The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

Margaret Thatcher should not be granted a state funeral

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/8/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,736 times Debate No: 31087
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (12)
Votes (2)




Margaret "the milk snatcher" Thatcher, the wretched former Prime Minister of Great Britain, whose crusades against the working class devastated the nation's heavy industries and threw millions of decent, hard-working people onto the scrapheap of society, is now an elderly woman and is officially certified as insane (whereas when she was in power she was merely suspected of being so).

Given her advanced years it can't be long now before she joins Colonel Gadafi, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Il and all the other deceased dictators in the burning pits of Hell where she belongs, but when she does go the British Government is, incredibly, planning to grant her a state funeral.

These plans are a national disgrace and, if enacted, will cause public outrage. That's because a state funeral would be an absolute insult to all the British people who suffered so much in the 1980's and 90's as the result of this vile woman's wicked policies.

On hearing the plans, MP George Galloway said Thatcher should get "an unmarked watery grave" [1] but I say that would be too good for her and, instead, her corpse should be tied to the back of a refuse truck and dragged through the streets of London for the crowds to hurl abuse at, spit on, kick and stamp on, and what is left of her remains at the end of the day should be dumped in a landfill site for the seagulls to scavenge upon.

In addition to the affront to the nation, the cost of a state funeral is expected to run into millions of pounds [1]. The last state funeral Britain staged was for Princess Diana in 1997 and that cost the taxpayer over five million pounds [2], but at least Princess Diana didn't do the British public any harm and was generally quite well-liked, but Thatcher? Surely she must be Britain's most hated politician, dead or alive? [3,4,5,6,7]

Because so many people despise Thatcher so vehemently it would be an outrage to expect them to contribute to the cost of her funeral through their taxes - if she wants a fancy send off then Thatcher or her family should pay for it.

Even supporters of Thatcherite ultra-free market economics recognise that it would be inappropriate for public money to be wasted on a state funeral and, to this end, there is a petition signed by over 33,800 people currently lodged with Her Majesty's Government calling for her funeral to be privatised, and it states: "In keeping with the great lady's legacy, Margaret Thatcher's state funeral should be funded and managed by the private sector to offer the best value and choice for end users and other stakeholders." [8]

When Thatcher does go, I will celebrate by burning an effigy the tyrannical Tory in my garden and by setting off fireworks and I am sure millions of other British people will join me in similar celebrations, but if plans to give her a state funeral are not shelved, I will also join in the mass public protests that are sure to erupt outside St Paul's Cathedral where the service will be held and along the route of the funeral procession. [9]

Thatcher was arguably the most divisive British politician of modern times because she ruined the lives of millions of innocent people, including those of my family, when she wrecked Britain's manufacturing industries. Also, she stole my milk when I was a little boy (which is where her "milk snatcher" nickname came from [10]) and for these reasons, plus the undue cost to the taxpayer, I affirm that the Government's plans to grant Margaret Thatcher a state funeral should be shelved.

Thank you.



Every Brit will love a Thatcher State funeral

Britain has three groups of subjects to be considered. A State funeral brings joy to each of the three categories, so it will be of universal benefit and should certainly be undertaken.

The first group comprises capitalists, believers in freedom, some of the Tories, and those who can remember when Britain was saved by Thatcher from becoming a Third World country. These people generally have complete sets of underwear fashioned with the pattern of the Union Jack. They loved Prime Minister Thatcher for her having restored a measure of free market enterprise and prosperity to the nation. I am certain that even my opponent will agree that a State funeral honoring the former Prime Minister would bring joy to these people. Current estimates of the size of this group vary, but I put it at nearly 3.2% of the population. They are enthusiast beyond their numbers.

The second category are the revolutionary socialists whom my honorable opponent so ably represents. These people have homes decorated with graphics of steel workers portrayed against fiery blast furnaces, and every evening they shake a clenched fist in the air as they curse anyone who is successful. The joy of their life is hating and denouncing everyone who disagrees with them, but especially opposing politicians who have achieved success. Even when in power they require someone else to blame for their failures, and what with Jews no longer considered acceptable as scapegoats, they critically depend upon people like Mrs. Thatcher to sustain them. Without hatred, they lose all vitality and the focal point of their existence becomes giving polite applause at cricket matches. A State funeral would benefit these people more than a blood transfusion benefits a gun shot victim. My current estimate is that revolutionary socialists are currently 5.7% of the population, but they seem many more because they move about screaming to discourage accurate counting.

