Sunday, 21 April 2013

Running Down a Dream

It was nice to see 36,000 runners and half a million spectators in London this morning to demonstrate that there is such a thing as society.

I've been trying to find an estimate of how many people turned out in London on Wednesday for Maggie's funeral. No dice. The Metropolitan Police website expresses thanks to those who informed them about protests beforehand (which is about as conventionally British as you can get) but seems to offer no estimate of crowd numbers. The Mail refers to 'tens of thousands' lining the route of the cortege, but offers nothing more. The Sun said 5,000 thronged the area around St Paul's  The BBC carefully referred to 'thousands'.

Now of course the funeral was on a working day in a busy city. But if there are, say, seven million people in the Greater London area, you'd think one million should in theory have been able to make it, if only for part of what was a long send-off. That's not counting all those ardent Thatcherites from other parts of the UK and indeed the wider world.

If the London Marathon can get half a million, why couldn't Thatcher get about a tenth of that number? Has the whole thing has been a colossal misjudgement by Cameron and the Tory elite? Has Ed Miliband been laughing up his sleeve and mulling over Napoleon's great maxim, 'Never interrupt your enemy when he's making a mistake'? Will millions of sensible voters remember ten million quid blown on a political stunt when they go to the polls next time, and maybe the time after that?

Oh, I do hope so.

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