Read. Watch. Go. Do 08/04/13

READ: This Guardian comment piece on the danger of applying the ‘do not speak ill of the dead’ dictate to such influential public figures. The following paragraph, and a later comparison to the tone of the discussion last month when Chavez died, make this piece worth reading on the day Thatcher died and half the country’s commentators went into overdrive criticising people on the left who are celebrating or using this as a time of reflection.

Margaret Thatcher

Whatever else may be true of her, Thatcher engaged in incredibly consequential acts that affected millions of people around the world. She played a key role not only in bringing about the first Gulf War but also using her influence to publicly advocate for the 2003 attack on Iraq. She denounced Nelson Mandela and his ANC as “terrorists”, something even David Cameron ultimately admitted was wrong. She was a steadfast friend to brutal tyrants such as Augusto Pinochet, Saddam Hussein andIndonesian dictator General Suharto (“One of our very best and most valuable friends”). And as my Guardian colleague Seumas Milne detailed last year, “across Britain Thatcher is still hated for the damage she inflicted – and for her political legacy of rampant inequality and greed, privatisation and social breakdown.”

GO: Tickets have nearly sold out for the National Museum of Scotland’s latest ‘Late Night’ event – Dino Night! On 17th May, for only £10, you can enjoy adult face-painting, a silent disco, booze and paleontology lectures. Yes?

DO: Apply for Young Friends of the Earth Europe’s annual summer camp in Lofoten, Norway. It runs from 28 July to 4 August and the contribution asked for is only 20 euros – they reimburse up to 100% of (non-flying) transport from anywhere in Europe. The camp is happening all the way up in the Norwegian Arctic Circle as it’s focused on raising awareness and taking action to prevent the drilling for North Sea oil off the coast of the Lofoten Islands.

I wish I could go but I’ll be in the South of France for a hen do (booked my Eurostar and train this morning for less than the cost of the easyjet flight!). I’ll have to console myself by watching Young Friends of the Earth Noway’s adorable invitation song:


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