I am a bit new to this twitter game and so was horrified when I returned home from supper last night to find Margaret Thatcher RIP trending on twitter. The first tweet appeared to come from Sky and so seemed credible and so Maggie was dead. This followed on from a worrying morning on Monday when certain tweeters were convinced that Phil the Greek was gravely ill and that an announcement from the Palace was imminent.
I now gather that this is part of the “fun” of twitter. Folks are “killed off” and the rumours spread and might even trend until it is then found out that the person in question is not in fact dead after all.
In the 20 minutes or so before I discovered that Maggie was, in fact, still alive I had knocked out a eulogy which was, I thought, pretty good. At least that is now on file for when the sad day does come. I shall be in the camp who regard Thatcher as the greatest PM of the twentieth century ( greater even than Churchill, given the hurdles she had to overcome to rise to where she did). When, as I hope there will be, there is a State Funeral I shall accompany the t1ps writers (Gill, Moore and Faulkner) to stand in the street as we pay our respects. Richard Gill – who has photos of the Iron Lady all around his desk – will be in a dreadful state.
The tweets last night show how opinion is divided on Thatch. Many folks feel like me. There will be others who regard everything she did as evil and who openly boast now that they will hold parties on the day of her funeral. That one can take joy in the death of another is abhorrent. That they regard Thatcher as evil shows such folk also to be just plain misguided.
But I hope that this is not a debate that has to be had for many years. Except on twitter where it apparently happens every few months.