Plinth sense

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The Independent Online

Carrara! Just what storm-racked Britain, staggering through 2002, needs: a diverting, harmless but symbolically laden little spat. And who better to provide it than Baroness Thatcher?

Should her statue of the finest Italianmarble be placed on one of two empty plinths in the Members' Lobby of the House of Commons? Tradition dictates not: death is a requirement. Tory MPs are calling for installation. Labour MPs are also calling for installation, but in Arizona.

Quite rightly, you will look to us for a ruling. We have looked at the photographs of the statue. It is big, with a particularly impressive handbag. The handbag is severely under-represented in the world of statuary. But we feel that MPs' minds would be better concentrated if the plinths were home to male and female statues of The Unknown Voter, staring down, clutching polling cards. A third figure, suspended from the ceiling, could represent The Floating Voter.

Lady Thatcher, meanwhile, could take the vacant plinth in Trafalgar Square – to commemorate the poll tax riot there in 1990.

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