A number of former mining towns in the north of England are on suicide watch. A spokesperson from the Samaritans confirmed on Monday that it had been dealing with numerous callers concerned that their lives had no purpose now they could no longer hate Margaret Thatcher.
One resident of Selby in North Yorkshire, who after losing his job as a miner became a full-time campaigner to increase student grants until the Labour Party abolished them all-together in 1997, had apparently been preparing for the moment for decades.
“If I’m quick enough, I’ll be within spitting distance in the queue to the Pearly Gates, before she’s sent down to hell,” Saul Bitter’s suicide note explained. “And I’m packing plenty of pesticide [two litres, the coroner’s report confirmed] just in case reincarnation does exist, as she’s bound to come back as some kind of parasite.”
Once the euphoria dies down, the Samaritans are concerned there could be a suicide epidemic. “Hating Thatcher was my son’s birthright,” complained another resident of the town, 15-year-old Xavier Miner. “It’s just take, take, take with that woman!”
Mrs Thatch would have made a good Lady Bracknell. After all, they are both formidable women who will both forever be connected with handbags – if anything, the association ups the intimidation factor, or is it just me who doesn’t like the idea of being clobbered by one? Thatcher’s, though, was more than just an accessory. “Many are the ministers who have cursed the contents of that wretched blue handbag,” one of her ministers, Kenneth Baker told the BBC this week, once somebody had proved to him she was really dead.
So if you’re in mourning for Attila the Hen, why not go and watch the CTC’s performance of The Importance of Being Earnest, which starts next Wednesday in Østerbro.
And she would have probably enjoyed I’m Short, I’m Bogart. You can imagine the young Miss Roberts swooning over Bogie in the Grantham Odeon, before collecting her thoughts to realise that she had a country to save, or destroy, depending on what side of the fence (some would say the Watford Gap) you stand.