“MAGGIE DEAD”, screamed The Sun.
“REJOICE!”, cried the Socialist Worker.
“Margaret Thatcher: 1925–2013”, led The Times, The Telegraph, and The Independent with rather more dignity.
News last Monday of the death of the former British Prime Minister started it all: a week in which the public were accused of bad taste, broadcasters were accused of bias, and (in my opinion) the state massively overstepped the mark.
Above it all, one phrase was used over and over again: that Baroness Thatcher is proving as divisive in death as she was in life.
What a poetic observation. And how witty. It’s all awfully clever.
But there’s something very unpleasant, I feel, about celebrating the death of somebody… anybody. Sure, she may have snatched the milk from a generation. And she may have ‘ripped the heart out of society’. Don’t mention the trade unions.
Yesterday, I didn’t know that in the run-up to the Pope’s mid-September UK visit, 20,000 football shirts had been made. I wrote a blog this afternoon about the total flop that they had been, but in doing so I found out an incredible fact about the monetary cost of the trip.
The cost to UK taxpayers was £12 million, and the Catholic Church footed a further £7 million bill.