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Thatcher's death provokes party in Glasgow and celebrations elsewhere

Amid the huge outpouring of tributes and expressions of condolence, critics of Thatcherism were equally vocal in their views.

Respect MP George Galloway said simply on Twitter: "Tramp the dirt down." He later tweeted: "Justice for the Miners" before adding: "Thatcher described Nelson Mandela as a "terrorist". I was there. I saw her lips move. May she burn in the hellfires."

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Controversial comedian Frankie Boyle wrote: "Finally, I get to wear my black suit and tap shoes together."

Burnistoun creator Robert Florence tweeted: "I wish there was a Margaret Thatcher statue in Glasgow. I'd like to be seen on the news toppling it and hitting it with my shoes."

Comic book writer and Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar said: "Anybody sad about Thatcher today has clearly not read a newspaper since 1979."

Thatcher: a figure of hate in Scotland

Obituary: Thatcher, admired and hated in equal measure

In pictures: Margaret Thatcher

Hundreds of cheering people held parties to "celebrate" the death of Baroness Thatcher.

A crowd of two or three hundred people assembled in Glasgow's George Square where in 1989 protests to the introduction of Thatcher's poll tax took place.

Some wore party hats and launched streamers into the air while a bottle of champagne was opened with a toast to the demise of Baroness Thatcher.

Members of various organisations including the Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation, the Communist Party, the Socialist Party, the Socialist Working Party, the International Socialist Group, were joined by members of the public to mark the occasion.

Anti-capitalist campaigners shouted from loudspeakers, "Maggie, Maggie, Maggie" as the crowd replied "dead, dead, dead".

Crowds gathered from 5pm despite a statement from Glasgow City Council discouraging anyone from attending the event which was organised over social media.

Within minutes of the announcement of the death of the former prime minister a call was made for a demo in Glasgow's city centre.

There has been preparation for the day Margaret Thatcher died for many years. Martin Chomsky, the lead singer of Chomsky Allstars, penned the song So Long Margaret Thatcher a number of years ago.

He performed the song in George Square tonight. He said: "There are mixed emotions. I was never brought up to celebrate anyone's death but the pain she brought to Latin America, Europe and around the world should be remembered.

"I would rather that Thatcherism was dead because she is mostly to blame for what is going on today.

"She is responsible, but not solely, for the massive gap between the rich and the poor."

During the "party" a green smoke bomb was held in the air by one member of the crowd and a firework was set off but the event was peaceful and no arrests were made, according to police.

There were performances by musicians including a rendition of the tune dubbed the Bedroom Tax Song called You Cannae Have A Spare Room In A Pokey Cooncil Flat by Alan Smart which has received more than 130,000 views on YouTube.

Angela McCormick, a socialist from Glasgow, said: "I'm here for a generation that didn't have a future when they left school and didn't have jobs. I'm here for the members of my family who have been devastated by the economic policies or the economic crimes of Margaret Thatcher in the 80s in Glasgow.

"She started with saying 'it's all about individuals there's no such thing as society' and now Cameron is saying there's no such thing as welfare. This isn't nostalgia, this is a fight for our lives and many of us feel fortunate to have survived Thatcherism and we're telling David Cameron right now, we'll survive him just like we put an end to Thatcher."

When asked if she thought it was appropriate to celebrate Baroness Thatcher's death, Ms McCormick said: "It's not right and appropriate to wage war on the poor, to channel thousands and millions of pounds into making the rich richer and expect ordinary people to lie down and roll over and put up with it. She was inappropriate, her killing and murder has put blood on her hands and that's why it's appropriate to be here today."

Bryan Simpson, 24, who is a member of executive council for Unite the Union created the Facebook event page, Thatcher's Deed - Party in George Square - Tonight!

More than 1,000 people said they would attend via the social networking site, with a number of people referring to the stroke that killed her as "a stroke of good luck".

Mr Simpson said: "This is to celebrate the death of somebody who has for 35 years been a bane on society.

"The reason we are here today, apart from celebrating the death of Thatcher, is to point out that what she began is being continued by the Tories now. David Cameron is a child of Thatcher and is absolutely continuing her neo-liberal policies. The bedroom tax that has been brought in has been brought in because she got rid of all the social housing. We would have enough social housing for everybody but she sold it off.

"What I think we want to change is this perception in the media that Margaret Thatcher is a god, with some kind of pariah status within society, she's not. She is one of the worst prime ministers we have ever had."

