07 30 2016
  9:52 am  
read latest

breaking news

The Wake of Vanport

Diehard supporters, tourists and the curious swamped pockets of left-wing protesters to mark the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in London Wednesday.

In scenes that echoed the divisions Thatcher drove through Britain as she transformed the economy and society during the 1980s, people of all social classes lined the route from the Palace of Westminster to St. Paul's Cathedral, some to pay tribute, some to condemn and many to just get close to a spectacular state occasion.

"I had to be here," said Ian Twin, a child of the Thatcher era from Essex in eastern England who had traveled from his home in New York to be here for the funeral.

He typified the sort of person for whom Thatcher's legacy of free-market economics and individuality had the greatest impact.

"I was a boy in the 1980s. Rightly or wrongly, she changed the landscape of the UK forever, and she made me feel I could do anything," said Twin, now an executive in public relations -- an industry virtually unknown before the Thatcher revolution.

Others in the crowd felt she had left a less positive legacy and mourned the passing of what they recall as a kinder, gentler Britain.

At Ludgate Circus on the approach to St. Paul's, a crowd of about 50 protesters waved Socialist Worker placards, a sign reading "Anarchists Against Thatcher" and rainbow-hued "Peace" flags. Another held a sign demanding "Where was her respect for Goldthorpe and the miners?" referring to her campaign against the power of coal-mining unions, a move that all but closed the industry.

Current Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, who led mourners in Christopher Wren's masterpiece, earlier told a radio interviewer that all Britons were in some sense Thatcherite now that her brand of self-sufficient, can-do economics drove political discourse in the country and most of the western world. That wasn't how protesters on the funeral route saw it.

Rowland, from London, who would only give his first name was among those waving Socialist Worker placards reading: "We remember: The miners, Falklands, Poll Tax, Bobby Sands. Now bury Thatcherism," a summing up of the coal battles, the Falklands Conflict, a hated tax based on homes and an Irish Republican Army convict who died on hunger strike.

"I'm not here to celebrate Thatcher's death, which I think some are," Rowland said. "I'm here because this shouldn't have been made a state funeral. David Cameron and others have tried to present this as a moment of state unity, but she's not a unifying figure -- the ideas she represents are continuing to do great harm to the country."

For the most part protesters were drowned out by the ordinary public, tourists and those who genuinely came to pay final respects to a woman who transformed Britain and, in some cases, their own lives.

"We know what the UK was like before 1979 and it wasn't pleasant," said Lionel Voke, an activist in the Conservative Party that the "Iron Lady" led to three election victories. "I started my own business in the 1970s, and it thrived in the 80s -- I credit Margaret Thatcher for that."

London police, well used to running security in a city where the pomp and ceremony of royal and state occasions is a feature of life, had warned protesters to exercise carefully their right to object to what Thatcher stood for. Turning their backs on the military procession carrying Thatcher's casket would be okay: yelling obscenities and throwing objects would not.

Even some of the protesters were of a very British kind, polite to a fault.

"Rest in Peace, but Kindness is better than Greed," read one sign, carried by James Wilkinson, 49, from London.

"It's a protest, but a mild one," he explained. "I really wanted to see the spectacle, I admit that, but I thought if I came, I had to show that I'm no fan of Margaret Thatcher. I didn't think she warranted such an occasion."

Further along the street, the conservative Voken understood a little of those sentiments: "Whether you like someone or not, and whether you like what they did or not, you have to be respectful. We're here out of respect -- to us, she was wonderful. I accept that not everyone sees it the same way, but it's the same if Tony Blair died. I wouldn't necessarily come, but I'd expect him to be treated with respect, and I'd want him to rest in peace."

Blair led the reformed Labour Party to victory over the Conservatives in 1997, seven years after she was unceremoniously bundled out of office by a political coup of colleagues. He was among the mourners at her funeral under the spectacular dome of St Paul's, his presence a reminder that Thatcher believed the adoption of free market economic policies by the rival Labour Party was perhaps her greatest achievement -- an orthodoxy few in the political mainstream challenge despite the banking crisis and a lengthy recession.

The funeral -- officially ceremonial rather than a state occasion in a distinction invisible to all but the most pedantic royal watcher -- was the first for a former prime minister and war leader since Winston Churchill's body was borne along the same route a generation ago: in his case World War II, in hers the Falklands conflict against Argentina.

