Friday, 19 April 2013

Attending another funeral

Last week I attended the funeral of Tom Buchanan who was the Councillor for Liberton/Gilmerton.  On Wednesday I attended the funeral of Margaret Thatcher.

Below are a few comments I penned about the event for the Evening News yesterday and another piece for the Edinburgh Reporter can be found here.

"As the coffin was carried through the doors at St Paul's and the bells sounded 11am with military timing, my thoughts were of paying personal respects rather than the world impact of Margaret Thatcher.

It was above all her clarity and conviction which I admired and which has inspired me.

Earlier in the day a radio interviewer had asked me about her being a divisive figure. But that question doesn't allow us to capture the essence of what we have experienced both in her passing and in her tumultuous life.

Rather than causing divisions, she exposed divisions already there. And it was the clarity of her analysis and the convictions with which she set about remedying the ills of Britain and the world which proved so powerful, and to her opponents, so offensive.

It was those qualities which struck a chord in me and made me resolve many years ago to do everything I could to show my respect and gratefulness in person when the time came. And so I found myself one of the many thousands who lined the route of the cortege in respect and courtesy. The mood was appreciation and thankfulness mixed with some affection and awe at what she achieved.

There remain those who have nothing but bitterness for her. Even Edinburgh refused to lower the city flags in respect. But these are decisions which say more about those who have allowed hatred to corrode their courtesy - or who cannot bring themselves to see the extent of her achievements - than about Margaret Thatcher.

The world is a more peaceable place for her clarity, convictions and, yes, her exposing of divisions."

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