Comments

  1. says

    Its come on the same day that government is withdrawing disability benefits for 400,000+ needy people.

    Will I get chucked out the atheist club for saying this is karma? lol

  2. says

    The sickening sycophants are comparing her to Winston Churchill. The sound you hear is Winston spinning in his grave. She wouldn’t even match up to one of his cigar stubs.

  3. don1 says

    The Thatcher I hated (and it’s not too strong a word) died years ago leaving a husk, an old lady with dementia. I don’t feel anything.

  4. Jeff D says

    When I heard the news this morning, I thought immediately of that very short but beautiful song by Chumbawamba, on their “The Boy Bands Have Won” album, with lyrics delivered in the first person by Mrs. Thatcher: And if I should sleep / bury me deep.

    The song manages to mention her early push to get rid of the schoolchildren’s daily milk subsidy and her actions against the coal miners’ union(s).

  5. azportsider says

    Well, I was still happier when Reagan died, because it was my country he fucked up.

  6. says

    MacLeod Cartoons quoted this on Facebook:

    “A Dead Statesman”, by Rudyard Kipling

    I could not dig; I dared not rob:
    Therefore I lied to please the mob.
    Now all my lies are proved untrue
    And I must face the men I slew.
    What tale shall serve me here among
    Mine angry and defrauded young?

  7. Moggie says

    don1:

    The Thatcher I hated (and it’s not too strong a word) died years ago leaving a husk, an old lady with dementia. I don’t feel anything.

    This. Since the 80s, I’ve been saying that I’d dance on her grave. But now that the day has arrived… nothing. She got away from us.

  8. UnknownEric is GrumpyCat in human form says

    A playlist for today:

    Elvis Costello – Tramp the Dirt Down
    Billy Bragg – Between The Wars
    Morrissey – Margaret on the Guillotine
    The Beat – Stand Down Margaret
    UB40 – Madam Medusa
    Hefner – The Day Thatcher Dies
    Crass – How Does It Feel To Be The Mother of a Thousand Dead
    The The – Heartland
    Terry Edwards & the Scapegoats – Margaret Thatcher, We Still Hate You
    The Specials – Maggie’s Farm
    Calvin Party – Lies, Lies, and Government
    Mogwai – George Square Thatcher Death Party
    Julian Cope – Promised Land
    Sinead O’Connor – Black Boys on Mopeds
    Pink Floyd – Pigs
    Momus – Sex For The Disabled

  9. Dick the Damned says

    I met her once. I was walking as fast as i could along Upper Belgrave Street in London, headed for a meeting. I saw a car pull up to the curb. The next thing, I noticed a figure heading diagonally across the sidewalk on a collision course with me. I looked at the person, & got an immediate impression of looking at a Grimm’s fairy-tale witch. It was her.

  10. Emrysmyrddin says

    Thatcher the Milk Snatcher died years ago; it still doesn’t stop the party in my head today. /party

  11. Andy Groves says

    @faehnrich. Apparently the only paper she published was on how to use emulsifiers to introduce more air into soft-servce ice cream. I can’t think of a better way to describe her less-is-more economic policies.

  12. thumper1990 says

    Ugh, my Tory-supporting friend is already getting all misty-eyed about this on FB.

    Apparently there’s some sort of party at 6pm this Saturday in Trafalgar Square. I’m seriously considering going…

  13. sonofrojblake says

    Princess Diana was interred on an island in a lake on a private estate, as otherwise her memorial would likely have been constantly being mobbed by hordes of people who admired her.

    I have said for a long time that Thatcher’s remains will need to be interred somewhere similarly inaccessible, for very much the opposite reason.

    I can’t see the establishment permitting footage on CNN of the likely queue of people with full bladders. It’s hard to convey to anyone who did not live through it was a divisive figure she was. It wasn’t merely that she systematically attacked and destroyed the working class – it was that she clearly enjoyed it.

    Ding dong, indeed.

  14. drxym says

    At least she managed to remove the union’s stranglehold on parliamentary democracy. Look at what happened to the two governments before hers – both brought low by unions engaging in unballoted and sympathy strikes. I’m sorry for the miners, but it was the NUM which decided to force the issue to eventual their ruin.

  15. Bernard Bumner says

    Pundits scratch around to find a positive spin for Thatcher’s legacy, and seemingly the best of it is that, love her or hate her, she was a towering figure in British politics. So she was, but every positive achievement of her government, like PACE, can be set against acts of calculated harm, like the breaking of the miners, the fire-sale of British nationalised industries, or the smearing of Hillsborough victims.

    The Tory party is currently crusading against the long-term unemployed, casting them as feckless benefits scroungers; the very same Tories who are currently eulogising that Thatcher smashing the unions and rebalancing the economy by destroying manufacturing saved Great Britain.

    Thatcher is dead. Thatcher is everywhere.

  16. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    At least she managed to remove the union’s stranglehold on parliamentary democracy.

    Yep. It’s always those pesky people getting in the government’s way. Don’t they know theirs is to serve ?

  17. says

    My co-worker (who’s 23) said, “Who’s Margaret Thatcher?”

    He’s not an ignorant guy, either. What are they teaching the kids at school these days?

  18. possum says

    UnknownEric @13

    You could add:

    Attila the Stockbroker – Maggots 1 Maggie 0

    You can play it from his myspace page. Only 588 plays, I think it deserves more.

  19. says

    Here’s another one for your list, Unknown Eric:

    Wallflowers by MC Frontalot

    I’ve got a new dance called The Margaret Thatcher.
    It’ll get in your pants, you’d better call the dispatcher
    of deliverers of increased pants awesomeness.
    Get the awesomest pants they offer.
    Preposterous shoes are also required for the moves,
    although sensible footwear or barefoot behooves
    and all attire’s optional.
    You only ever do it when there’s nobody watching you.

    Do it. Do The Margaret Thatcher.
    Just do it. Do The Margaret Thatcher, y’all.

    Here’s a little something for the
    wallflowers in the room,
    all my people at the party for whom
    the dance don’t come natural.
    Enhance your stature. Fall
    into the routine they call
    The Margaret Thatcher, y’all.

    Do The Margaret Thatcher.
    Do The Margaret Thatcher, y’all.

    Step One:
    Wiggle, wobble, wriggle,
    coddle your young,
    intensify your ennui,
    then before you get done,
    put your left foot over to the left if you dare,
    then pretend you got scared,
    then point at your hair.

    Step Two:
    Elevate everything up,
    increase any numbers that you’re in control of,
    then Skip to The Lou,
    then stand stock still,
    then illustrate for everyone your ultimate skill.

    Do it. Just do it.

    Ill is the manner of the dancing you do.
    Calibrate it so that anybody’d think that you’re too
    intensely unhealthy to move like that.
    Take the multiple indignities: a dance floor fact.
    Don’t retract unless you’re starting a move,
    and don’t begin a motion unless you follow it through,
    and don’t do anything I wouldn’t condone
    except a dance named after a villainous crone.

  20. Bernard Bumner says

    I’m sorry for the miners, but it was the NUM which decided to force the issue to eventual their ruin.

    Thatcher decided she was going to crush the unions, and she wanted the fight as much as the NUM:

    “We had to fight the enemy without in the Falklands. We always have to be aware of the enemy within, which is much more difficult to fight and more dangerous to liberty.”

    Thatcher made an example of miners. After the strike, she set about dismantling not just union power, but the industry itself. What Scargill warned of duly came to pass. She was brutal, unfair, and merciless.

  21. Louis says

    I said this on PET (with minor edits):

    1) She was an amazingly high achieving woman who broke a very thick glass ceiling to rule a first world nation. That should be celebrated.

    2) She was a “good beta chemist” (in the words of her tutor) and carried her support of science into her politics. That should be celebrated.

    3) She was a deeply wrong, deeply conservative nightmare who caused great harm to this country (the UK), she is now dead. That should be celebrated.

    The only great sadness, apart from the human tragedy for her family, is her ideological heirs live on in every damned party worth a name in this nation, and we are suffering the toxic elements of her legacy still.

    Louis

  22. Louis says

    Posterity will ne’er watch o’er
    A nobler scene than this.
    Here lie the bones of Thatcher.
    Stop traveller, and piss.

    Louis (With minor credit to Lord Byron and apologies for terrible scansion/rhyming ;-) )

  23. AsqJames says

    drxym said:

    I’m sorry for the miners, but it was the NUM which decided to force the issue to eventual their ruin.

    Er, no. The miners were specifically targeted by Thatcher. Her government provoked that strike at that time because they needed to defeat the miners before they could take on the rest of the unions who were weaker. Scargill and the NUM fell for it and made a tactical mistake at the start in not taking a ballot, both of which were factors in their eventual defeat, but there is no doubt whatsoever that Thatcher went looking for it in the first place.

  24. frog says

    All the political crap she did was bad enough, but that (tragically) makes her just one of thousands, particularly nowadays.

    That she was at least partially responsible for it being utterly impossible to buy decent ice cream anywhere except directly from a dairy deserves a special level of vituperation.

  25. Evinfuilt says

    I’m still not pulling her photo off of my dart board! My home country is less of a place because of her and her evils. Thank you for the playlist “UnknownEric is GrumpyCat in human form”.

  26. Sili says

    One good thing might be said about her: We likely wouldn’t have had the Montreal Protocol without her.

    It’s interesting to compare to the repeated greenhouse gas fiascos.

    Of course, Blair couldn’t have twisted the arm of Bush even if he’d wanted to. But if he’d had a science degree like the baroness, perhaps – just perhaps – some reality might have intruded on the Kyoto &c. negotiations.

  27. AsqJames says

    @WharGarbl,

    That link says she supported socialized medicine and quotes from her book:

    “I believed that the NHS was a service of which we could genuinely be proud,” she wrote in her book, “It delivered a high quality of care — especially when it came to acute illnesses — and at a reasonably modest unit cost, at least compared with some insurance-based systems.”

    In fact she gave only lip service to the NHS, which she had to because it’s one of the most popular (perhaps the most popular) institution in the UK. In fact she so starved the NHS of funds that in real terms spending on it went down during her term of office, even while for most of that time taxes and overall government spending increased. The Tories have opposed the NHS since before it was founded and have sought to dismantle it ever since. But they can only get elected by promising to look after it (albeit with appropriate “reforms” and “modernisation”), so they lie and lie and lie and lie.

    David Cameron paid the same lip service (“The NHS is safe in our hands” and a manifesto commitment: “No top-down reorganisation of the NHS”), and now he, and many of his fellow MPs (Labour MPs amongst them) will profit from its privatisation.

  28. Irmin says

    The best answer I read today regarding the question whether Thatcher should get a state funeral:

    “Only if they privatise it.”

  29. Gregory Greenwood says

    I have been dodging the excessive, sycophantic eulogising of the so called ‘Iron Lady’ on television and radio for the last few hours, but I was still exposed to Cameron banging on that she didn’t just lead Britain, she saved it…

    … but, shockingly, he failed to elaborate on exactly what she supposedly ‘saved’ this country from.

    It was hardly the Cold War – not even the most ardent Thatcherite could credibly claim that she held ICBMs in their silos with a stern gaze. It couldn’t be her attempt to crush the unions – that ultimately served to do little other than undermine protections for the workforce and facilitate greater corporate exploitation. It also couldn’t be her close support for and relationship with Reagan – the delusionally rightwing former B movie actor who did as much damage to the US as Thatcher did to the UK.

    So that leaves the war over the Falklands/Malvinas with Argentina, a conflict where, contrary to the propaganda we always seem to get over in the UK, it is far from clear that it was Britain that had the better claim to the islands, which really are a relic from the UK’s colonial past, not to mention that we did some ugly stuff in that war – the sinking of the General Belgrano springs to mind. And in any case, the invasion of the Falklands/Malvinas hardly constituted any threat to the UK mainland, so describing her actions as ‘saving’ the United Kingdom smacks of gross hyperbole in the pursuit of an attempt to politically lionize a woman whose legacy of suffering is still felt in the UK and around the world to this day – in short; exactly what I would expect from Cameron.

  30. Gregory Greenwood says

    Draken @ 41;

    Arguably, all of her remains should be sold on ebay to the highest bidder.

    The Ferengi would doubtless approve…

  31. magistramarla says

    Along the same lines, I just read that Annette Funicello died.
    Ding dong, another one is dead!

  32. says

    I decry the terrible things Thatcher did. Milk snatching comes to mind – may not be the worst thing she did by far, but for me it symbolizes Thatcherism.
    I mourn the decent person she wasn’t, but had the potential to be. Any woman’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind…

  33. nmcc says

    #18

    “My two teardrops for Bobby Sands.”

