Videos: The UK and world say goodbye to Margaret Thatcher

posted at 1:21 pm on April 17, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Can one measure the impact of a figure by the attention given at their passing? If so, then Margaret Thatcher’s place as one of the most significant figures in the latter half of the 20th century seems secure. Leaders from around the world — with a glaring exception — traveled to pay their last respects to the Iron Lady, whose 11-year term as Prime Minister of the UK transformed its economy, its world standing, and eventually the continent of Europe. Two thousand mourners squeezed into St. Paul’s Cathedral, and as CBS News notes, security was a heightened concern, especially for the procession afterward, but it went without incident:

The protestors got a lot of press today, but the report from CBS News seems to indicate that they were a fringe element, petty and insignificant. The Times of London was left similarly unimpressed. Thatcher triumphed over her critics in life, and now she has done so in death as well.

Andrew Malcolm reminds of who didn’t bother to honor that legacy:

But Obama trumped himself this week by declining to send any representative of his administration to the funeral of free-market advocate Thatcher. The Chicago Democrat appointed instead two former secretaries of State in Republican administrations–James Baker and George Schultz–and a staffer from the embassy in London.

As our editorial page colleagues here pointed out, that’s a lower-level delegation to our closest European ally than the group Obama dispatched to last month’s funeral of anti-American demagogue Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. Hmm.

Clearly, Obama has no time for such respectful things himself. He’s set a strategy dinner tonight with Democrat senators.

Normally, for a funeral of someone with Thatcher’s historical and diplomatic stature, an American administration would send at least a vice president, even a dufus like Joe Biden.

Of course, Joe might let go with one of his Pakistani jokes. And anyway the vice president’s schedule today is heavily-burdened. He’s scheduled to participate in an online Google+ Hangout.

Did they tell Biden that he can do that from London? The Intertubez have a pipe on the ocean floor, with a long string for talking about shotguns and warning shots with his fellow Americans.

CNN invited historian Kate Williams to offer her thoughts on Thatcher, in which she explains that Thatcher kinda-sorta feminized the British economy, in a segment that strains credulity. She finishes by comparing Thatcher to Henry VIII’s religious rebellion:

Well, she’s correct only if (a) we think of the socialiam in which the UK was mired pre-Thatcher as somehow “masculine,” and (b) the socialism with which Thatcher broke was a religion. I’m actually pretty comfortable with (b) in that sense.

NBC’s Today does a better job of giving a straightforward report:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

There are many VIPs at the event, but from the US … only Republicans. Imagine that.

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Someone forget to tell Obama they have golf courses in Britain?

kim roy on April 17, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Honestly it is pathetic, genuinely pitiable, that our president is such an @$$. Attending these kinds of things is the minimum required of heads of state or at least sending a respectable level official of the government. It is not a political issue — it is a state issue — and the deaths of the heads of state (or former heads of state) of important allies merit some officialdom to be in effect. It is an embarrassment to the nation and a stain on our honour.

theblackcommenter on April 17, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Bishop, koolaid, you are fired!!

jimver on April 17, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Someone forget to tell Obama they have golf courses in Britain?

kim roy on April 17, 2013 at 1:25 PM

And superlative ones, I might add.

jimver on April 17, 2013 at 1:27 PM

RIP Mrs Thatcher.

Limerick on April 17, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Ma’am.

Jeddite on April 17, 2013 at 1:28 PM

All the living US presidents are moronic scum, who diminish the office.

Schadenfreude on April 17, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Bush is recovering from back surgery.

What prevented Laura from going?

Schadenfreude on April 17, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Dame Thatcher was wrong in one regard – ‘Great’ Britain was NOT worth saving.

Schadenfreude on April 17, 2013 at 1:29 PM

I’m only surprised Obama didn’t send Biden to join the protestors.

jon1979 on April 17, 2013 at 1:30 PM

This woman received a Nobel for cancer treatment breakthroughs. What did Obama get his for?

Schadenfreude on April 17, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Good. Baroness Thatcher was too much of a leader and a lady to have these ghetto dwellers sully her funeral.

And once again, I’m glad Will and Kate refused to invite them to their wedding.

Pound sand, King Putt.

Maddie on April 17, 2013 at 1:31 PM

May God hold you in His arms Lady Thatcher.

I would imagine that the Queen is happy those two classless wanna b king bho and wanna b queen mAo aren’t there? They would try to take the spot light where ever they are?
L

letget on April 17, 2013 at 1:32 PM

I can’t believe I didn’t get up and watch. I hate when I lose track of time and dates. I hope the gun control bills go for a vote and fail miserable today, the irony will be sweet.

