.

    That’s fine by me, I’m just not going to get too upset about a bit of publicly-funded piety (for very senior officials only, please). It strikes me as a picayune issue.

    As for Jimmy Carter, keep in mind that there’s a rabbit out there somewhere with his name on it.

  • Mr Ed

    @ Laird

    the estate can always borrow the funds

    in English law, that is unlikely as the Estate would need to have a specific power to borrow against assets of the Estate and the executors would need to be appointed sharpish, not always possible. Funeral expenses are offset against the value of the Estate for inheritance tax, a whopping 40% after £325,000 (c US$504,000), but that could lead (oh the irony) of a tax demand against a politician’s estate.

    Former Presidents since Clinton do not automatically get Secret Service protection for life, it’s 10 years from leaving office. Life protection only came in 1965 (reason obvious, surely). And again, the cost is tiny compared to $16,000,000,000,000 debt and all the Federal freebies. As PfP points out, the whingers do not care about the cost, they care about whinging.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    We are a funny country: we bleat about the cost of a public funeral for an (admittedly) controversial figure, or the cost of a Royal Jubilee, but seem to be less bothered by the gigantic sums spent – not particularly efficiently – in the main departments of state, such as health. Hundreds of people have died in shocking circumstances (Staffordshire) in NHS hospitals, but the “left” seemed more genuinely aroused to anger because of the death of an 87-year-old former stateswoman who won three successive general elections, and the public funeral of this woman.

  • SC

    >At least Mr Cameron is being as consistent as I would have expected.

    Paul Keating, when Oz treasurer, used to call Prime Minister Bob Hawke ‘old jellyback’, in reference to Hawke’s weakness when it came to making tough decisions.

    Seems a suitable title to give to Cameron.