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Boy George, Gary Numan, Elvis Costello & more tell what ‘they’d’ do if they were Prime Minister

In June of 1983, in her first bid for reelection, Margaret Thatcher won “the most decisive election victory since that of Labour in 1945,” according to Wikipedia. For the unionists, punkers, anti-nuke activists, and enemies of the National Front, it was a depressing outcome, parallel to Reagan’s easy reelection in the U.S. a year later. Labour’s platform was stridently left-wing, seeking unilateral nuclear disarmament, withdrawal from the European Economic Community, abolition of the House of Lords, and the re-nationalization of the major industries Thatcher had privatized.

Labour Party MP Gerald Kaufman later referred to his own party’s platform as “the longest suicide note in history.” Labour was in the same predicament the Democrats in the U.S. found themselves in, led by standard-bearers like Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis.

As with any major election, the subject was on everyone’s lips for a time. Smash Hits, the U.K. magazine, printed a two-page spread in its June 9, 1983, issue—the issue that would be on the newsstands when voters cast their ballots—in which they asked various prominent musicians “What Would You Do If You Were Prime Minister?” Included in the spread were Elvis Costello, Mark E. Smith of the Fall, Boy George, Gary Numan, and Malcolm McLaren.

The answers given by Costello and Smith are terse, and, each in its own way, perfectly representative. Boy George and Numan actually appear to have given the question some thought and give detailed answers. In general the answers are thoughtful but overall, especially with McLaren’s answer, tend to give credence to George Orwell‘s 1946 reference to “the irresponsible violence of the powerless.”

Probably the most attention-getting item on the page is Numan’s avowal of admiration for Margaret Thatcher, whose perceived image among left-leaning musicians was roughly that of the Wicked Witch of the West, as it remains today. Numan’s received plenty of flak for his early views—in 2006 he expressed regret that he had ever supported Thatcher, telling DJ Jonty Skrufff that “I voted for Margaret Thatcher once and it’s lived with me ever since. ... Like a noose around my neck.”

Support for Thatcher (or Reagan) wouldn’t be high on my list of attributes I’d seek in a friend, but the way I see it, Numan’s original answer was thoughtful and heartfelt and, most important, it took true guts to counter the orthodoxy of the artsy crowd he was running with at the time. 

Here are quotes from some of the participants:

Steve Severin, Siouxsie and the Banshees:

I’d stop the Cruise missiles, ban fox-hunting and animal experiments, change the licensing laws to open all the time—well, possibly—and I’d ban censorship, if such a thing were possible. I’d probably abolish the BBC or get it burnt down. One of the two. I’d also make Glenn Hoddle stay at Tottenham.

Gary Numan:

Personally, I’d like to see all the closed-down factories being incorporated into the school system so they can train school-leavers. I really like Maggie Thatcher—she’s everything that we needed and made me proud to feel British. The way the country’s going I really think that we’re on the way to recovery. Business is picking up and I liked the way she handled the Falklands’ crisis. But it’s hard for me to talk about British politics being rather outside it all.

Elvis Costello:

If Maggie wins again, I think I’d just take all the programmes off the air and just play Stevie Wonder’s “Heaven Help Us All” for the next 24 hours.

Boy George:

I don’t think any politician is in touch with the realities and pressures that normal working class people have to live with. I realised that after seeing Margaret Thatcher on Jim’ll Fix It. There’s so much money and glamour involved in politics today that I can see why it’s hard for politicians to stay in touch. If I was in power I’d lean more towards ecology—improving the environment people live in. You have to understand why Coronation Street is so popular. It’s because people like the kind of environment where they can communicate with each other. The worst thing that ever happened to this country was council-built, high-rise blocks. I would spend more money on renovating old buildings in an attempt to preserve Britain’s character. I’d make a lousy politician, though, because I’m too soft.

Mark E. Smith, The Fall:

I’d halve the price of cigarettes, double the tax on health food, then I’d declare war on France and introduce conscription for all members of CND [Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament].

Malcolm McLaren:

The Union Jack to be pulled down and a new flag with a big banana to be hoisted in its place. Free transport for everyone. An instant law that would shut out all TV, radio and press, encouraging everyone to invent their own truth. All public clocks to be put out of order.