    Bobby Sands the IRA terrorist? Yeah, let’s all shed a tear for him. Fuck Bobby Sands! For christsake, he was a member of an organisation that (to name one of thousands of atrocities they committed) kidnapped and murdered Jean McConville, a single mother of 10 young children, for allegedly giving succour to a young British soldier that they’d shot, before he died. The 10 kids, some of them babies, were left to fend for themselves, whilst Sands’ fellow scumbags in the IRA proceeded to spread rumours about their mother having ran away and left them and so on. No matter how bad Thatcher was (and let’s face it, all she ever did was say plainly that she supported capitalism and was willing to back her words with actions. When was the last time a member of the laughably named ‘Labour’ Party ever had the guts to say they stood for the interests of the working class and were prepared to show as much conviction as Thatcher showed!) she was certainly no worse than the terrorist murderer Sands.

    I come from Northern Ireland and have no truck with either ‘side’, but I think that is a disgraceful thing for Taslima Nasreem to say. And this terrorist supporter is a spokeswoman for the atheists and humanists, is she?

    I think Myers should ban her from commenting on this site for saying such an appalling thing. And I would like to know what the people amongst the atheists (Dawkins?) who have praised her have to say about her ‘tears’ for a terrorist and murdering political gangster.

  34. nmcc says

    Apropos of my comment above: I’m well aware of the discredited and very stupid ‘one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter’ bullshit.

  35. Blattafrax says

    http://youtu.be/xmmomV-ax-s

    But it isn’t as funny as it was yesterday.

    And #18 that’s a pretty sick glorification of a murderer there Taslima. Just because Thatcher was the most divisive, dangerous British prime minister of recent times, doesn’t make her enemies good people.

  36. drxym says

    Yep. It’s always those pesky people getting in the government’s way. Don’t they know theirs is to serve ?

    In a parliamentary democracy people elect a government to lead them. They don’t elect unions, especially the kind in 1970-80’s Britain which didn’t bother to ballot members, unilaterally announced strikes (often sympathy ones), operated closed shops, picketed anywhere they felt like, and generally acted as a disruptive and undemocratic political force. Read about the 3 day week or the Winter of Discontent where unions held the country to ransom.

    It’s really no wonder the conservatives won on a pledge of reforming the economy and labour relations. The employment act basically forced unions to do what they were supposed to do in the first place – represent their workers in employment disputes. The National Union of Miners found out the hard way what happened when they overstepped the law.

    Plenty of things to rag on about Thatcher but overall I consider her to have been a positive force for the “sick man of Europe” as Britain was when she won power.

  37. says

    Sorry, I shed no tears for Thatcher. I shall never forget how she tore up the social contract in this country, and did so with relish. There was a streak of wickedness, of malice in her.

    I did not dance when Ted Heath died. I shall not dance when John Major pops his clogs, and see no reason to. But I shall dance when they finally put the Magoon under the soil.

  38. indicus says

    Hmm, funny how so many people are ready to hoist a glass to the deaths of Thatcher or Reagan (true, I didn’t care much for either) but so many of these same voices were bitching about us ‘vengeful, dangerous’ people who were celebrating Osama Bin Laden’s bullet-riddled corpse. Ah, hypocrisy!

  39. sonofrojblake says

    I’ll be interested to see if, when George Bush dies, Ms. Nasreen’s pithy comment mourns Mohammed Atta.

  40. says

    Hmm, funny how so many people are ready to hoist a glass to the deaths of Thatcher or Reagan (true, I didn’t care much for either) but so many of these same voices were bitching about us ‘vengeful, dangerous’ people who were celebrating Osama Bin Laden’s bullet-riddled corpse.

    Nope, I did a little jig when Bin Laden bought the farm, too. Nice strawliberal you made there.

  41. sirbedevere says

    They’ve been planning Thatcher’s funeral for several years now, apparently. Here’s Frankie Boyle on the subject a couple of years ago: http://youtu.be/xmmomV-ax-s
    (My favorite comment on that video suggested that her funeral should be put on by the lowest bidder “because that’s what she would have wanted”.)

  42. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    indicus is inane and irrelevant as ever. That is the problem with idiotlogues like him.

  43. indicus says

    Um, go comb through this site’s archives the day Binny went off to claim his party with the virgins. Because that is EXACTLY what many (not all, or even most) were saying, including PZ himself.

  44. indicus says

    P.S. Nerd, nice to see that the massive butt-hurt here over use of the word ‘idiot’ has died down and the ‘ableist’ squawking is no more. Or shall we call it another example of “do as I say…”?

  45. Bernard Bumner says

    The National Union of Miners found out the hard way what happened when they overstepped the law.

    The people being beaten around the head by the police were miners, not the monolithic NUM. The people relying on handouts and charity to feed and clothe their families were miners, not the NUM. The three children who died scavenging coal for their families were not the NUM. The pickets who died were not the NUM.

    Thatcher used violent, armed police officers to escalate tension, intimidate pickets, and of course, to violently crush protests. Thousands were injured. The pitched battles were not the intent or fault of the NUM. For Thatcher, it was exactly the imagery she needed.

    The job of an elected government is certainly not to brutalize the workers risking their lives in one of the country’s dirtiest and most dangerous industries. It is not to systematically impoverish entire swathes of the country and disenfranchise communities for generations.

    Reform of the unions did not require that.

  46. says

    I was decidedly UNhappy when Reagan died. His death means it’s no longer possible to charge him with treason, and guarantees that he got away with everything he did.

    I can only hope we don’t make the same mistake with Bush and Obama.

  47. indicus says

    Whar… natural vs. non-natural death, the wisdom of invading Iraq because Saddam was mean to Daddy, and all other issues are beside the point. The main thing is if some people are willing to celebrate the deaths of certain individuals whom they believe to have been damaging to their country or to humanity in general, I don’t expect them to act with shocked indignation when others do the same thing.

  48. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Indicus is nothing but an idiotlogue. Nothing cogent. Same old slogans, attempting, but failing to make the progressives look bad. Only makes himself look bad.

  49. davidmc says

    Thatcher stole my milk. Invented Mr whippy ice cream, from the brief, how to sell more air and less ice cream. And that’s just two of the lesser crimes against humanity. I danced around a car park.

  50. sambarge says

    I did not cheer when Osama Bin Laden because I did not agree with it’s clandestine manner. I think he should have been tried and inprisoned because I believe in the rule of law.

    Margaret Thatcher died of natural causes so there is nothing to feel bad about. I spent the day listening to Elvis Costello and remembering the horrible things Thatcher did. If you want to call that ‘celebrating’ her death, go ahead.

  51. Anisopteran says

    Louis #30?

    She was a “good beta chemist” (in the words of her tutor) and carried her support of science into her politics. That should be celebrated.

    Are we talking about the same woman here? The same woman whos government did such damage to science in this country that it provoked the formation of a campaign group “Save British Science“?

  52. drxym says

    The people being beaten around the head by the police were miners, not the monolithic NUM. The people relying on handouts and charity to feed and clothe their families were miners, not the NUM. The three children who died scavenging coal for their families were not the NUM. The pickets who died were not the NUM.

    What a ridiculously rose tinted view you have. It’s not hard to find examples of people beaten up for crossing the picket line, or flat out murdered such as a taxi driver who had the misfortune to have a cinder block dropped on his head. Nor examples of rioters throwing and firing missiles at the police.

    As for the families – when you strike, you get no pay. That’s the government’s fault how? As for the children, that’s called a tragic accident.

    Thatcher used violent, armed police officers to escalate tension, intimidate pickets, and of course, to violently crush protests. Thousands were injured. The pitched battles were not the intent or fault of the NUM. For Thatcher, it was exactly the imagery she needed.

    Yes it was all the police. The miners were all peace loving and non violent. In your rose tinted world which completely ignores easy to find reports demonstrating that the violence was not one sided.

    The job of an elected government is certainly not to brutalize the workers risking their lives in one of the country’s dirtiest and most dangerous industries. It is not to systematically impoverish entire swathes of the country and disenfranchise communities for generations.

    The job of any government even in democracies is to maintain law and order and rule the country. If a mob is engaged in illegal activity they can expect to be told to disperse. That sucks I’m sure but I have little reason to feel sorry for them.

    Reform of the unions did not require that.

    Funnily enough virtually every other union was able to reform just fine without reacting the way the miners did.

  53. moarscienceplz says

    re: #46

    Along the same lines, I just read that Annette Funicello died.
    Ding dong, another one is dead!

    AFAIK the worst thing one can say about Annette is that she was too squeaky clean. I’m not aware of anything she did or said that was unkind towards anyone.
    Perhaps magistramarla is confusing her with Anita Bryant?

  54. says

    kidnapped and murdered Jean McConville, a single mother of 10 young children, for allegedly giving succour to a young British soldier that they’d shot, before he died. The 10 kids, some of them babies,

    McConville’s murder was atrocious enough without spreading lies about it. Her youngest was six years old, and she was murdered for allegedly working as an informant.

  55. DLC says

    Uh, right. No, I did not hate Mrs Thatcher, any more than I hated Ronald Reagan. I was as unmoved at hearing of Mrs Thatcher’s death as I was at hearing of Ronald Reagan’s. I couldn’t care a jot that either of them are now no longer alive. Come to think of it, I had more emotion at hearing Annette Funicello had died. She was good looking (for my values of “good looking”) and came across on TV as being smart, personable and all in all a fun person to hang out with. Down at the beach, with the other Ho-Dads and Gremmies.

  56. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Nice to see proof that there will always be asslicking scum to excuse people like her. for a minute I was afraid a statemens legacy might actually be hampered by their douchbaggery

  57. WharGarbl says

    @indicus
    #66
    I don’t see much to complain about. We celebrate when people we see as evil dies, and mourn when people we see as good dies. It’s pretty normal.

    See coverage on the death of Duane T. Gish versus Christopher Hitchens, it’s normal.

  58. scimaths says

    I am not celebrating her death. What would be the point ? Is the world now suddenly better off now she’s gone ? No it isn’t. It also seems strange how she is being held single-handedly responsible for the entire cabinet (government), police brutality, the reactionary media, corporate greed, evil regimes and so on. When she left office all those carried on of their own accord.

    And what about the current lot we have ? I would say Cameron&co are worse than Thatcher’s government, wholesale right-wing destruction for the sake of it. They’ve done huge amounts of damage already and set to do an awful lot more.

  59. Alverant says

    nmcc remember that Thatcher is responsible for more death than Bobby Sands and she’s being PRAISED for it. Try to get some perspective. No sense in setting up a false dichoteby trying to justify her crimes by pointing out the other side’s crimes.

    Also IIRC the complaints about Osamma bush Forgotten were about how he couldn’t stand trial and how he’d become a martyr for other muslim terror groups.

  60. WharGarbl says

    @Chris Clarke
    #75

    she was murdered for allegedly working as an informant.

    IRA claimed she was working as an informant.
    Her children and neighbor claimed it was because she helped a British soldier.
    So either story could potentially be right depending on who you believe.
    I, for one, would believe the children and neighbor of the victim.

  61. says

    For me, the death of Margaret Thatcher doesn’t have the same impact as does the death of someone like, say, Jerry Falwell. Thatcher’s role in public life pretty much ended the moment she was deposed as Prime Minister over 20 years ago. She has had very little direct impact on public policy since that time, and the debate over her legacy (for good or evil) has already been raging for the last two decades.

    On the other hand, when Falwell died, his corrosive involvement in public policy was still very much ongoing, and his death was a cause for relief, since it brought an abrupt end to his role in the demonization of the LGBT community in particular and liberals in general.

  62. Bernard Bumner says

    What a ridiculously rose tinted view you have.

    Oh yes, very rosy…

    It’s not hard to find examples of people beaten up for crossing the picket line…

    Which was also wrong. But not sanctioned by the state.

    …or flat out murdered such as a taxi driver who had the misfortune to have a cinder block dropped on his head.

    The killing of David Wilkie was terrible, but it was not carried out by the NUM.

    Nor examples of rioters throwing and firing missiles at the police.

    The Battle of Orgreave was state-sanctioned brutality, and it was caused by police in riot gear baton-charging miners, escalating what had been tension and pockets of sporadic violence into pitched battle.

    As for the families – when you strike, you get no pay. That’s the government’s fault how?

    The government had earlier enacted legislation to withdraw entitlement to benefits, including urgent needs payments, to dependents of those taking industrial action. Those on strike could not expect pay, but there was no reason, other than blackmail, to impoverish their families.

    As for the children, that’s called a tragic accident.

    Directly attributable to the conditions caused by deliberate impoverishment of families.

