“IT’S the legacy we hate, not the person,” said John Paul Coyle, as he stood in the heart of Glasgow’s George Square wearing a T-shirt declaring Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead, illustrated by a small, green-tinted picture of the late Baroness Thatcher.
Yesterday morning several thousand protesters, including trade union members, MSPs and anti-austerity campaigners, assembled in the square to protest against Trident, ahead of a blockade of the Faslane Naval Base on the Clyde tomorrow. After the Scrap Trident march wound down, a small core of about 40 to 50 stayed. Their mission? To hold a “George Square Thatcher Death Party”.
The phrase was said to have originated with the Glasgow band Mogwai’s 2011 song of the same name (the band did not appear, but on the day of Thatcher’s death tweeted a link to the song with the statement “party time!”).
Yesterday’s “party” was modest. There was no champagne, just a sound system blasting out tunes such as Anarchy In The UK by the Sex Pistols, a few young men with masks on their faces and a cardboard effigy of Thatcher with painted red eyes clutching a small Union Jack.
About 12 protesters attempted a conga while chanting “Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, dead, dead, dead”. Most were under 30, if not 25. Why come to celebrate the death of a woman who lost power before you were born?
“Because Thatcher, and everything she stood for, is still relevant to me and my generation,” said one participant, 21-year-old Clopin Meehan, a film studies student at the University of Glasgow. “We live with her legacies. We’re the ones who are paying for it.”
After the conga the effigy was thrown on the ground. The same small crowd jumped on it, shouting “We’re dancing on Thatcher because she’s dead” and “You’re not breathing any more”.
In the background, the sound system could be heard. The song? Snap’s I’ve Got The Power.