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Thursday, 11 April 2013

Thatcher: The Pop Sensation

I wonder what it all looks like to the rest of the world, but here in the UK we are a nation divided over Thatcher's death - the pop music charts are  quite bizarre at the moment with Judy Garland's Ding, Dong The Witch is Dead at NO 1 (The song had sold nearly 11,000 copies by Tuesday night) while two other Thatcher based songs are in the top ten, The Day that Thatcher dies by Hefner and another version of Ding Dong the Witch is Dead by Elsa Fitzgerald is just bothering the top ten.

Though you wouldn't believe it by watching the media and the BBC have been broadcasting what can only be described as propaganda as pundits go on
and on about what a great leader she was. And next week Thatcher's £10million funeral will be broadcast across the world and the UK will be depicted as a country in deep mourning.

That couldn't be more false, despite what the media say.

It's not mentioned of how Thatcher ordered the bombing of a retreating ship during the Falklands conflict, or of her homophobic clause 28 - The amendment stated that a local authority"shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality" or "promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship. Of the way the miners were treated during the strike, of her deregulating the banks and selling off almost anything that moved and look at where that's gotten us.

I really don't want to get political but all I can speak about is what I saw with my own eyes. I remember being stopped by the police and turned back because we were travelling to support miners on the picket line. This was another result of Thatcher's revolution - the police were out of control and on times were deliberately provoking the miners so that the news reports could show violent images of striking miners, and public sympathy which was originally with the miners was soon lost. The police clocked up many  hours of overtime during the strike and I, myself, remember a police officer bragging about the size of his pay check, during a demonstration at Coedely Coke Ovens.

During Thatcher's rule divorce rates reached 13.4 per 1,000 married population in 1985, and unemployment shot up under the Conservatives to levels not seen since the Great Depression. Unemployment is still high but then with so little industry left things are unlikely to improve - yet another legacy of this so called great, Prime Minister.

You see that Thatcher revolution was a war plain and simple - a war on the working classes and although she brought wealth to many, she certainly destroyed many many more. She ended the family unit and created a country where families could no longer be supported on the one wage. In our post Thatcher Britain it is often the case that both parents have to work, and children are brought up around long working hours.

Thatcher was eventually brought down not be striking miners, or protesters but by her own party - and yet those that turned against here are among those in the news giving such glowing tributes. It's sickening and at least those who are celebrating Thatcher's death, although it may seem crass and tasteless, are sticking to their convictions.

I was brought up in a working class family in an industrial country and Thatcher was always the enemy to us. I was fourteen years old when she came to power and a couple of years later when I left school I entered a very troubled country, and it would soon get worse...much worse.

You don't mourn when your enemy dies, you rejoice.

1 comment:

Ron Scheer said...

Hadn't heard about the revival of Judy Garland's song. How strange. Meryl Streep's portrayal of her did something to humanize a woman who probably had little in the way of a public persona here in the States.

I knew Brits then who either admired her or loathed her, and among those who came from hardscrabble working class backgrounds, I understood what she represented to them.