    Yes it was all the police. The miners were all peace loving and non violent. In your rose tinted world which completely ignores easy to find reports demonstrating that the violence was not one sided.

    The police were sanctioned by the state, armed by the state, empowered by the state. They have a duty to protect, and a duty to exercise restraint. They didn’t. They were used as a tool to crush the strike and to crush dissent.

    The job of any government even in democracies is to maintain law and order and rule the country. If a mob is engaged in illegal activity they can expect to be told to disperse. That sucks I’m sure but I have little reason to feel sorry for them.

    The legitimacy of a government to suppress demonstrations, to suppress industrial action using brutality?

    Funnily enough virtually every other union was able to reform just fine without reacting the way the miners did.

    Thatcher made sure that no other union would oppose her.

  63. culturesclashing says

    Wow… Um the level of hate in this thread is actually quite staggering…

    I don’t agree with all her policies, or with those of the conservative party, then or now…

    In fact if I plot myself on http://www.politicalcompass.org I land up on almost the opposite side of the chart (sort of nearish to the green party on the UK chart)…

    But to date every time I have heard people spouting hate at Maggie Thatcher they have stated things that are just factually untrue as their reasons. (Just seen a load of people on TV doing just that.)

    Things like (for example) citing her as killing off the mining industry as if the opening up of the north sea oil and gas reserves had nothing to do with it.

    Also for those of you who are not British (and or too young to remember what life was like before she came to power) I wonder how much you know about what the unions were doing to the country before she “broke them”?

    Basically I’m just questioning how rational and justified this hate is…

    If any of you have some sound reasons for hating her, as opposed to simply disagreeing with her, then I would like to hear them.
    Thus far I have yet to hear a sound reason.

    Dislike… yes.
    Disagreement… Yes.

    Hate.. NO.

    Perhaps if you had to live through rolling blackouts and lack of basic services and a government unable to do anything because every proposed reform was vetoed by unions and strikes you might have a different view.

    EDIT: Also I was originally on this site as cultureclash… however I lost my PW when the my last PC caught fire, and for some reason the PW reset thing says it is sending a reset e-mail but I never get it.
    If that’s because I was blocked at some point (can’t think of any reason why but just covering all the bases) feel free to block this account as well but if so a little note saying you blocked me and why would be nice and will stop me thinking its just a technical glitch.

  64. Bernard Bumner says

    Don’t be condescending culturesclashing.

    Thatcher closed mines that were profitable, so don’t start lecturing on North Sea oil and gas.

    Also, the unions need to be reformed, but it would be foolish to argue that Thatcher’s methods were entirely proportionate. She set out to make an example of unions like the NUM in order to whip the rest of the unions into line.

    The shutdown and sell-off of British manufacturing and production was a matter of policy, creating the financial services economy that served us so well for a decade or more, and which collapsed with devastating consequences to leave us without any engine for growth in the current economy.

  65. scimaths says

    I’m wondering if all those celebrating her death with such glee would also celebrate *in the same way* if Cameron, Clegg, Osborne, IDS were to suddenly depart this world ? These are millionaire men who, right here right now, are causing untold hardship and destruction while sucking up ££££ of our money for themselves and their millionaire mates.

    Thatcher, old and out of power for decades, makes a good scapegoat though.

  66. Bernard Bumner says

    scimaths,
    In no small part, the anger and bitterness is in counterpoint to the eulogies filling much of the media.

    Cameron, Clegg, Osborne, and IDS are Thatcher’s politcal children (along with Blair). None of them has died at the time of writing this. There is a reason why people are taking the time to discuss Thatcher’s legacy today.

  67. culturesclashing says

    @ Bernard Bummer post 85

    I wasn’t aiming for condescending so I apologise for coming across that way.

    Ok so we agree that the unions needed to be reformed…

    So what would have been the perfectly proportional response that would have achieved the goal of ‘reforming’ the unions (unions fighting to the death to retain their power, as most holders of power do fight when someone tries to reduce/remove that power) in the shortest possible time with the minimum of collateral damage?

    Because unless you can demonstrate clearly that there was a significantly better option clearly available and within the resources of the government of the day that would have worked then you lack the foundation to claim that lesser measures would have actually been effective.

    And more to the point as I am not trying to claim that she (or the rest of the government of the day) got everything right even on this issue… If you agree that the unions needed ‘reforming’ and you are just criticising the methods and unless you can clearly point to better methods that would have been effective then you lack a valid reason for hating M Thatcher which is what I was commenting on and objecting to…

    Particularly given that the police have used such methods before AND since (although perhaps not on that scale since) and yet the governments (and PM’s) of the day have not had even close to that level of hate directed at them.

    In fact I would say there is more hate directed at Maggie Thatcher (by some margin) than at Tony Blair, who while in office presided over the run up to the recent financial crisis, promoted faith schools and generally messed with the school system with no rhyme nor reason and generally for the worse, Took us deeper into an undemocratic Europe by stealth, Spent money like we were never going to run out of it, Created an enormous and dangerous database state, proposed and began implementing ID cards, Authorised draconian anti-terror laws that go against everything a free democracy and Britain should stand for, helped make us the CCTV capitol of the world, and oh… Lied in parliament about fabricated evidence taking us into the Iraq war AND USED THE POLICE TO PUT DOWN AND SUBDUE PROTESTS AGAINST THAT.

    So when I see liberals and lefties (of which I am one) attacking and piling hate on Maggie Thatcher and not piling on hate against Tony Blair I see blatant hypocrisy.

    Maggie Thatcher gets singled out for hate in a way that no other PM of recent times does, And with as far as I can see less valid reasons than others for such treatment.

  68. chigau (unless...) says

    It’s All Hyperbole Day!

    Wow… Um the level of hate in this thread is actually quite staggering…

    …celebrating her death with such glee …

  69. culturesclashing says

    @ scimaths and Bernard Bumner (posts 86 and 87)

    Tell me which party and leaders was it who got us INTO the problems that the current government is trying to get us out of?

    Which genius (for example) sold off our gold reserves when gold was at an all time low?
    Which genius declared that he had abolished boom and bust?
    Who ran huge deficits in a boom which is when you should be saving up for the bad times?
    Ect ect…

    The conservatives policies for getting us out of this recession are not the best, and as one of the ones who is on the receiving end of this rescission I would prefer that they be a damn sight better.

    But when you criticise them please try to remember who got us INTO this mess in the first place.

  70. culturesclashing says

    @ chigau (unless…) post 89….

    ” Ing:Intellectual Terrorist “Starting Tonight, People will Whine”
    Nice to see proof that there will always be asslicking scum to excuse people like her. for a minute I was afraid a statemens legacy might actually be hampered by their douchbaggery

    Ahem….

    Not Hyperbole… Was genuinely staggered.

  71. chigau (unless...) says

    culturesclashing #91
    I see.
    You’ve never read Pharyngula comments before today.

  72. culturesclashing says

    @ chigau (unless…) post 92

    Oh no I’ve read them [The message boards] before…

    I just still get perpetually surprised by the level of vitriol some/many on the left seem to have against those on the right.

    I probably shouldn’t be surprised by now, but I am.

    I can understand the hatred aimed at the right in the USA because the republicans have gone sooooo far off the deep end (and throw in a generous helping of theocratically inspired sexism, racism, and general bigotry on top) and are so determined to ram their religious agenda down everyone else’s …. pick an orifice… particularly women’s orifices…

    But by comparison almost everyone in British politics is middle of the road…
    I just cant justify (and struggle to believe) the venom of the hatred that people display against MT.

    Particularly given the number of times I have caught the same people giving TB and GB a free ride.
    And that pair deserve prison terms for war crimes and treason (lying to parliament and the British people)

  73. says

    IRA claimed she was working as an informant.
    Her children and neighbor claimed it was because she helped a British soldier.
    So either story could potentially be right depending on who you believe.
    I, for one, would believe the children and neighbor of the victim

    Yeah, that’s much easier than spending five seconds googling for information on the official inquest into her murder.

  74. scimaths says

    The conservatives policies for getting us out of this recession are not the best

    If you really think that the current government has any interest in getting us out of recession, and that their policies are intended to sort out the deficit then you are being very naive indeed.

    Also saying “those people over there started it” is irrelevant to what is being done now.

  75. scimaths says

    Cameron, Clegg, Osborne, and IDS are Thatcher’s politcal children (along with Blair).

    They are intelligent and educated grown-ups who are perfectly free to make their own decisions without blaming “bad mommy” for their wrongdoing. I hold them accountable for their own actions.

    There is a reason why people are taking the time to discuss Thatcher’s legacy today.

    Thatcher’s legacy has been discussed plenty before, and will continue to be discussed. Yet today an old powerless woman dies and lefty men are out in the streets with placards declaring the BITCH is dead and the WITCH is dead and la la la scary EVIL WOMAN is dead.

    Her death helps no-one. A decent and sustained challenge to the current government might.

  76. brive1987 says

    All the commentary I have seen has been a curious mix of “Great Person of History” theory and objectively stated yet necessarily subjective moral interpretation.

    The discussion is interesting at the moment in that it brings out and forces us to engage with our own moral/political bias (bias here defined in the non pejorative).

    I suspect we need some more distance and a proper application of historical method.

  77. culturesclashing says

    @ scimaths

    To claim that the government has no interest in getting us out of the recession is going into conspiracy theory lala land.

    I think they have a number of ideological road blocks that prevent them rationally analysing the situation and implementing the best and most rational policies… But so do the opposition.
    They are also hamstrung by the fact that the best thing for boosting an economy in recession is lots of big infrastructure spending (and in our case housing building/upgrading) which requires having access to lots of cash and/or cheep loans… And the last government massively overspent without bothering to work out how to pay for the spending and particularly with everyone wondering whether or not the other shoe will drop with the eurozone potentially on the blink taking out big loans to add to our already vast debt is not being encouraged right now…. Which means that pretty much everything you might want in the event of a recession we don’t have.

    And it’s very important to remember who’s fault that is.

    Could they do a better job than they are.
    Yes.
    Do I trust the labour government to do better…
    Hell No.
    Is there anyone else currently viable to vote for….
    Umm….

    Also I value liberty and privacy over the economic well-being of the country. (and I do appreciate that not having any money does reduce ones liberty quite allot)
    I can and will never vote for the labour party while ANY member of that party from the Blair/Brown era is still in it.
    They sanctioned imprisonment without trial, allowed the USA to ship people off to torture camps through our territory.
    And tried to implement (and succeed in many instances) all the fun parts of Orwells 1984.

    By not leaving the party in disgust they sanctioned and tacitly supported (if not actively supported) these policies.

    And the labour party has a history of supporting such policies.

  78. says

    Speaking only for myself, culturesclashing, as a British leftie I say good riddance to Thatcher, and I’d like to say good riddance in a similar way to Blair, preferably after a stay in prison. That latter is not going to happen, sadly, and I doubt that he’ll be going to his grave before me. But if it should happen I shall celebrate the same way I’m celebrating Thatcher’s demise.

  79. nmcc says

    #94

    “Last month the ombudsman, Nuala O’Loan, said she had found no evidence that the widow had aided, let alone spoken, to the security forces.”

    Yeah, much easier, depending on your view of ‘freedom fighters’, of course, to believe the lying, fascistic, murderous scum of the IRA.

    Excuse me for ‘lying’, they weren’t babies, they were six year old adults.

  80. culturesclashing says

    @NelC
    Well at least that’s not hypocritical.

    I would still contend that Blair and Brown were far far worse for this country than Maggie Thatcher…
    Although given that I would contend that on the whole Maggie Thatcher was a good thing to happen to the country that’s not surprising.

    Personally I like that I’m not worried about the lights or heating going out tonight, and I can thank the legacy of the thatcher government for that in large part.

    I also (although for different reasons) would like to get rid of coal mining/power completely.
    We need environmentally friendly power sources that don’t involve sending people down dark dusty dangerous life shortening coal mines.

  81. davidmc says

    culturesclashing not on a card meter then? or bin up north? We still burnt as much coal, it was just cheaper (polish I think) imported. People somewhere were still sent down mines, with lower wages and worse conditions. You wont get much argument against new labour being a bunch of bastards as well, but at least their aim wasnt the demolision of the NHS/Welfare State which was literally hard fought for (as in WW2) by the workers of this country.
    We are all in it together now, by all I mean the bottom 90 percent, the bottom 20 percent are even more all in it together. Meanwhile the bankers are still trousering the cash.