It was the Falklands that made it fitting that pall-bearers from all the UK armed services carried her coffin into the cathedral, having escorted it on a gun carriage from the official church of the Royal Air Force. The procession then made its way down Fleet Street, former home of the powerful British newspaper industry which did much to bolster her support and which was itself transformed by her union-busting market reforms. Fleet Street is now home mostly to international bankers rather than the journalists who wrote up her era.


Recently Published by The Skanner News

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • Russian hackers likely responsible for hacking attack on Clinton HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Giddy if exhausted, Hillary Clinton embarked on a post-convention Rust Belt bus tour just hours after becoming the first female presidential nominee of a major political party. The celebratory mood quickly evaporated amid fresh revelations that hackers had breached a program used by her campaign and Republican nominee Donald Trump promised to sharpen his barbs. "Remember this," Trump said during a rally Friday in Colorado Springs, Colorado. "Trump is going to be no more Mr. Nice Guy." And for the first time he encouraged his supporters' anti-Clinton chants of "lock her up." "I've been saying let's just beat her on Nov. 8," Trump said, "but you know what? I'm starting to agree with you." About an hour later, Clinton aides acknowledged that a hacking attack that exposed Democratic Party emails also reached into a computer system used by her own campaign. The FBI said it was working to determine the "accuracy, nature and scope" of the cyberattacks. Campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said the newly disclosed breach affected a Democratic National Committee data analytics program used by the campaign and other organizations. Outside experts found no evidence that the campaign's "internal systems have been compromised," Merrill said, but he gave no details on the program or nature of the attacks. Partnerships with modern e-commerce companies can allow sophisticated tracking, categorization and identification of website visitors and voters. President Barack Obama and cybersecurity experts have said Russia was almost certainly responsible for the DNC hack. The House Democratic campaign committee reported Friday that its information had been accessed. The developments followed the leaking of DNC emails earlier in the week that pointed to a pro-Clinton bias by party officials during her primary contest against Bernie Sanders. In the furor that followed, party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz resigned just as Democrats launched their convention. Clinton and her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, will attempt to return attention to their positive economic message on Saturday, with campaign stops through economically struggling areas of Pennsylvania and Ohio. "When we take that oath of office next January, we know we can make life better. We know we can create more good jobs," she told voters gathered at an outside market in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Clinton cited an economic analysis by economist Mark Zandi, a former economic adviser to 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, that found more than 10 million jobs could be created in her first term if her economic proposals were put in place. Zandi's analysis of Trump's plans found they would cost the country 3.5 million jobs and lead to a "lengthy recession." Joined on the bus tour by her husband, Bill Clinton, Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, Clinton stopped at a toy and plastics manufacturer in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, where she and Kaine cast Trump as a con artist out for his own gain. "We don't resent success in America but we do resent people who take advantage of others in order to line their own pockets," Clinton said. Trump is also focusing on Ohio and Pennsylvania, two states where he might make headway with blue-collar white men. That group of voters has eluded Clinton and may be a hard sell after a Democratic convention that heavily celebrated racial and gender diversity. Clinton is playing up economic opportunity, diversity and national security. Democrats hammered home those themes this week with an array of politicians, celebrities, gun-violence victims, law enforcement officers and activists of all races and sexual orientation. Their goal is to turn out the coalition of minority, female and young voters that twice elected Obama while offsetting expected losses among the white men drawn to Trump's message. Democrats continued contrasting their optimistic message with the more troubled vision of the state of the nation presented by Trump and others at the GOP convention a week earlier. Kaine called the "very dark and negative" event a "journey through Donald Trump's mind." "That's a very frightening place," he told thousands of supporters in Philadelphia. Clinton told voters that they faced a "stark choice," calling the coming election the most important one in her lifetime. "This is a moment of reckoning for our country. I don't recognize the country that Donald Trump describes," she said.___Lemire reported from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Associated Press writer Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.
    Read More
  • Six current or former state employees were charged Friday with misconduct and other crimes in the Flint water crisis 
    Read More
  • Hillary Clinton cast herself as a unifier for divided times, an experienced leader steeled for a volatile world 
    Read More
  • The Portland Harbor Community Coalition wants a more intensive cleanup and more time for public comment  
    Read More
load morehold SHIFT key to load allload all
Carpentry Professionals


Oregon Shakespeare Festival The Wiz

Hood to Coast 2016