Imagining the Nation
Chapter 7 Conclusions
Tell them in England this: when first I stuck my head in the air, ‘winched from a cockpit’s tar and blood to my crow’s nest over London, I looked down on a singular crowd moving with the confident swell of the sea. As it rose and fell every pulse in the estuary carried them quayward, car- ried them seaward.1 On Monday 8 April 2013, just as the manuscript of this book was being completed, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died. Three-thousand people went to Trafalgar Square on the next Saturday to celebrate her death, drumming and chanting ‘Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, dead, dead, dead’. They buried an ef figy of the former leader made of recycled materials. ‘Sparklers, party poppers and balloons’ enlivened the gathering, which had been planned for years, and attracted people from across the country. Although there were a few arrests, ‘the event was more like a party than a protest’.2 As on many other occasions in the past, Trafalgar Square provided a means for people to make themselves heard on a national issue. One protester, a former miner from Newcastle, went to the gathering to oppose explicitly 1 From Jon Stallworthy, ‘Epilogue to an Empire, 1600–1900, an ode for Trafalgar Day’ in Rounding the Horn: Collected Poems (Manchester: Carcanet Press Ltd, 1998). 2 Tracy McVeigh and Mark Townsend, ‘Thousands gather in Trafalgar Square to pro- test against Thatcher’s legacy’, The Guardian (13 April 2013) accessed 19 April 2013; and Jessica Elgot, ‘Margaret Thatcher Trafalgar Square Death...
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