  82. Acolyte of Sagan says

    davidmc
    8 April 2013 at 6:50 pm

    culturesclashing not on a card meter then? or bin up north? We still burnt as much coal, it was just cheaper (polish I think) imported

    Ironically, the bulk of it was Argentinian, as were the sailors and soldiers murdered on her direct orders when the ARA General Belgrano was torpedoed, despite her being told several times that it was sailing away from the exclusion zone.

    One can only hope that the 21-gun salute at her funeral is aimed at the coffin, just be sure the vile old witch really is dead.

  83. culturesclashing says

    @davidmc

    No new Labours aim was to demolish the freedoms and privacy we fought for in the world wars.
    The damage they did to the NHS was simply due to incompetence.

    My Mother/Aunt/number of other relatives was/were/are a Nurse/s in the NHS and what they saw happen to it under the labour government may not have been intentional harm but it was harm nevertheless.

    And how much harm did they [labour] do to the poorest in the country by spending all the money (and then some) in a boom leaving us none for the bust?
    How much better off would the poor be if the recession hadn’t been (isn’t being) so deep?
    If unemployment wasn’t so high?
    Government programs take time to take effect, many/most of our troubles were caused or made worse by the actions of the last government.
    And I keep saying this because people keep bloody voting for them.
    Some of what this government is doing is wrong/misguided. What labour was doing was evil.

    And claiming that the Tories are trying to demolish/destroy the NHS and/or welfare is hyperbole.

    I oppose privatisation of essential services… I generally think the service suffers when you try to make a profit.
    But (for example) privatising the railways can be said to have made them worse… It didn’t demolish/destroy them. In fact they are expanding back onto old routes and passenger numbers are climbing.

  84. culturesclashing says

    @ Acolyte of Sagan post 103

    It was a warship in a war-zone and, I realise this may be a revolutionary concept for you, COULD HAVE TURNED AROUND.

    Ships can do that you know.

    If they didn’t want to get sunk they shouldn’t have attacked us.

    I don’t care who you think has the strongest claim to the Falklands. They tried to take it by force.
    They lost any moral high ground when they did that.

    If you attack someone or something you don’t get to complain when it turns around and attacks back.

    A consequence of our sinking that ship was that the rest of the Argentinian navy stayed in port and didn’t come out for the rest of the conflict. Which given how close we came to losing may well have made the difference between defeat or victory.

    Irrespective of who you think should have won, claiming it wasn’t militarily justified is just factually incorrect.

  85. Acolyte of Sagan says

    Chris Clarke
    8 April 2013 at 3:30 pm

    kidnapped and murdered Jean McConville, a single mother of 10 young children, for allegedly giving succour to a young British soldier that they’d shot, before he died. The 10 kids, some of them babies,

    McConville’s murder was atrocious enough without spreading lies about it. Her youngest was six years old, and she was murdered for allegedly working as an informant.

    Oh, so she wasn’t helping a wounded fellow human, she was an ‘informant’. Well, that justifies Sands’ actions then.
    Sorry, but no. In this instance, Taslima is wrong.

  86. culturesclashing says

    @ 106

    That’s not what he’s saying… Or if it is it’s not what he’s written.

    I had that reaction at first but rereading what he’d written all he’s actually doing is being pedantic, overly so in context.

    He says that the murder was an atrocity, and does not say that the excuse that she was “allegedly being an informant” is one that justifies her killing.

    However I am baffled by Taslima’s post…. I guess I am hoping there was some sarcasm not being conveyed by the one line post… But it does look bad as is.

  87. WharGarbl says

    To Talisma’s credit, she may have intended to show that, in her view, Thatcher is as bad as a terrorist.

  88. Acolyte of Sagan says

    culturesclashing
    8 April 2013 at 7:17 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    @ Acolyte of Sagan post 103

    It was a warship in a war-zone and, I realise this may be a revolutionary concept for you, COULD HAVE TURNED AROUND.

    Ships can do that you know.

    If they didn’t want to get sunk they shouldn’t have attacked us.

    I don’t care who you think has the strongest claim to the Falklands. They tried to take it by force.
    They lost any moral high ground when they did that.

    If you attack someone or something you don’t get to complain when it turns around and attacks back.

    A consequence of our sinking that ship was that the rest of the Argentinian navy stayed in port and didn’t come out for the rest of the conflict. Which given how close we came to losing may well have made the difference between defeat or victory.

    Irrespective of who you think should have won, claiming it wasn’t militarily justified is just factually incorrect.

    So speaks one who presumably gets all their news from the Mail.
    Yes, the ship could have turned around and so given reason to fire on it; but it didn’t; it didn’t even begin to make a turn. It was sailing away from the exclusion zone as ordered by the British Navy. By your logic, I ought to punch everybody I argue with to the ground, even if they’re walking away,
    because they could punch me.
    The war itself may have been justified (I certainly didn’t suggest it wasn’t), but the sinking of the Belgrano wasn’t.

  89. Acolyte of Sagan says

    WharGarbl
    8 April 2013 at 7:36 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    To Talisma’s credit, she may have intended to show that, in her view, Thatcher is as bad as a terrorist

    That would work only if we were shedding tears for Thatcher.

  90. WharGarbl says

    @Acolyte of Sagan

    The war itself may have been justified (I certainly didn’t suggest it wasn’t), but the sinking of the Belgrano wasn’t.

    In my own opinion, it’s a bit hard to say anything is not justified in war.
    Once we can get it in our head that wars are always horrible, then maybe we would fight harder to stop a war from starting in the first place.

    That would work only if we were shedding tears for Thatcher.

    Or she’s just going with the trend of bashing Thatcher.

  91. Acolyte of Sagan says

    culturesclashing
    8 April 2013 at 7:32 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    @ 106

    That’s not what he’s saying… Or if it is it’s not what he’s written.

    I had that reaction at first but rereading what he’d written all he’s actually doing is being pedantic, overly so in context.

    He says that the murder was an atrocity, and does not say that the excuse that she was “allegedly being an informant” is one that justifies her killing

    Yes, I know what Chris is saying, but the ‘informant’ bit was Sands’ justification of the murder (in an attempt to get himself classed as a ‘political prisoner’ rather than simply a murdering scumbag) as Taslima must know. It is Taslima, not Chris, that I am criticising.

  92. culturesclashing says

    Don’t make assumptions. I hate the mail.

    And no ‘my logic’ leads to no such conclusion. That’s just idiotic.

    Argentina invaded British sovereign territory starting a war.
    A war in which they used deadly force against our warships.
    Several of which they sank, I don’t see you hand wringing about that though.

    Their warships were valid targets.
    Regardless of where they were or what direction they were heading in.

  93. Acolyte of Sagan says

    WharGarbl
    8 April 2013 at 7:41 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    @Acolyte of Sagan

    […….]

    That would work only if we were shedding tears for Thatcher.

    Or she’s just going with the trend of bashing Thatcher.

    By weeping for probably the only thing she did right?

  94. Acolyte of Sagan says

    culturesclashing
    8 April 2013 at 7:44 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    Don’t make assumptions. I hate the mail.

    And no ‘my logic’ leads to no such conclusion. That’s just idiotic.

    Why idiotic? You said that it could have turned around. That excuse could be used in any situation concerning one’s enemies; take it to the extreme and you could justify teachers beating children because the have the potential to be naughty.

    Argentina invaded British sovereign territory starting a war.
    A war in which they used deadly force against our warships.
    Several of which they sank, I don’t see you hand wringing about that though.

    Their warships were valid targets.
    Regardless of where they were or what direction they were heading in.

    Nope. The lines were clearly drawn by the British government; they stipulated that any enemy ship or aircraft within the exclusion zone would be engaged. The Belgrano was already retreating, had at no point entered the exclsion zone, and showed no signs of beginning to turn. Therefore the attack upon the ship was illegal, and the resulting deaths were murders.
    What happened to the ships and aircraft within the exclusion zone were ‘fair’ casualties of war (not that war is ever fair or just, but the rules of engagement are clear to all participants), no hand-wringing neccessary except over the loss of so many lives on both sides over a couple of lumps of rock and ice a couple of thousand miles away from Britain in the Atlantic Ocean.

  95. WharGarbl says

    @Acolyte
    #114

    By weeping for probably the only thing she did right?

    Good point.

  96. says

    Acolyte of Sagan:

    Oh, so she wasn’t helping a wounded fellow human, she was an ‘informant’. Well, that justifies Sands’ actions then.

    That’s not what I said, and fuck you.

  97. culturesclashing says

    @ 116

    Slippery slope fallacy (apart from anything else).
    You have to justify ‘taking it to the extreme’. If you can’t justify taking it to the extreme then the argument doesn’t hold.

    Saying that its reasonable and justified to sink an enemy warship during war time even if it is not currently heading towards the primary conflict area does not lead to teachers being able to beat children because they might be naughty.
    Partly because sinking warships during war time is a valid thing that nations do during wars.
    Teachers beating children is not a valid thing ever.

    So yes that argument is idiotic.

    And no it was not illegal or a war crime. Unlike the invasion of the Falklands in the first place.

    We are not going to agree on this.

  98. says

    unilaterally announced strikes (often sympathy ones), operated closed shops, picketed anywhere they felt like

    you say that like they’re bad things.

    overall I consider her to have been a positive force

    ew. no. she put Britain on the course of being the pile of shit it is today.

    Hmm, funny how so many people are ready to hoist a glass to the deaths of Thatcher or Reagan (true, I didn’t care much for either) but so many of these same voices were bitching about us ‘vengeful, dangerous’ people who were celebrating Osama Bin Laden’s bullet-riddled corpse.

    if Reagan or Thatcher were bullet-ridden corpses, it would have been in equally bad taste. Last I checked, both of them died from old age though.

    To Talisma’s credit, she may have intended to show that, in her view, Thatcher is as bad as a terrorist.

    well, she’s certainly responsible for a lot more terror and death than that particular terrorist

  99. culturesclashing says

    @ 118

    It’s not what you said….

    It IS how it came across to me when I first read it.

    I nearly wrote something similar, until I reread it (and the conversation it was part of) a couple of times and realised that it wasn’t what you meant/said.

    I say this simply to point out that Acolyte of Sagan wasn’t necessarily the only one to misinterpret your post (at least on first reading).

    It did come across to me as being overly pedantic… I could well in the circs’ refer to a 6 yr old as a baby, and the different alleged justifications don’t actually make any difference to the atrocity.
    It doesn’t matter what they thought she had done (or gave as their excuse) as neither justifies the act.

    The general point nmcc was making was not in any way dependent on the facts you corrected.

    By making those correction without making that clear made it look at first glance like you were claiming otherwise.

    Why it’s always worth reading a post more than once to make sure you’re reading what it actually says not what you think it says.

  100. David Marjanović says

    They lost any moral high ground when they did that.

    Wow. You’re not even satisfied with the tu quoque fallacy, you go beyond it to claim “once you wrong me, I’m justified in doing anything I want to you”!

    “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” evidently isn’t fast enough for you.

  101. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yawn, hero-worshippers are so boring, so hand-waving, so wrong. They make me even more disgusted in whom they try to defend inanely and ineptly. Why don’ they just shut the fuck up, and let reality play out without their fiction???

  102. says

    The general point nmcc was making was not in any way dependent on the facts you corrected.

    Bullshit. Propaganda is propaganda. The fact that Saddam Hussein was a murderer doesn’t excuse the propagandistic lies spread abut WMDs, Kuwaiti incubator babies, etc. If you’re going to criticize people for correcting politically based lies simply because you find the politics behind them to your liking, then you’re no fucking skeptic.

  103. brive1987 says

    On a different note IMO “ding dong the witch is dead” is a gendered insult.

  104. Ulysses says

    There’s a school of thought that the Argentinian junta staged the Falklands invasion to take peoples’ attention away from triple digit inflation, massive unemployment, and other economic woes. The takeover of the Malvinas failed, which brought down the junta and brought about a somewhat more democratic government.

  105. brive1987 says

    #126 which bit is disingenuous – that it is gender specific or that it is an insult? If neither …. then the fact that together it makes a “gendered insult” ?

  106. culturesclashing says

    @ Chris Clark 124

    No the statement of mine you quoted is correct.

    nmcc’s point was that bobby sands was evil and that the IRA did bad things like murder Jean McConville.

    Does the fact that he said that the excuse given was one thing that didn’t justify the murder as opposed to something else that doesn’t justify the murder make any difference to that point? No it doesn’t.

    Does that fact that he said she had 10 children the youngest of which were babies when the youngest was 6 make any difference to that point? again No it doesn’t.

    Thus neither of your factual corrections alter the general point he was making which means my statement was correct and not shite of any kind.

