Friday, February 23, 2007

The Statue

It seems that even in quiet retirement, Baroness Thatcher still attracts attention from both left and right.
In this case the fact that a statue of her has been put up in the members lobby of the House of Commons, thus joining Clement Attlee, Sir Winston Churchill, and David Lloyd George.
Usually the ruling is that no such statue can be put up until the person concerned has been dead for at least ten years, but for some reason an exception was made for Lady Thatcher.
Now I have no problem with a statue of her in the members lobby (considering Lloyd George is there already :( ), but why the change in the rules and why was the same not done for Churchill? After all he was admired and loved by many across the political spectrum, gave inspiring leadership during our darkest hour, was afforded a state funeral...
But C'est la vie.


Tim Roll-Pickering said...

Churchill was still in the Commons until three months before his death - would the Commons have honoured a sitting member, no matter how well respected they were? Also given how much he hated the portrait the Commons gave him for his 80th birthday (hated so much that after his death Clemmie destroyed it) it might well have been prudent not to let him see any statue lest he didn't like it.

Thatcher's statue could be seen as part of the changing attitude to contemporary history - there was once a time when people argued "history stop when you reach events people can remember". Nowadays history takes in the recent past - look at the change to a thirty year rule, designed to allow some ministers the chance to defend their reputation.

Paul Burgin said...

True there is a change of history, but it's the principle of the thing...
Am simply looking forward many years from now, to the statue of Gordon Brown in Central Lobby when his achievements as Prime Minister will be recognised and valued