The requisition of British Airways in order to transport all people under 16 to some more exotic part of the world. Parents must go to school and children to their Mum or Dad’s place of work. Everyone to write their own personal cheer, for example (sings): MY NAME’S MALCOLM—I COMMUNICATE/IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, YOU DON’T RATE/UPSIDE, DOWNSIDE/TURN THE TIDES MY SIDE/YOU—SHUT UP!

Everyone’s cheer shall thereafter be yelled by themselves throughout my term of office.


I found this issue of Smash Hits at the Rock Hall’s Library and Archives, which is located at the Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts on Cuyahoga Community College’s Metropolitan Campus in Cleveland, Ohio. It is free and open to the public. Visit their website for more information.

Here’s the full spread—click for a much larger view:


Posted by Martin Schneider
04:11 pm
Anarcho-punk’d: Hear Reagan threaten to nuke Europe in Crass’s infamous ‘Thatchergate’ prank
03:06 pm


This two-year old post from the Dangerous Minds archive is something we’ve noticed has been getting a lot of attention recently, so we’re moving it onto the front page again. The reason for renewed interest in this matter is that on January 2nd, the UK’s National Archive released some documents regarding Crass’s epic “Thatchergate” prank of 1982 (it had a bit of a long fuse, as you will see). They’re revealing on several accounts, not least for the level of blinkered-ness they indicate prevailed in the spy agencies back then…

There’s a lot of text here, but it’s instructive to read the news reports—there weren’t many—from the time in chronological order and see how the story was ultimately revealed. At the end of the post, I’ve added recent comments from Penny Rimbaud and Steve Ignorant.

These days we’re used to seeing public figures like Sarah Palin and Scott Walker punked, but in the early 1980s, the avenues for media hacking just did not exist the way they do now. The infamous “Thatchergate” tape—an audio collage constructed by Crass bassist Peter Wright (aka “Sybil Right” and “Pete Wrong”) of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan “talking” about nuclear weapons and the sinking of the HMS Sheffield as a deliberate attempt to escalate the conflict in the Falklands War was one of the first. The “Thatchergate” tape was an event back then, especially in the squatter/anarcho-punk crowd that I was a part of in London at the time. To hear about Crass perpetrating the hoax of Ronald Reagan getting “caught on tape” threatening to nuke Europe (he’d show Russia who was boss!) was nothing short of a blow against Moloch!

Today, there are a little more than 2000 items that come up on Google for “Thatchergate” and most have nothing to do with Crass. This story should be a lot better known, it’s one of the greatest pranks in history:

From San Francisco Chronicle, January 30, 1983.

Washington. A fake tape of a purported conversation between President Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was circulated in Europe this spring, possibly by the KGB, the State Department said yesterday.

“This type of activity fits the pattern of fabrications circulated by the Soviet KGB, although usually they involve fake documents rather than tapes,” the department said in a written response to reporter’s questions.

The department said that although the recording is of “poor quality,” a technical analysis revealed that the voices were those of Reagan and Thatcher.

But the department indicated the voices were spliced together and said they were not part of an actual conversation.

“We checked with the White House, which advised thay no such conversation took place,” the department said.

The President’s part in the recording apparently was lifted from his Nov. 22, 1982 speech on nuclear disarmament,” it said. “We are not sure where Mrs. Thatcher’s remarks came from.

The department said a copy of the tape was received by the U.S. embassy in the Netherlands a week before the British elections.

The tape dealt with the Falklands crisis and U.S. missiles in Britain, the department said.

It said, “From the drift of the tape, the evident purpose was to cause problems for Mrs. Thatcher by blaming her for the sinking of the British destroyer Sheffield and also for us by stirring trouble on the INF (Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces) issue.”

The Sheffield was sunk by Argentine forces last year during the war with Britain over the Falkland Islands.

Britain and the United Staes took part in a NATO decision to install intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe late this year as a counter to similar Soviet forces if an agreement on restriction such weapons is not reached.

The State Department said the tape-recording was sent with a covering letter from an anonymous person to Dutch journalists.

It is said an analysis by the language experts “suggests that the author was not a native speaker.”

