Maragret Thatcher: Tweets reveal a nation divided

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TWITTER feeds yesterday revealed a picture of a virtual nation divided over the political legacy of Baroness Thatcher.

Supporters and opponents took to the social networking site to give their views on the passing of the former premier.

Businessman and television personality Lord Sugar suggested that Baroness Thatcher had allowed businessmen such as him to flourish during her time in power. He said: “Baroness Thatcher in the 80s kick started the entrepreneurial revolution that allowed chirpy chappies to succeed and not just the elite.”

Former Tory MP Louise Mensch said that Baroness Thatcher “was a colossus and the best of Britain”.

In a reference to Baroness Thatcher’s attitude towards trade unions, social justice campaigner Neil Griffiths, tweeted “in memory of Margaret Thatcher – join a trade union today”.

Left-wing writer Owen Jones, author of the bestselling book Demonization of the Chavs, said “Thatcherism lives on. Nothing to celebrate” as he claimed the former prime minister’s policies were now being pursued by the coalition government.

Liverpool mayor Joe Murphy said that the Conservatives believe in “division and inequality” and that Baroness Thatcher “defined that and Thatcherism continues today as bad or worse than her period in office”.

Political activist and writer Laurie Penny also expressed sympathy for the family, but attacked her policies as Prime Minister. “Thatcher has died. Her legacy lives on. Sympathies to her family, and to the families of all who suffered because of her leadership” she wrote.

But there was more praise for Baroness Thatcher from journalist Tim Montgomerie, who regularly posts on the ConservativeHome website. He said: “Terrible to hear the news about Lady Thatcher. Thoughts and prayers with her family. She was a mother and grandmother as well as a great PM.”

Labour supporting writer John O’Farrell talked about how the “person I once hated more than any other has died” but said he was “just sad so much hatred was stirred up”.

Satirist Armando Iannucci said: “We now live in a country in which John Major is our greatest living politician.”

Actor and writer Stephen Fry said: “Such a force in Britain through my university days through to my 30s.”