As the world mourns the loss of one of the greatest stateswomen of the 20th century, Washington Post London bureau chief Anthony Faiola wrote yesterday that Margaret Thatcher’s death “appears to be opening old wounds.” To do so, however, Faiola selectively picked up anecdotes of left-wing hate-mongering, such as how the UK's leading conservative paper Faiola noted how the UK's Tory-leaning Telegraph newspaper had to close down the comments section about Lady Thatcher’s death due to the depraved vitriol of the nation’s left wing Internet trolls.
Faiola's prime example of how Lady Thatcher's death was dividing Great Britain was the occasional outbreak of leftists punks dancing in the streets in celebration of the former prime minister's death. Included in the story was a photograph from St. George's Square in Glasgow, where it seems only about 15-20 people showed up to figuratively dance on the Iron Lady's grave.
The Post staffer turned to one such jerk, one James Doleman, whom he merely described as a writer and activist, saying, “the deep division she caused has been reflected in her death.” A quick Web search shows Doleman has a history of activism in the Scottish Socialist Party, which wants to re-nationalize most British industry and calls for, among other pipe dreams, a completely "free" public transit system in Scotland. The SSP is a marginal party in Scotland, with no representation in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, let alone any seats in Westminster. Only one city council member elected under the SSP banner serves in office presently.
Of course Doleman doesn’t like Thatcher. She ate his ideology’s lunch for over a decade to such an extent that Labour today, to be politically viable, shifted a few ticks to the right on economic management, finding its high-water mark under generally capitalism-friendly Tony Blair.
Finally, Faiola failed to account for this: How can the death of a prime minister who left office nearly 22 1/2 years ago open old wounds when half the country views hers positively? In his own story, Faiola couldn't help but mention, even as he buried the fact, that a new shows 50 percent of Britons with a favorable view of Thatcher compared to the 34 percent who hate her.
That leaves a healthy plurality, of course, who have mixed viewers or don't really care either way. An unbiased journalist might write a story that contains viewpoints from everyday Britons keeping calm and carrying on with their lives, rather than amplifying the vocal minority who bitterly seethe with a rage that controls their pathetic lives.
Corrected from earlier: Earlier version said Thatcher "left office nearly 12 1/2 years ago." That was a typo. Thatcher stepped down as prime minister in November 1990.