T-shirts celebrating the prospect of Baroness Thatcher’s death have been removed from a stall at the TUC’s annual conference after they were condemned by Brendan Barber and Ed Miliband.
The T-shirts, on sale at a stall run by a Derbyshire workers group with links to the TUC, cost £10 each and boasted that union members will want to “dance on her grave” when she dies.
However TUC general secretary Mr Barber said the items were “tasteless and totally inappropriate” and his officials asked for them to be withdrawn from sale.
Sources close to Labour leader Mr Miliband said he “deplored these sentiments”. An aide added: “No one should want to dance on anyone’s grave.”
The T-shirts were removed, but other conference shops sold out of party packs featuring balloons and indoor fireworks for use when the former Conservative Prime Minister dies.
Mugs and T-shirts proclaiming “I still hate Thatcher” we’re also being sold at the annual unions’ conference, in Brighton.
Colin Hampton, from the Derbyshire Unemployed Workers’ Centre, who was running the T-shirt stall, said he had sold the products to buyers in Singapore, Thailand, and Belgium in the last 24 hours.
“I am not wanting Thatcher to die,” he said. “But when she dies, there will be a reaction.”
Some will say she was “the greatest leader” Britain has ever had while others will think “the opposite”.
He added: “The TUC asked me to take the T-shirts down so I have said yes. I realise they are not to everyone’s taste. We have merely tried to use Thatcher’s entrepreneurial spirit to raise funding for unemployed workers who desperately need it.”
One of the garments has an image of Mrs Thatcher’s spitting image puppet, with the words “Hey ho the witch is dead” along side.
Attached to the plastic is a notice urging the buyer only to wear when Lady Thatcher has died. It says: “In the event of Thatcher’s death of Thatcher open bag and wear Tee shirt immediately.”
Another T-shirt features a white cross on a grave with “Thatcher” across it, and the words: “A generation of trade unionists will dance on her grave”.
The T-shirts built on the residual anger in the union movement over the way major British industries were allowed to decline in the 1980s, while unions saw their influence wane because of tough anti-strike laws.
Conservative MPs criticised the T-shirts as tasteless. Conor Burns, a Tory MP who regularly visits Lady Thatcher at her home in central London, said: “These sickening sentiments speak to something disordered in the human condition.
“It shows an ugly side to the hard left who cannot move on from their utter defeat at the hands of this remarkable, but now frail, lady. Not for the first time Lady T shows why she amounts to so much more than her opponents.”
The space for the stand was provided free of charge by the TUC. The Workers’ Centre was not affliated to the TUC, but was a “recognised” body with looser ties to the organisation.
Courtesy of The Telegraph