In ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ street artist and prankster Smudger sets Twitter trending with a spoof announcement that Margaret Thatcher has died. Well, that’s not the first time that’s happened, but Smudger also sets up a fake in-memoriam site for tributes to be left for the former – PM. Inevitably, the site is targeted with less than complimentary comments before it is swiftly shut down. Smudger strikes again. The scene highlights just how Twitter can be manipulated and used as an anti-news medium.
But why poor Mrs Thatcher some may ask? Given the context of the spoof was a party political conference, then obviously she was ‘fair game’ for the purposes of the book, but it also raise the issue that, love her or loathe her, when the day of her passing does arrive, Baroness Thatcher is once more going to divide the nation as virulently as she ever did in the past.
As the recent furore at the TUC annual conference over the sale of t-shirts and party kits rejoicing in the future death of Mrs Thatcher demonstrated, for every commentator professing abhorrence over ‘tastelessness’ and ‘inappropriateness’, there was an equal number of unabashed detractors still keen to profess their ongoing opprobrium towards the so-called ‘Iron Lady’. Incidentally, AMOLAD was finished and at the printers before that particular story went national.
The TUC conference ‘Ding Dong the Witch is Dead’ episode is going to be a storm in a teacup compared to what will happen when Margaret Thatcher finally does slip this mortal coil. The rumour of a state funeral being planned for her will inevitably lead to considerably stronger protests than T-shirts bearing unsavoury slogans. As for what songs will be played at her funeral the mind can only boggle….