    I agree entirely that “The fact that Saddam Hussein was a murderer doesn’t excuse the propagandistic lies spread abut WMDs, Kuwaiti incubator babies, etc.”.

    However as much as you are evidently and obviously pissed off that someone mistakenly thought that you were condoning a terrorist after misinterpreting your post I recommend you don’t do the same to me.

    You have no fucking clue what my politics are, or apparently what I was criticising (rather mildly) you for or why.

    I was mainly just pointing out that your post was apparently easy enough to misinterpret that at least two people reading it came to (briefly) the same wrong conclusion. the difference being that I went back and read it again slowly and realised I was wrong.

    And I agree that we should all be for getting facts right, and not blindly accepting/promoting propaganda…

    But when, and how is important.

    And I think you kinda missed the point where Taslima appears to be expressing sorrow for the passing of a convicted terrorist who starved himself to death as someone more deserving of sorrow than Maggie thatcher….
    And by ignoring that and simply doing a ‘fact check’ on the response to that you look disinterested to say the least in what seems to be a fairly extraordinary and unsupportable sentiment.

    That might be the case, or it might not, I have no idea as I don’t know you.

    But this conversation probably wouldn’t be happening if you had addressed that point AS WELL AS do your fact checking in your first post.

    It’s not that bad, but it’s a bit like correcting someone’s spelling or grammar and ignoring their argument.
    The facts matter, and we should strive to get them right as much as possible.
    But sometimes correcting ancillary facts that don’t alter the argument or point being made, particularly when that point is not actually addressed, is overly pedantic.
    I think this might be one of those times. I could be wrong, and I am still thinking about it.

    But that is where I am coming from.

    It’s not because I support political lies of any stripe. And it’s not because I am not a skeptic, fucking or otherwise.

  107. culturesclashing says

    @David Marjanović 122

    “Wow. You’re not even satisfied with the tu quoque fallacy, you go beyond it to claim “once you wrong me, I’m justified in doing anything I want to you”!

    “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” evidently isn’t fast enough for you.”

    Not sure I have actually made the tu quoque fallacy, and certainly not intentionally…

    However you are guilty of not reading what I actually said instead of what you think I said.

    I make no such claim as this “once you wrong me, I’m justified in doing anything I want to you!”

    I said that when they invaded us they “lost any moral high ground” on the issue of who had the better claim to the Falklands.

    Nothing about that justifying doing anything we wanted to them.

    We are a nuclear power and could have threatened to Nuke them if they didn’t withdraw.
    We didn’t and that wouldn’t have been justified.

    There are all kinds of things we could have done and didn’t and wouldn’t have been justified in doing and I never claimed otherwise.

    I made a specific claim that a specific act was justified.
    That an enemy warship was a valid target in war time.

    Now agree with me or not, you are accusing me of advocating something I clearly didn’t and don’t.

    If you’re going to disagree with me disagree with what I actually said not what you imagine I’ve said.

  108. brive1987 says

    #130. I could be wrong but I don’t believe UK had declared war on Argentina or vice versa. UK had imposed an exclusion zone and the Belgrano was outside this zone when it was sunk without warning and without offering provocation. Here lies the moral quandary.

    IMO UK should have set looser rules of engagement or stuck with the ones communicated. I would have been happy with either approach … But they did neither.

  109. chigau (ouch ouch ouch) says

    I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

  110. brive1987 says

    #132 Sorry! Its hard to get nuance sometime. My bad – I assumed you doubted my sincerity, and I really do think it’s best to avoid, by habit, insults that are specifically gender defined.

  111. birgerjohansson says

    In regard to celebrating deaths. I proudly celebrated the deaths of Pol Pot and Augusto Pinochet
    I saw no reason to celebrate the passing of the empty husk that had been Ronald Reagan before dementia struck. The same applies to Thatcher.
    But I will certainly celebrate the death of Thatcherism (or neoliberalism as it is called here).

    Yes, smashing the argentinian invasion is the one thing she did right, but it was tarnished by the unnecessary killing of hundreds of drafted sailors. Thatcher s was always a “can’t make a wossname without breaking eggs” person.

  112. birgerjohansson says

    South Africans NOT so enthusiastic about Thatcher’s government
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/08/margaret-thatcher-south-africa-_n_3039649.html

    Going against overwhelming mainstream sentiment, Thatcher refused to impose sanctions on South Africa’s apartheid regime and went so far as to describe the African National Congress in 1987 as terrorists.
    “Anyone who thinks it is going to run the government in South Africa is living in cloud-cuckoo land,” she said of the ANC at the time.

    Good riddance of bad rubbish.

  113. brive1987 says

    Out of interest the use of the term “witch” as a gendered perforative is well established in Australia where it has been used as part of the widely condemned misogynistic attack campaign on our (female) Prime Minister.

    Google “Gillard witch” under images for examples or see http://tofuphotography.blogspot.com.au/2011/08/ditch-witch.html

    So “ding dong the witch is dead” is probably not the way to go here.

  114. says

    Ironically, the bulk of it was Argentinian, as were the sailors and soldiers murdered on her direct orders when the ARA General Belgrano was torpedoed, despite her being told several times that it was sailing away from the exclusion zone.

    Yes, the ship could have turned around and so given reason to fire on it; but it didn’t; it didn’t even begin to make a turn. It was sailing away from the exclusion zone as ordered by the British Navy. … The war itself may have been justified (I certainly didn’t suggest it wasn’t), but the sinking of the Belgrano wasn’t.

    There’s so much error here it’s hard to know where to start.

    On 23 April 82 the Argentines were informed that any of their naval vessels operating outside their 12 mile territorial waters were liable to attack if they attempted to interfere with the taskforce.

    On 1 May the rough chronology of events runs as follows:

    Three Argentine taskforces were involved in operations. TF97.1 with the carrier was steaming north of the islands; TF79.3 with the Belgrano was south of the islands, steaming in an east-west pattern outside the TEZ, as were the three-frigate force TF79.4 (Wikipedia calls this TF79.2, but I take my numbering from the Official History). An Etendard force armed with Exocets was prepared to launch strikes.

    According to Martin Middlebrook’s interview with Hector Bonzo, the Belgrano captain, his orders were to be ready to move into the TEZ as a feint to try and draw in the British task force, which at that time was launching a series of bombing, naval gunfire and special forces insertion missions on the islands. This was to follow an attempt by the Argentine carrier force to strike the RN Task Force, which had been detected by Tracker aircraft. Etendards were to strike as soon as targets had been found and fixed.

    The carrier strike failed to launch due to a combination of low winds over the deck and the inability of their carrier to raise enough steam to be able to launch four (later three) heavily-laden Skyhawks from their deck. Also a Sea Harrier had chanced across TF79.1, and got away before the Argentines could launch SAMs at it. This prompted Admiral Allara to issue an order for the carrier to withdraw northward to safety. It also ordered TF97.3 to steam westward to a point where, according to the Belgrano’s captain, he would await new orders.

    So we have a situation where:

    (a) All three portions of the Argentine taskforce are in waters where they had been warned, more than a week before, that they would be fired on if they attempted to interfere with the Royal Navy. They were in an active war zone.

    (b) They still intended to conduct active operations against the Royal Navy task force. They were delayed by a combination of circumstances. The Belgrano’s captain expected to be ordered to sail back towards the islands the following day.

    At this time TF79.3 was being shadowed by HMS Conqueror. They were under RoE not to initiate operations. However, the Belgrano was steaming south of the Burdwood Bank, a shallow that the submarine could not cross. The Conqueror’s captain feared that if the Belgrano turned north he would lose it and passed a request to change the RoE to Northwood HQ. This was initially denied, however the intention of the task forces to launch a massive attack was known.

    So eventually the decision was made to launch the attacks.

    Taken as a whole the attack appears to be legitimate. It would be hasty to call this a murder when the Belgrano was actively prosecuting war operations against the British, who had given adequate warning.

    The effect of the sinking, and fear of further submarine attacks effectively drove the rest of the Argentine navy back to port. As it turned out this was one of the key actions of the war that neutralised a whole fighting arm of the Argentine military.

  115. says

    I could be wrong but I don’t believe UK had declared war on Argentina or vice versa. UK had imposed an exclusion zone and the Belgrano was outside this zone when it was sunk without warning and without offering provocation. Here lies the moral quandary.

    IMO UK should have set looser rules of engagement or stuck with the ones communicated. I would have been happy with either approach … But they did neither.

    See my notes above. The Argentines were warned on 23 April that vessels outside the Argentine 12 mile territorial limit were subject to be fired on, if they were considered to be operating against the Royal Navy. Which they undoubtedly were.

    Given that the Argentines had attempted to launch an attack just hours earlier and were foiled by weather and clapped out boilers, and that the Captain of the Belgrano was awaiting orders to launch his own attack, undermines the notion that there was no provocation. Particularly as the British had already read Admiral Lombardo’s orders issued on 1 May that TF79 was to seek out the British and launch a ‘massive attack’.

  116. culturesclashing says

    And even if we hadn’t read those orders we would have had to assume that the Argentinian warships were there to take part in Argentina’s invasion of and attempt to hold onto the Falklands…

    I mean it would be pretty dim to assume that the Argentinian warships were just out on a sightseeing trip.

  117. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Let the ceramonial licking of the asshole till clean continue!

  118. culturesclashing says

    @ 140

    Good constructive criticism there.
    Well thought out and presented.

    I see you’re a real intellectual heavyweight.

    However for those of us not operating on your level, you might want to consider posting actual reasons for your pearls of wisdom so that others may understand them.

  119. sonofrojblake says

    @ Acolyte of Sagan, post 109:

    By your logic, I ought to punch everybody I argue with to the ground, even if they’re walking away, because they could punch me.

    False analogy.

    By your logic, I ought to punch everybody who first punches me repeatedly in the face and takes my property to the ground, even if they’re walking away, because they could punch me again, given that they’ve promised to if I try to take my property back..

    Fixed it for you.

  120. Acolyte of Sagan says

    <blockquoteChris Clarke
    8 April 2013 at 7:59 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    Acolyte of Sagan:

    Oh, so she wasn’t helping a wounded fellow human, she was an ‘informant’. Well, that justifies Sands’ actions then.

    That’s not what I said, and fuck you.

    There’s no need for that, Chris, as I pointed out in my post #112 in my response to cultureclashing.

    Yes, I know what Chris is saying, but the ‘informant’ bit was Sands’ justification of the murder (in an attempt to get himself classed as a ‘political prisoner’ rather than simply a murdering scumbag) as Taslima must know. It is Taslima, not Chris, that I am criticising.

  121. Acolyte of Sagan says

    Whoops, screwed up the blockquotes there. Try again to remove any further ambiguity;

    Chris Clarke
    8 April 2013 at 7:59 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    Acolyte of Sagan:

    Oh, so she wasn’t helping a wounded fellow human, she was an ‘informant’. Well, that justifies Sands’ actions then.

    That’s not what I said, and fuck you.

    There’s no need for that, Chris, as I pointed out in my post #112 in my response to cultureclashing.

    Yes, I know what Chris is saying, but the ‘informant’ bit was Sands’ justification of the murder (in an attempt to get himself classed as a ‘political prisoner’ rather than simply a murdering scumbag) as Taslima must know. It is Taslima, not Chris, that I am criticising.

    That’s Taslima, Chris, not you.

  122. rufus75 says

    About Thatcher: she’s been fading away for the past decade, it’s just that she stopped moving yesterday. As much as I hated her politics (having both parents working in UK government science) I’d still show the vaguest degree of decorum and respect for the dead.

    About ARA General Belgrano: There is also the minor matter that the British government knew that the Belgrano group had been ordered to a rendezvous within the exclusion zone prior to sailing North to catch the British fleet in a pincer movement. This knowledge (and more to the point, how this knowledge was acquired) wasn’t made public for thirty years (so it came out last year).

    About tears for Bobby Sands: Think I’ll save my tears for Tracey Munn and Colin Nichol if it’s all the same.

  123. culturesclashing says

    Who are Tracey Munn and Colin Nichol?
    Google isn’t helpful in this case.

  124. rufus75 says

    They were the two children (aged 2 and 17 months respectively) who were killed by a PIRA bomb targetting the same chain of furniture stores that Sands wasn’t actually convicted of bombing a few years later.

    He merely happened to be out walking his (illegally held) revolver (which mached bullets that were recovered from a firefight with the police, near the scene of the bombing) immediately afterwards.

  125. culturesclashing says

    I see. Thankyou for clarifying.

    Which brings us back to “why is anyone shedding tears for booby sands?”

