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The media’s disgust as Socialist Worker rejoiced at Thatcher’s death

This article is over 11 years, 1 months old
Issue 2348

Montage of newspapers

The day after Margaret Thatcher died the newspapers were remarkably uniform—only one broke the mould.

The majority were dominated by a huge photo of Thatcher to bid her a farewell of varying fondness. The Guardian and the Mirror said she’d been “hard” or “divisive” while almost all the rest gave her some degree of credit for “saving Britain”.

Only Socialist Worker dared to say what millions of working class people were thinking: Rejoice!

And did that ever put the cat among the pigeons.

The trade magazine Press Gazette gave us “the prize for most creative use of Photoshop” for our blood-splattered gravestone. The Telegraph’s blogger Tim Stanley went one further with a “Jerk of the Year award”.

Stanley was keen to emphasise at great length how isolated and irrelevant we are. So irrelevant that he had to spend more than 700 words making the point. The Telegraph sent in at least two more feature writers to have ago, and led a page in its print edition with a photo of people celebrating Thatcher’s death with a Socialist Worker placard.

So did the Daily Express and the Daily Mail. The Mail “revealed” among other things that the Brixton Socialist Workers Party (SWP) was part of organising the dead Thatcher festivities in Brixton, south London, that Labour and Sinn Fein leaders were so quick to condemn.

It accused Brixton SWP member Rahul Patel of being disrespectful. He told the horrified reporter “I am being disrespectful and I am glad at that. We are rejoicing at her death.”

We’ve got more news for them. Rahul wasn’t the only one. Before the lush tributes had hit the printing press on Monday night people were rejoicing across Britain—many of them readers of Socialist Worker.

The miners, the print workers, the LGBT people who lived under section 28, the soldiers sent to the Malvinas, those who rioted against racism or the poll tax, and everyone who knew what it was to live in poverty in the 1980s had those memories brought back when Thatcher finally died.

We’re proud to be associated with working class people’s hatred of Thatcher. We want to remind David Cameron how much the Tories are despised—and that even the toughest can be brought down in tears.

That’s why we’re hosting a public meeting in London on the night of Thatcher’s funeral, introduced by a former striking miner, with speakers on Thatcher and Apartheid, and fighting the poll tax. And it’s why you should join us.

THATCHER’S TOXIC LEGACY AND FIGHTING THE TORIES TODAY. Wednesday 17 April, 7pm, Upper Hall, University of London Union (ULU),

Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY


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