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Reflections on Margaret Thatcher

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Rarely can a death have provoked such debate, such division, so much reflection. Today, though, is the moment when the British political establishment — the prime minister and other party leaders as well as all former occupants of Number 10 — comes together.

Messrs Cameron, Clegg and Miliband, Major, Blair and Brown will unite to pay their respects to and mark the passing of the woman who they all agree was the giant of her — of their — age. So too the first ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Big Ben will be silenced. Prime Minister's Questions has been cancelled.

Perhaps, just perhaps, the political arguments Margaret Thatcher once relished and provoked in death as well as in life may also be stilled — at least temporarily — as a family and friends mourn and a nation remembers a leader who had such a profound impact on our national life.

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