Margaret Thatcher's funeral

Falklands veterans from the Welsh Guards have helped lead the funeral procession for Baroness Thatcher at St Paul's Cathedral. Welsh politicians and public figures were also at the service, as people lined the streets outside.

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Thatcher's funeral 'an establishment charade' claims Labour AM

Although only party leaders paid tribute to Margaret Thatcher in the Assembly, the Labour AM Mick Antoniw has issued his own view of her premiership. He was a lawyer for the NUM during the miners' strike and in his assessment of the former Prime Minister's time in office addresses her directly.

During this period under your command, parts of Britain came close to becoming a police state. You used the police in the same way as foreign dictators have used the police to prevent lawful democratic action. There were communities that for periods of time were completely closed off to the public, under police control, where miners were arrested, beaten and their homes smashed up. Food donated by the public for hungry miners families was thrown out of lorries by the police to rot.

– Mick Antoniw, Labour AM for Pontypridd

Mr Antoniw said he is opposed to spending £10 million of public money on Baroness Thatcher's ceremonial funeral. He said it was 'an establishment charade'. He offered his own version of what she should have said on taking office, when she quoted St Francis of Assisi

In 1979 you said 'Where there is discord may we bring harmony, where there is despair may we bring hope'. In reality should you have said: 'where there is community and cooperation I will bring greed and selfishness, where there is freedom and democracy I will support dictatorship provided they have the same economic objectives as me, where working people strive to achieve a more just and equal society I will use the apparatus of the state to strike them down in support of the privileged, the rich, the powerful'.

Mr Antoniw, whose father was a Ukrainian who came to Britain after the Second World War, also broke with the political consensus that has praised Margaret Thatcher's role in ending the Cold War and causing the collapse of Soviet Communism.

It is claimed you brought the Soviet Union to an end. Well, as the son of a Ukrainian refugee, I campaigned all my life against the despotism of the Soviet Union. Most of my family were deported to the Gulag by Stalin, my uncle was killed in the partisan war in 1952, my aunt was arrested and tortured by the KGB yet I am not aware of anything you did to support those campaigns. In fact in 1988 as the Soviet Union was beginning to fall, you specifically opposed Ukrainian freedom.

– Mick Antoniw, Labour AM for Pontypridd

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