  126. rufus75 says

    Beats me, the whole Northern Ireland situation is insanely complicated, but can be distilled down to this:

    Predominantly Catholic nutters wanted Northern Ireland to be part of the Republic of Ireland and were willing to use indiscriminate violence to get it. Predominantly Protestant nutters wanted Northern Ireland to remain part of the UK and were willing to use indiscriminate violence to keep things the way they are.
    The Republican nutters, for all of their keenness to be part of the Republic weren’t quite so keen on not killing people despite Dublin screaming at them to stop, and the Unionist nutters weren’t keen on not killing despite London screaming at them to stop.

    Frankly (as someone from England, with some Irish relations) anyone on either side who is willing to deliberately target noncombatants (i.e. furniture shops) and claims it is political is either:
    a) stupid,
    b) insane,
    c) evil,
    d) all of the above

  127. nmcc says

    …or

    e) A narcissistic tosspot.

    My preferred description of a ‘freedom fighter’ like Sands.

  128. says

    There is a lot of conspiracy theorising that alledges the Belgrano was attacked in order to scupper the Peruvian peace plan. This claims the Argentine surface units had been ordered to return to port. While it might be appealing to ascribe malice to Thatcher and her cabinet (Cecil Parkinson, et al), this is not yet a persuasive argument. It relies on supposed secret dossiers and other coverups. The actual evidence is thin and largely circumstantial.

    The claims also rely on comments made by the now-deceased Hector Bonzo that no-one appears to have sources on. What is interesting is that Martin Middlebrook’s interview with the Belgrano’s captain suggests that the vessel was ordered to a set of coordinates where it was supposed to wait for further orders. This is only partially contradicted by British intelligence evidence released two years ago that claimed that the ship was ordered North.

    Whatever the claims, I’d suggest that the official narrative is on firmer ground than the alternative. It’s accepted by all that the airstrike by TF79.1 was attempted and failed hours before the Belgrano sinking. Unless a firm order to return to port can be found, it’s not unreasonable to assume the cruiser group was a present danger and the assertion that the Belgrano might well have been lost should it have steamed North across the Burdwood Banks is convincing.

    However, if anyone prefers to believe that Thatcher conspired to order an attack, purposely to sink the Peruvian peace plan and commit both sides to a shooting war, I’d be interested to see what you dig up.

  129. says

    Acolyte of Sagan:

    There’s no need for that, Chris, as I pointed out in my post #112 in my response to cultureclashing.

    I apologize for not reading the entire thread to see if you might have clarified your clumsy phrasing somewhere.

  130. Acolyte of Sagan says

    No problem, Chris. I’ll add my apologies for not clarifying whose position I was criticising.

  131. Maureen Brian says

    You don’t recall then, rufus75, how some of the nutters were funded for a time by the US in a semi-official manner and how the British Army supported another set of nutters, to the point or targeting non-combatants on their behalf?

    Selective memory is a dreadful thing.

  132. brive1987 says

    @138. Re Belgrano detail: thanks. I was unaware the situation was so complex. At the time the TEZ was the only bit of knowledge in the open and I obviously haven’t kept up with the new data.

  133. Acolyte of Sagan says

    sonofrojblake
    9 April 2013 at 8:46 am (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    @ Acolyte of Sagan, post 109:

    By your logic, I ought to punch everybody I argue with to the ground, even if they’re walking away, because they could punch me.

    False analogy.

    By your logic, I ought to punch everybody who first punches me repeatedly in the face and takes my property to the ground, even if they’re walking away, because they could punch me again, given that they’ve promised to if I try to take my property back..

    Fixed it for you.

    Not quite. It would be like telling a group coming to help the original assailants to turn back and leave or else, waiting until they’ve turned around and started moving away, then wading in and hitting them anyway.
    Others have pointed out that the British had warned that they would fire on ships outside of the TEZ if they thought they posed a danger, which could theoretically have justified the attack, but the Belgrano was compying with RN orders to turn about and leave; the threat had been neutralised, if only temporarily. If the Belgrano had refused to turn back, or had initially complied but began to turn back again, then fair enough, but it hadn’t done either, it was complying with RN orders, and Thatcher was made fully aware of that when she gave the order to sink it.
    As cultureclashing (thanks for your support at #121, by the way, much appreciated) has said, we’re not going to agree on this; some think it was justified for military reasons, some don’t.
    I’m in the latter group, not least of all because it offends my sense of fair play (yes I know, ‘all’s fair in love and war’, but that’s a mahoosive fallacy), and not even because I think the least the RN could have done would be to have warned the Argentinian sailors and soldiers to surrender or abandon ship prior to firing on them, instead of quite literally shooting them in the back as they ran; that at least would have given them the option of saving their lives, and may even have ended the conflict much sooner, rather than strengthening the Argentinians’ resolve to fight – both good reasons in themselves to oppose the action.
    The main reason I think it was wrong was because it wasn’t done for military reasons; once again it was sailing away and not attempting engagement, and it would have been childs play to keep an eye on its movements and react if and when it became a direct threat. It was done because that evil old witch* needed to drum up some jigoistic support for the next election because she’d fucked up with her war on the working class at home and she needed a distraction.
    Would she had given the same order had things been all peachy at home? I doubt it very much.
    And I’m not going into conspiracy territory, but you’ve got to admit that it’s a nice coincidence that the governments of both sides needed to distract their populace from the state of their homelands. Even nicer when we started buying vast quantities of Argentinian coal; well, somehow our own mining industry vanished.

    *Witch’ is NOT gender-specific, throughout history men as well as women have been accused of witchcraft and referred to as ‘witches'; ‘wizards’ and ‘warlocks’ are relatively recent additions to the language.

  134. says

    Others have pointed out that the British had warned that they would fire on ships outside of the TEZ if they thought they posed a danger, which could theoretically have justified the attack, but the Belgrano was compying with RN orders to turn about and leave; the threat had been neutralised, if only temporarily.

    It is a fact that the Argentines had tried to launch a carrier strike hours before. That they had failed, had pulled the trigger first but discovered a dud, in no way mitigates the fact that they were actively engaging in military operations against the task force. The Belgrano was, according to Middlebrook’s interview with Hector Bonzo, effectively in a holding pattern waiting for orders. Sorry, but that makes them legitimate targets.

    For there to be doubt about the action I think you’d need to prove that the Belgrano was ordered to port as part of the Peruvian peace initiative. But this only exists as a tenuous claim with no evidence.

    I’m in the latter group, not least of all because it offends my sense of fair play (yes I know, ‘all’s fair in love and war’, but that’s a mahoosive fallacy), and not even because I think the least the RN could have done would be to have warned the Argentinian sailors and soldiers to surrender or abandon ship prior to firing on them, instead of quite literally shooting them in the back as they ran

    Submarine warfare does not work that way. For the Argentines to be given a warning of imminent attack would have been the death sentence for the men of the Conqueror.

    It’s worth noting that much of war is fought this way, by ambush in various forms. It may offend your sense of fair play, not having a stand-up fight, but it leads for far fewer casualties for the victorious side. So no, yours is a far from a sensible idea.

    The main reason I think it was wrong was because it wasn’t done for military reasons; once again it was sailing away and not attempting engagement, and it would have been childs play to keep an eye on its movements and react if and when it became a direct threat. It was done because that evil old witch* needed to drum up some jigoistic support for the next election because she’d fucked up with her war on the working class at home and she needed a distraction.

    This assumes malicious intent that is not in evidence. Now, I’m a bona fide enemy of Thatch, and would like nothing more than to dig up dirt on her, but having dug and dug I have never found any such thing with regard to the Falklands. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes a Prime Minister goes to war, against the wishes of many in her cabinet (who feared another Suez), for reasons that have more to do with petty nationalism and a strong sense of justice.

    These Argentines were, in a very real sense, fascists, or at the very least an odious dictatorship that deserved to be thwarted. Which is why that old socialist Michael Foot backed the war. And on this issue, though few others, I give the Magoon the benefit of the doubt. No evidence has emerged that she prosecuted the war for any of the cynical reasons that I’ve seen ascribed to her. Though I’ve no doubt that once won, she exploited the victory in a most unseemly, ugly fashion.

    Oh, and witch is a gendered slur. You’ll find precious little sympathy for you over making that crack.

  135. Acolyte of Sagan says

    See, I said we won’t agree on the Belgrano sinking. Whatever happened to a warning shot over the bows? Thatcher decided to go for all-out war rather than take the diplomatic route.
    Christ-on-a-bike, she had the superior military forces at her disposal, whilst the Argentinian force already on the island were – for the most part – poorly trained and ill-equipped, and with very limited rations. It would have been far easier to simply blockade the islands by enforcing the TEZ (yes, firing on any enemy craft that was trying to enter, but keeping a careful eye on others that were complying with the exclusion orders until the situation changed). The British troops would have had a far easier time re-taking the islands if the occupying force weren’t motivated to fight to the death because they knew from the Belgrano sinking that the British were prepared to kill them even if they obeyed demands to surrender.
    Unfortunately, Thatcher needed the grand gesture; the status of being a ‘great’ leader in time of war, and she wouldn’t have acheived that status if the liberation of the islands was the walkover that it could – and should – have been.

    As for ‘witch’, you can show me all the google images in the world – and yes, of course it’s ‘normal’ to think of ‘witch’ as female – but I am talking of the etymological root of the word, as supplied by the OED (emph. mine):

    [witch]
    Origin:
    Old English wicca (masculine), wicce (feminine), wiccian (verb); current senses of the verb are probably a shortening of bewitch

    A witch can be masculine or feminine.

  136. says

    See, I said we won’t agree on the Belgrano sinking. Whatever happened to a warning shot over the bows?

    Submarines find it very hard to make such a gesture without being sunk. In the case of the Conqueror it was outnumbered by TF79.3. If it had revealed itself it could have been destroyed.

    Thatcher decided to go for all-out war rather than take the diplomatic route.

    The same can be said for the dictatorship, who had plenty of opportunity to back off from their misadventure. Did I mention that they were a gang of murdering fascist torturers?

    It’s worth noting that by the time the Belgrano was sunk, the shooting had already begun. Vulcan bombers had already struck Stanley. Naval shelling had already taken place and special forces were ashore. We were in a shooting war well before those torpedoes struck home.

    Christ-on-a-bike, she had the superior military forces at her disposal, whilst the Argentinian force already on the island were – for the most part – poorly trained and ill-equipped, and with very limited rations.

    And whose fault was that? Why did the Junta send the the 25th Regiment to the island, with so little of its heavy equipment? Why did they hold the mountain warfare brigade and the arctic warfare brigade back near the Chilean border?

    For the record, those forces on the island nearly inflicted a reverse at Goose Green (I recommend Spencer Fitz-Gibbon’s ‘Not Mentioned in Dispatches’ on that battle, rather than Mark Adkin’s sanitised account) and they accounted for plenty of dead at Bluff Cove and the approaches to Stanley. Ask a veteran of the war and I doubt they’ll tell you they were a pushover.

    It would have been far easier to simply blockade the islands by enforcing the TEZ (yes, firing on any enemy craft that was trying to enter, but keeping a careful eye on others that were complying with the exclusion orders until the situation changed).

    No it wasn’t. The winter storms were coming and even with TRALA in operation, the RN Task Force would have swiftly rotted away at sea. It was a weapon operating at the limit of its range and with a finite lifespan. The storms that hit just after the surrender very nearly did for the Task Force and it couldn’t fight on for much longer. The notion of a long blockade was discussed but was considered riskier and more costly on men and materiel than attempting to seek a lodgement ashore.

    The British troops would have had a far easier time re-taking the islands if the occupying force weren’t motivated to fight to the death because they knew from the Belgrano sinking that the British were prepared to kill them even if they obeyed demands to surrender.

    What nonsense. There’s no evidence the Argentine occupying forces were particularly motivated to fight to the death. The prisoner lists and the numerous accounts of poor morale say otherwise. A couple of units, such as the 5th Marine Battalion and 3rd Artillery Group fought tenaciously, all credit to them. But there were no fanatic stands in the war.

    Unfortunately, Thatcher needed the grand gesture; the status of being a ‘great’ leader in time of war…

    That was a mantle she adopted after the war, and with much relish. However, I think you’ll find it hard to prove her motives before the shooting started. You’ll need better evidence than handwaving man-in-a-pub assertions.

    …she wouldn’t have acheived that status if the liberation of the islands was the walkover that it could – and should – have been.

    I think you need to demonstrate how the campaign could have been more of a walkover. Most of the pros who were there and wrote their memoirs would not agree with you. In particular your blockade idea is rejected as untenable and logistically unworkable, just as it was historically. (See Admiral Woordward’s memoir on this matter.)

