Relax, she isn’t dead yet although the Iron Lady may be rusting slightly at the seams. The Mail’s exclusive that on her death, she will enter the pantheon of British heroes in company with Churchill, Gladstone, Wellington and Nelson will attract approval and anger in equal measure – plus I guess quite a lot of unease throughout the establishment. The Mail’s line, Palace fears there might not be enough troops to line streets of London is I think, an unconscious irony.
The creation of Thatcher as icon gathered pace when Gordon Brown welcomed her to Downing St during his short-lived honeymoon last September.
The iconclasm began much earlier, five years ago, when a theatre producer decapitated her statue
It was since repaired and installed in the member’s lobby at the entrance to the Commons, amid complaints that it was too big.
A state funeral will be deemed appropriate for the first woman Prime Minister.
But in death as in life, Lady Thatcher is fated to remain a divisive – if definitive – figure.
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London