Sticking it to Thatcher’s corpse

The political necrophiliacs dancing at ‘death parties’ disrespect the British people as much as Thatcher.

Patrick Hayes

Topics Politics

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It is apt that ‘Ding Dong the Witch is Dead’ became the soundtrack to the sad troupe of left-wingers who took to the streets, champagne glasses in hand, to toast the death of Baroness Thatcher last week. They will, doubtless, chant it again during her funeral procession today. It is apt not because there really was something of the wicked witch about Thatcher, but rather because such a characterisation speaks volumes about the frankly medieval attitude now adopted by what remains of the radical left.

Those supposedly ‘braving the rain’ last Saturday to don party hats and do the conga in Trafalgar Square, and, earlier in the week, those bravely holding Thatcher-death parties in Brixton and Glasgow, were actually demonstrating extraordinary cowardice. Here were people incapable of taking on the Wicked Witch and defeating her ideas in life, who were only to happy to cheer her death. It was as if the mere fact that an 89-year-old woman had gone to meet her maker was some kind of political achievement they had helped bring about. One man at the Trafalgar Square party on Saturday even wore a homemade t-shirt bearing a drawing of Thatcher alongside the words ‘Gotcha’ – referring to the famous Sun front page celebrating the sinking of the Belgrano warship during the Falklands War.

Such celebrations amount to political necrophilia, with the protesters sticking it to Maggie’s corpse in a way they never could to the woman at the height her political powers. The fact that the date of the Trafalgar Square party was organised decades ago – the sole legacy of the now-defunct organisation Class War – with chants of ‘Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, Die!, Die!, Die!’ having long since become commonplace on left-wing and even student demonstrations shows the duration and appeal of the left’s Maggie-death fetish.

The weekend parade had a deeply medieval feel. It was as if those present really believed Thatcher had cast a spell over modern Britain which can now finally be broken. The witch is dead, we are free at last! All will have milk! The individualist, consumerist scales will fall from our eyes! Rejoice, rejoice as one, erm, Big Society, and embrace the alternative the left has to offer (whatever that may be).

The casting of Thatcher as the Wicked Witch also serves to cast the people of Britain as moronic Munchkins, idiots stupefied by Thatcher’s enchanting policies. This attitude has long been a left-wing staple, right from the early 1980s when left-wing theorist Stuart Hall saw Thatcher harnessing the ‘the fears, the anxieties, the lost identities of a people’. What else could explain the fact that many of the ignorant masses chose not to support Labour at successive elections?

The elaborate theories invented to rationalise the so-called false consciousness of the stupid masses, who in truth merely hoped to better their lot and get on, are patronising and disingenuous. In fact, those who have really been duped are the pockets of sad individuals – old and young – who still believe Thatcher has the country in her Iron Grip two decades after leaving office.

These individuals are now confronted with something of a dilemma: now that Maggie, Maggie, Maggie actually is Dead, Dead, Dead, who can they blame for the public’s lack of interest in their ideas? How will they explain the fact that the green shoots of the socialist society Thatcher supposedly trampled into the dirt don’t reappear? With Thatcher gone, who can they blame for people’s continued interest in material betterment?

One protester-cum-partygoer provided the answer in a banner: ‘Thatcher still haunts us’, it declared. So while Thatcher’s body may have expired, her ghost still lingers. What a relief for the left-wingers who would be lost without her: ‘The Witch is Dead: Long Live the Witch!’

Patrick Hayes is a columnist for spiked.

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Topics Politics


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