The Reagan administration has contended for some time that the KGB has contended for some thime that the KGB has a forgery factory producing false documents to mislead target audiences.

It was also written up in The Sunday Times, on January 8, 1983

How the KGB fools the West’s press.

THE TAPE is heavy with static and puntuated with strange noises, but through it all can be heard the authentic voices of Ronald Reagan on the telephone: “If there is a conflict we shall fire missiles at our allies to see to it that the Soviet Union stays within its borders.”

At the other end of the telephone is Mrs. Thatcher. “You mean Germany?” she asks increduously.

“Mrs. Thatcher, if any country endagers our position we can decide to bomb the problem area and so remove the instability.”

If this is not hair-raising enough, we hear Mrs. Thatcher virtually admitting that she had the Belgrano sunk to end any chance of an agreement with Argentina. “Oh God!” says Reagan.

The whole conversation is fake. Both voices are real but the words spoken have been doctored, cut, rearranged and then expanded on the transcript of the tape. Every word from Reagan is extracted from his lengthy presidential address on nuclear strategy. When, for instance, he seems to swear at Mrs. Thatcher, he is in fact coming to the end of his speech and quoting a hymn: “Oh God of love, O king of peace.”

The tape surfaced in Holland just before last year’s British general election, but it never quite overcame the suspicions of Dutch journalists. They declined to publish the juicy exclusive, sent to them anonymously. But other journalists across the world have fallen for an increasing flow of such stories based on “authoritative” cables, memo and tapes. The State Department in Washington says they are all products of an increasingly sophisicated Russian campaign.

“They have accelerated their efforts and they have fine-tuned them,” claims Larry Semakis, deputy director of a State Department team that monitors what the Russians call “active measures.” He admits that “no one can specifically prove in a court of law that Soviet hand was on this or that item.” But he says there is a pattern in the use of forgeries which points unmistakably to the Russians.

The State Department believes that “active measures” are the responsibility of the KGB’s first directorate; that some forgeries go as high as the ruling Politburo for approval…

“[W]hich points unmistakably to the Russians”? I don’t think so…

Then one year later in The Observer newspaper on, Sunday, January 22, 1984, it was revealed that…

‘Soviet’ faked tape is rock group hoax

A TAPE recording, purporting to carry details of a secret telephone conversation between Mrs Thatcher and President Reagan, has been revealed as a hoax manufactured deliberately by an anarchist rock group.

The recording was taken to newspapers throughout Europe—including The Observer—but, apart from one Italian newspaper, nobody had been taken in by the hoax tape until it appeared in the Sunday Times earlier this month.

That newspaper described it as part of a KGB propaganda war. Unfortunately the tape was recorded not in Moscow but in an Essex farmhouse.

The New York correspondent of the paper reported that the State Department believed the tape was evidence of ‘an increasingly sophisticated Russian disinformation cam- paign.’

The real authors of the hoax tape, the anarchist punk rock group Crass, said that they had been ‘amused and amazed’ that the tape had been attributed to the KGB.

The recording first appeared in the offices of a number of Continental newspapers shortly before the British general election last year.

A covering note said it was a recording of a crossed line on which was heard part of the two leaders’ telephone conversation, and that the person who sent it wished to remain anonymous for fear of retribution.

Key lines in the tape include Mr. Reagan apparently asking why the Belgrano was sunk during the Fallrlands war, when Secretary of State Haig was nearing a peace agreement. Mrs Thatcher appears to reply: ‘Argentina was the invader. Force had to be used now, punishing them as quickly as possible.’

Mr. Reagan then says: ‘Oh God, it is not right. You caused the Sheffield to have been hit. Those missiles we followed on the screen. You must have, too, and not let them know.’

Later, in a discussion on nuclear strategy, Mr. Reagan is made to say: ‘If there is a conflict we shall fire missiles at our allies to see to it that the Soviet Union stays within its borders.’

The tape was first brought to The Observer by a Belgian journalist last June. We concluded, like most of the other newspapers, that it was a fake.

The quest for the real hand behind the tape led to an isolated farmhouse in north Essex, where the eight members of the band live with their children.