  137. UnknownEric is GrumpyCat in human form says

    Is it worth it
    A new winter coat and shoes for the wife
    And a bicycle on the boys birthday
    Its just a rumour that was spread around town
    By the women and children
    Soon well be shipbuilding
    Well I ask you
    The boy said dad they’re going to take me to task
    But I’ll be back by christmas
    Its just a rumour that was spread around town
    Somebody said that someone got filled in
    For saying that people get killed in
    The result of this shipbuilding
    With all the will in the world
    Diving for dear life
    When we could be diving for pearls
    Its just a rumour that was spread around town
    A telegram or a picture postcard
    Within weeks they’ll be re-opening the shipyards
    And notifying the next of kin
    Once again
    Its all were skilled in
    We will be shipbuilding

  138. Acolyte of Sagan says

    Oh, it says so in wiki. Dammit, I must be wrong because 9 people (eight of them within the last twenty-five years – in line with the general dumbing-down of the language) say that it is sometimes fallacious to use etymology to educate people of the fact that some words don’t always have the narrow definitions that they think they do.
    I still refer to my terrier as a ‘bloody hound’ when he gets under my feet; the local pub is still known as a ‘coaching inn’ even though the stage-coaches are long gone and forgotten; I will continue to refer to people with evil intent as ‘witches’ irrespective of their gender; and I do all of this because I don not suffer from the modern disease of ignorance of words and their meanings.
    If others wish to stay ignorant of the facts, that’s up to them, but don’t criticise me for giving offence when you obviously don’t understand the word that offends you. Maybe it would help if people didn’t think that wikipedia is the font of all knowledge. Hint: there are better, more reliable sources of information out there.
    I’m starting a new meme; argumentum ad wiki (the argument from ((or appeal to)) wikipedia), which generally manifests itself as “no, you’re wrong because (insert wiki link here).

  139. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Acolyte:

    I’m starting a new meme; argumentum ad wiki (the argument from ((or appeal to)) wikipedia), which generally manifests itself as “no, you’re wrong because (insert wiki link here).

    <snicker>

    New, eh? Me, I’ve lost track of the number of people who employ the genetic fallacy whenever I post a Wikipedia link to something they don’t want to accept.

    (I’d say it was incredible (but I believe it), or that it was amazing (but I am not mazed), so I’ll just note it’s remarkable)

    I still refer to my terrier as a ‘bloody hound’ when he gets under my feet; the local pub is still known as a ‘coaching inn’ even though the stage-coaches are long gone and forgotten; I will continue to refer to people with evil intent as ‘witches’ irrespective of their gender; and I do all of this because I don not suffer from the modern disease of ignorance of words and their meanings.

    Sure, and you’ll continue to claim that their original meaning is what matters, rather than its current colloquial meaning.

    Nice.

  140. Acolyte of Sagan says

    Good grief! So there are some words that retain their original meaning, some that have new meanings thrust upon them and the old discarded, and some that retain both the new and old meanings (apparently, the word ‘sick’ is now colloqially used to mean ‘cool’, which is colloquially used to mean ‘hot’, as in the word ‘trendy’ rather than as a descriptor of temperature; ‘trendy’ can colloquially mean ‘in’, which can colloquially mean ‘bad’, which can colloquially mean ‘sick’.
    See what I did there?
    Words have more than one meaning. One does not get to decide for all that a word must lose one of its definitions because it doesn’t fit with one’s politics.

  141. Anthony K says

    and I do all of this because I don not suffer from the modern disease of ignorance of words and their meanings.

    And yet this is not written in Proto-Indo-European, but some adulterated bastard cant.

  142. Acolyte of Sagan says

    I know, but who’d understand me then?
    For crying out loud, basic modern English is so far over some heads, it’s postively stratospheric!

  143. Acolyte of Sagan says

    ps. If anybody responds to me and I don’t answer, it because I’m abed; it’s 1:35AM and my meds are working for once. I’ll catch up later today (or tomorrow if you’re ‘State-side’).
    Bonne nuit, mon amies.

  144. says

    idiot (n.)
    early 14c., “person so mentally deficient as to be incapable of ordinary reasoning;” also in Middle English “simple man, uneducated person, layman” (late 14c.), from Old French idiote “uneducated or ignorant person” (12c.), from Latin idiota “ordinary person, layman; outsider,” in Late Latin “uneducated or ignorant person,” from Greek idiotes “layman, person lacking professional skill” (opposed to writer, soldier, skilled workman), literally “private person (as opposed to one taking part in public affairs),” used patronizingly for “ignorant person,” from idios “one’s own” (see idiom).

    Posted here for ease of reference the next time I feel moved to call Acolyte of Sagan a copulating ordinary person. That can’t possibly be insulting, can it now?

  145. says

    indicus:

    Hmm, funny how so many people are ready to hoist a glass to the deaths of Thatcher or Reagan (true, I didn’t care much for either) but so many of these same voices were bitching about us ‘vengeful, dangerous’ people who were celebrating Osama Bin Laden’s bullet-riddled corpse. Ah, hypocrisy!

    Margaret Thatcher = died of a stroke
    Ronald Reagan = died of pneumonia (due to Alzheimer’s)

    Osama Bin Laden = killed by a American special forces military unit

    Nope, not a difference between dying of natural causes and being assassinated by a foreign government. In case you didn’t know this: it is possible to be happy that someone has died, but deplore the means of their death (in other words, the people you’re talking about are not unhappy that bin Laden is dead–they deplore the manner in which he died; if you could pull your head out of your ass long enough to think critically or with some degree of empathy you might see this).

    Perhaps another forum where vengeful, dangerous, gun nuts like yourself would be a better place for you to hang your hat. You do not appear to be a good fit here with your regressive views.

    Oh, and one more thing– You’ve been here long enough and even someone with your degree of perception should have clued in to the fact that the community here frowns upon the use of words like “bitchin”.

  146. says

    indicus:

    P.S. Nerd, nice to see that the massive butt-hurt here over use of the word ‘idiot’ has died down and the ‘ableist’ squawking is no more. Or shall we call it another example of “do as I say…”?

    You never learned how to moderate yourself have you?
    Clearly you don’t give two shits who you offend when you toss out homophobic slurs like “butt hurt”.
    Splash damage: look it up.

    Slurs: STOP FUCKING USING THEM FUCKWIT.

  147. says

    culturesclashing:

    Wow… Um the level of hate in this thread is actually quite staggering…

    First response: There is a spectrum along which emotions reside. That spectrum includes more than just LOVE and HATE. While some people in this thread may not *like* Margaret Thatcher, that does not mean they hate her. Being happy that she died doesn’t mean people hate her.

    Second response: Even allowing for *every* person in this thread expressing hatred of Margaret Thatcher…so what? Explain, in great detail what is objectively wrong with someone *hating* someone else.

    So when I see liberals and lefties (of which I am one) attacking and piling hate on Maggie Thatcher and not piling on hate against Tony Blair I see blatant hypocrisy.

    ::looks around at thread::
    I didn’t know this thread had anything to do with Tony Blair.
    I must have missed that.
    If the thread were about the impact of both of them, then sure, your question might have merit. As it is, it is a distraction (and one that assumes people in this thread do not share your antipathy toward Tony Blair).

    I would still contend that Blair and Brown were far far worse for this country than Maggie Thatcher…
    Although given that I would contend that on the whole Maggie Thatcher was a good thing to happen to the country that’s not surprising.

    Perhaps it is the level of privilege you have that prevents you from seeing how bad she was for the country. Just as those in the United States with great privilege failed to see how bad George Bush Jr was.

    However for those of us not operating on your level, you might want to consider posting actual reasons for your pearls of wisdom so that others may understand them.

    I’m sure Ing (who has long been a valuable addition to Pharyngula) is, at this very moment, toiling away at the computer trying, ever so desperately to compose a response sufficient to appease you. I do not advise holding your breath in anticipation.

    ****
    Acolyte of Sagan:

    Oh, it says so in wiki.

    The etymological roots of witch are all well and good, but how is the word used today? Is it used by people in the same manner it used to be? Or has it evolved, as many words do? If it has evolved, what has it become?

    When people call someone a witch, who are they almost overwhelmingly referring to?

    In books, which gender is usually referred to as a witch?

    Which gender is associated with the Salem Witch trials?

    In entertainment/Hollywood:
    Willow Rosenberg
    Sabrina the Teenaged Witch
    The Witches of Eastwick
    Charmed

    Then there’s the marketing of witches during Halloween. I do not believe I have *ever* seen a male witch (and even if there were one, the vast majority of times, people speak of witches as women). Men *can* be witches.
    Overwhelmingly, witches are women.
    So when witch is used to insult someone it is gendered…and an insult.

  148. Acolyte of Sagan says

    Chris Clarke
    10 April 2013 at 7:41 pm [………..[
    Posted here for ease of reference the next time I feel moved to call Acolyte of Sagan a copulating ordinary person. That can’t possibly be insulting, can it now?

    Water off a duck’s back, old darling; I’ve been called worse by better, but tell me, are you always this openly aggressive with people who you disagree with on such relatively minor issues, or are you still smarting from the misunderstanding over my post about Taslima / Bobby Sands?

    Tony, you make your point well re. witches at #177, but you seem to have forgotten that the overwhelming majority of so-called ‘witch doctors’ are male.
    To repeat the point I made earlier in the thread, One does not get to decide for all that a word must lose one of (or a part of) its definitions because it doesn’t fit with one’s politics.

  149. Acolyte of Sagan says

    I forgot to add; if you don’t like the word being used here then fine, I won’t use it here again. But whilst I agree with you on the usual gender-specific insults, I think that you are guilty of special pleading for inclusion of ‘witch’ in the list, not to say borderline misandric to deny its use for (just under) half of the population.
    And I say that only half in jest.

  150. John Morales says

    [OT chomping]

    Acolyte:

    To repeat the point I made earlier in the thread, One does not get to decide for all that a word must lose one of (or a part of) its definitions because it doesn’t fit with one’s politics.

    Never is any sense of any word become archaic or obsolete, eh?

    (Nice!)

    PS:

    Tony, you make your point well re. witches at #177, but you seem to have forgotten that the overwhelming majority of so-called ‘witch doctors’ are male.

    So?

    (What, you imagine ‘witch doctor’ and ‘witch’ are synonymous?)

  151. Acolyte of Sagan says

    Never is any sense of any word become archaic or obsolete, eh?

    Assuming you meant ‘never does.., of course it does, and I said as much in comment #169, but a word – or partial definition of such – doesn’t become obsolete just because somebody doesn’t like it; it becomes obsolete through lack of use.
    If you would care to do a quick search of ‘male witch’ on your search engine of choice, you will discover that ‘witch’ is the accepted term for a man involved in witchcraft among those who would know best, that is, those who are involved in the world of ‘wicca’. In fact, they consider ‘wizard’ and ‘warlock’ to be offensive terms. You will therefore have to acknowledge that ‘witch’ is not gender specific, and nor is the use of the word to describe males obsolete in modern parlance.
    Now, you may say that these people are obviously barmy to believe in witchcraft as anything other than an amusing way of passing an evening, and I’d agree with you, but it doesn’t alter the fact that the word itself is still in common usage as a non-gendered noun for one who partakes in the silliness.

    (What, you imagine ‘witch doctor’ and ‘witch’ are synonymous?)

    Witch doctor: one who supposedly cures or curses others through witchcraft or magic. What’s your point, exactly?

    As I said, demanding that ‘witch’ go on the banned words list is special pleading. Tony inadvertantly said as much by contradicting himself (assuming Tony is a he) at the end of his post, just after his appeal to personal incredulity (emphasis and italicised notes mine)

    I do not believe I have *ever* seen a male witch (there’s the personal incredulity) (and even if there were one, the vast majority of times, people speak of witches as women). Men *can* be witches. (confirming my point perfectly
    Overwhelmingly, witches are women. (overwhelmingly but not exclusively, see last sentence)
    So when witch is used to insult someone it is gendered…and an insult.

    So let me get this straight. A witch can be male but ‘witch’ is a gendered insult?
    Special pleading.

  152. thumper1990 says

    @Acolyte of Sagan #169

    See what I did there?

    You demonstrated you don’t understand modern English slang, is what you did there :-/

  153. Acolyte of Sagan says

    thumper1990
    11 April 2013 at 9:49 am (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    @Acolyte of Sagan #169

    See what I did there?

    You demonstrated you don’t understand modern English slang, is what you did there :-/

    At last, one who reads for comprehension.

  154. says

    Acolyte of Sagan:

    Water off a duck’s back, old darling; I’ve been called worse by better, but tell me, are you always this openly aggressive with people who you disagree with on such relatively minor issues, or are you still smarting from the misunderstanding over my post about Taslima / Bobby Sands?

