Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Thatcher's final insult

Margaret Thatcher's final insult to the people of the UK? Pre-emptive arrests for her funeral:

Police officers are monitoring social media, internet forums and BlackBerry messaging networks in the expectation that Margaret Thatcher's funeral procession next Wednesday will be targeted by protesters.

The possibility of demonstrations during the funeral has raised concerns that police may adopt the controversial tactic of making pre-emptive arrests.

Thatcher was a public figure, and it is entirely appropriate for the people to express their views of her and her time in power on her death. Those views may be unpalatable to those currently in power, but the UK is supposedly a country with freedom of speech and assembly, and those rights do not suddenly disappear just because someone is dead. Or because those in power want their chosen narrative to be uncontested.

Meanwhile, The Guardian seems to be trying to de-legitimise the spontaneous celebrations which erupted on word of Thatcher's death:
Police were called to a number of incidents in London and Glasgow on Monday night after a series of "parties" were held to "celebrate" the death of Thatcher. Chuka Umunna, the Labour MP for Streatham, made clear his anger on Twitter after a "party" was held in the Windrush Square area of Brixton in his constituency.

Why the scare quotes? Can't they officially admit that a lot of people were actually rather pleased by Thatcher's death?