Tramp The Dirt Down
“There is no such thing as society.”
I spent 11 long and miserable years under Thatchers cruel and uncaring eye. I rejoice not in her death, but in the symbolic end to a person who had no empathy for any other human being , and who actively inflicted upon millions of human beings years of misery and poverty.
It was the day that I always knew was going to come. The day that even if it happened on 22nd November 1990, would have been long overdue. Before any of you stupid ghouls criticise the idea of “making political capital” out of the death of others, consider, if you can, G Osborne – not even a week ago – using the murder of 6 children as a way of trying to destroy the welfare state, and the associated headlines of the Daily Mail?
If Philpott was the Vile Product Of Welfare UK, so was Thatcher. As she died this morning, aged 87, her successors – the reviled Cameron – implemented the many pronged dismantling of the welfare state : turning Disability Living Allowance into the PIP. Turning the Housing benefit into a Bedroom Tax. Turning the unemployed who suffered into scroungers and victims to be bullied. Turning anyone not rich, secure, and propertied into part of a huge, underpaid, underestimated, and oppressed army of millions.
So, around 1.05pm today, I idly checked my Twitter. “Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead.” One phone call later, and it was confirmed. Where was my cider? The last Thatcher Death Cider I had to throw away a couple of years as the idle witch had miraculously failed to die. On the other hand, I outlived her. As did Nelson Mandela (whom she branded a “terrorist”), and Iain M Banks.
I take no joy in the death of a human being, not even one as vile and obviously psychopathic as her. I have little words of consolation for her armsdealer son. Whilst he mourns his mother, millions of families across this country have already grieved for deaths in their own family, hastened by her military actions in the Falklands, or hastened by her own personal apocalypses waged against the working class of Britain, or those who died in unheated rooms.
My first political memories are infected by her. At 9, I remember seeing ships burning and dying people jumping into the water. At nine, I knew that if this was the best mankind could do to resolve conflicts – by murdering each other en masse - we were frankly, fucked.
At 10, I remember as clear the face of my mother, small wooden stalls set up in Cotteridge High Street, begging for tins of food and clothing to be sent to the miners. At 10, I remember watching on the 6 O Clock news, armies of policemen attacking men who merely wanted to work for a living. In my heart, I knew there was something desperately immoral about this. Every day brought a newspaper headline and a photograph of a policeman on horseback clubbing a man without a helmet. My parents brought me up to believe that striking miners were the enemy and that Stalinistsocialism would destroy us all. My parents were fucking idiots.
At the age of 12, I remember the first phone call as my mother was told by dad that he had been made redundant. I remember our family eating sandwiches on school trips whilst the other kids had Big Macs in McDonalds. I remember the humiliation of being bullied and being called names by asshole kids, because my parents did not have the latest and smartest stitched horses, dolphins, and bulls on my clothing. I remember our family trying desperately not to be made homeless, as first, and then second, and then a third time, my father was made redundant by a dying industry. Even now, my Dad lives in abject poverty and crushing debt because he didn't take the pension, thinking the state would look after him, because he couldn't afford the pension after running up huge debts trying not to lose his house. I remember long summers of again, crushingly hard poverty and being punished by default for daring to want a university education, denying me the ability to get unemployment benefit, even though I was clearly unemployed. I remember standing outside the gates of some of the best gigs in my life, and knowing I could not afford the measly £12 to enter. Because I had dared to get an education. I remember working two jobs (one before, one after school), and emptying dead peoples flats for £1 an hour. I remember all of this, and I know that now, the immense fist of cruelty that crushes a huge part of our country now and carries with it a toll of untold misery onto millions is all born from her crazed, swivel-eyed fervour for capitalism at all costs.
And despite what you think, we are all one P45 from being a bankrupt scrounger on the take.
Child poverty in the UK was at its highest under her and Major's rule. Cameron is now trying to beat her.
For someone who had so little empathy for the misery she inflicted upon millions of humans, I have little empathy back. She was a cold woman, who saw the world in the language of balance sheets, saw the poor as deserving of their place, and who saw the inevitable fate of all human beings, a brush away from ill-health and destitution, as their just punishment for not being rich, and held them with the steely glare that they should just go away and die quietly.
Hillsborough.The Belgrano. Poll Tax. Falklands. Westland Helicopters. Right To Buy. Riots. Pinochet. The Battle Of Orgreave. The Valleys. Miners Strike. The abolition of rent councils that now trap millions in the poverty of rented accomodation. Clause 28. Hunger Strikes. Smashing the Trade Unions to make every worker poor and exploited. Utter support for Apartheid, and thus, state racism. All under her unfeeling eye.
Her legacy is greed by the powerful, division of the country into tiny fragments fighting against each other for crumbs, and a hypocrisy that claims to make work pay … but only the bare minimum mandated by law.
“The poor are just the bums you step over on the way to the theatre.”
Everything that is wrong in Britain today – the pennypinching poundfoolishness of accountancy, the moral deficit, the war upon workers, the cruel war between each other of Oneupmanship, the repugnant and immoral assault upon the rights and meagre benefits deserved by millions – all and each have their genesis in her demented world. If you are sad about her death, you have not noticed the trail of millions of ruined and unhappy lives that through her actions, and her inactions, she created in her wake. There is nothing to celebrate in her death, it does not change anything. There is no celebration, more a sense of blessed relief that the first of too many has at last fallen.
People rejoice at her death not because of her death, but because of the mortality of those repugnant and bankrupt policies for which she stood, and those she inflicted cruelly on millions without a moments hesitation for the years of misery and poverty she condemned the broken Welsh towns, the poor, the cold, the old, the ill, the young, the abandoned troops. The million dead who rest in graves, hastened there by a knowingly cruel and uncaring government, of which I saw only a small part.
Thatcher is dead. And if Thatcherism had died with her, it would be time to rejoice. But we have a battle to fight to protect the most vulnerable from the abuse and power of the most powerful, who have swallowed her ideology and got drunk upon it with a misanthropic passion. And by even having to fight this battle, the government has failed in its sole purpose. She may be dead. But her ideas live on, and those must be defeated. Suffer not any platitudes about her, challenge every statement made about her, and above all, do not relent in fighting for human happiness in the face of the cruel and morally deficit actions of the current government, who are in the pay of corrupt and immoral billionaires. They are the enemy of peace, happiness and prosperity we all desire.
A ceremonial funeral awaits. I dare one of you to get dressed as the Grim Reaper and dress all in black, silently, along the funeral procession. In the meantime, I hope her funeral has gone out to tender to the lowest bidder. And, of course, the security required to sell tickets for the inevitable procession of millions who intend to dance, and piss, upon her grave. I'd pay £10 for that. If her funeral were treated with the same respect that she treated everyone who wasn't a millionaire, her body would be wrapped in a cardboard box and urinated on by an endless procession of angry drunks, before being kicked to smithereens, and set aflame by the homeless to prevent them starving to death. The bones would be eaten by dogs and the remains turned into shit by flies. If as Cameron suggests, she was The Patriot Prime Minister, then she loved this country the way cancer loves the host.
Give the people what they want, after all. Just 34 years too late. She may have been a hero to some, but with heroes like that, who needs enemies?
"To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth." And you were hated. May your ideas be next.