To: Department for Culture Media & Sport
No taxpayer funding for 'Margaret Thatcher Memorial Museum & Library'.
Update Feb 2015: At the moment the Thatcher museum is due to be funded by private backers, without the use of public funds. Read more here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22141238
Please do not give the go-ahead for the proposed museum and library in honour of the late Margaret Thatcher. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, appears to have given this £15 million proposal his backing.
Given that we are living through a period of extreme austerity, and that there is talk of various museums having to close, I feel it is most disingenuous to assume the taxpayer is happy to fund a proposed £15 million edifice in her name.
The Prime Minister and his government must appreciate that the late Margaret Thatcher was an exceedingly divisive person who has not been warmly received in recent history by the population as a whole.
Why is this important?
The National Media Museum in Bradford, the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester and the National Railway Museum in York have all been cited for potential closure or reduction, due to the drive for cost-cutting and economic stability. These museums are all, in each their own way, edifices of collective history, and centres of education for our children. They have proved their worth over many years, and all have combined education and entertainment in a most satisfactory way.
Contrast them with this proposal, at this time, for what would be a mausoleum for one woman who cast a large shadow over Britain whilst she was empowered to act on British citizen's behalf. And then consider whether you wish to subscribe to it.
I do accept that she had many adherents and indeed worshipers, as her state-funded funeral displayed; although the notion of the state paying for this multi-millionaire's funeral was again not universally held as correct and virtuous.
Many of her worshipers and acolytes would assume she did great things for the British nation. But this is by no means a universal view, and therefore should not be universally funded. If her followers wish to have this 'Margaret Thatcher Museum and Library', then they should pay for it out of their own pockets. Fifteen million pounds (and the rest....) of tax-payer's money cannot be thus spent, when austerity measures are forcing people into abject poverty largely due to no fault of their own.
The notion of having such a museum or mausoleum in London is redolent of what North Korea would offer in PyongYang; and then make compulsory for school-children to visit as part of their 'education'. This is nothing more than brainwashing, and it would be sad to see it happening here.
Instead, all papers, objects and ephemera relating to Margaret Thatcher should rightfully be kept in a University Library for historical and political reference.
But if Margaret Thatcher's supporters wish for something more than that, they ought to fund and erect this museum themselves, and let history decide upon Margaret Thatcher's virtues or vices.
Do not make it state funded.