Wednesday was the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The British and world media tried to play down protests and dissent. Those protesting in London were herded into specific locations and press coverage was slight. In other parts of the U.K. though some British people let their anger at Thatcher and her policies rip.
In London hundreds of protesters turned their backs on her coffin as the funeral cortege made its way through the capital. One older man, close to St Paul's Cathedral, carried a banner about the obscene cost of the funeral during austere times but Thatcher supporters drowned him out.
"Tory scum" was voiced by some protesters in London. In a mining community, Goldthorpe, South Yorkshire, which could have been a million miles from London, a mock funeral was held for Baroness Thatcher.
It had an effigy of Maggie, carried through the town in a mock funeral procession. The whole community turned out to celebrate Maggie's demise. A wreath off flowers accompanied the effigy. Carrying a funeral message these flowers represented hate not love and certainly not respect. They read SCAB, the word for strike breakers in the U.K.
Mrs Thatcher is the first Prime Minister to receive such a mixed bag of emotions following death. In life politicians stir up varying reactions but in death most gripes are widely forgotten. Respect is the order of the day and protests at the funeral of a former Prime Minister of Britain were unheard off. Not any more. Maggie changed that too. As with most Thatcher changes it is a negative change.
The mock funeral held in Goldthorpe was timed to coincide with the real funeral in London. Hundreds attended the mock funeral and the Star reports "Crowds gathered at outside the Union Jack Memorial Club where an effigy of the late Tory leader hung from a noose beside signs that read: “Thatcher the milk snatcher” and “Thatcher the scab”.
Some turned up in National Coal Board-style overalls, complete with soot-blackened faces, hard hats and headlamps.Three traditional pit and NUM banners which extolled the virtues of socialism, collectivism and unity were paraded past, prompting applause.
And songs including Rod Stewart’s Maggie May, which includes the line “Wake up Maggie, I think I’ve got something to say to you”, and Going Underground by The Jam were played from the club".
Goldthorpe was not alone. In Liverpool people were shown dancing on the street shouting "Dead, Dead, Maggie's Dead".
Rent-a-mob and drunken louts swelled the ranks of some "death" parties and protests but the message was clear. Many people in Britain hated Baroness Thatcher. The hurt she caused was long-lasting. Second generations have felt its effects.
Thatcher is gone and for many in Britain it is "good riddance to bad rubbish"
Note: This report is necessary. Mainstream news reports have tried to play down dissent but it was there in bucket loads.
Only in the UK
Yorkshire woman Eileen Kersey is the creator, editor and writer of TEK staff blogs, Only in the UK and this site's other staff blogs.
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