Problem with a £10m funeral? I have a solution!

While hard Lefties find an awkward new commitment to slashing government spending - the question must be asked: why isn't their own house in order?

Troops practice in advance of Lady Thatcher's funeral
On 15 April 2013 12:40

The self-professed enemies of the late Lady Thatcher (for she would not have considered lightweights like George Galloway and Owen Jones adversaries of any kind) have taken startling umbrage with an estimated cost of her state-funded funeral scheduled for this Wednesday. Indeed Jones is carping on about it in his preferred medium: Twitter, and Galloway in his: bluster.

But the wider Left seems as close-minded about what will be a relatively small sending off for the first female prime minister of the United Kingdom. 

Setting aside the great disservice that many of these Liberal-Left types are doing to the cause of women's rights and all that enforced equality stuff they drone on about, the real hypocrisy arises when you examine their unshakeable commitments, on yours and my financial behalf, to national "institutions" like the BBC, the unions and the National Health Service.

Yes, I know, what a right-wing thing to say! I must obviously want to privatise everything including my grandmother, ensure that no one bar the "one percent" receive medical care (excluding myself in the process) and of course by their logic I must maintain a firm commitment to slavery and the slashing and burning of every bit of greenery from the Shetlands to Lands' End. 

Alas, for them, I don't fit in any of these brackets, but I do stand firm in my belief that bread and circuses are to be avoided at the expense of the taxpayer at any, er... cost. Funerals hardly fit into that category.

During the London Olympics, I found myself in a minority in arguing against such drastic spending on cultural excesses which culminated in political propaganda and some shiny medals won in my name (where's my share, by the way? I'd like to exchange it for Bitcoins).

But an estimated £10 million for a funeral for a lady who brought us an economic windfall seems like the very least we can do. So why does the Left continue its campaign against such things?

It could be simple politics, whipping up discord, fashioning taxpayer-related arguments on opportunity since the Left can scarcely claim to represent the middle earners. Or more likely, it's jealousy. Can you imagine such an intense public reaction, good or bad, when Tony Blair or Gordon Brown dies? In fact - the anti-Thatcherites will probably find themselves dancing in the streets again in the case of the former, and wondering "who?" with that of the latter. The Left has little claim to recent history. It has no figurehead. It has no one to plan funerals for or set up museums in honour of. So the idea then is to deny such things to to the Right, also. This is the political equivalent of taking the ball and going home.

But I have a solution. I, like this week's Owen Jones persona, am concerned with the finances of this country. So I thought I'd suggest how we can offset the cost of the funeral.

We could:

a) Suspend £10m of funding from the BBC following its arrogant use of the Fabian institution, the London School of Economics;

b) Sell off the naming rights (for that is all you need sell for this amount) of public insitutions to the highest bidder? Yes, the "NHS, brought to you by Google" has a ring to it;

c) Axe every penny spent on taxpayer-funded union activity in the UK, which in 2009/10 accounted for £85.8 million per year.

I know I prefer option c, but I wonder what Lefties would choose? 

And speaking of which, why haven't these nouveau anti-spending campaigners targeted public-funding for unions yet, instead choosing to focus on the funeral for an 87-year-old stroke victim who led this country, shattered glass ceilings and created a wealth boom that was used as a justification to increase welfare-spending by more than four times over in 30 years?

Of course, it was Owen Jones who recently remarked of the Mick Philpott case that a "tragedy has been hijacked for political ends". 

I wonder if Owen considers the death of an old lady anything but "tragic"?

Raheem Kassam is the Executive Editor of and tweets at @RaheemJKassam

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