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In still divided Britain, 'Ding Dong!' tolls for Thatcher

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Funeral at St. Paul's Cathedral

Baroness Margaret Thatcher planned her own service, The Daily Telegraph reported, which will reflect her love of Britain, her Christian faith and her belief in tradition.

• Among those who will give readings are Prime Minister David Cameron and Thatcher's granddaughter, 19, who lives in Texas.

• Mourners will sing the patriotic hymn “I Vow to Thee, My Country,” a favorite of the late Princess Diana

• There will be no political eulogy. Thatcher was concerned that her funeral, which will be held on Wednesday, would become the subject of political debate.

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By The Associated Press

Published: Friday, April 12, 2013, 7:27 p.m.

LONDON — Detractors of the late Margaret Thatcher are taking a kind of musical revenge on the former prime minister, pushing the song “Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead” up the British charts in a posthumous protest over her polarizing policies.

By Friday the online campaign had propelled the “Wizard of Oz” song to No. 1 on British iTunes and into the top five of the music chart used by the BBC to compile its weekly radio countdown.

Many in Britain are divided on her legacy, with critics unhappy with Thatcher's uncompromising stance against the country's labor unions, for example.

David Karpf, who studies online campaigns, said the chart battle was an example of a new kind of protest enabled by social media — “A way for people to signal protest en masse without shouting from the rooftops.”

Lawmakers from Thatcher's Conservative Party had called for the publicly funded broadcaster to drop the song, while others warned that such a move would mean censoring dissent.

The BBC, caught between allegations of censorship and poor taste, split the difference, saying it would broadcast a snippet of the tune — with an explanation of why it was there.

 

 
 


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