The news that Dr. Tim Ellis, the Bishop of Grantham, birthplace of Margaret Thatcher, has said that the scale and cost of Mrs. T's funeral was "asking for trouble", brings to mind the fact that her most ardent supporters share her fatal trait: not being able or willing to catch which way the wind is blowing.
In Not For Turning: The Life Of Margaret Thatcher by Robin Harris serialized last week in the Mail we see the late Baroness, full of gumption and fortitude but quite unable and unwilling to read the runes. While her supporters were waving frantically -like an audience watching a horror movie and trying to warn the heroine not to open a certain door-we see the intrepid Margaret "fight on, fight to win" during the Tory leadership battle, even when it was clear that she had no chance.
Her supporters are doing the same - first with a £10million funeral at a time when we are being told that the cupboard is bare, and now with talk of a Thatcher Library to be constructed in London in the manner of the Reagan Library. The library would be a privately funded thing, not out of our pocket, but nevertheless there's something out of kilter about it. Something off.
These are dangerous times for all politicians, especially those in the Big Three because We The People aren't buying it anymore. This must be confusing the Westminster Village because there are loads of politics in the air on all sides. We just don't like politicians at the moment. Except maybe 'anti-politics; politicians like Farage and Galloway and Boris, men-very different from one another, men who project the illusion of being outsiders. But of course they're not. They're as deeply inside as all the rest.
This is all too bad because deep down inside I don't believe that Cameron, Clegg or Miliband went into politics to advance themselves. The job's too tough, the pay's too low, the toll's too great, not just on themselves, but on their families, too. They've studied and worked hard all of their lives to get where they are now. But the times have passed them by. We have passed them by. They just don't have the answers. Since neither UKIP nor Respect nor any party other than The Big Three have the muscle to form the next government, it all seems a bit feral out there in the world right now.
There is a famous 'Thatcher Library' already, the one in the second-greatest film of all time (copyright Sight and Sound), Citizen Kane. It is a cavernous, soulless mausoleum, the repository of a human being who had to relinquish power before he was ready, the archive of a person who wasn't wanted anymore. "You'll need more than one lesson", a corrupt tycoon tells Kane, and it seems that Thatcherites need more than one lesson, too. They don't seem to get that a great number of people don't want them anymore. They just can't - or won't - hear that.
Meanwhile, we have governing in the Iron Lady's wake a Conservative Party split in two once again, AND in coalition; an Official Opposition who will probably tell us at some point what their policies are; and the Lib Dems, the big winners here because no matter what, they'll be in government again next time. All of this is reported and explained to us by political journalists some of whose day job increasingly seems to be vying to be on telly and Twitter where they can joust with one another.
And surrounding it all is an atmosphere of enraged hopelessness and helplessness. It will not be laid to rest when The Lady is.