Labour leader David Shearer has paid brief tribute to Margaret Thatcher (no tribute to Chavez of course).
It reads like the minimum tribute a ‘major’ party leader feels he should make; it says he didn’t agree with many of her policies, but nonetheless finds complimentary things to say about the divisive figure (“a strong and decisive leader with unwavering principles” sounds pretty good coming from Shearer’s party).
I’m not against Shearer doing this; it’s nice to remind ourselves that even our political opponents are human. I certainly don’t support the other response of celebrating anyone’s death, whether it’s Gaddafi, bin Laden, Pinochet or Thatcher.
But I do note that Labour’s limp opposition to the current government’s Thatcherism is a lot more in line with “We join with political leaders around the world in remembering Margaret Thatcher’s service to the people of Britain and her significant impact on the global political environment” than “I didn’t agree with many of her policies”.