Well, so are you Thatchered-out already? Doubtless the country is in general, but Crikey readers are made of sterner stuff, i.e. are tragic political junkies.

Over here, we’re rising in a slow arc of hysteria, sycophancy and argument rising to the funeral on Wednesday, after which God knows … to be honest, everyone is finding it a little more fun to refight the battles of 30 years ago, the Right out of sheer triumph, the Left because, as with encounters restaged later in dreams, there is always the chance of winning. So I’m not even going to try and sequence these random thoughts and observations on Thatcher’s death, here they are …

Funeral plans were announced on Wednesday; it would have to be a full paramilitary affair, to stop a woman apparently loved by the whole country from being plucked off the gun carriage and thrown in the Thames. The carriage will go from St Clement Danes in the City to the service at St Paul’s, along the Strand and Fleet Street. The route will be lined by military personnel, many plucked from Falklands regiments. That’s a favour in a way, because it emphasises one thing forgotten: that Thatcher and Thatcherism was about the State as much as it was the market. The cost of the exequies for this champion of the small state: 10 million pounds.

That afternoon, there was a recall parliamentary session. After hearing the Labour Party speak, I wondered whose funeral we were planning. There was no surprise that every Tory boob would get up and say how wonderful it was for Margaret to meet me, and she had a great sense of humour, I remember when she once said to me “looks like rain” (laughter), or that Labour leader Ed Miliband would have to make an even-handed speech. Even so, Miliband was weird in his attacks: “She made miners feel their lives were over, she made gays and lesbians feel unwelcome.” Feel feel feel, all the politics of emotion. Same with the Labour attacks from the backbench.

There was a moment that seemed imagined rather than real. David Winnick, an old Midlands Labour MP, looked like he had stepped out of a Methodist chapel and made an impassioned speech about the lives destroyed by an engineered recession. But why did he leave it at that statement of victimhood? Why not say “and there was no plan B?’ Two years later all the growth had gone. No plan B, squandered the oil money on extra dole while Germany built a 21st century economy.”

Half-way through, a Tory interjected. He looked like he had beamed in from 1986, helmetish hair, boxy glasses, pinkish-white suit and said “I was one of those men laid off! I built my own business and here I am today! Why didn’t they do that!” Winnick barely recovered, his riposte — “the gentleman proves my point about all against all” — seeming an own goal. Labour’s collectivism was one of limits, and that’s why so many had rejected it. It seemed fatal; can’t understand why no one else mentioned it.

Labour MP Glenda Jackson doubled down with a passionate speech that gained currency largely from its magnificent dialogue and delivery: “That was the era, no care, no concern! Sharp elbows! Sharp knees! The worship of things!” It was like some 70s movie. I expected Alan Bates and John Osborne to wander in, with Scotch, arguing about Suez. Another own goal. Easier to talk about the worship of things, from Hampstead, when you’ve done 30 movies.

“The consensus, from Left and Right, is that through sheer force of personality, Thatcher changed the course of events, implanting an alien ideology.”

The more this stuff gets beaten in and in and in, the more you can’t help but think otherwise. The consensus, from Left and Right, is that through sheer force of personality, Thatcher changed the course of events, implanting an alien ideology. But socialism — still 50% in private hands — had only been in place 35 years when Thatcher began dismantling it. The resistance was so half-hearted because it had never really been embedded. The 1983 miners’ strike never became a general strike — it never even got all the miners out, the privatisations never met with mass social resistance.

The UK, a Manchester liberal country, was simply reverting. The steward of the process may have been determined and able, but she was cutting with the grain. In France and northern Europe, where statism had been laid down and then social democracy added, it has proved impossible to uproot.

To return: Thatcherism was above all a transformation of the state, not the economy. As Simon Jenkins noted on radio, her 1979 victory came about because many saw the country as becoming ungovernable. Both strikes and lock-outs contributed. Thatcher’s answer was to load the dice in favour of capital, banning secondary pickets and imposing union postal ballots. That was regulation, not deregulation — the state extending its power to rule some behaviours as illegal. The relationship of that process to NATO, British nuclear arms etc was essential not contingent.

“I owe nothing to women’s lib,” Thatcher said. She was wrong. She went to a grammar school where a pioneering woman science teacher convinced her to take chemistry. That took her on to Somerville college, a women’s college, founded by, among others, T.H. Green, the founder of social liberalism. There she was taught by Dorothy Hodgkin, a Somerville alumna, who pioneered X-ray crystallography. Hodgkin was the former student of J.D. Bernal, the great communist scientist who had made a practice of finding first-rate women scientists, and Hodgkin — a radical Leftist herself — continued that tradition.

Thatcher gained her honours degree on her projects, and unquestionably a role model (she hung a picture of Hodgkin in 10 Downing Street). When Thatcher got into a leadership position in the 70s, the fact that Labour’s Barbara Castle had been secretary of state hitherto made the idea of a woman PM imaginable. Look to an individual achievement, and you’ll find collective ones beneath it.

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead is racing up the download charts, currently at No. 4. It’s created a problem for the BBC Radio 1 chart show, which plays all the new entries to the top 10 — that was the aim of the campaign. Baroness Buscombe, Tory and former press complaints chair, went on the BBC to talk about the veneration in which Thatcher was held, and said that this champion of freedom has surely earned the right for the song to be banned from the airwaves. On Question Time, Charles Moore, Thatcher’s biographer said that having the debate about whether to play it or not was a plot by the BBC to ramp up sales of it.

The curious proposition that she defeated communism. The Hayekians etc who follow her argue that state socialism will inevitably come apart. So by the 80s it was proving, as the information revolution made the West streak ahead of a command politics and economy (see Manuel Castells The Network Society for stats). The Reagan-Thatcholatry is spurious. The USSR and China took historical courses based on internal political forces, and they would have gone much as they did, whoever was over the other side.

The ultimate proof of her success and failure: the UK is beholden to, and remains within, the EU, because Germany’s and northern Europe’s economic strength made it impossible not to. That strength came about because of the different path they took in the process of modernising and reconstruction. The UK economy remains, beneath the financial sector, fragile, hollowed out and resistant to recovery. It was not Europe that she may have broken up …

A one minute’s silence has been proposed. Black armbands. The Queen will attend the funeral. Diplomatic staff have been asked to wear mourning, and then rescinded. A statue for the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square is being planned.

And Ian Bone, one-time organiser of the Class War anarchist group, summed up the new era on his blog: “I’m double booked for Friday! Doing ITV and BBC Breakfast.”