“She was worth a great deal more dead than she had been alive.”
So wrote John Crace as he boggled at the ridiculous prices being paid for the late Prime Minister’s possessions at an auction held by Christie’s in London this week.
Lot five, a Ridgway porcelain oval serving dish and seven plates. Presumably someone had dropped one – as a favour, because they were all truly hideous. You wouldn’t get a tenner for it from a junk shop, but here it fetched £2,000. Lot six, an English school painting of Lincoln Cathedral; it looked more like it came from the Woolworth’s school but still pulled in a cool £5,000.
The auction raised over £3 million; most of the articles have supposedly accrued ‘investment value‘ meaning that they’ll now be hidden away in overseas vaults. That no British museum was prepared to bid says less about their lack of funding and more about their nervousness about offering a shrine to the most divisive prime minister the UK has ever had.
(If I shared Thatcher’s moral corruption I’d start selling off my family’s slightly worn clothes right now. Yes, we do have a stash of them, but usually give them away each year to the local flood ‘refugees’.)
The Bakries of this world owe their too-big-to-go-bankrupt debts to her. Her legacy is the short-term greed, the selling off the family silver – which in Indonesia means case the forests, fossil fuels, and fish – in order to line pockets of billionaires at the expense of the ever increasing multitudes of millions condemned to subsistence living, and food banks – if they’re lucky.