Newspaper review: Reflection on Margaret Thatcher funeral


"RIP Mrs T" is the main headline in the Sun, which believes Baroness Thatcher's funeral was "a day to make Britain feel proud".

The paper says the funeral was a "victory for the decent, moral majority" who "turned out in their thousands".

For the Times, it was the funeral Margaret Thatcher wanted - "and in death, as in life, what she wanted, she got".

The Daily Mail, which devotes its first 23 pages to coverage of the funeral, agrees that it was "a triumph" for "Britain's reputation for doing these things impeccably".

'Ordinary people'

The "jeers were massively overwhelmed by the cheers", it says, as "the ordinary people of Middle England turned out in their tens of thousands".

The Mail's Robert Hardman describes how Lady Thatcher's former cabinet colleagues "seemed to have been seated according to reliability" inside St Paul's - Lord Tebbit in row four, Lord Howe in row five, and Lord Heseltine in row six.

The Times says all the former big beasts of her cabinets "bore the ravages of time" except, perhaps, Lord Parkinson.

The Guardian reckons the American dignitaries, among them George Schultz and James Baker, "evoked memories of the Back to the Future era".

The funeral, it says, was a farewell not just to Margaret Thatcher, "but also to the 1980s".

'Defining image'

Chancellor George Osborne attracts considerable attention after apparently shedding a tear during the service.

The Daily Telegraph says he "provided one of the defining images of the day" as, according to the Daily Star, his "tough-guy image melted".

The Guardian's sketchwriter Simon Hoggart wonders whether Mr Osborne's tear had more to do with the unemployment figures.

But the Times says Lady Thatcher would not have put up with displays of mourning - and would have told Mr Osborne to "pull himself together".

The Daily Mirror, which has pulled no punches in its criticism of Lady Thatcher's time in office, has little good to say of her funeral.

"Touching moments," it says, "were few and far between as politics seemed to linger below the surface."

It believes the relatively small number of protesters was not because she was universally loved "but because the British don't really go in for shrieking at coffins".

Bombing suspect?

Away from the coverage of Lady Thatcher's funeral, the Independent and the Mirror both have front-page reports of the hunt for whoever planted the bombs at the Boston Marathon, amid suggestions that the FBI has identified a suspect.

The Daily Mail, which prints a photo of a man apparently running away from scene, asks: "Is this the Boston bomber?"

Meanwhile, the Independent says Dmitri Shostakovich is up against an indie band for a prestigious Ivor Novello award.

The Russian composer's Seventh Symphony was incorporated into a chart hit by Plan B, which has been nominated for best contemporary song.

Noting that Shostakovich was adept at pleasing the Soviet authorities while managing to convey profound humanity, the paper says in an editorial that it is "good to see that his powers of infiltration have not deserted him".

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