The Scottish FA have told STV, that they have no plans to mark the death of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at this weekend’s Scottish Cup semi final ties.
Thatcher, died on Monday, aged 87, after suffering a stroke while at the plush Ritz hotel in London.
In my opinion, the Scottish FA are correct in their stance given what Thatcher did to Scotland – although I am not going to go into the ins and outs of the political fall out from her time in charge. Safe to say she did irreparable damage to Scotland and it’s economy.
But the reason why she should not be remembered or given respect by football clubs is her part in the Hillsborough disaster cover-up.
Margaret Aspinall, whose teenage son James was killed in the Hillsborough disaster, said that any minutes silence for Thatcher would be ‘an insult’.
She said: “I think if they have a minute’s silence for her at any football ground it would be an insult to all fans. We all know that Margaret Thatcher was no friend of football, everyone knew her feelings. I do not want to speak ill of the dead because we have to consider the feelings of her family, but she was part and parcel of what we [the bereaved families]have gone through.
“I think it is a disgrace that they would want to have a minute’s silence for her, an absolute disgrace.”
Aspinall campaigned for more than 20 years for justice for those 96 Liverpool fans killed in 1989 at Hillsborough, this Monday will see the 24th anniversary of the disaster.
The Hillsborough Independent Panel report, published last year, revealed Thatcher was reluctant to blame the police for their actions and coverup of the events, despite the government being aware of evidence of their role in the disaster.
General Secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union Bob Crow added: “It would be an absolute insult to the memory of the Hillsborough victims, and to all the millions of working people who suffered under Thatcher’s regime, if there was a minute’s silence at any football games this weekend, let alone the Wembley semi-finals.
“Wigan, and the north-west, is one of the areas of the country that still bears the scars from the Thatcherite assault on jobs, services and Britain’s industrial base.
“The idea that football supporters of all people are going to observe a tribute to a woman who connived with the lies against the 96 Liverpool fans who died in Sheffield is absolute madness.”
While Scottish football was not subjected to Thatcher, the fact that anyone would even consider remembering the ‘Iron Lady’ is deplorable given her part in the Hillsborough cover-up.
She regarded football fans as part of ‘the mob’, she demonised all football fans. While hooliganism was a curse of the English game in the 1980s, her actions in the aftermath of Hillsborough was even more deplorable and disgusting than those hooligans passing themselves off as football fans.
Thatcher, encouraged her press secretary Bernard Ingham to spread lies and misinformation blaming the victims of the tragedy, exonerating the police who were, as the world now knows, the true guilty party.
When Lord Justice Taylor reported in 1990, Thatcher overruled her Home Secretary, Douglas Hurd, who advised to accept the truth about the disaster.
While other websites will do the issue in more depth and with more justice than I ever could, the fact of the matter is – IF any Scottish football club has a minute’s silence for THAT woman, THAT so-called human being then not only should they be ashamed of themselves but they should also be booed and lambasted by every football fan in Scotland and England to boot.
Remember the 96 fans whose reputations she tarnished for over 20 years. Remember those across the country she did untold damage too.
Fans may grumble today over not being able to sing certain songs or being allegedly harassed and intimidated by Police, under Thatcher, she tried to impose an ID scheme on ALL football fans. To get into grounds you had to carry said ID card with you and if you did not you would be placed under arrest. 1984 or what?
For her to even fail to apologise over the cover-up even after the truth came out – is as equal a crime as the cover-up she concocted over Hillsborough.
Yes by all means have a minutes silence, but it should be for Hillsborough and the blame that was placed on the heads of the dead, when the 96 could not defend themselves. We should have a minute silence for the families who toiled, who cried every night, who fought the system and who finally received the facts after years of campaigning and believing in their loved ones.
So rather than head to London next week for a Tory party weeping contest over their ‘leader’ a la North Korean style, head to Liverpool and pay tribute to the 96 who died and who were blamed by Thatcher when they were innocent.
Some will say RIP Maggie Thatcher, but for those who detest and deplore her it should be RIH – Rot in Hell Thatcher!