Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Party Planned to 'Celebrate' Thatcher. Death; Trade Unions Invited to 'Distasteful' Night of Music and Drinking to Mark the Demise of the Iron Lady

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Party Planned to 'Celebrate' Thatcher. Death; Trade Unions Invited to 'Distasteful' Night of Music and Drinking to Mark the Demise of the Iron Lady

Article excerpt

CRITICS of Margaret Thatcher are preparing a party on Tyneside to "celebrate" her death.

Socialists, trade unionists and staunch opponents of the Iron Lady are set for an evening of music and drinking tomorrow to mark the demise of "one of the most hated figures in British politics."

But the decision has split public opinion, with many of those who were affected by Thatcher's policies calling for more respect for the dead.

Former shipyard worker Vic McCutcheon, from Walkergate, said he thought the idea of a party was distasteful.

"Fair enough, Thatcher did bad things - I worked in the shipyards and was affected by her cuts - but you shouldn't celebrate anyone's death," the 75-year-old said.

The party is taking place at Newcastle Labour Club, on Leazes Park Road, though a spokesman for the club was keen to point out they were only renting out the venue.

The event itself is being arranged by members of the Socialist Workers Party, who have invited members of all the major trade unions to attend.

Organiser Michael Dixon said: "It's a chance to celebrate and remember the 1980s and what Thatcher meant for people in the North East.

"So far a lot of the discussion around her death has been very one-sided and positive, but a lot of people are still suffering because of her legacy.

"The party is an opportunity for people who were affected - and that's not myself as I'm too young - to get together."

Mr Dixon said any donations received on the night, which starts at 7pm and is open to all, would go to the National Union of Mineworkers, and he hopes to see the group's North East secretary David Hopper in attendance.

Other union's said they did not yet know if they would attend.

RMT regional organisers Micky Thompson and Craig Johnston said while they might not be there they backed the party's sentiment.

"I do not normally speak ill of the dead, however, in this instance, I am more than happy to do so," said Micky.

"Margaret Thatcher and her Tory policies created a path which destroyed towns villages and communities across the heartland of the North which in turn created mass unemployment and social deprivation. …

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