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Newslinks for Thursday 11th April 2013

7.45pm WATCH: Two William Hague videos from today's G8 meeting:

4pm Rehman Chishti MP on Comment: Remember those who donate organs

12.45pm Local Government: Labour councillors celebrating Margaret Thatcher's death

11am Peter Walker on Comment: Paris Brown is a vulnerable girl, not a villian - the victim of a gimmick by Kent's Police Commissioner

Margaret Thatcher:

In the wake of his non-appearance in the Commons yesterday, we ask on LeftWatch: What's going on in Gordon Brown's mind?

Local Government: The battle for West Sussex

The Deep End: Like a string of pearls, to make the most of our Northern cities we need to thread them together

Thatcher's ashes will rest in the Royal Hospital Chelsea...

"It is understood that Lady Thatcher, who has long been a supporter of the hospital, made the request before her death. The hospital is home to the Chelsea Pensioners and features the Margaret Thatcher Infirmary, a care home and hospice that she opened alongside Prince Charles in 2009.  Lady Thatcher’s attachment to the Royal Hospital, where she also attended church service on Sundays at its chapel, is marked by a portrait of her in the infirmary." - Daily Mail

  • "We have been overwhelmed by tributes," says Mark Thatcher - Daily Express

...And her funeral will honour the Falklands dead

Screen shot 2013-04-11 at 08.33.23"Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force personnel now serving on ships and in regiments and units which  played a key role in the 1982 conflict  with Argentina will carry the former Prime Minister’s coffin into St Paul’s Cathedral for the service next Wednesday.  The 10 coffin bearers will be drawn from the Royal Marines, the Scots Guards, the Welsh Guards, the Parachute Regiment, the Royal Gurkha Rifles and the RAF." - The Independent

Oops! Andy Burnham suggests that True Blue funeral tag is Tory politicisation.  But it turns out that the codename was drawn up under Labour

"Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, questioned whether the tag was "appropriate for a state occasion". On Twitter, he said: "This is a difficult moment for many, particularly in the North, and the 'grown-up' thing to do is avoid any hint of politicisation." However, Downing Street hit back, saying that the codename had been used in Whitehall since the funeral plans were first drafted under Labour. A spokeswoman for David Cameron said that the codename had been in use since Tony Blair was in power. And the so-called "True Blue Committee" had been having meetings since at least 2006." - The Guardian

Oborne attacks the Palace over Thatcher "state funeral"

Oborne Peter April 2012"The decision to give Lady Thatcher what amounts to a state funeral will not lead to fascism. But it nevertheless badly damages the British system of representative democracy, and as such will lead to a series of debilitating practical problems. The most serious of them concerns damage to the reputation of the monarch for scrupulous impartiality. During her long reign, the Queen has avoided attending the funerals of all her prime ministers, apart from that of Churchill, who had led the national government of a united Britain in the great common struggle against Nazi Germany. This is why he was the sole exception to the rule that former prime ministers do not get state funerals." - Daily Telegraph

Heseltine speaks...

"In a public statement the Tory peer said: “I am sorry to learn of Lady Thatcher's death. The illness of her last years has been cruel and very difficult. I send my deepest condolences to Mark and Carol." When asked if he would attend next Wednesday’s funeral, the peer did not respond." - Daily Telegraph

...And so does Kohl

Screen shot 2013-04-11 at 08.35.15"It is true — Margaret Thatcher was difficult, just as our relationship was difficult,” Mr Kohl, 83, said. “Unlike with other leaders in Europe and the world, and despite the best efforts of both sides, Margaret and I simply never managed to build a trusting and warm relationship. “[She] wanted Europe, but a different Europe from that wanted by most of her European colleagues and me. From our point of view, this antagonism characterises British policy on Europe to this day.” - The Times (£)

How should be commemorated? Debate continues. Hammond becomes first Cabinet member to support a memorial...

“I think it would be very appropriate to have a memorial to Margaret Thatcher somewhere in London,” said Mr Hammond, the Defence Secretary. I haven’t personally given any thought yet to where that should be, but certainly the fourth plinth could be one of the options. Let’s look at that in slower time, I think these things are better thought about in slightly slower time after the event. Mr Hammond and Mr Johnson joined joined Lord Tebbit, Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP, and Commander John Muxworthy, who served in a senior role during the Falklands Conflict, have already backed the idea." - The Times (£)

...But Boris wants Thatcher Airport (on Boris Island?)

JOHNSON-BORIS-BEDRAGGLED"He said: ‘Mega airports are springing up all over the continent that are stealing British trade and are a threat to our economy. ‘It is why this country so desperately needs a new four runway hub airport and I can think of no name that would strike greater fear into the heart of our European rivals than Margaret Thatcher International Airport.’" - Daily Mail

  • Cameron is open to ideas about public ways to commemorate Margaret Thatcher such as re-naming the capital of the Falkland Islands in her honour - Daily Telegraph

Black Bloc anarchists plan Saturday Thatcher Trafalgar Square protest

"Die-hard fanatics hope a ‘protest’ in Trafalgar Square on Saturday night will ignite an explosion of violence that will culminate with disturbances at her funeral on Wednesday. They plan to hang an effigy of the former prime minister in a macabre ‘celebration’ that has been planned for more than a decade. Among those leading the charge are members of the shadowy Black Bloc group, which fought pitched battles with police during student and anti-cuts riots." - Daily Mail

