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‘Tramp the dirt down’: Why some don't want Margaret Thatcher to rest in peace

This is a June 9, 1983. file photo of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher leaving the Castle Lane, Westminster, polling station in London with her husband, Dennis, after casting their votes in the general election . Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, whose conservative ideas made an enduring impact on Britain, has died Monday, April 8, 2013. She was 87.

Peter Kemp/AP

It's probably hard for many Canadians to remember just how much left-wing activists, artists and union members hated Margaret Thatcher during her three terms as prime minister of Britain from 1979 to 1990. If they need a reminder, all they have to do is look at a tweet from George Galloway, the controversial left-wing British MP who was once barred from entering Canada over his support for Hamas:

"Tramp the dirt down," Mr. Galloway tweeted after her death was announced.

Mr. Galloway, never one for subtlety, is thought to have been referring to the 1989 song Tramp the Dirt Down by Elvis Costello, in which the singer imagines her death and going to her grave, where "we'll stand there laughing and tramp the dirt down."

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(The Guardian rounded up five other songs from Thatcher's era, all but one of which are highly critical of her.)

Mr. Galloway has been called by out many of his fellow tweeters, some referring to him in language that is unrepeatable. But he's not alone in his views. The Mail Online has rounded up many of the "celebrations" that Thatcher's death provoked Monday morning.

Those include a Facebook campaign urging people to make the song Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead from the film The Wizard of Oz a number-one hit by buying it online. And this website was in a celebratory mood Monday and asked people how they are going to join in the revelry.

British union leaders were also quick to voice their distaste for Thatcher, who took on Britain's powerful coal-mining unions, and won, during the 1980s. Said Paul Kenny, general secretary of a large British trade union: "Mrs. Thatcher was a powerful politician who will be remembered by many for the destructive and divisive policies she reigned over. … Her legacy involves the destruction of communities, the elevation of personal greed over social values and legitimizing the exploitation of the weak by the strong."

Another union leader said Thatcher's death made for "one of the best birthdays I have ever had."

Thatcher was also despised by some for going to war in the Falklands and for supporting the United States' efforts to bring down the Soviet Union. The Mail online quoted Lindsey German of the Stop The War Coalition as saying, "She should also be remembered as a warmonger."

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