While I wasn’t a fan of the woman it’s only fair to give her credit for what she gave us – she may not have meant to but she did. 5 things to thank Thatcher for:
1. Alternative Comedy – without the old witch we would have never had the explosion in the 1980s of all the comedians we know and love now. The modern era of comedians and humour we still enjoy today has its foundation in that lost generation looking for a voice. From the Comedy Store, Spitting Image, Saturday & Friday Night Live and everyone who was vomited from these places we now have a great raft of funny men and women.
2. A Generation of Political Animals – My generation have an interest in politics because of Thatcher. We grew up watching riots and strikes on our TV throughout the 80s and were told by the older generations the what, how and why of it all. For me listening to my Great Granda berating the woman and what she had done gave me my left leaning principles. While I’m not a great believer in the Unions as he was, those images and causes are something that has stuck with me.
3. A hatred of Privatisation – Because it worked once, she and her colleagues kept selling off the family silver and now trying to do that with anything fro the Post office to the NHS will have the pitchforks and torches dredged out again. We have seen the waste and the money lost through these types of processes and will fight any such moves in the future.
4. A new generation of Liberals – the arrogance and attitude turned people off and with a weak opposition there was space for a third party to challenge the traditional two sides. While they have not done themselves any favours in the coalition the Lib Dems are still important and could actually become more important in the future with the state of the main two parties.
5. Music became more political – The Specials’ “Ghost town”, The Jam’s “Town called Malice”, the emergence of the great Billy Bragg, Elvis Costello’s “Tramp the dirt down” and “Stand down Margaret by The Beat are just some of the tracks that were speaking out against Thatcher’s vision of Britain. The underclasses found an outlet for their anger and music culture because political again in the UK for the first time in a generation.