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The Thatcher Mix

The death of Margaret Thatcher is no cause for celebration. It came 35 years too late. The scars of her toxic policies (and those of her compadres in the war on the poor, such as Ronald Reagan) are with us still, and more than so now than they were in the 1980s, when they were being implemented. The global economic crisis that started in 2008 is the punishment for Thatcher, Reagan et al.


Thatcher was a war-monger. She was against the poor and against the workers. She was a supporter of apartheid, once calling Nelson Mandela a terrorist (last week Mandela seemed to slip away from us; today he still breathes, thank God, and Thatcher does not).

It”s too late to celebrate Thatcher”s death, but not too early to speak ill of the dead (and we should never be prevented from speaking ill of the dead when they merit our censure). It would have been better had Thatcher lived for another 20 years, into obscurity, before her simpering Trojan disciples such as Tony Blair “” the Bono of British politics “” could pay their glowing tributes , using her first name in the way other people do with soul legends.

Meryl Streep, winning an Oscar

Meryl Streep, winning an Oscar

Worse yet, some young people, naive young women in particular, seem to regard Thatcher as a feminist icon (no doubt influenced by Meryl Streep”s impressive but nauseating impersonation in that meandering film), not the enemy of women that she really was. Alas, Meryl”s scriptwriters failed to get the great mimic to deliver this immortal line: “I owe nothing to women”s lib. The feminists hate me, don”t they? And I don”t blame them. For I hate feminism. It is poison.”

Thatcher”s death is neither to be mourned nor to be celebrated. But we must forthrightly acknowledge and emphasise that she made the world a worse place and that her legacy must be despised.

So this mix is not by way of celebration, much as some of the songs endorse a sense of jubilation at Thatcher”s demise. View it as a musical testament of songs that are political and good, and as an indictment of that woman”s noxious policies.

If you leave out the last two tracks, the mix will fit on a CD-R.

1. Klaus Nomi – Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead
2. Hefner – The Day That Thatcher Dies
3. The Blow Monkeys – (Celebrate) The Day After You
4. Elvis Costello – Tramp The Dirt Down
5. Billy Bragg – Between The Wars
6. Morrissey – Margaret On The Guillotine
7. The The – Heartland
8. Fine Young Cannibals – Blue
9. Madness – Blue Skinned Beast
10. Style Council – The Lodgers (Or She Was Only A Shopkeeper’s Daughter)
11. The Specials – Ghost Town
12. The Beat – Stand Down Margaret
13. Robert Wyatt – Shipbuilding
14. Pink Floyd – The Fletcher Memorial Home
15. Richard Thompson – Mother Knows Best
16. Renaud – Madame Thatcher
17. UB40 – Madam Medusa
18. Pete Wylie – The Day That Margaret Thatcher Dies
19. Poison Girls – Another Hero
20. Sinead O’Connor – Black Boys On Mopeds

(PW in comments)


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  1. halfhearteddude
    April 8th, 2013 at 20:29 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. April 8th, 2013 at 21:23 | #2

    Right on.

  3. lugworm
    April 9th, 2013 at 01:21 | #3

    Good honest comments! Thank you.

  4. Risser
    April 9th, 2013 at 01:44 | #4

    If you do burn the mix, don’t leave off the Sinead O’Connor song. It’s achingly beautiful.

  5. inthealley
    April 9th, 2013 at 10:47 | #5

    I hadn’t got to your site since the good news came in (busy celebrating last night), but I was about to post a comment to suggest you consider a Thatcher compilation, only to find you’ve already done it!!! It amazes me that a number of people have avoided commenting on her death out of ‘respect’ for someone who showed little respect for anyone else. If SHE could rejoice at all the deaths resulting from the sinking of the Belgrano, then it’s OK for us too.

  6. Michael
    April 9th, 2013 at 11:12 | #6

    What Risser said about the Sinead O’Connor song. Has any other politician inspired so much music?

  7. Lynchie from Aberdeen
    April 9th, 2013 at 13:32 | #7

    A fitting tribute – thank you.

