Lady Thatcher reserved the nuclear option

I listened to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral rather vaguely.

The procession through the streets of London, ably reported by the BBC, aroused some mild interest but I wondered whether to switch off and do something else.

But then the funeral proper started. The readings from the period when our language came of age, with the Book of Common Prayer and the King James’ Bible, reverberated down the centuries and they could not fail to move.

The Dean of St Paul’s recorded the Lady’s virtues - her steadfastness, courage, determination, and personal kindness. “I vow to thee my country ...” must have resonated with many viewers and listeners.

And yet ... like all Prime ministers over the last 60 years Margaret Thatcher has reserved the option of using Britain’s nuclear weapons - mass murder and war criminality on an unheard-of scale. For all that time the warheads have been primed and ready to launch at the say – so of a single person who, being human, is flawed.

“And there’s another country I’ve heard of long ago ...” the song goes on, “where all her paths are peace”. I wonder how, in the still watches of the night, Margaret Thatcher managed to reconcile her two countries?


Summerheath Road