For all the gushing plaudits and tributes dedicated to Margaret Thatcher upon her death, she remains an extremely divisive figure, especially in Britain. As such, not everyone is ready to let her rest in peace, instead taking to their social media soapboxes to sound off about the former prime minister. The site IsThatcherDeadYet.co.uk, for instance, declares "Yes: This lady's not returning" and asks, "How are you celebrating?" with a link to an appropriate anti-Thatcher playlist and planned parties. That's not all.
Paul Routledge of the Mirror writes:
She changed everything, and for millions it was change for the worse. There was nothing like her before, and there has been nothing like her since. Thank God. Margaret Thatcher’s death is mourned by half the nation, and celebrated by the other half. Never can there have been such a divisive figure in British public life.
Ken Livingstone, a former Labour leader and mayor of London, told Sky News:
She created today's housing crisis. She created the banking crisis. And she created the benefits crisis. It was her government that started putting people on incapacity benefit rather than register them as unemployed because the Britain she inherited was broadly full employment. She decided when she wrote off our manufacturing industry that she could live with two or three million unemployed, and the benefits bill, the legacy of that, we are struggling with today. In actual fact, every real problem we face today is the legacy of the fact that she was fundamentally wrong.
Kevin Maguire at the Mirror adds:
I was there in the 1980s, I know what the reality was like.
So I send my condolences to two children who have lost a mother but I shed no crocodile tears for Thatcherism.
Critics of the Falklands War are also speaking out. "From the human point of view, her death is regrettable," said Juan Carlos Ianuzzo, of the Association for Falklands Veterans in Buenos Aires. "But we never agreed with her actions during the war, especially the sinking of the Belgrano. We did not hold her in high regard." Victor Hugo Morales, a journalist in Argentina, concurs: "She killed hundreds of innocents. So we will not allow a tear for this woman. The damage projected over the last 30 years of humanity cannot be measured in words. For Argentines, it was Thatcher who murdered hundreds of Argentines."
English protest singer Billy Bragg writes on Facebook:
One of those rare days when I'm not having to sleep on a moving tour bus, so I decided to treat myself to a lie-in. The phone rang a couple of times in the night, but I ignored it, assuming it was a wrong number. Got up late to find that breakfast had finished and heavy snow had fallen overnight. Headed out onto the streets of Calgary to find coffee. Power up my wifi and what do I find? Thatcher's dead and I've got a dozen emails to answer about her. Not content with destroying the ability of working people to organise in the workplace for decent wages, that damn woman has seriously messed up my day off.
"Margaret on the Guillotine" singer Morrissey (sample lyric: "When will you die?") chimes in:
Thatcher will only be fondly remembered by sentimentalists who did not suffer under her leadership, but the majority of British working people have forgotten her already, and the people of Argentina will be celebrating her death. As a matter of recorded fact, Thatcher was a terror without an atom of humanity.
And, of course, on Twitter:
Condolences to my British friends for the 1980s.— Teju Cole (@tejucole) April 8, 2013
No need to speak ill of those dead about whom speaking truth is far more damning.— Teju Cole (@tejucole) April 8, 2013
Maggie is now working on a plan to privatise Hell.#thatcher— Mick Ferry (@MickFerry) April 8, 2013
Nope. She's not here.— Princess Diana (@DianaInHeaven) April 8, 2013
Rattner is right of course that you can be a Democrat Thatcherite and that is basically why everything sucks— Alex Pareene (@pareene) April 8, 2013
Say what you like about Margaret Thatcher. ... her government supported Pinochet, Saddam, Suharto and the House of Saud— David Wearing (@davidwearing) April 8, 2013
Let us remember those who died from the stress of the unemployment she caused #thatcher— AdamRamsay (@AdamRamsay) April 8, 2013
What a terrible shame - that it wasn't 87 years earlier— Mark Steel (@mrmarksteel) April 8, 2013
Gap between Thatcher the icon and Maggie the PM has vanished -- similar to what happened to Reagan. Cultural significance trumped politics.— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) April 8, 2013
Tories believe in division and inequality Thatcher defined that and Thatcherism continues today as bad or worse than her period in office.— Joe Anderson (@joeforliverpool) April 8, 2013
Thatcher described Nelson Mandela as a "terrorist". I was there. I saw her lips move. May she burn in the hellfires.— George Galloway (@georgegalloway) April 8, 2013
This post has been updated throughout.