My opponent conceded he would celebrate the Prime Minister's passing and assures us "millions of other British people will join" him. this confirms my argument that revolutionary socialists thrive on hatred, and also that there are millions of them (5.7% of 63 million subjects is over 3 million). If my opponent's joy is so great that he wishes to organize informally nationwide that's fine, but he shouldn't deny the formal ceremony that the great majority prefers.

The great majority of the British population, now put at 91.1%, greatly enjoys any type of formal ceremony with little regard for the reason. With royals generally living for so long these days there has been a death of state funerals, save the chance occurrences like the car crash that did in Princess Di. (Technically, Royals have Royal Ceremonial Funerals rather than State Funerals, but the distinction is a concern only to the type of people who worry about distinguishing dusky seaside sparrows from regular seaside sparrows.) The population would be entirely dispirited were it not for the increased frequency of royal weddings and the availability of substitute occasions for elaborate shows of pomp. In America, guards are changed with at most blowing a whistle, and more often by just having the staff look at their wristwatches. In Britain, the joy of ceremony is so great that the shift change is accomplished with plumed horses, drums, and elaborate costumes with crested hats.

Currently, rumor has it that the lack of State funerals has lead a Committee of Parliament to consider giving formal "quasi-State" funerals whenever one of the Queen's ducks becomes deceased. The Royal Ducks reside in a pond in St. James Park, a location convenient for sharing the carriages, horses, drums, soldiers, and large hats used for other ceremonies. Politicians recognize the role of State funerals as paramount in keeping the populace satisfied and entertained. It's all that's left to unify the country.

To be fair, the 91.1% has some concerns other than ceremonies. When the unions cut of the public water supply, they took umbrage when it came time to make tea. They remember Thatcher favorably for getting the water back on.


My opponent quibbles about the minor costs of an occasional State funeral. Five million pounds sounds like a lot of money when it's taken out of context, but consider that the National Health Service consumes that much money roughly every 47 seconds, and there is no fun in any of that expenditure. The trivial cost is outweighed by the universal benefits. the orgasmic joy brought to socialists alone makes it worthwhile.

Pros sources and his further arguments

Pro provides a list of sources that certify beyond doubt that the socialists who hate Lady Thatcher indeed hate her. All agree that she was a monumental figure in post-War British history, and all monumental figures garner praise and hatred. The Guardian hates her, as we might have guessed, while the Mail honors her:

"Lady Thatcher is - and will always remain - a major figure to supporters and opponents alike.

Not only did she transform Britain's economy and culture. Her resolve won her admirers among the people of the former Soviet Empire, whom she helped liberate.

Her courage and single-mindedness likewise made her a legend in the United States. There is not a country in the world where her name is not still recognised."

"... Anyone aged 50 or over was brought up in the shadow of trade union dominance.

We remember studying for exams by candlelight because of strike action.

We remember the three-day week, rubbish uncollected on the streets, bodies unburied, newspapers which often failed to come out, and riots in the streets.

In truth, Britain was close to becoming a Third World state - mired in moral and physical squalor.

Almost everyone assumed that economic and social collapse was inevitable.

There was serious talk of private armies and military coups. Civil servants were taught that their role was limited to the management of national decline.


But it is a truth universally recognised, even inside the Labour Party, that without union reform, Britain could never have recovered its economic dynamism or enjoyed the prosperity of the last 20 years.

Margaret Thatcher truly transformed this country's fortune and, for that, we should all still be eternally grateful today."