    I will admit that passive-aggressive condescension bugs me more than it should, especially from people who seem to lack the intellectual wherewithal to back up said condescension.

    That said, I’ll let it drop seeing as this isn’t my thread.

  155. jimthefrog says

    At the risk of poking a hornets’ nest which has presumably been shaken before, are they many insults which aren’t gendered? What are people’s feelings on bastard, arsehole, dickhead, git, wanker? Don’t think I’ve ever heard them used to refer to a woman.

  156. says

    jimthefrog, anything that’s gendered is pretty much out – dickwhatever is out.
    Arseholes are non-gendered, and they tend to spew shit, so they are a pretty good description for some people.
    This board is wank-positive, so wanker is out as an insult. It should be noted, however, that some dishonest visiters pretend to be Just Asking Questions, so “JAQing off” is allowed.

  157. John Morales says

    Never is any sense of any word become archaic or obsolete, eh?

    Assuming you meant ‘never does.., of course it does, and I said as much in comment #169, but a word – or partial definition of such – doesn’t become obsolete just because somebody doesn’t like it; it becomes obsolete through lack of use.

    I am amused you failed to note my employment of an archaism no less than your conceit that one definitionally employ obsolete terms since you hold that their very employment is contradictory to their obsolescence.

    If you would care to do a quick search of ‘male witch’ on your search engine of choice, you will discover that ‘witch’ is the accepted term for a man involved in witchcraft among those who would know best, that is, those who are involved in the world of ‘wicca’.

    If you would care to do a quick search of ‘male nanny’ on your search engine of choice, you will discover that ‘nanny’ is the accepted term for a man involved in nannying — which means ‘nanny’ is not a gendered term in your estimation, right?

    (You adduce Wiccan jargon as an example of ordinary usage? Heh)

    Now, you may say that these people are obviously barmy to believe in witchcraft as anything other than an amusing way of passing an evening, and I’d agree with you, but it doesn’t alter the fact that the word itself is still in common usage as a non-gendered noun for one who partakes in the silliness.

    And yet you had to include gender in the search term you claimed supported your stance. :)

    Witch doctor: one who supposedly cures or curses others through witchcraft or magic. What’s your point, exactly?

    My point is you tried to use witch-doctor and witch as synonymous, though the terms refer to different things, and Tony was referring to the one and not the other; that is, your objection was irrelevant.

  158. John Morales says

    [correction]

    Acolyte:

    Never is any sense of any word become archaic or obsolete, eh?

    Assuming you meant ‘never does.., of course it does, and I said as much in comment #169, but a word – or partial definition of such – doesn’t become obsolete just because somebody doesn’t like it; it becomes obsolete through lack of use.

    I am amused that you failed to note my employment of an archaism no less than your conceit that one cannot definitionally employ obsolete terms since you hold that their very employment is contradictory to their obsolescence.

  159. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    People praising Thatcher’s legacy should show some respect for her victims. Tasteless.- David Wearing

    Thatcher herself has long been a political irrelevance due to poor health, but I’m actually glad she’s died now, rather than in two years’ time in the run-up to the next general election, as the occasion is being exploited to the maximum by her political heirs as an occasion to glorify her, and those of her vile policies they want to push: privatisation, roll-back of the welfare state, curbs on workers’ rights, tax breaks for the rich. (The support for apartheid and the homophobia of “Section 28″, for example, are embarrassing, so they are missing from the eulogies.)

    The bizarre claims that Thatcher “saved Britain” from the evil unions come from people with at best a distant nodding acquaintance with reality. The unions never had a tithe of the power of large corporations or the state itself: what the largest of them did have was sufficient power to defend their members’ interests. That was what Thatcher destroyed, which is an important reason the UK has seen a massive increase in inequality since then.

    It’s worth noting that Thatcher never won the support of the majority of the electorate in a general election. This is typical for UK governments, due to our ludicrously unfair electoral system, but it does make all the prating about how the unions were prone to act without the proven support of a majority of their members, so Thatcher’s breaking of their power was a victory for democracy, rather silly.

  160. Acolyte of Sagan says

    I see somebody still insists on straw-clutching.

    I am amused that you failed to note my employment of an archaism no less than your conceit that one cannot definitionally employ obsolete terms since you hold that their very employment is contradictory to their obsolescence.

    Mmm. Fair point, I missed that. My apologies.
    But semantics aside, I repeat; a word – or partial definition of such – doesn’t become obsolete just because somebody doesn’t like it; it becomes obsolete through lack of use. And as much as you may dislike or discredit those using it in a modern sense –

    (You adduce Wiccan jargon as an example of ordinary usage? Heh)

    – that doesn’t make my point any less relevent.

    If you would care to do a quick search of ‘male nanny’ on your search engine of choice, you will discover that ‘nanny’ is the accepted term for a man involved in nannying — which means ‘nanny’ is not a gendered term in your estimation, right?

    When referring to goats, it’s definitely gendered; when referring to a human occupation then of course not (are you implying that male nannies, male nurses, etc. are ‘girly’?). Likewise, is ‘soldier’ a gender-specific term?
    What you are doing is contradicting yourself. You admit that men can be nannies, then say that ‘nanny’ is gender-specific; you say that men can be witches, then insist that ‘witch’ is gender specific. It sounds like the problem is yours, not mine.

    My point is you tried to use witch-doctor and witch as synonymous, though the terms refer to different things, and Tony was referring to the one and not the other; that is, your objection was irrelevant.

    Not at all. You’re the one with the narrow definition of ‘witch'; I’m the one showing that it can, and does, apply equally to either gender and has a broader definition than the one you’re still desperately trying to hang me for. You can’t just say ‘that doesn’t count’ when I give a valid definition that you don’t like, that’s not how debating works.
    You see, insisting on such narrow definitions of words makes them gender-specific when they aren’t. Were you to accept that words such as ‘witch’ ‘nurse’ and ‘nanny’ can and do have broader meanings than ‘job (or hobby) for a woman’ then the problem is removed. But as you’ve already agreed that men can be witches and nannies, then you are arguing against yourself.

  161. thumper1990 says

    @Jimthefrog

    A gendered insult is an insult which is specific to certain genders; i.e. one which can only logically be applied to a certain gender, or one which is disparaging of a gender of attributes specific to one gender, even if only by implication. “Bastard”, for example, is generally applied only to men but there is nothing in it’s definition which means it can only be applied to men, nor is it illogical to apply it to a woman. So that’s not a gendered insult. “Dick” is a gendered insult, because the implication is that male genitalia are dirty or disgusting (otherwise why would it be an insult?).

    Of course, there are more complex examples, “Witch” being one of them. This is tricky, and I think context-dependant. Personally, I would say it is gendered when used as an insult by someone from a Western culture; since in our culture witches are traditionally women and the phrase “old witch” is generally taken to mean an “evil” woman.

    I hope that helped. I have the post pub lunch sleepiness.

  162. Acolyte of Sagan says

    May I just remind people that theses stand or fall on evidence, not on personal opinion – as we are all quick enough to point out to creationists and their ilk?
    If just one person were to toss a coin in the air and it failed to fall to earth, that would require a rethink of the Theory of Gravity.
    If one brand-new animal or plant were to suddenly appear fully-formed from nothing, then so much for the Theory of Evolution.
    Yet I have supplied several examples of ‘witch’ being used to describe men and still I am being told that this does not alter the ‘Theory of G-S’, not because of a lack of evidence (as mentioned, I have supplied the evidence) but because of personal opinion.

    I really didn’t expect to find such glaring double-standards here of all places.

  163. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Acolyte:

    But as you’ve already agreed that men can be witches and nannies, then you are arguing against yourself.

    Right – and men can be ‘mother’, too, so I suppose you don’t think that’s a gendered term :)

    May I just remind people that theses stand or fall on evidence, not on personal opinion – as we are all quick enough to point out to creationists and their ilk?

    When you need to Google ‘male witch’ or ‘male nanny’ to come up with examples since absent the qualification the results are overwhelmingly feminine (reflecting common usage), when you need to ignore the major dictionary sense to hold to your contention, it is you that relies on personal opinion and not evidence.

    I really didn’t expect to find such glaring double-standards here of all places.

    That you imagine that a term must be utterly and exclusively only ever employed to refer to one gender under all circumstances before it can be considered gendered doesn’t mean those of us who recognise reality (and English as she is spoke) hold to a double standard.

  164. Acolyte of Sagan says

    Right – and men can be ‘mother’, too, so I suppose you don’t think that’s a gendered term

    Now you’re just being silly……..

    That you imagine that a term must be utterly and exclusively only ever employed to refer to one gender under all circumstances before it can be considered gendered

    ……not to mention putting words in my mouth.

    As I’ve said, you would have to search ‘male nurse’ to come up with examples of male nurses, but do you consider ‘nurse’ to be a gendered term? Similarly, you would have to search ‘female soldier’ to find examples of such, but is ‘soldier’ a gendered term?
    In the same vein, search ‘sandwich’ and you will get hundreds and thousands of bread-based ‘hits’. By your logic, this would mean that a Victoria sandwich is not really a sandwich because most people think of bread when they hear the word ‘sandwich’, and a Victoria sandwich is a cake. But this ignores the fact that ‘sandwich’ (in the culinary sense) simply refers to two or more layers of one foodstuff (be it bread or cake) with a layer or layers of something different (be it ham or jam) ‘sandwiched’ in-between them. Just because most people think of a bread-based snack rather than a cake when they hear ‘sandwich’, or that one needs to specify ‘Victoria’ in a search, does not mean that ‘sandwich’ can be termed ‘bread-specific’, just as having having to specify ‘male’ in a search for witches, nannies or nurses (or ‘female’ for soldiers) does not mean that witch, nanny, soldier, or nurse are gender-specific.
    For the last time, personal opinion does not make one right, evidence does.

  165. John Morales says

    Acolyte:

    Now you’re just being silly……..

    “Yet I have supplied several examples of ‘witch’ being used to describe men and still I am being told that this does not alter the ‘Theory of G-S’”.

    Here is one example: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/be_mother

    (Want more?)

    As I’ve said, you would have to search ‘male nurse’ to come up with examples of male nurses, but do you consider ‘nurse’ to be a gendered term? Similarly, you would have to search ‘female soldier’ to find examples of such, but is ‘soldier’ a gendered term?

    No, because (outside the Wiccan subculture) they’re not normally used in a gendered way, unlike ‘witch’.

    (And though ‘nurse’ as a noun denoting a profession is obfuscated by the topic of breast-feeding with a simple search, I find female soldiers in the first page of a search for ‘soldier’)

    For the last time, personal opinion does not make one right, evidence does.

    Well then, why do you perversely persevere in your recalcitrance?

  166. Acolyte of Sagan says

    Why are you ignoring the evidence?

    No, because (outside the Wiccan subculture) they’re not normally used in a gendered way, unlike ‘witch’.

    But it’s within the Wiccan sub-culture where the word is most likely to be correctly used. You are arguing from popularity (most people think of ‘witch’ as gendered, etc) whilst denegrating the minority….

    (You adduce Wiccan jargon as an example of ordinary usage? Heh)

    …who use the word in its correct form.

    Right, I’m away to bed. G’night, John. And thank you for keeping our debate civil – if a little sarcastic in places, but a little sarcasm never hurt anybody. ;-)

  167. John Morales says

    [meta]

    My apologies for the derail.

    Acolyte, you want to argue the point more (you’re still wrong), take it to Thunderdome.

    I leave this thread with this item I noted in the news:
    Ding Dong climbs charts after Thatcher’s death

    Critics of Margaret Thatcher push Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead to number three in the British charts.

  168. Acolyte of Sagan says

    John Morales
    12 April 2013 at 8:20 pm

    [………]Acolyte, you want to argue the point more (you’re still wrong), take it to Thunderdome.

    Nah, I’m not overly keen on banging my head against a brick wall by debating somebody who is pathalogically incapable of conceding the point when he’s wrong – or argues the toss just for the sake of it.
    I’ve supplied enough evidence and examples of ‘witch’ being used contemporarily in a non-gendered context, but you insist on sticking by your narrow ‘old-lady-with-big-nose-and-warts-and-pointy-hat-and-broomstick-and-cauldron-and-black-cat-and-warty-toad-familiar’ definition.
    As you are either unwilling or unable to see the bigger picture then the debate goes to me, I think.

    If nothing else, this debate has at least proven that Thatcher is still capable of polarising opinion, even though she’s dead.
    And that’s witchcraft in a nutshell :-)