Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Raising an ironic glass to Maggie

Big demand for tickets
for Eurostar farewell

When it was announced that the government (a "Labour" government) was considering staging a state funeral for former prime minister Margaret Thatcher when she dies, the Guardian newspaper was inundated with letters of protest. A Guardian poll showed that 87% of its readers were opposed to the idea. (Probably a similar poll in the Daily Mail would show 87% of its readers in favour.)
The Guardian published a letter from me in which I offered to book a Eurostar train to Brussels in order that readers could toast the passing of Mrs Thatcher in good Belgian beer. I suggested the famous Brussels bar Morte Subite (Sudden Death) would be a good starting point for a crawl.
I was stunned by the reaction. I received a flood of emails in support of the idea. One reader wanted to send me money now in order to book two seats. I said we should wait until Mrs T passes away.
One writer to the paper said it would be better to stay in Britain and say our farewells to the former PM with good local ale. Another criticised me for being sour as well as bitter -- a feeling shared, no doubt, by the thousands of miners and steelworkers who lost their jobs in the 1980s.
Beer writer Alastair Gilmour wrote to the Guardian to point out that Jarrow Brewery in North-east England had already produced a special commemorative brew to celebrate a 2007 play called Maggie's End, " a dark comedy which opens with the death of Margaret Thatcher...the 5% beer is a pale golden wheat beer with a citrus and spice flavour and a complex grass-fresh hop aroma".
I suspect Mrs T will be quite unmoved by the passion the idea of a state fuenral has aroused and will pour herself another large whisky.


Anonymous Paul Garrard said...

I tend not to overindulge these days being of more mature years, but when the old witch dies I shall be celebrating, and I will be so pleased that I might not know when to stop!

23 July 2008 at 12:48  
Blogger ZakAvery said...

It doesn't matter what where we do it - the important thing is definitely to celebrate!

23 July 2008 at 22:11  
Anonymous somebloke said...

Yes, a glass of something bitter with a lingering aftertaste might be appropriate. Not that I'd wish her (or anyone) ill or dead, but her passing will definitely need to be acknowledged somehow. Trouble is, the recent government have left us with even more to be sad about. What'll we (or our kids) all be supping when Blair pops his Armani clogs?

28 July 2008 at 18:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You fkn socialist, anti-democratic, pro-Marxist Scargill scum. Thanks for writing this obscene drivel, Roger. You've saved me a few bob now as I won't be buying any of your books.
From a relative of the honest, decent, non-intimidated miner murdered by Scargill's Stormtroopers.
P.S. Sorry for not agreeing with your opinion. Outside your socialist coterie there are those who don't agree with left-wing intimidation and violence.

10 August 2008 at 16:55  

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