In terms of being simultaneously loved and reviled, Lincoln presents a comparable example in U.S. history. Perhaps no American president has been so thoroughly and demonstrably hated. A hundred fifty years later, the hatred is far from gone. []

Pro cites the specific lose of jobs in heavy industry, which translates mainly to coal mining. The coal industry was nationalized after WWII, and production soon peaked and then declined starting in 1956, long before Thatcher came to power. Thatcher poured in million of pounds trying to revitalize mining, but the decline could not be reversed. Thatcher ended the vast welfare state that the industry had become. Pro's argues "... Thatcher was bad for [mining town] Sheffield ergo she was bad. Never mind the rest of the country. Never mind the GDP growth of 23 percent or the increase in the median wage of 25 percent during her time in office. For most people the Thatcher years were ones of prosperity. That’s why she regularly tops polls of most popular Prime Ministers." []

You can tell from even a casual reading of Pro's case that there is really nothing he wants more that a Thatcher State funeral, lest he be otherwise become morose and dispirited. We don't want Pro to lose his vitality. Vote Con.

Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank Roy Latham for accepting this debate and for his interesting comments, astute observations and bold assertions.

To begin, my opponent examined the structure of British society, dividing it into three classes, which I broadly agree with but have made clarifications to as follows:

The 'capitalists' (colloquially known by the rest of society as "toffs"). This group includes all the people who benefitted from Thatcher"s largesse when she was in power and they include: greedy, swindling investment bankers; right-wing media moguls; indolent, parasitic aristocrats and ruthless, grasping corporate fat cats. This group is, indeed, few in number, even though the vast majority of the nation"s wealth is concentrated in their hands. [1]

The second group my opponent describes as 'revolutionary socialists' (colloquially known by the rest of society as "feckless underclass scum"). This group includes militant union activists, local government ethnic diversity compliance officers, ultra-orthodox feminist students, vegan social workers, some unemployed manual workers and a least one travel expert with a sense of noblesse oblige. This is also a small group, as my opponent points out, but that is largely because the right-wing media have, over the years, turned the working classes against each other.

The final group, the middle class, have generally been moulded into apathetic compliance by the right-wing media and obediently accept the high taxes, profiteering privatized utilities and under-performing public services foisted upon them by successive Conservative governments, mainly because they are conditioned to be loyal to the Royal Family and to treat political leaders with the dignity and respect they don"t always deserve.

Furthermore, in the same way that in the United States the American Constitution is widely regarded as sacrosanct and beyond criticism, British people have been bred to believe that British traditions, with all their associated pomp and ceremony, are a fundamental part of the national identity and so treat events such as state funerals with the utmost reverence.

So, I concede that the majority of the British public who attend Thatcher's funeral will behave with decorum and respect; but this will mainly be out of deference to the soldiers and mounted guards who will perform the escort to the procession.

Meanwhile, a state funeral would certainly be a call to arms for my comrades from the former industrialised heartlands of Britain where Thatcher's spiteful attacks on the unions and her subsequent decimation of heavy industries caused generations of misery and deprivation, and they may well welcome the opportunity attend the funeral to voice their objections, and some may not be unhappy if they came to blows with some irritable Thatcherite mourners (fighting in self-defence, obviously, socialists don't go out looking for trouble).

Sadly, because Thatcher's Tory henchman, John Major, privatized British Rail and, as a result, Britain now has by far the highest rail fares (and one of the worst services) in Europe [2], many financially disadvantaged comrades from cities in the North may not be able to afford the cost of the train tickets, so if the funeral passes without a major protest taking place you will know this is the reason why.

With regard to cost, I agree that 5 million pounds is not a lot in the greater scheme of things so why not let Thatcher's family pay for her funeral and the Government spend 1 million pounds on a huge public fireworks display and the other 4 million pounds on free beer for the crowd? That would please everybody whether they are support, oppose or are indifferent to a state funeral.

Thank you.



I'm gobsmacked by Pro's concussions. Well, at least close to gobsmacked -- at least 85% I'd say. My worthy opponent does not deny 1) that all of British British society would benefit from having a State funeral for Lady Thatcher, or 2) that Prime Minister Thatcher was a transformative leader who saved Britain from degenerating into a Third World heap of social and economic dysfunction. He did not dispute that Thatcher is the mot popular post war prime minster, that the economy improved dramatically under ther leadership, that even the Unions now recognize that reform was required, and that she is admired by freedom loving people around the world. While disputing none of this, Pro argues that this proves the degeneracy of British society whereby they have come to value prosperity and freedom.