Cindy Munford on April 17, 2013 at 1:33 PM

This woman received a Nobel for cancer treatment breakthroughs. What did Obama get his for?

Schadenfreude on April 17, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Fore being him.

Nothing else fits.

Electrongod on April 17, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Of course Inman is giving Lady Thatcher one last diss. It’s the Chicago way. Hi is the most classless inhabitant we have ever had occupying the White House. RIP Mrs. Thatcher!

simkeith on April 17, 2013 at 1:33 PM

We now have a renegade Regime running this country…..

they show no RESPECT for people they disagree with politically…

..so I show no RESPECT for them….

I viewed this woman as I viewed Reagan…the Best of the best.

I’ve already raised a glass to toast you….just as I did
when Reagan passed…
So long Margaret Thatcher….those of your Mettle are sorely
needed…

ToddPA on April 17, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Classy funeral for a Classy Lady.

Well Done UK.

workingclass artist on April 17, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Bark would only turn his back as her casket went by, and Jumpin’ Joe would probably forget to wear his pants out in public again; maybe this is for the better.

Bishop on April 17, 2013 at 1:34 PM

I’m glad the British people came through as they usually do. The media gives far too much attention to crackpots.

Cindy Munford on April 17, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Leaders from around the world — with a glaring exception — traveled to pay their last respects to the Iron Lady

Wish we had one of those “leader” things.

Happy Nomad on April 17, 2013 at 1:34 PM

This woman received a Nobel for cancer treatment breakthroughs. What did Obama get his for?

Schadenfreude on April 17, 2013 at 1:30 PM

No she didn’t.

segasagez on April 17, 2013 at 1:35 PM

RIP, Lady Thatcher. You were a rock in an age of jello.

Personally, I’m glad that Barky isn’t going over there to stink up her memory with his offensive presence.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on April 17, 2013 at 1:35 PM

The Big Three together again in Heaven.

Cindy Munford on April 17, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Bush is recovering from back surgery.

What prevented Laura from going?

Schadenfreude on April 17, 2013 at 1:29 PM

I disagree, the last thing you want is the British yobs and hooligans (like the ones you saw during the UK riots) to show up in force to demonstrate against Bush’s presence there, or his wife’s. I think if was smart of them to stay home, and they showed immense resect and decency by choosing to do so. Or else Thatcher’s funeral would have turned into a Molotov cocktails circus, the kind you see at WTO summits. A great dame like her deserves better than that.

jimver on April 17, 2013 at 1:37 PM

The Big Three together again in Heaven.

Cindy Munford on April 17, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Who are the Big Three?

Reagan, Thatcher and …?

segasagez on April 17, 2013 at 1:37 PM

The local news announced the funeral this noon as about “a beloved but controversial figure”. That anyone would talk that way about MLK or Nelson Mandela? Or Rosa Parks, who as a secretary for the NAACP planned her bus boycott with them? The NAACP … now, there’s a “controversial” group if I ever saw one. Culture tells us who to love and who to hate.

/listen up everyone; hate Thatcher, love Rosa Parks … got it?

Paul-Cincy on April 17, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Just as well the filthy commies aren’t there to sully this solemn event for such a great lady.

Rest in peace Mrs Thatcher.

Buttercup on April 17, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Less hyperbole please. Two thousand people didn’t “squeeze” into the enormous edifice that is Saint Paul’s cathedral.

deaths of the heads of state (or former heads of state) of important allies merit some officialdom to be in effect.

theblackcommenter on April 17, 2013 at 1:26 PM

In the UK, the head of state is the queen and a prime-minister is the leader of her government. Literally, “Prime Minister” = “1st Servant” (of the queen). Mrs Thatcher was never a head-of-state in the way that Mr Obama is a head-of-state.

YiZhangZhe on April 17, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Who are the Big Three?

Reagan, Thatcher and …?

segasagez on April 17, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Karol Józef Wojtyła.

tom daschle concerned on April 17, 2013 at 1:41 PM

The Big Three together again in Heaven.

Cindy Munford on April 17, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Who are the Big Three?

Reagan, Thatcher and …?

segasagez on April 17, 2013 at 1:37 PM

John Paul II. The three of them defeated communism.

Paul-Cincy on April 17, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Paul-Cincy on April 17, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Yep!!!

Cindy Munford on April 17, 2013 at 1:42 PM

WE need a Margaret Thatcher.

When great leaders are gone, and you look back you see the gaping hole they leave.

God help us the hundreds of wobbly politicians in this country that aren’t even worthy of spit shining her shoes.

PappyD61 on April 17, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Who are the Big Three?

Reagan, Thatcher and …?

segasagez on April 17, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Patton.