Reluctantly the members of the band, who sport names like Joy Be Vivre, G Sus and Sybil Right, admitted faking the tape. They showed how they had put it together over two and a half months, using parts of TV and radio broadcasts made by the two leaders, then overdubbing with telephone noises.

‘We wanted to precipitate a debate on those subjects to damage Mrs. Thatcher’s position in the election. We also did it because of the appaling way Tam Dalyell was treated over the Belgrano debate,’ they said.

‘We believe that although the tape is a hoax, what is said in it is in effect true.’

And there was more: From The Associated Press, Sunday, January 25, 1984

More still, plus the “Thatchergate” tape, after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger
03:06 pm
Season of the Witch: Dangerous Minds goes to Mrs. Thatcher’s funeral

About half my earliest memories consist of being buggied about London by my mum on anti-Thatcher demos. The witch stuff, to me, ain’t even a metaphor. When I was a kid, the boundary between fairytale and contemporary history simply didn’t exist—it was as if an evil witch was in charge of our United Kingdom, and the only way happiness could be restored was if she could be killed… or voted out.

This was the weird thing. Every election, she’d win, and my mother would literally weep with hatred and disappointment. People obviously voted Wicked Witch Party. I didn’t get it.

It was partly this childhood mystification that saw me attend Margaret Thatcher’s funeral procession in London yesterday…

I arrived at St Clement Danes Church about the same time as Thatcher’s coffin, which was shortly to make its way to St Paul’s along disappointingly busy streets. Heavily decorated paratroopers stood trembling with psychopathic rigidity outside the entrance to the church, and an additional police presence to those lining the road patrolled the pavement—portly, distinguished old coppers in white-gloves.

Besides these various showings of Establishment muscle, the streets were filling up with the Establishment’s biggest admirers—flag-waving patriots thronging the pavements, plus significant amounts of tourists, and the odd gutsy protester, planted right in the midst of a hostile crowd.

I stopped to listen to one of these, a Welsh ex-miner with a conspicuous banner, as he conducted an interview with the BBC. He was asked if he thought a funeral an “appropriate” place to protest. “When is the time to protest?” he responded, “Where is the place in this country where they say, come along, protest, and we’ll listen to what you’ve got to say.” It was a good point, and passionately made, but as I stood scribbling his answer into my notebook I felt something push against an elbow.

Looking up, I saw a giant copper peering skeptically down at me. The thing touching me was his rigid, vast belly. I stared back, rather surprised. His message was clear. The television crew was welcome to interview this political subhuman—they could be relied upon to edit his measured responses into banality (or worse)—but a writer, unaffiliated with any obvious outfit, was suspect.

I took the policeman’s tacit advice and moved on, leaving the ex-miner to the milling wolves. I heard someone say that most of the protesters were gathered at Ludgate Circus further up, and decided to check it out. En route, the military procession began, countless gleaming platoons blasting out great slabs of murder muzak—rolling drums and hyperactive brass augmented with the heavy tread of boots.

They all seemed to express the same message: the Establishment possessed the power, and the firepower; it always did exactly what it wanted and it honored whoever it wished to.

Up ahead I could begin to make out the protesters, a dense scrum of them on one side of the junction, the rest of which thronged with Witch fans. Even in these more significant numbers (there must have been a few hundred crammed together) these protesters’ gumption was noteworthy. A snarling line of police stood right in front of them; veterans on the other side of the junction jeered at them, and occasionally a fresh platoon arrived via Blackfriars, so that a hundred gun barrels and twice as many gimlet eyes swept across them.

Meanwhile, the mass media swarmed around, the journalists wearing the gleeful expressions of vultures come upon carrion, all busily ripping off the crowd’s rottener strips to present to their audiences.

I went around the back of the protesters, up a little further and came to a halt. From the last quarter mile or so to St Paul’s the pavement looked too busy to bother trying to squeeze through.

Around me, there were local bankers and lawyers, retired servicemen, frail and wholly likable old ladies, sporty closet fascists, and entire suburban family units.

