Does the Iron Lady's ghost have the answers we crave?
In 2019, Brexit feels like one big fever dream. In the last week alone, we’ve seen Boris Johnson accused of lying to the Queen, we’re still no closer to knowing whether we’re doomed to crash out of the EU on October 31 and he just compared Britain to The Incredible Hulk.
In an era of unremitting madness, could the answer to the chaos come from the late matriarch of the Tory Party? Well, an organisation called Happy Science certainly thinks so.
In the last week or so, the Japanese group has attracted attention online after promising to reveal “Margaret Thatcher’s message from the spirit world” at their London HQ. While Happy Science describes itself as a religious organisation, they’ve faced constant criticism and accusations of being a cult.
“Was she an angel or a devil?” asked a flyer for the event. “What does she think about the current Brexit issue?”
With our curiosity piqued and our tongues lodged firmly in our cheeks, we headed along on Friday night to find out whether or not The Iron Lady’s ghostly spirit could be what we need after all.*
*It was not.
“MARGARET THATCHER, COME TO THIS PLACE”
The first thing we should point out is that, to our disappointment, it wasn’t a seance. We were hoping for a full candles and Derek Acorah affair, but the reality was arguably stranger.
Instead, we were shown a film of a séance held in Japan in 2013, less than 24 hours after Thatcher’s death.
In it, she is “channelled” through Happy Science founder and “living Buddha” Master Ryuho Okawa – and she’s seemingly unaware of her recent passing. It plays out like a strange press conference, with a group of suited business types throwing a series of questions in Maggie’s direction.
“DENIS, DENIS”, Thatcher’s “spirit” cries out.
But after the initial cry for her husband and realising that she’s snuffed it , things eventually calm down and it starts to feel like the weirdest episode of Inside No.9 imaginable.
“I’m not just the Iron Lady, but the Hot Iron Lady,” Thatcher’s ghost says.
The immediate laughter from the 3o or so people gathered in the room suggests that it’s not striking the intended note.
Things take a darkly funny turn when Maggie starts talking about her old ally Ronald Reagan, seemingly unaware that he’s been dead for over a decade.
“Who is the President,” she sagely asks.
“Barack Obama” comes the response from the suited businessmen in the room.
“Ba-rack Oh-bama,” Thatcher’s spirit spits out.
Later, she casually encourages Japan to buy weapons from the United States to attack North Korea. Who knew that she’d bring about World War Three?
Maggie’s big message to the EU
While the event promised to provide the answers that we all needed, it’s no surprise to report that a not-in-any-way-questionable spirit guide didn’t have the answers after all.
“I made a prediction about the future of the EU, so be careful,” she says.
“So be careful. Don’t use Chinese yuan or American dollars or any other currency if you want to be independent.”
Then follows a bizarre segment when she compares the EU to Soviet-style collectivism.
“It’s the same kind of collectivism.”
Oh, and the whole reason for the EU scepticism that led to Brexit? Germany, apparently.
“Germany and the German people have no responsibility or courage. It’s the main reason for the failure of the EU, DEUTSCHLAND.”
So there we have it. A ghostly Margaret Thatcher *doesn’t* have the answer to Brexit that we so desperately crave. But at the same time, it’s no less mad than claiming you’d rather be “dead in a ditch” than leaving the European Union. Or for that matter, claiming that the answers will be found by summoning the chaotic energy of The Incredible Hulk either. Ain’t that the truth, Boris?