  8. Honest John
    April 10th, 2013 at 03:13 | #8

    Still celebrating, but it’s hard to get the download from zippyshare. I’ve been trying for a while now, with no luck. Any chance that you might offer an alternative?

  9. halfhearteddude
    April 10th, 2013 at 19:11 | #9

    Try this link, Honest John:

    (left click and DL from host site)

  10. April 11th, 2013 at 10:28 | #10

    Well done, Dude – I was considering compiling a Top Ten but you’ve gone me ten better and saved me the job!

  11. Honest John
    April 11th, 2013 at 15:17 | #11

    Thanks, Dude. This will be the soundtrack for our special ‘Witch is Dead’ party next Wednesday. They should have buried her in a old coal mine, and invited thousands of former miners to piss down the shaft. Bitter, moi?

  12. April 11th, 2013 at 18:11 | #12

    Oh the poor lady! She lost it all in her last years. Or maybe earlier, when she cheered her brother fascist Pinochet and stumped on the British, took up with that other demented former GE salesman from California, etc. etc. I am so heartbroken that I could wish a demented fascist to croak every day….

  13. Richard O
    April 14th, 2013 at 01:30 | #13

    I love your blog. I find it well-researched, informative, generous and entertaining. I agree with most of what you say, when I know enough to have a view. I love the music on this selection (just as I can love church-inspired music without being the slightest bit religious).

    But I hope you’ll allow me to express a contrary point of view to your narrative. I note from your personal soundtrack that you’re about ten years younger than me, and living in Germany when Margaret Thatcher took office? But I lived in the UK and was a teenager reaching adulthood in the mid-70s.

    You’ll be aware of the economic and social woes of the time. Britain was broke, the power kept going off. If you wanted a telephone, it would take the highly unionised state telephone company up to six months to let you have one, pretty much when they felt like it. Imagine that today? I could go on at length about this sort of thing.

    As for the job market, it was a fairly closed shop. One side – the city, professions, institutions and so on, was pretty much reserved for friends and family of the public school crowd (then about 3% of the population). Skill, intelligence, hard work etc didn’t come into play. If you knew the right people and went to the right school, you were in and had a job for life. At the other side of the labour market, a similar closed shop and career progression existed for friends and family of militant unionists – choosing quite literally when, whether and on what terms anybody worked. Thatcher fought, fairly successfully, to break up both of these unfair situations, much as the Pistols helped us rebel against this statist establishment.

    In the middle of those two groups above was a huge swathe of suburban and provincial working class and lower middle class people who wanted to get on, work hard and do something with our lives, but were facing a life of being mundane salarymen (or women), basically at the beck and call of these two groups of people. Many of us were union people, but moderate ones; my dad was a coal miner. (Margaret Thatcher was also a union member, in a scientific workers association, and never had an issue with responsible trade unionism.)

    It was to this huge majority of people – the workers – that Margaret Thatcher gave a voice, hope and freedom. This is why she won three sweeping general election victories. So that is the major (possibly the only) inaccuracy of your introduction. Margaret Thatcher was not against the poor and the workers, she was exactly the opposite, fighting the corner for people who were prepared to work hard.

    Of course this is the attitude that is now portrayed as greed and selfishness, and I can’t argue that socially this does seem to be one of the consequences. I was by no means ‘tory boy’ at the time. I didn’t really like her lack of social graces, and of those three elections I voted for her party only once. I remember in 1982 being concerned by the war-mongering you mention – though I have several Argentinean friends now who say it helped them get rid of a fascist dictatorship.

    I hope my attempt at balance doesn’t set me up as a target for the vitriol displayed by some over the past few days, which seems to be mostly based on some myth that young kids latch on to, built up about a witch-like character. My words to you here are just an attempt to explain her importance – from someone who was there at the time.

    So I prefer to see her as Barack Obama sees her – “one of the great champions of freedom and liberty.” As for Mandela, thankfully he’s still with us. I’m happy to accept whatever he might yet say about her role in southern African affairs – but I think what she did for democracy (such as it is) in Zimbabwe probably accelerated his release.