Bishop on April 17, 2013 at 1:43 PM

jimver on April 17, 2013 at 1:37 PM

RWM mentioned that there were many in Europe who would like to try to take W to the Hague. She’s probably right.

Cindy Munford on April 17, 2013 at 1:45 PM

What an ill-mannered, childish spoiled brat.

Remember when the chief duty of vice presidents was to attend funerals? Good times, good times.

rbj on April 17, 2013 at 1:45 PM

…..and to think the other news of the moment is the rise of Anthony Weiner in the largest city in the U.S.

This country is dying.

Paging, the American version of Margaret Thatcher (and Michelle Bachmann, you’re not it).

PappyD61 on April 17, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Remember when the chief duty of vice presidents was to attend funerals? Good times, good times.

rbj on April 17, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Remember when public officials weren’t so obviously batsh!t crazy. Good times, good times.

Cindy Munford on April 17, 2013 at 1:46 PM

The Brilliance of the Baroness:

The root of the matter is this: We have been ruled by men who live by illusion: the illusion that you can spend money you haven’t earned without eventually going bankrupt or falling into the hands of your creditors; the illusion that real jobs can be conjured into existence by Government decree, like rabbits out of a hat; the illusion that there is some other way of creating wealth than hard work and satisfying your customers; the illusion that you can have freedom and enterprise without believing in free enterprise; the illusion that you can have an effective foreign policy without a strong defense force; and a peaceful and orderly society without absolute respect for the laws

ToddPA on April 17, 2013 at 1:47 PM

I can’t believe I didn’t get up and watch.

Cindy Munford on April 17, 2013 at 1:33 PM

It was pretty good.

Look for it on the BBC iPlayer.

It will remain there for a few days.

YiZhangZhe on April 17, 2013 at 1:50 PM

RIP, Maggie…

unclesmrgol on April 17, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Ooops … I have linked to the wrong video above.

There is another one on the iPlayer that contains the actual ceremony. The one I linked is the lead-up to it.

Sorry.

YiZhangZhe on April 17, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Where there is loss there is rebirth

DarkCurrent on April 17, 2013 at 1:53 PM

ToddPA on April 17, 2013 at 1:47 PM

That kicks so much butt. And explains the demise of the United States under Obama et al.

Paul-Cincy on April 17, 2013 at 1:56 PM

jimver on April 17, 2013 at 1:37 PM

RWM mentioned that there were many in Europe who would like to try to take W to the Hague. She’s probably right.

Cindy Munford on April 17, 2013 at 1:45 PM

You can be sure they would have tried, this is why I am saying that the circus and the commo created by any of the Bushes’s presence at the funeral (with the exception maybe of the elder Bush) would have given these lowlifes The perfect excuse for a large scale disruption of the funeral and would have achieved the opposite effect of paying the last respects to this extraordinary woman.

jimver on April 17, 2013 at 1:57 PM

jimver on April 17, 2013 at 1:57 PM

I think Forty-one is too frail for that kind of trip. I’m willing to bet both would have loved to be there.

Cindy Munford on April 17, 2013 at 2:12 PM

The lady was not for turning.

BuckeyeSam on April 17, 2013 at 2:13 PM

YiZhangZhe on April 17, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Thank you so much, I will watch it. So cool!

Cindy Munford on April 17, 2013 at 2:13 PM

The three of them defeated communism.

Paul-Cincy on April 17, 2013 at 1:41 PM

They won the battles of their time, but to say they “defeated” Communism is to imply that the war is over.

The war is never over. Every generation must fight for freedom.

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.

- Ronald Reagan

It’s a great time to review Ronald Reagan’s so-called “Evil Empire” speech.

This is the “evil empire” speech that was so often quoted as defining my attitude toward the Soviets. At the time it was portrayed as some kind of know-nothing, archconservative statement that could only drive the Soviets to further heights of paranoia and insecurity.

For too long our leaders were unable to describe the Soviet Union as it actually was. The keepers of our foreign-policy knowledge – in other words, most liberal foreign-affairs scholars, the State Department, and various columnists – found it illiberal and provocative to be so honest. I’ve always believed, however, that it’s important to define differences, because there are choices and decisions to be made in life and history.

The Soviet system over the years has purposely starved, murdered, and brutalized its own people. Millions were killed; it’s all right there in the history books. It put other citizens it disagreed with into psychiatric hospitals, sometimes drugging them into oblivion. Is the system that allowed this not evil? Then why shouldn’t we say so? Even the Soviets themselves are now admitting to annihilating their own people during Stalin’s era.

