Booze, conga and jeers in Glasgow at Thatcher death 'party'

She was a Prime Minister whose policies divided opinion – and the country.

From the privatisation of industry and Poll Tax to education reform and her infamous policy on milk for school children, Margaret Thatcher made her mark on British politics.

When news broke of her death on Monday morning, social media sites were flooded with both tributes and celebrations.

And word quickly spread of a so called "party" being held in Glasgow’s George Square.

Some 100 people gathered in the city’s civic space at 5pm on Monday to celebrate. Others claimed as many as 250 to 300 made their way before the gathering broke up some three hours or so later.

Initiated through a Facebook group called Thatcher's Deed - Party in George Square - Tonight!, the event was attended by young and old.

Chants of "Maggie, Maggie, Maggie! Dead, dead dead!" could be heard ringing out from the square.

A group of people formed a conga line singing "This is for the miners" as they weaved in and out the crowd.

conga

Some brought balloons, champagne and even milk to celebrate. And a piper came along to provide the music for a few jigs.

Piper

Banners included an eviction notice for the Tories and placards were waved with messages against the "bedroom tax".

Horns of passing cars beeped as individuals in the crowd stood up to express their feelings through a megaphone.

Some brought along their dogs and others their children as crowds sung "jelly and ice cream when Thatcher died" and "ding dong the witch is dead".

Child

Brian Simpson, 24, from Glasgow was one of the people in the crowd. He said: "I was only born in 1988 but I know from my generation and my mum and dad’s generation what Margaret Thatcher done in this country and in Britain as a whole.

"What we are now facing is attacks from a Tory government who learned from the best, learned from Thatcher, learned from someone who taught them the worst about neo-liberalism.

"We are now facing a bedroom tax in Scotland and in Britain which is going to through tens of thousands of the poorest and most vulnerable people in society on the scrap heap but it was her who started that.

"She was the one who sold the social housing in this country and she is the one who really began the social and economic turmoil that we are in just now.

"This is a celebration, it is very impromptu. It was on Facebook and over 1000 people said they wanted to come to this. I think that shows the real anger in Glasgow particularly.

"Remember Glasgow is where they started the Poll Tax, Glasgow is where 120,000 people marched on the streets when they brought the Poll Tax in so I think the anger here is palpable and the frustration that people have still with this Tory government is being celebrated today.

"It is not just about the death of a person. What we want is the death of Thatcherism."

Balloons

Gavin Patterson, 53, said: "I just felt it would be worth coming along to see what kind of reaction there would be in Glasgow because Mrs Thatcher wasn’t universally loved shall we say.

"I just came to add my numbers and the numbers of my friends and family.

"It is not exactly unexpected and without meaning to personalise which is obviously a tragedy for some people she didn’t really think too much of us so we really don’t think too much of her.”

Three police officers were in attendance at the event and a message issued by Glasgow City Council urging crowds to stay away fell on deaf ears.

Scottish actor Iain Robertson was in the crowds. He Tweeted:

Rita Pearce, 61, added: "I’m here to celebrate Maggie Thatcher’s death. She’s the ruin of Britain. When she came out with the Poll Tax.

"She has put this country where it is and David Cameron is following suit with her."

Drew McEwan said: "I’m old enough to have seen the worst of the excesses of this woman and her Tory government.

"I’m old enough to have witnessed with my own eyes the attacks she made on the working class and I’m old enough to have seen the communities that she destroyed when she was alive, all for the sake of profit and for the sake of the bosses.

“The working class of this country were driven into the ground by this woman. We are dancing on her grave and in the words of Elvis Costello, we are ‘tramping down the dirt’ on this woman.

"This is a great day for the working class of Britain and a great day will come again when we get rid of these Tories."

Video by Greig Gallagher

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