The debate over whether the BBC should play the song ‘Ding Dong the Witch is Dead’ is heating up, with influential figures and ordinary Brits taking to Twitter and Facebook to voice opinions on both sides.
The song from the Wizard of Oz has sold 20,000 copies this week after anti-Thatcher campaigners encouraged people to buy it to celebrate the death of the former Conservative prime minister. It is currently number four in the charts and there is speculation it will go to number one by the time the BBC’s Official Chart Show airs on Sunday, three days before Lady Thatcher’s funeral.
This week the Tory peer Lord McAlpine, who reached a £125,000 settlement with the BBC after Newsnight wrongly linked him to child abuse, said the Chart Show was being “hijacked” for political purposes and urged the corporation not to play the song. However, Tory MP Philip Davies said the BBC has a “duty” to play the song, but added that the anti-Thatcher campaign is “pathetic, small-minded and mean-spirited”.
According to SoMA, YouGov’s social media analysis tool, today 40% of the UK Twittersphere is receiving tweets about Margaret Thatcher, and top words mentioned alongside the late PM include “dead”, “bbc”, “song”, “dong” and “ding”.
Meanwhile, 5% of the UK Facebook population is receiving updates about Thatcher, and top words associated with her include “witch”, “ding”, “dong” and “song”.
As the debate rolls on in the lead-up to The Official Chart Show on Sunday, we will be using SoMA to measure the impact on Twitter and Facebook – stay tuned for updates!