Miscommunications

Margaret Thatcher: Not Dead

A 16-year-old grey tabby cat’s death caused a bit of international hysteria this week. On Tuesday night, as 1,700 Conservatives luminaries gathered for a black-tie affair in Toronto, Canadian Transport Minister John Baird sent a short text message to a friend and fellow attendee that read, “Thatcher has died.” Though Baird was referring to his dearly departed cat, the message rapidly spread the rumor that conservative icon and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher dead. Phone calls flooded baffled officials at both 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace. A top aide alerted Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the loss and “started preparing an official statement mourning the passing of the Iron Lady,” the BBC said. But once the news reached Canada that the 84-year-old Baroness Thatcher was still breathing, conservatives and Thatcher the Cat could rest easy.