My task for this round of the debate is to establish that for Britain to become a Third World heap of dysfunction is not nearly as wonderful as he imagines, and that's the likely the reason socialism doesn't sell so well.

Pro claims that all the capitalists in Britain are rich. (Are the rich called "toffs" because of the high price of British toffee? Seems like an odd association. Why not an association with an upper class dessert like spotted dick? But I digress.) Becoming a capitalist is not at all difficult, as all a person must do is believe in free markets. If it equated to riches, more than 3.1% of the population would elct it, so we know that his analysis is wrong.

Pro implies that having inequality of wealth is immoral. Dozens of factors naturally affect a person's ultimate wealth. One of the most important factors is age, but intelligence, ambition, chance opportunities, values of hard work, and many other factors are involved. These are unequally distributed by nature.

Someone calculated Bill Gates income per minute, and noted that if Gates saw a $5 bill on the sidewalk, it wouldn't pay Gates to take the time to pick it up. Hearing this, a commentator said, "You don't know Gates. He'd fight an orphan for $5." From this we should learn that ambition is not equally distributed to all. Note also that Gates is giving away his vast fortune to charity. The fun for him was making it, not keeping it. That's a common theme among the redundantly rich.

As a society becomes more prosperous, inequality of wealth will naturally become greater. It's a distribution like the sizes of trees in a forest. Only a large and prosperous forest grows giant trees. Consider an isolated island nation with only a thousand inhabitants. There is no chance whatsoever that one of them will become a billionaire, because there isn't that much total wealth. If they join the world economy, then one of them might become a billionaire. The point is that inequality of wealth can only be minimized by keeping a society poorer overall than it it otherwise might have been. Mowing the forest to equal height destroys it. Morality in fact favors the freedom that brings the greatest overall wealth. Equality is only achieved by poverty.

In the polls measuring the popularity of past prime ministers, Thatcher scores highest among the older people who were mature in the Thatcher era. Pro thinks Thatcher's popularity is due to the press rewriting history, but the data shows just the opposite. Socialists have spent decades demonizing Thatcher, with some success. The British press is diverse, but Guardian and the BBC are pretty much in tune with People's Daily.

The way in which the mining industry was sustained before Thatcher was to tax non-miners and subsidize an industry that should have faded away on it's own. Pro did not dispute that. Welfare recipients always convince themselves they are due a handout, and are deeply upset when it disappears. To share in Pro's rage, he needed to explain why the rest of society should be eager to support a class of workers in an industry that is non-competitive. A parallel in the United States were the jobs lost in North Carolina when the business of sewing underwear moved to Mexico. Liberals were outraged, as confident that the future of America was in sewing underwear as British socialists were sure the future of Britain was in mining.

My opponent's "socialists don't go looking for trouble" is the knee-slapper of the debate. Socialist-inspired riots plague Western Europe, and Britain.; For example,

Wednesday's student march, which began with 50,000 people protesting peacefully in London against government plans to increase annual tuition fees almost three-fold to £9,000 ($15,000), but quickly turned violent and ended with the ruling Conservative party's HQ trashed by rioters.
They were "provoked" by having to pay more for the services they received, and nothing more.

Pro claims that Thatcher's legacy features the horror of privatizing British Rail, with higher rail fares as a result.

"Rail's declining importance in Europe has come about despite onerous taxes on driving. Much of the revenue from those taxes is effectively used to provide large subsidies to rail. French economist Rémy Prud'Homme estimates that taxpayers "pay about half the total cost of providing the service."

One of the objectives of privatization was to get rail users to pay 75% of the costs. It's fair that rail users pay more of the cost of their service than the rest of Europe. However, because some fare prices are regulated and some are not, there are routes were prices have more than doubled while others have declined.