  14. halfhearteddude
    April 14th, 2013 at 10:56 | #14

    As it happens, I lived in London from 1984-87, so I’m speaking from some perspective of experience. Of course, one need not have lived in a country to observe its noxious politics. As for Thatcher’s mandate, only about a third of the vote-eligible population elected her. Thatcher’s wins were not sweeping, nor arguably predicated on her policies. Her allies were apathy, disillusionment and a fanatical press which built a cult of “The Iron Lady”. And we are paying for her neo-liberal “greed is good and fuck the poor” policies still today.

  15. April 14th, 2013 at 22:32 | #15

    Great compilation. I do think this one is missing though, I must say I have always enjoyed it.


  16. KeithL
    April 15th, 2013 at 09:34 | #16

    Terrific entry. I lived through that time, and remember what a corrosive effect she had on the country. Remember also that she was close personal friends with Pinochet and Savile, which says a lot about her judgement as a human being. And as you point out, her free market obsession laid the foundations for the current economic crisis.

    Another song for your mix is “Hilda’s Cabinet Band” by The Watersons, which can be found on the “Hard Cash” compilation.

  17. April 15th, 2013 at 14:40 | #17

    A great one, undoubtedly (the mix, not Thatcher!).

    Here in Greece, neoliberalism in the early `90s had the face and name of Konstantinos Mitsotakis (95 years of age today, he has seen all his political adversaries pass away), but no songs were written about him, so I`ll enjoy your mix about his British idol.

    Well done, once more Dude!

  18. April 24th, 2013 at 04:00 | #18

    Wow! Brilliant! Thank-you so much for taking the time to pull this together and make it available.
    When i heard of her passing, it was only a matter of minutes before i started recalling some of the songs that had been written about her while she was in power… i found myself wondering if Mr. Costello was making travel arrangements to go tramp down her grave.

    while one cannot deny that she had an enormous impact on literally billions of lives, most of it was incredibly toxic and sadly is still with us. She was perhaps the first to realize that all you need is the one third of society that who are frightened, uninformed and willfully ignorant and that one percent who own most of everything to back you and you’re in like Flynt.
    She encouraged the driving of a Blue Wedge into the idea of a nation, replacing the possibilities of dialogue, compromise and consensus with self-righteousness and contempt for anyone who didn’t think the Right Way.
    It would be the last big idea to come oozing out of the corpse of Conservative ideology and it’s still in full effect in Britain, the US and nowhere more so than my home and native Canada.


  19. April 28th, 2013 at 03:18 | #19

    Re: Richard O’s comment: “Margaret Thatcher was also a union member, in a scientific workers association, and never had an issue with responsible trade unionism.”

    “Responsible trade unionism” is just code for ineffectual organization that has no intention of overcoming the oppressions of capitalism. It merely pretends they don’t exist. If you have a critical viewpoint that merely points out the obvious, you are called a “class warrior”, despite the fact that billionaires like Warren Buffet openly admit that there is a class war, and that HIS class are the perps and benefactors of all the mean-spirited policies that come of it.

    As for corruption and cronyism, this is a matter in all powerful institutions – a problem of human culture. That is not a reason to smash unions and strip away collective bargaining rights in order to further empower the mythical creature known as the “free market”.

    Re: “Margaret Thatcher was not against the poor and the workers, she was exactly the opposite, fighting the corner for people who were prepared to work hard.”

    This is positively delusional. All this b.s. about “people who [are] prepared to work hard” is a major calling card for right-wing bullshit. More code for unprotected work environments where you are “free” to be exploited. Don’t bother standing up to fight in a meaningful way for a decent wage, health care, and working conditions – only lazy people make such demands…. they want the whole world handed to them on a silver platter. What’s next? The tired old “You should feel lucky to have a job”?

    This woman was mean-spirited and spiteful. She took great pleasure in punishing working class people. I mean really, how DARE the people organize themselves in order to have a proper share of the benefits of THEIR OWN LABOUR. Don’t people know that it is every man, woman and child for themselves? It’s all about the individual after all. There is no such thing as society, and anyone who insists so is an authoritarian communist who wants to take all your blessed freedoms away.

    Freedom to be exploited that is.

  20. walt jabsco
    May 8th, 2013 at 21:13 | #20

    Glad the witch is dead ……..

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