Margret Thatcher Funeral: The Costs of Injustice

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The spending for Margret Thatcher's funeral was a tremendous insult to the hard economic crisis that is affecting many countries, the UK included. In an era where people struggle to keep their jobs and to pay their bills, the government decided to spend about £10 million on the funeral of one person (who, despite being worshiped by some, affected negatively the lives of many).

The spending was justified by some- for example the Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans: "It is the right way to commemorate her life" and Prime Minister David Cameron: "What is happening today is absolutely fitting and right. She was the first woman prime minister, she served for longer in the job than anyone for 150 years, she achieved some extraordinary things in her life". However, many people were outraged. The Bishop of Grantham called the costs "a mistake" as "a funeral should be more low-key and personal".

Protesters gathered near St. Paul's (pictured above) to voice their dissidence against the cost of the commemoration, they waved placards reading "Rest of us in Poverty" and "Rest in Shame" and wore t-shirts with messages such as "Society does exist".

As cleverly pointed out by The Guardian, the sum spent for the funeral could have been used to help people who struggle financially, to pay salaries and provide services. That amount of money could, in fact, pay the salary of 272 secondary school teachers for a year or 269 paramedics for a year; 1199 students' tuition fees, 16,949,152 pints of milk (enough to give everyone in London two pints each) or 11,111 public health funerals.

In these hard financial times, the sum spent for a funeral of a controversial politician has been seen, by many, as a government priority that came before thousands of people whose lives have been ruined by the economic stagnation. This funeral has been perceived as an example of the obvious disinterest from politicians for citizens who demand jobs, aid and immediate reforms in order to face the crisis. And now the same politicians who agreed to spend such sums of money on a commemoration, will have to face discontent and rage.

Ludovica Iaccino is an Italian who graduated in international journalism and is currently living in London. Read more posts by her here.

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