Commons Debate on Margaret Thatcher: Glenda Jackson goes and spoils the party by, erm, having a debate….

I don’t know whose idea it was to have a debate on Margaret Thatcher in the House of Commons. Glenda Jackson (no, I didn’t know she was still there, no idea John Whittingdale was still there either) could not stand the restraining convention of polite respect.

She exaggerates, of course, she’s a politician after all. Care in the community was, for instance, poorly thought out and ill-managed, but did eventually lead to a civilised move a way from life time care in large Victorian institutions.

But some of it of it was real enough from my own experience of working in London schools in the mid to late 1980s:

YouTube video

This was supposed to be a debate, rather than an enforcement order… Or was it? Here’s the wording for a ‘general debate’ on the motion:

‘That this House has considered the matter of tributes to the Rt Hon Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG OM’.

Some stayed away in protest

Former Treasury and housing minister John Healey complained there would be no chance to debate Lady Thatcher’s legacy and accused prime minister David Cameron of using her death ‘for narrow political gain’.

Mr Healey added: ‘He’s wrong to recall Parliament, and wrong to hijack it in this way. I will play no part and I will stay away, with other things to do at home in the constituency.’

Call me old fashioned (and I accept that here on Slugger we do have our own quaint conventions here for obit threads), but forcing a debate on ‘tributes’ is an odd use of parliamentary time for MPs…


Discover more from Slugger O'Toole

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

We are reader supported. Donate to keep Slugger lit!

For over 20 years, Slugger has been an independent place for debate and new ideas. We have published over 40,000 posts and over one and a half million comments on the site. Each month we have over 70,000 readers. All this we have accomplished with only volunteers we have never had any paid staff.

Slugger does not receive any funding, and we respect our readers, so we will never run intrusive ads or sponsored posts. Instead, we are reader-supported. Help us keep Slugger independent by becoming a friend of Slugger. While we run a tight ship and no one gets paid to write, we need money to help us cover our costs.

If you like what we do, we are asking you to consider giving a monthly donation of any amount, or you can give a one-off donation. Any amount is appreciated.