There has been a lot of outrage expressed (some of it probably confected) over the campaign by some to have the song Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead get to number 1 in the download charts this week.
Isn’t this one of those examples of the law of unintended consequences?
For the irony here is that it is those who were/are the most avid acolytes of the “Blessed Margaret” as they saw/see Mrs Thatcher who are the ones most loudly decrying the situation. (And make no mistake: we have been subject to a concerted effort to portray her as some sort of secular saint – it was hours before I heard any sort of countervailing opinion on the BBC News on TV or radio on Monday and on Tuesday Matthew Amroliwala persistently tried to force Douglas Alexander to agree that her legacy was entirely beneficial.)
Notwithstanding the point that using the song in this way is arguably sexist – there is no male equivalent to witch that carries the same degree of derogatoriness – wasn’t her attachment to market forces well documented enough and isn’t this the perfect example of those same market forces?
To assert the primacy of “the market” and then to say that a choice people make under its auspices is wrong or reprehensible is hypocritical at best. You cannot be both for the untrammelled workings of a market and at the same time complain about any of its manifestations – except from a position of intellectual bankruptcy.
If you claim that some choices ought to be limited or should not be made then you admit that markets need to be constrained. You have lost the pass, conceded the game.
The question is then of where to draw the line, not of having no line at all.