In light of the new film about the monster that is Margaret Thatcher starring Meryl Streep, and the current revisionism and attempts to humanise her , thought I'd post this little piece.
I was 11 years old when she was first elected to power as prime minister on the 4th of may 1979 and aged 23 when her tenure as prime minister ended on she finally was beated and resigned on November 28th, 1990.
It was during her reign, I guess that my political leanings were formed. I saw her and her Conservative government plunging Britain into deep recession, devastating our industries and social services, that to this day have not recovered entirely. Throughout her tenure I heard daily reports of mass unemployment, eventually trebling to well over 4 million, with job vacancies the lowest ever. I was told at school to study and work hard, but for what, because with her in power I saw no future.
It has been said that Margaret Thatcher was the only Prime Minister who could claim to have destroyed more of Brtains industry than all of Hitlers bombs during the Second World War. I saw her attempts at destroying the welfare state, closing hospitals, operating a policy of divide and rule. Driven by a right wing passion that bordered on the fanatical, that saw her pursue policies that denied people a right to a job on a living wage and to adequate housing, education and health care.
As a result of her obscene policy of spending £10,000 million on a new generation of Trident nuclear missiles I joined C.N.D ( the campaign for Nuclear Disarmarment) inspired by the brave women of Greenham Common and other peace campaigners. On top of this I saw her blatant war mongering and then she actually led us into war, which was the Falklands fiasco, with as many as 255 British men being killed in this futile war, with many young men from here in Wales, being sent to die for her pathetic cause. In her attempt to raise patriotic fervour,and her drive for instant popolarism, I saw her for what she really was.
I noticed who her friends and allies were, her support for fascist like repressive regimes ( South Africa, Chile) and the hidden hands of big business and corporate power backing her in the shadows.
I began to see what she and her party stood for as evil, plain and simple. I began to read writers and philosophers for inspiration, like Marx, and read Aneurin Bevan who said in 1938 " From Parliament itself nothing can be expected. It is jaded and cynical. It can be stirred from outside and only from outside." I looked for others to join in opposition to her policies, and that was when I joined the Labour Party Young Socialists who I thought at the time would enable me to pursue this idea. Later however when new labour was elected I saw Thatchers breath stalking the Labour Parties policies, and I rejected that party as well.
At the time , I was daily incensed by her actions in particular with her devastating attack on the miners who dared to take her on. She chose to crush them and anybody else that stood in her way. I remember the bitter summer of 1984 when mining communities were battered and beaten. Where she utilised the police and the powers of the state in brutal fashion. Her attempts to turn our country into fortress Britain with her constant undermining of our civil liberties.
I remember too her introduction of the Poll tax designed again to attack the poor.
The people are screaming again, and it looks like history is repeating. But we carry on resisting.
Her legacy one of aggression and authoritarianism, that leaves me to this day contemptuos of all things tory, and when the demented creature that is Thatcher finally crokes it, I and millions of others will remember her cruelty and what was done in her name and dance merrily on her grave, for every person that wears a black tie their wwill many more wearing party hats. This is what happens when monsters time is over.
Back in her day we had a right wing press that supported and colluded with her, but many diverse coalitions of resistance bought about the end of her time in power, today we have the internet and with it the rise of alternative forms of social media. We can beat the tories again, outside all is not lost, when they try to push us down , we must push back, and united we can again defeat them.
Here's and old poem I found, I wrote back in about 83/84 ,would have been my first attempts at poetry, so rather crude and basic i'm afraid, but was about 16, but underlies the passion I had at that time, looked through some others, think I'll leave them at the bottom of the the drawer.
Thatcher the Milk Snatcher!
Darkness flows everytime I see her
Thatcher, the milk snatcher
her smile like something evil incarnate
a grocers daughter who steals our change.
With her stormtroopers and her jackboot heels
creates division and fear.
This witch is not for turning
with friends in even darker places
in fascist South Africa, Chile, El Salvador.
Her will is simple ; it is to crush .
She eats babies for breakfast
steals from the poor, sells anything of worth.
Her opinion, makes me reel, makes me spin
makes me scream,makes me extreme.
Everytime she walks, it's like a curse
in this land of fading hope and glory
but I rejoice when I hear the people shout,
Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, Out, Out, Out.
written 83/84 sometime.
I will not be goin to see the film, I've been sick of her for far to long, my thoughts
still hold far too much derision.
John McCullough - I'll dance on your grave Mrs Thtcher.
Pete Wylie - The day that Thatcher dies.
Hefner- the day that Thatcher dies.
Class Actions - M is for Maggie ( Anti -Iron Lady Rap)