I could not in good conscience today call the Soviet Union an evil empire. As I write this, the Soviets have just conducted the most democratic elections since their revolution. Remarkable things are happening under Mikhail Gorbachev.

In addition to taking a hard line on the morality of the Soviet Union, this speech also outlines my opinions on a number of other moral issues.

The real crisis we face today is a spiritual one; at root, it is a test of moral will and faith.

Whittaker Chambers, the man whose own religious conversion made him a witness to one of the terrible traumas of our time, the Hiss-Chambers case, wrote that,

“The crisis of the Western world exists to the degree in which the West is indifferent to God, the degree to which it collaborates in communism’s attempt to make man stand alone without God.”

And then he said,

“For Marxism-Leninism is actually the second-oldest faith, first proclaimed in the Garden of Eden with the words of temptation: ‘Ye shall be as gods.’

The Western world can answer this challenge, he wrote,

“but only provided that its faith in God and the freedom He enjoins is as great as communism’s faith in Man.”

I believe we shall rise to the challenge. I believe that communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last — last pages even now are being written. I believe this because the source of our strength in the quest for human freedom is not material, but spiritual. And because it knows no limitation, it must terrify and ultimately triumph over those who would enslave their fellow man. For in the words of Isaiah:

“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increased strength… But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary…”

Yes, change your world. One of our Founding Fathers, Thomas Paine, said, “We have it within our power to begin the world over again.” We can do it, doing together what no one church could do by itself.

God bless you and thank you very much.

- President Ronald Reagan March 8, 1983

ITguy on April 17, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Bush is recovering from back surgery.

What prevented Laura from going?

Schadenfreude on April 17, 2013 at 1:29 PM

I disagree, the last thing you want is the British yobs and hooligans (like the ones you saw during the UK riots) to show up in force to demonstrate against Bush’s presence there, or his wife’s. I think if was smart of them to stay home, and they showed immense resect and decency by choosing to do so. Or else Thatcher’s funeral would have turned into a Molotov cocktails circus, the kind you see at WTO summits. A great dame like her deserves better than that.

jimver on April 17, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Agree…It was best for him to stay home.

I’ll bet he and Laura sent classy condolences.

He’s recovering from back surgery…his first grandchild was born this week and the opening for the library is next week…Lots goin on for the Bush family this week.

workingclass artist on April 17, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Does anybody know if Blair was present? Just curious…talking of ‘controversial’ on the left…

jimver on April 17, 2013 at 2:27 PM

RIP Prime Minister Thatcher.

hawkdriver on April 17, 2013 at 2:28 PM

All in all an incredibly moving experience – so glad I was there to pay my respects

http://www.theagedp.com/?p=7371

callingallcomets on April 17, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Yeah, the O family’s greatest embarrassments take place on British soil or in the company of Brits:

- There was the time Barry bowed to the Saudis.

- There was the time Michelle rubbed the Queen’s back and showed her around her own home. The British press were horrified.

- The gifting of the golden i-pod with Barry’s greatest hits for the Queen. The British press were horrified.

- The giving of White House Gift Shop presents to the Brown children after the Brown’s gave Barry a very, very thoughtful gift. I believe the Browns received DVDs that didn’t even function properly. The British press were horrified.

- There was the time Barry foolishly gave his silly speech and a toast during God Save the Queen to everyone’s horror.

- There was the time Michelle had to hold down her dress as the wind blew it up outside Buckingham Palace. No one was that horrified since everything Michelle wears is awful.

Punchenko on April 17, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Does anybody know if Blair was present? Just curious…talking of ‘controversial’ on the left…

jimver on April 17, 2013 at 2:27 PM

The BBC reported that all subsequent prime-ministers attended, but I didn’t notice him or Mr Brown during the broadcast. It would have been surprising if he had stayed away as she was a big influence on him; also he was, I believe, the first prime-minister to approve her funeral plans when they were drawn-up some years ago.

YiZhangZhe on April 17, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Scratch Obama and his rude ilk; the vermin.

To blazes with all our trolls who might call this carping and sensationanalizing. (Get my point there?)

May Lady Margaret rest in peace, her eternal soul never having to hear the vile words of the wicked liberals — who are nothing but wicked — ever again.

Liam on April 17, 2013 at 2:39 PM

I was there too, near Old Bailey, and there was a small contingent of protesters we could see and hear around Ludgate Circus — but the crowd drowned them out with applause. Everyone around us was very respectful. It was beautiful and quite moving.

pbabb on April 17, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Crickets from lsm about Obama MIA

Or its what’s the big deal he sent Schultz and baker, give him a break

Shameful

cmsinaz on April 17, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Like she would have wanted any of those @ssh0|es around, anyway.

