JOEY BARTON: The footballer posted: ‘I'd say RIP Maggie but it wouldn't be true. If heaven exists that old witch won't be there.’ Barton is not known for being the sharpest blade in the box and apart from his football has become known for beating people up.
FRANKIE BOYLE: The comedian tweeted: ‘All that Thatcher achieved was to ensure that people living in Garbage Camps a hundred years from now will think that Hitler was a woman.’ Boyle has been criticised for making fun of a Down’s Syndrome child and other forms of disability.
MARK STEEL: The comedian wrote: 'What a terrible shame – that it wasn't 87 years earlier.' For sheer, brilliant wit I doubt that can be bettered.
ROSS NOBLE: The comedian tweeted: 'Bloody typical that Thatcher dies when I am in Australia. I hate to miss a good street party.' Noble was four years old when Thatcher was first elected.
DEREK HATTON: The former Liverpool councillor said: 'The issue isn't about whether she is dead. I regret for the sake of millions of people that she was ever born. She promoted a form of greed in business that we've never known before and it's continued ever since. She actually changed the whole face of this country in a way, that you know, people wouldn't have even anticipated. Even her successors got away with murder, literally, for example Blair in Iraq, that they wouldn't have got away with had it not been for what she did. Hatton is now a property developer with interests in Cyprus.
I have never thought of myself as a ‘Thatcher supporter’ as in some ways I find such broadbrush descriptions (‘he admitted that he supported toothpaste’) to be almost meaningless. I have previously outlined why I think as Prime Minister the women undertook what were undoubtedly necessary reforms that, I suspect, would not have been undertaken by any other political leader of the time. Certainly you can disagree with her policies, but any discussion of them deserves to be intelligent, informed and rational. Likening the woman to Hitler as Boyle does is not intelligent, informed or rational.
Perhaps most disturbing is this from an Alex Callinicos, who (I read) is Professor of European Studies at King's College, London, and member of the Central Committee of the Socialist Workers Party. He says: ‘Murder was Thatcher's business. Sometimes the murder was metaphorical – of industries and communities. It still destroyed people's lives. Sometimes the murder was real. Thatcher over-saw the ongoing dirty war in Ireland.’
His comments invite, off the top of my head, these questions: what would he say about those who promoted the motor car in the early years of the 2oth century and murdered the livery stable and horse trading industries? What would he say about Apple, Microsoft and the rest of have murdered the typewriter and word processor manufacturing industries? How does he feel about the various Asian countries who modernised their economies and began producing steel and other consumer goods more efficiently and cheaper than Britain which led to the demise – OK, if you insist ‘murder’ if you insist – of Britain’s steel and white goods industries?
As for the ‘real murder’, what does the professor have to say about the IRA bombings in Ireland and England, in London, Manchester and Armagh, for example? Arguably the bomb attack in Brighton when Thatcher herself was the target – arguably – was ‘legitimate’, but blowing to pieces ordinary folk who were guilty of nothing else but walking past the spot where a bomb was detonated would seem just a tad infra-dig.
These outbursts, I think, have their roots in Britain’s chronic and bizarre ‘them and us’ mentality, which is not just a mere disagreement about how the country should be run but incorporates real, visceral hatred. And as someone who dislikes a great deal, not least hypocrisy, Mr Hatton, but can honestly say he ‘hates’ nothing, I find it incomprehensible.
Here are a few pictures of how some in Britain ‘celebrated’ Thatcher’s death.
Astute political judgment from four young women who were not yet born by the time Thatcher resigned. But to be young is very heaven. Things are always quite simple, rather like political judgment
More intelligent discourse here in the free world.