Keir Starmer goads Thatcherites with one-word anti-statue tweet
The Labour MP took to social media on Wednesday to express his feelings, but was met with ire from the Twittersphere for his reaction to the rejected proposal.
Whatever one's view of Lady Thatcher this is a rather mean-spirited and unpleasant reaction, needlessly broadcast.— Sir Tim Rice (@SirTimRice) January 24, 2018
It's not a political point; it's a good manners point. There is a case for a statue of Lady Thatcher and a case against. There is no excuse for Sir Keir Starmer's spite.— Sir Tim Rice (@SirTimRice) January 24, 2018
Never mind. Thatcher's place in history is assured. Starmer is utterly forgettable. Probably quite soon.— HexEd (@HexEd1967) January 24, 2018
However, the one-word comment from the shadow secretary of state for Brexit also inspired messages of support from anti-Thatcher Twitter users.
A statue of #Thatcher would be spending public money on a permanent INSULT to too many people whose lives were disrupted by her withering contempt.— Stan Attaphia ✊ 🚩 (@Attaphia) January 24, 2018
NO, not now, not ever.
Good - Thatcher, Thatcher Milk Snatcher, remember it well. Not a nice person— Anthony Cox (@AntcoxCox) January 24, 2018
Regardless of Twitter’s point of view, the proposed statue was blocked by Westminster Council. Councilors were reportedly concerned that the monument, which was to be erected in Parliament Square, would face vandalism by protesters.
“There have been a number of objections from the Royal Parks, the Parliamentary Strategic Estates, the Westminster Society, the Thorney Island Society, the adjacent Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and third parties,” the council said in its report.
“The grounds of objection relate to the appropriateness of the subject matter, the concern over possible civil disobedience and vandalism, [and] the depiction of the figure in State Robes…” Officials said that showing Thatcher in state robes “does not reflect her role as prime minister, for which she is being memorialized,” and that there was already a statue of her in the Commons which members of the public can view.
They know if they built a Thatcher statue, it would be immediately destroyed!— ... (@scottKlang) January 25, 2018
Westminster Council also touched on the 10-year rule, under which monuments are erected to individuals only a decade after their deaths. The council did admit, however, that this wasn't the reason that the £300,000 (US$430,000) statue was rejected.
The planned monument, which had already been funded by private donations, was set to stand between the memorials of 19th-century Prime Minister George Canning and former US President Abraham Lincoln.
The cause of many of today’s problems does not merit a statue, one of Pankhurst is a much better candidate.— Liz Lark (@LarkLiz) January 24, 2018
Concerns over “statue saturation” were also raised, as the Thatcher memorial site was close to that of a proposed statue of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.
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