June 10, 2004

Two Models of Behaviour

I am watching the end of the State Funeral of Ronald Reagan as the various dignitaries pay their respects and leave the Capitol, thanks to the coverage of the BBC. I would have loved to have had American coverage, but there was no way I could get to a satellite signal.

For which I cannot thank the BBC is their choice of "colour" commentator as sidekick to the BBC presenter Gavin Esler, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift. I couldn't have imagined that the BBC would have found someone more liberal than their own stable of reporters and commentators. They did.

As the funeral cortege made its way from the White House to the Hill, Ms Clift deemed this the appropriate time to criticise Reagan and his policies. As a nation stood still to honour his memory, she rattled on about how the nation was really worse off under Reagan because he didn't follow her self-evident welfare state views. I was incensed. Esler keep trying to steer her comments in a more positive and respectful direction, but she would have none of it.

At least they shut her up when the coffin arrived at the Capitol, though now they have loosed her tongue again.

By sharp contrast, I saw Baroness Thatcher as she paid her respects. She is of such frail health that is was doubtful that she would be able to attend. Even the BBC didn't know she was there and didn't pick her out during the service or the pre-service shots of the crowd. Yet she made it. Despite her very evident difficulty, after she leaned forward to kiss the coffin, she actually curtsied as if he were royalty.

Thatcher and Reagan brought together British-American relations like no two people until Mrs H married me. It was a much more politically honest relationship than that of Tony and W. The latter pair may have genuine affection for one another, but they are ideologically quite different. The Iron Lady and the Teflon President were two peas in a pod.

It appears that there will be no way for me to see the National Funeral on Friday. I am jealous of all my American resident friends.

Posted by david at June 10, 2004 01:57 AM | TrackBack

Perhaps someone would be kind enough to record and send it to you.

Posted by: aaron at June 10, 2004 10:03 PM

I have just found out that BBC1 will be covering it. The problem is going to be trying to be somewhere to watch it. I finish teaching at 3:15 and I don't think I can get home before it starts. At least I know it will be freely available here and I don't have to find someone with a Sky box.

Posted by: Dave at June 11, 2004 03:47 AM