  • "Pathetic bunch": Patrick Mercer MP; "Sick individuals": Peter Bone MP - Daily Express
  • "Two teachers are unmasked as architects of Thatcher ‘death parties’ - Daily Mail
  • Moaning minnies - Sun Editorial
  • This bilious hatred and lack of respect for the dead is a disturbing new low in British life - Stephen Glover, Daily Mail

Commons tributes: There's a big Labour boycott

Screen shot 2013-04-11 at 05.10.33"Some 150 Left-wingers stayed away from the special session, called to honour the 87-year-old former Conservative PM following her death from a stroke on Monday…While Tory and Lib Dem benches overflowed, barely 100 Labour MPs — two fifths of their total — turned up for the one-day session. The PM praised Opposition MPs who had come to the Commons for their “generosity of spirit”. More than 120 MPs and Lords spoke in the dual sitting from all sides of both houses to share their memories and feelings about one of the greatest political colossuses of the 20th century." - The Sun

  • At times like these, MPs are all in it together - Bruce Anderson, Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday: LeftWatch - Will Galloway turn up?

The Speaker was "taken aback" by the recall

"The seven-and-a-half-hour session of Commons tributes – led by David Cameron and Ed Miliband – had earlier been the subject of tense exchanges between Number 10 and Bercow's office, the Guardian has learned. The Speaker was said to be "taken aback" by the initial request that parliament be recalled, since that move had previously been reserved only for matters of national emergency…The two sides are locked in more procedural wrangling over the arrangements for next week, arguing over how best to ensure parliament does not sit at the same time as Lady Thatcher's funeral." - The Guardian

Cameron shines...

Screen shot 2013-04-11 at 08.37.48
"David Cameron led the tributes in a special parliamentary session to mark the life of a woman whose “political story was a perpetual battle”. “So many of the principles that Lady Thatcher fought for are now part of the accepted political landscape in our country,” Mr Cameron told MPs. “As Winston Churchill once put it, there are some politicians who ‘make the weather’ – and Margaret Thatcher was undoubtedly one of them.” - Financial Times

> Yesterday: MPsETC - David Cameron leads Parliamentary tributes to Thatcher: "She made the political weather"

...As does Miliband...

"Ed Miliband won praise from Conservative MPs for a statesmanlike speech in which he praised the former Prime Minister as a "unique and towering figure". But he disagreed with "much of what she did", saying that mining communities felt "angry and abandoned", while gay and lesbian people felt "stigmatised" by her measures like Section 28, which prevented councils from "promoting" homosexuality." - The Independent

...But Clegg bombs - Financial Times

And it's an Oscar for Glenda!

Screen shot 2013-04-11 at 08.52.20"Ms Jackson, an Oscar-winning actress turned politician, conceded Lady Thatcher was Britain's first female Premier but added: 'A woman? Not on my terms.' And she accused the former Tory leader of ‘wreaking the most heinous social and economic damage on this country’. It sparked furious complaints from Tory MPs, accusing Ms Jackson, 76, of using the recall of Parliament to 'denigrate the memory of the person who has been deceased'." - Daily Mail

  • Prescott applauds Jackson - Daily Mail
  • "They will no doubt sing a rousing chorus of The Red Flag at the next meeting of the Hampstead and Kilburn Labour Party and carry her to the platform like Cleopatra borne by glistening Nubian slaves." - Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

Lord tributes: Tebbit - "I left her at the mercy of her friends"

"Tebbit looked down the chamber to Lord Howe of Aberavon, whose resignation speech triggered her downfall in 1990, to express regret that he was unable to support Thatcher in her hour of need…"My regrets?" Tebbit sighed as he paused for a moment. "I think I do regret that because of the commitments I made to my own wife that I did not feel able either to continue in government after 1987 or to return to government when she later asked me to do. I left her, I fear, at the mercy of her friends. That I do regret." - The Guardian

  • "Again, there were tales of thoughtfulness and commitment to duty. Lord Young of Graffham spoke of her handwritten letters to the families of soldiers who fell in the Falklands. Smythson the stationer, added Lord Lamont, said Lady Thatcher was its biggest purchaser of personal thank you notes." - Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday: MPsETC: Thatcher tributes: The chamber to watch today is the Lords, not the Commons

David Willetts: Thatcher was NOT a libertarian

WILLETTS DAVID NEW"One interpretation of Thatcherism was that Conservatives were first cousins of American libertarians who hated the State and just believed in economic and social liberalism combined. But that won’t do. It is not what holds a country together. It doesn’t even hang together as a consistent policy because the erosion of the robust virtues of self-restraint brings expensive and intrusive state intervention in its wake. Government grows as it has to pick up the bills of social failure." - David Willetts, The Times (£)

  • Margaret Thatcher's legacy is a better country and a safer world for my girls - Ian Duncan Smith, Daily Telegraph
  • The modernisers are Thatcher's heirs - James Forsyth, Spectator
  • Mrs Thatcher was not divisive, she just didn’t cave in - Leo McKinstry, Daily Express
  • Thatcher threw gay kids like me to the wolves - Matthew Todd, The Guardian

> Today:

> Yesterday:

News in Brief

  • US and Seoul brace for missile test - The Guardian
  • North Korea's Ambassador may have fled London - Daily Mail
    Public Acccounts committee slams Treasury over ‘inaccurate’ accounts - The Times (£)
  • Government’s new Business Bank launched yesterday with £300million cash injection - Daily Express
  • Britain faces difficult Afghanistan withdrawal - Financial Times
  • Judges back Leveson secret arrests plan - The Sun


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