[The Association of Train Operating Companies] says that in 1994-95 the average cost of a single journey was £4.82 compared with £4.95 in 2011-12. This is a rise of 2.7% when adjusted for inflation, the spokesman says. But combining all journeys both long and short, it doesn't give a breakdown of which journeys are rising in cost and which are falling.

Pro made a proposal worth considering. He suggested that instead of a state funeral, a million pounds be spent on fireworks and four million on beer. That sounds good, but it won't work because the concept is way too American. Celebrating, say, something to do with Ronald Reagan or Lincoln or Washington with nothing but beer and fireworks is 100% compatible with American society. But really, a celebration is Britain sans plumed horses, carriages, drums, and large hats? It's unthinkable, and would never please the 91%. Also, everyone knows that celebrations with fireworks and beer must also have Country Western singers belting out patriotic songs. Britain does not have enough of that type of singer to make it feasible. My honorable opponent has been traveling too much.

Britain should honor the passig of one of its great leaders. Pro has only shown that workers in a heavily subsidized industry do not lie it when the subsidies are removed. The tax payers who provided the subsidies are bound to have a different viewpoint, and they do. A state funeral with all the traditional pomp is the only satisfactory way of doing it. Socialists will have a lovely rant, which is all that gives their lives meaning. It's a good deal all around.

Debate Round No. 2
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by gordonjames 4 years ago
Greetings to RoyLatham

As a Canadian I am not knowledgeable enough on UK politics to assess all arguments.
You did make me smile and we do have similar human nature in Canadian politics.
Posted by RoyLatham 4 years ago
I don't understand "Coal not Dole." Dole cans a very large amount of delicious pineapple, but it doesn't compete with coal. Coal tastes terrible and very hard to digest, while on the other hand pineapple doesn't burn well at all.

Perhaps you meant having a government-supported money-losing coal industry as an alternative to a money-losing government-supported welfare program. Both involve infinite spending, so there is no choice there. Only capitalism creates wealth.
Posted by brian_eggleston 4 years ago
I notice there have been a very large number of hits on this debate recently...I can't think why...does somebody know something I don't? Only kidding, I am organising a funeral protest for next week, look out for me with my retro 'COAL NOT DOLE' banner on the TV news next Wednesday evening.
Posted by RoyLatham 4 years ago
Members do not have the right to wave site rules. Site rules always take precedence. The place for free-form exchanges is the Forums.
Posted by Daktoria 4 years ago
By default, no, comments are not part of a debate. I'm granting an extension to you two if you want to take it.
Posted by RoyLatham 4 years ago
Voter Daktoria wrote: " Neither side evaluated Thatcher's cultural influence, so it's a tie. This is subject to change if either side adds culture in comments." No, comments are not part of a debate, ever. Pro has the burden to prove the resolution true. If he proves it true he wins the debate, otherwise he loses.
Posted by RobDeSenelstun 4 years ago
Anyone who recruits George "milk slurper" Galloway into their ranks of respectable opinions, takes no pains to she their hand. What a despicable character, he licks the barrel of depravity; in fact if Galloway in for something you can bet I'll be against it.

Who's opinions will this numpty recruit next, soon to be disgraced ex-Pope Ratzinger, or maybe Josef Fritzl?
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 4 years ago
"Margaret "the milk snatcher" Thatcher"

Brian, next time I'm in England, we need to go to the pub.
Posted by tvellalott 4 years ago
Both debaters made me laugh out loud. Looking forward to round 2.
Posted by Eitan_Zohar 4 years ago
Best debate I've seen in a while.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Daktoria 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: For all the arguing about economics, there is a distinct lack of nationalism beyond the mere pomp of celebrating a funeral in itself. Neither side evaluated Thatcher's cultural influence, so it's a tie. This is subject to change if either side adds culture in comments.
Vote Placed by Kinesis 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I'm afraid Roy is correct. As a typical British lad, I've never celebrated any event of importance without the aid of a plumed horse or an enormous ceremonial hat - it's just the social expectation. Plus, can't we all agree that a bloody fight between the evil capitalist pigs and the scummy socialist underclass with Thatcher's corpse as the backdrop be quite a spectacle? I'd pay to see that on BBC 2 - not that I have a choice in the matter.