Even in death Thatcher divides Britain.
Margaret Thatcher tried to remove the working class from the terraces of British football. To some extent she was successful, as to some extent most of her policies aimed at enriching the elite and impoverishing the poor all succeeded. This weekend the divide between the tiny elite, their running dogs and the general population will be highlighted once more.
The sporting arenas are being asked to mark her death with an appropriate symbol. And so it is that the captains of industry and exploitation that own so many of the football clubs are thrown into sharp contrast with the masses that plough money into their local clubs. While Thatcher may have killed society the last vestiges of community that still exist are often best represented by those that come together on a Saturday afternoon to ‘follow’. Thatcher referred to football fans as ‘animals’.
While Reading FC’s John Madejski bemoans that a minute’s silence at kick-off
“…could have been the worst thing because some people might have been jeering.”
the fans of Reading, who play Liverpool on Saturday, are planning a minute’s silence for the dead of the Hillsborough Disaster. Thatcher was complicit in covering up the wrongdoing of the police at Hillsborough and used the death of 96 fans for her own political ends.
Similarly, Wigan chairperson Dave Whelan is upset that the FA is not ‘imposing’ a minute’s silence :
Both men are prominent Conservative Party members, naturally. Their call for marking the death of Thatcher on the weekend that football clubs will be marking the 24th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy is seen to be in very bad taste.
“We owe Mrs Thatcher a minute’s silence. It is not my decision, it is for the FA to decide, but I would be in favour of wearing an armband out of respect to Mrs Thatcher. We have to say thank you very much for the services the former PM has given us.”