Bruce Morton, 53, member of The Greater Shawlands Republic, said: "She was one of the most strident advocates and driving forces behind a rampant capitalism which saw communities broken up, industries torn down, deregulation of this, privatisation of that and as one of the older more patrician Tories said at the time, she sold off the family silver. To my mind there was no need for any of those measures, no need for such drama back in those times. It was just an ideology which I think has proven to have failed."

In England, David Hopper, general secretary of the Durham Miners' Association, said her death was a "great day" for coal miners.

The ex-miner, who turned 70 today, spent all of his working life at Wearmouth Colliery.

He said: "It looks like one of the best birthdays I have ever had.

"There's no sympathy from me for what she did to our community. She destroyed our community, our villages and our people.

"For the union this could not come soon enough and I'm pleased that I have outlived her.

"It's a great day for all the miners, I imagine we will have a counter demonstration when they have her funeral.

"Our children have got no jobs and the community is full of problems. There's no work and no money and it's very sad the legacy she has left behind.

"She absolutely hated working people and I have got very bitter memories of what she did. She turned all the nation against us and the violence that was meted out on us was terrible.

"I would say to those people who want to mourn her that they're lucky she did not treat them like she treated us."

Colleagues of Arthur Scargill, the former leader of the National Union of Mineworkers, who clashed bitterly with Mrs Thatcher during the 1984/85 miners' strike, said he was unlikely to make any comment.

Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said: "Mrs Thatcher was a powerful politician who will be remembered by many for the destructive and divisive policies she reigned over which in the end, even in the Tory party, proved to be her downfall.

"Her legacy involves the destruction of communities, the elevation of personal greed over social values and legitimising the exploitation of the weak by the strong."

Baroness Thatcher's policies were "fundamentally wrong", former London mayor Ken Livingstone said today.

He told Sky News the former Conservative prime minister was responsible for "every real problem" faced in the UK today, as he claimed she had led millions of people out of work.

Mr Livingstone said: "Of course she was popular, she was offering people their homes at a cut price. But she didn't build any houses.

"She created today's housing crisis, she produced the banking crisis, she created the benefits crisis. It was her government that started putting people on incapacity benefits rather than register them as unemployed because the Britain she inherited was broadly at full employment.

"She decided when she wrote off our manufacturing industry that she could live with two or three million unemployed and the legacy of that, the benefits bill that we are still struggling with today.

"In actual fact, every real problem we face today is the legacy of the fact she was fundamentally wrong."

He also said that it was to Tony Blair's "shame" that he "broadly carried on" most of her policies.

Mr Livingstone added: "She once claimed New Labour was her greatest legacy and I am not saying she was joking."

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams reacted to the announcement of Baroness Thatcher's death with a scathing assessment of her political legacy in Ireland and elsewhere.

She was long vilified in republican circles over her involvement in Northern Ireland, in particular her handling of the IRA hunger strikes inside the Maze prison in the early 1980s. She was a top target of the IRA, which nearly succeeded in killing her in the deadly Brighton bomb blast of 1984.

"Margaret Thatcher did great hurt to the Irish and British people during her time as British prime minister," claimed Mr Adams.

"Working class communities were devastated in Britain because of her policies.

"Her role in international affairs was equally belligerent whether in support of the Chilean dictator Pinochet, her opposition to sanctions against Apartheid South Africa; and her support for the Khmer Rouge.

"Here in Ireland her espousal of old draconian militaristic policies prolonged the war and caused great suffering."

He accused her of embracing censorship, collusion and the use of lethal force in covert operations.

Mr Adams and fellow senior Sinn Fein representatives were subject to the then Mrs Thatcher's ban of their voices being broadcast during the Troubles.

"Her failed efforts to criminalise the republican struggle and the political prisoners is part of her legacy," he added.

"It should be noted that in complete contradiction of her public posturing, she authorised a back channel of communications with the Sinn Fein leadership but failed to act on the logic of this.

"Unfortunately she was faced with weak Irish governments who failed to oppose her securocrat agenda or to enlist international support in defence of citizens in the north.

"Margaret Thatcher will be especially remembered for her shameful role during the epic hunger strikes of 1980 and 81. Her Irish policy failed miserably."

Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop The War Coalition, said: "Margaret Thatcher laid the basis for policies which wrecked the lives of millions in Britain. But she should also be remembered as a warmonger.

"She led alongside Ronald Reagan the escalation of the Cold War. She introduced cruise missiles to Britain and fought the Falklands war. Her arms deals with Saudi Arabia were notorious. Her legacy was Tony Blair who built enthusiastically on her record."

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