RIP Iron Lady.

FineasFinn on April 17, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Crickets from lsm about Obama MIA

Or its what’s the big deal he sent Schultz and baker, give him a break

Shameful

cmsinaz on April 17, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Buck Ofama, and anything that has to do with him. ~spits~

I would rather be remarried to my psycho ex for a week than hear ten more seconds about Obama.

Liam on April 17, 2013 at 2:45 PM

The BBC reported that all subsequent prime-ministers attended, but I didn’t notice him or Mr Brown during the broadcast. It would have been surprising if he had stayed away as she was a big influence on him; also he was, I believe, the first prime-minister to approve her funeral plans when they were drawn-up some years ago.

YiZhangZhe on April 17, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Thanks, indeed, I saw now the Telegraph coverage and he was there, sitting next to Gordon Brown.

jimver on April 17, 2013 at 2:47 PM

‘Great’ Britain was NOT worth saving.

Schadenfreude on April 17, 2013 at 1:29 PM

“Great Britain” is merely the name of the largest island in the set of umpteen hundred islands that constitute the British Isles; it is a geographical label not a political one. The “great” doesn’t allude to accomplishment or character, but merely identifies that particular island as having more land than any of the others.

YiZhangZhe on April 17, 2013 at 3:04 PM

RIP Baroness.

jayhawkingeorgia on April 17, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Rip to a better leader than Obama could ever dream to be…I truly hope she’s right now hanging out with God and The Gipper

sadsushi on April 17, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Too sad to watch.

RIP, Maggie.

petefrt on April 17, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Dame Thatcher was wrong in one regard – ‘Great’ Britain was NOT worth saving.

Schadenfreude on April 17, 2013 at 1:29 PM

She was never a Dame.

It’s disappointing that you chose today of all days to deliver anti-British rhetoric.
If you believe we have no worth as a country why would posters believe Obama should of gone not just to show respect to the family but also the U.K?

mags on April 17, 2013 at 4:18 PM

There are many VIPs at the event, but from the US … only Republicans. Imagine that.

That’s because it’s not just an individual who is passing away but a particular spirit as well.

Gird your loins.

Cleombrotus on April 17, 2013 at 4:26 PM

“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.”

Finally, as the Queen looked on, the coffin was carried out of the cathedral by the bearer party.

Then, something remarkable. As the coffin was borne down the steps into the light of the day, the crowds outside gave three cheers. Like the applause that had followed the coffin on its journey to St Paul’s, the cheers were spontaneous.”
UK Telegraph

Viator on April 17, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Schadenfreude on April 17, 2013 at 1:29 PM

It was to her, it was her home and she loved it. And we all benefited from the love, even if there are a small number there to stupid to realize it.

Cindy Munford on April 17, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Punchenko on April 17, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Great rundown of O’s memorable moments with the Brits.

Don’t forget the return of the bust of Winston Churchill back in 2009.

pianomomma on April 17, 2013 at 5:19 PM

How Thatcher changed this Soviet man’s heart and mind
By Oleg Atbashian

It wasn’t just Margaret Thatcher’s steadfast economic and foreign policies that helped to defeat the Evil Empire and to bring down the Iron Curtain. She also changed hearts and minds — and this author, who grew up on the other side of the Iron Curtain, has a personal story to tell.

As many Soviet kids did in the 1970s and 1980s, I occasionally tuned my shortwave radio to Voice of America or the BBC Russian Service, hoping to hear their alternative take on world events and, if I was lucky, get the latest rock-music updates. One of the functions of the Iron Curtain was to keep us, the “builders of communism,” blissfully unaware of the outside world. All our news had to be processed by the state-run media filter and approved by the formidable censorship apparatus…

ITguy on April 17, 2013 at 9:07 PM

This woman received a Nobel for cancer treatment breakthroughs. What did Obama get his for?

Schadenfreude on April 17, 2013 at 1:30 PM

No she didn’t.

segasagez on April 17, 2013 at 1:35 PM

According to wikipedia, she worked with Dorothy Hodgkin, who was a Nobel prize winner.

Even so, Thatcher’s achievements continue to reverberate, without the dubious stamp of Nobel approval (for political awards, I mean).

As for his attendance, it’s better to not have the Obamas at a dignified event.

virgo on April 18, 2013 at 1:52 AM

How could Our Lord and Savior Obama deny the British His presence?

His gaze?

His TOTUS read red print statements?

Or a chance to have another iPod with His latest speeches?

All of this makes the Thatcher funeral and observance a very sad occasion indeed.

/sarc

Shaughnessy on April 18, 2013 at 12:43 PM