The outbreak began on Monday 8th April 2013 when Baroness Thatcher (87) died after a stroke, but reached its peak on the Wednesday of the following week (17th April) – the day of her funeral-with-full-military-honours. Describing the proceedings, many journalists fell victim to the metaphorical bug. They could not help writing about the big beasts of the Iron Lady’s Tory cabinet; they just had to mention the death of the eighties and, sitting in St Paul’s cathedral, the Back to the Future generation of elder American statesmen. Not content with referring to particular details in metaphorical terms, afflicted journalists went on to turn the whole affair into a metaphor of (a) Britain’s exceptional talent for creating the perfect ceremonial occasion (Really? With the Union flag failing to cover the coffin fully, revealing a brass flywheel and a lewd triangle of rich brown wood); and (b) the deceased’s unique capacity for getting exactly what she wanted, even now that she is, indeed, deceased. Yet in regard to Margaret Thatcher all such recourse to metaphor is singularly inappropriate, since it fails to appropriate that when in power she was the most literal of prime ministers. Absolutely primary, of course (even big beasts were turned out of the cabinet if they turned out bigger than their boots). But more importantly, in her purview, Great Britain must be seen to be greater than other countries, e.g. Argentina, which could only be lesser because they are not called Great. Likewise, there was no such thing as society because, at the literal level, there really are only individuals. And there will be no extrapolating from here to where society also really exists on much the same plane as metaphor, i.e. that faraway place – a stretch of the imagination – where the two of them have commonality in common. No, said Margaret, the price of bread is the price of bread; and that is the beginning and end of it. The alpha and omega. The quick and the dead. But the last two of these, she would hardly have said.