Margaret Thatcher died. She was old, which I hear significantly increases your chance of death. She was 87, which is a good age. She had outlived her husband and was living in the Ritz hotel in London. I suppose that’s what people with money do instead of going in to a care home, but I find this rather sad.
As a direct impact of her passing, the song Ding Dong the Witch is Dead from the Wizard of Oz is soaring up the charts are it likely to be number one on the official charts this weekend (Sunday 14th April).
It transpires that a Facebook group was set up some six years ago to get this song to number one the week Thatcher dies; an interesting if pointless ambition.
Why this is good news
It might seem odd that I, a person of relative sound and moral mind, could ever see the good in this activity. It’s not a monumentally well written song, but it illustrates the power of Social Media, a medium I love. It demonstrates the power of people with a mission and that our decisions are not solely driven by commercialist marketing in the music industry or elsewhere. When enough people share a common opinion which isn’t necessarily extolled by the nation’s media, it can affect real change.
This is a good thing. Through Social Media strong and common opinions can unite to be heard, create discord and sometimes required disruption.
Why this is bad news
People are massively divided on their opinions of Margaret Thatcher. I was born whilst she was in power. I don’t really recall her governing the UK, but there are a few of her policies that have made the country more difficult for my generation, the sale (right to buy) of council houses being a primary example.
However, the activity with this song is rather immature. I would hazard a guess, based on the iTunes generation demographic, that the majority of people downloading this track are the same age, if not younger than me and that their opinions towards Thatcher aren’t actually that strong, they are just using this as an opportunity to be part of a rebellion. The same goes for the street parties that have occurred. Are these people truly full of elation? Surely the time to celebrate was when she fell from power. Or are they just getting in on causing a stir and having a bit of fun?
I don’t agree with fawning over someone posthumously if this means altering your opinion from when they were alive, but discussion for or against Thatcher should be constructive. Getting Ding Dong the Witch is Dead to number one is simply offensive, juvenile and thoughtless.
Whether the song will actually be played by BBC Radio 1 or the Capital network remains to the seen. I suppose it should be if that’s popular opinion. The song without context is not controversial in it’s own right.
What are your thoughts?