“The Iron Lady’s” Death Brings chaos to The U.K.

Megan O'Leary

Last Monday, April 8, Former Prime Minister of the U.K. Margaret Thatcher passed away after suffering a stroke the night before in the Ritz Hotel in London. Many were devastated by the death, but a fair few were causing some controversy throughout The UK.

Even though Thatcher was hated by few, She was loved by many for her many accomplishments. In 1979, she was elected the first woman Prime Minister of The United Kingdom, and was also the longest serving Prime Minister of the 20th century. She served three terms,  including her final one during the cold war. A soviet Journalist gave her the name “The Iron Lady”, associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style. During that time she became close allies with our Former President, Ronald Reagan.

Since her death, many opposed to Thatcher are actually celebrating. Many are throwing “Death Parties”. Hundreds of people filled London’s Trafalgar Square on Saturday, April 13. Many of those were former coal miners involved in the year-long strike against the Iron Lady’s government in the 1980s. Along with the miners were far-left activists and students who drank to the Iron Lady’s demise. That same day, some fans of Liverpool football club held up anti-Thatcher banners at a Premier League match reading “We’re gonna have a party” and chanted “Maggie’s dead, dead, dead”.

A song from the musical the Wizard of Oz, “Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead”, has become a popular song among the anti-Thatcher party, and has shot up the singles charts this last week. On Monday, following the news, critics of Thatcher urged users on sites like Facebook and Twitter to download the song, leading it to quickly top the iTunes download charts. The Song was beginning to play on the radio as well, and many believe that it should be banned. New BBC Director General Tony Hall has explained on BBC’s Popular Radio Station ‘Radio 1’, “I personally believe it is distasteful and inappropriate…However I do believe it would be wrong to ban the song outright as free speech is an important principle and a ban would only give it more publicity.”

Back in 1984, The Irish Republican Army (IRA) from Northern Ireland tried to kill Thatcher with a bomb that ripped apart the hotel she was staying in for the Conservative Party conference in the English resort of Brighton. When they had heard the news of her death this past week, they came back with sayings such as “Iron Lady: Rust In Peace.” Many younger Irish nationalist took it a step further and began to Graffiti things such as: “Iron lady? Rust in hell.” Another says: “Maggie rot in hell”. The Nationalist blamed Thatcher for more than a decade of strife, death and destruction. As well as the IRA member Bobby Sands and nine other young men starved themselves to death protesting for political prisoner status (The Hunger Strikes of the 1980’s).

The Funeral has been set for April 17 at St. Paul’s Cathedral, in London. The funeral will be attended the Queen and many other foreign dignitaries.