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News triggers celebrations for some as Scots mine deep seam of hostility

Among some of her opponents, Margaret Thatcher's death proved to be a cause for celebration.

party POLITICS: The death of Baroness Thatcher became a cause for celebration for some who gathered at George Square in Glasgow to make their feelings known about the former Prime Minister, with some speaking of her legacy of 'poverty and oppression'. Picture: Marc Turner
party POLITICS: The death of Baroness Thatcher became a cause for celebration for some who gathered at George Square in Glasgow to make their feelings known about the former Prime Minister, with some speaking of her legacy of 'poverty and oppression'. Picture: Marc Turner

From protesters in Glasgow's George Square, to left-wing activists and the miners who saw their families pushed into hardship as a result of her policies, many in Scotland said they would not mourn her passing – with some dancing on hearing the news.

More than 200 people gathered in Glasgow city centre to mark the announcement. Some chanted "Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, dead, dead, dead".

A piper played while protesters danced and stamped on newspapers bearing images of the late Prime Minister.

Cars hooted their horns as they drove round the square and Ding, Dong the Witch is Dead, from the Wizard of Oz, was played through a megaphone that was also used by speakers to broadcast their views.

Jonathon Shafi, 26, from the south side of the city, a member of the Radical Independence Campaign said: "We are here because Thatcher's legacy is one of poverty and oppression and it is important that she is remembered for those reasons.

"That is why, all over the country, there will be street parties and house parties. It is important for us to take the spirit on and reject what the Tories are trying to do. This is about what she stood for."

Pat Freebourne, 43, travelled from Perth to Glasgow as soon as he heard of the death.

He said: "I used to see guys coming home when I was younger who had lost their jobs. Miners or small businesses, I saw them coming into my dad's shop and I saw my dad's business going down as well.

"Margaret Thatcher took away business and took away jobs; she screwed Britain.

"I hate her with every fibre of my being"

In Midlothian, former miner Frederick Mabon was in front of his TV when the early afternoon news announced the death.

"There's another Tory away," he thought to himself.

Mr Mabon's 42-year mining career had ended in the 1980s when the Lady Victoria Colliery at Newtongrange closed.

He never found employment again and now, aged 85, lives alone in a red-brick house built by the coal industry.

He said: "At the time everyone had a grudge against her.

"When she closed the pits it was devastating.

"I couldn't get a job, but that was the system. The young ones got the money and the old ones got nothing really.

"I wouldn't say I was glad she died, but that is an era finished.

"I usually have a drink in the evening anyway, but tonight I'll wish her the best of luck."

Jamie Webster, a GMB union convener who has worked at Govan shipyard on the Clyde since 1967, heard the news when a colleague called.

"Somebody phoned from the yard and said 'a friend of yours in politics has died'," he said yesterday. "I got it in one".

He added: "If you ask 100 people in Scotland I doubt very much if more than one or two take on any kind of sympathy towards her."

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