Robert Hampton

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15th April 2013

Posted by at 11.31pm | No responses | Politics

I was completely bored of Margaret Thatcher news by about 3pm on Monday afternoon, and subsequent events have not cheered me up. A “ceremonial” funeral costing in excess of £10 million? Turning off Big Ben? A massive militaristic procession through London? Bah humbug.

Watching Tory politicians falling over themselves to offer fulsome tributes was a bit nauseating. Amidst all the whitewashing of Thatcher’s legacy (Falklands and “sick man of Europe” talked up, miners, gay people and the unemployed overlooked), Glenda Jackson’s heartfelt tribute came as something of a breath of fresh air. I love how the Tory hecklers fail to knock her off her stride.

That said, the “campaign” to try and get Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead to Number 1 annoyed me too. As it is, all the campaign achieved was to put the BBC in an awkward position: the right-wing press attacked it for “disrespect” for even countenancing the playing of the song, then the corporation was accused by the left of “censorship” when it decided not to play it. I know it was just a bit of fun, but I can’t help but think that the energy would have been better directed elsewhere.

The rows over the funeral, the tributes and the song have demonstrated that the old divisions of the 1980s have resurfaced (if they ever truly went away). As the Guardian points out, the tabloid press is again ranting about “lefties”. A lot of the battles of the 80s are still being fought today.

Hopefully, after Wednesday, this extended Conservative Party Political Broadcast will finally be over.

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