Since the day that Margaret Thatcher died there has been a succession of protests and, equally, a string of establishment figures exhorting protesters to keep within the law. Today that sage advice was jeopardised by an injudicious decision by the BBC.
Those who have downloaded the Wizard of Oz song ‘Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead’ were certainly making a peaceful protest and the fact that this has been frustrated by the BBC may well prove to be an enormous mistake. Many people are disaffected and shocked by the grandiose scale of Thatcher’s funeral. It is as if a great wartime national hero has died. Thatcher was no Churchill, a man who united the country. Thatcher’s strident pursuance of her policies was at the expense of unity, creating a division in British society (Oops! Did I say society?) the like of which had not happened for over three hundred years.
Those who have spoken against Thatcher since her death have been vilified by the press who, with many of the public alike, have officiously demanded that dissenters should show some respect. On the surface that seems a reasonable request, except that many people did not respect Thatcher before her death and want to know why they should respect her simply because she has died? This week has been characterised with abuse being heaped on anyone whose views differ from those perpetuating the insufferable, smug, sanctimonious national eulogy for Margaret Hilda Thatcher.
Alastair Campbell, the communications director for the Blair government, accused the Prime Minister of deliberately politicising the death of Margaret Thatcher: “The Conservatives are supposed to believe in tradition and precedent. Yet Cameron decided to ditch both, tear up his own travel plans, and head back to London effectively to demand a recall of parliament. The break with tradition and precedent, the recall of parliament, and the nature of the funeral arrangements – effectively a State funeral by stealth, without full parliamentary approval – which have politicised the death in a way that was not necessary and risks becoming horribly divisive, that word so often associated with Mrs Thatcher’s style and policies,” he said. When told about Campbell’s accusations, David Cameron arrogantly responded: “Oh, well I think we can discount that.”
The question must be asked: how much would playing this song have affected the Thatcher family: is it really likely that any of them would listening to the Chart 40 show on Radio 1 on Sunday evening? Highly unlikely really, isn’t it? I personally believe that this ding dong, and the protests are much less about Thatcher and more about the absurdity of a near-State Funeral. Cameron and his dimwitted government politicised Thatcher’s funeral and now the BBC have ensured that the peaceful protesters have had their harmless voice silenced.