Farewell Britannia

04.14.13

Maggie To Get Museum

Supporters plan to honor Thatcher with a "U.S.-style" museum and library.

Move over, Monticello: Maggie Thatcher is about to get her own memorial. According to the Guardian, as Britain prepares for the Iron Lady's funeral this week, her supporters at The Cherish Freedom Trust have announced their plans "to honour her in the manner of a U.S. president" with a library and museum to immortalize her life and legacy. While America commemorates all its former leaders with a presidential library housing their papers (not to mention the few and the great whose private homes have been turned into national treasures), the U.K. has no such equivalent for its prime minsters.

It's an appropriately American twist for a woman much beloved in U.S. during the Reaganite 80's for her free market principles and her hardline stance against the Soviets. Predictably, the plans have riled the left, with Labour party members insisting that taxpayers should not foot the bill for a Tory "political propaganda exercise." "Even in death, she is spinning from her grave," wrote Lord Prescott, the Labour former deputy prime minister, in a column in the Sunday Mirror. "She claimed she never wanted a state funeral...the country paid enough thanks to that woman. So why the hell should we continue to pay now she's dead?"

The Cherish Freedom Trust is pressing ahead nevertheless, reportedly securing pledges worth 1 million pounds for a project whose estimated costs could run up to 15 million pounds or more. Senior Tories have pledged their support, including the delightfully-named Eric Pickles, Liam Fox and Lord Tebbit.