Margaret Thatcher critics berate former PM

George Galloway: Comments sparked row. Picture: Getty
George Galloway: Comments sparked row. Picture: Getty
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THE death of Baroness Thatcher led to criticism from her opponents about her political legacy and the lasting impact of her 11 years in power.

Former Glasgow MP George Galloway sparked a row on Twitter after apparently expressing his satisfaction at her death.

Much of the criticism aimed at Baroness Thatcher was directed at her stance over issues such as the 1984-85 miners’ strike and privatisation of dockyards. John Park, the policy and strategy director the Community trade union, claimed that many were still angry about job losses in heavy industries during the Thatcher years.

Mr Park, a former Labour MSP who was also a dockyard worker in the 1980s, said: “People respect the fact that someone has died and want her family to have time to grieve and come to terms with the situation. At the same time, a lot of people I have spoken to still said they felt angry about the lasting impact of her time as prime minister.

“People are still very angry for example about what happened to the mining industry in places like West Fife and the impact of the privatisation of dockyards in Scotland.”

Mr Galloway, the Respect MP for Bradford West, wrote “Tramp the dirt down” on his Twitter feed – the name of a song by Elvis Costello in which he attacked the former PM.

In it Costello sings: “When England was the whore of the world / Margaret was her madam.” It continues: “Cos when they finally put you in the ground / They’ll stand there laughing and tramp the dirt down.”

In a further message on the social networking site, Mr Galloway said: “Thatcher described Nelson Mandela as a ‘terrorist’. I was there. I saw her lips move. May she burn in the hellfires.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie claimed that the Thatcher governments had divided society and presided over mass unemployment.

He said: “Mrs Thatcher had a profound and divisive impact on our society, and her passing should be a moment not only to remember her as an individual, but to redouble our resolve to tackle the damaging political legacy she left us.”

Former Scottish Socialist leader Tommy Sheridan, who played a key role in opposing Baroness Thatcher’s poll tax, said: “This woman brought despair and division across England, Wales and Scotland. Her legacy is one of mass unemployment and heroin ravaged communities.

“There will be no mourning in the majority of working-class households, but our natural humanity probably prevents us from celebrating as we are better than her and her ilk.”

Singer Morrissey, a long-time critic, berated her as “barbaric” and “without an atom of humanity”.