BBC Faces Dilemma as Anti-Thatcher Song Tops Charts

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    Margaret Thatcher, British Conservative Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990, circa 1990.

    The BBC is in a bind after opponents of Margaret Thatcher pushed the song "Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead" to the top of the British charts in a posthumous protest over her divisive policies.

    The online campaign to drive the "Wizard of Oz" song to the No. 1 spot on the U.K. singles chart was launched by Thatcher critics shortly after the former prime minister died Monday of a stroke at age 87.

    As of Friday, the song was No. 1 on British iTunes.

    Still, many people say the campaign — which aims to see the song played this weekend on the BBC's Official Chart Show — is in bad taste. Some have called on the BBC to promise it won't broadcast the song.

    John Whittingdale, a lawmaker from Thatcher's Conservative party, told the Daily Mail tabloid that many would find the ditty "deeply insensitive."

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    "This is an attempt to manipulate the charts by people trying to make a political point," he said.

    In a statement, the BBC said it had not yet decided on whether it would feature the song on its show — which normally plays all the week's best-selling hits.

    "The Official Chart Show on Sunday is a historical and factual account of what the British public has been buying and we will make a decision about playing it when the final chart positions are clear," the taxpayer-funded BBC said.

    Not all Tories agreed that the song should be yanked.

    "No song should be banned by the BBC unless its lyrics are pre-watershed," said former Conservative lawmaker Louise Mensch, referring to British restrictions on adult content.

    Mensch, a prominent Conservative voice on Twitter, said in a message posted to the site that Thatcher, famously known as "the Iron Lady," would not have wanted it any other way.

    "Thatcher stood for freedom," she wrote.