Most intriguing, however, was a large but seemingly disparate contingent of middle-aged Essex women, all of them with long blond hair, massive moles, and tight smiles. Many of these were very bellicose concerning the protesters. One of them kept telling her friend that it was only the possibility of arrest that stopped her going over and attacking one dawdling nearby. I thought she was full of shit, but perhaps not, because when Thatcher’s coffin finally approached, and the only thing that could be heard was booing and chanting, she raised herself on a bollard and screamed, “YOU BUNCH OF FACKIN SCUMBAGS,” sparking a storm of applause and cheering.

As the coffin passed through all this noise, draped in the Union Jack and surrounded by soldiers and police on horseback and on foot, my thoughts turned to Thatcher’s close friendship with Jimmy Savile.

What does being fantastic pals with a man who was perhaps history’s most prolific child rapist say about someone?

As I noted in a DM article last year, Savile claimed to have spent “eleven consecutive Christmases at Chequers” with the Thatcher family: “Denis, me and her, shoes off in front of the fire.” Cute.

Sir Jimmy, of course, was buried with similar military pomp.

The average right-winger, you’ve got to say, couldn’t spot a psychopath if one was stabbing them repeatedly in the face.

Posted by Thomas McGrath
10:53 am
‘The Enemy Within’: Morrissey on Thatcher and British state censorship
08:23 pm

Morrissey art by Tattooed Boy
I don’t often agree with Morrissey, but with this very eloquent statement on the Viva Morrissey site he has summarily hit the nail on the head. Hard.

As I write this, Margaret Thatcher’s funeral is taking place in London, and the national media is still on a campaign to whitewash any dissent. I could go into a list of these censorial acts (BBC refusing to play “Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead,” Big Ben silenced, etc) as well as explaining just why Thatcher is reviled by the British public, but Moz puts it much better than I could:

Surely How I Feel Is Not Nothing?

I have listened and I have seen a lack of truth that we had dared not believe existed in modern Britain. Margaret Thatcher has left the order of the world, and she is not to blame for the reports of her own death - reports so dangerously biased and full of intolerant menace that we now wonder how we can possibly believe anything that has ever been recorded in British history books.

The coverage by the British media of Thatcher’s death has been exclusively absorbed in Thatcher’s canonization to such a censorial degree that we suddenly see the modern British establishment as an uncivilized entity of delusion, giving the cold shoulder to truth, and offering indescribable disgust to anyone unimpressed by Thatcher. Even to contest Thatcher’s worth is termed “anarchist”, and this source of insanity - intolerant of debate, is spearheaded by the BBC reporting not on how things actually are on British streets, but on how they would prefer things to be. For those of us who survived despite Thatcherism, and who recall Thatcher as a living hell, The Daily Mail and The Guardian have a steadfast message for us: You are nothing. Our thoughts are further burdened by the taunting extravagance of Thatcher’s funeral; the ceremonial lavish, the military salute, stripping Thatcher’s victims of everything, and rubbing salt in wounds with teasing relish. It is all happening against us.

In thought, we have killed Thatcher off a million times, but now that we have the reality of her death, the Metropolitan Police have set up new laws against us, and within paragraphs of law, we are not allowed to register our feelings so that anyone might overhear them. Echoes of Libya? Echoes of any Middle Eastern patch whose troubles are thought too uncivilized for a democratic England where chivalrous respect is afforded to “freedom”, and where we are all servile to “democracy.” It is, of course, The Big Lie.

The fact that there will be such an enormous police presence at Thatcher’s funeral is evidence that her name is synonymous with trouble - a trouble she brought on herself. No one wished for it, or brought it to her, yet she created her subtle form of anarchy nonetheless. BBC News will scantily report on anti-Thatcher demonstrations as if those taking part aren’t real people. Lordly scorn is shown towards North Korea and Syria, and any distant country ruled by tyrannical means, yet the British government employs similar dictatorship tactics in order to protect their own arrogant interests.

There will be no search for true wisdom this week, as the BBC gleefully report how Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead “failed to reach number 1”, and they repeat the word “failed” four times within the brief report, and a shivering sovereign darkness clouds England - such identifications known only in China. There will be no report as to how “the British people have succeeded in downloading Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead to number 2”, and we are engulfed in Third Reich maneuvers as BBC Radio assume the role of sensible adult, finger-wagging at that naughty public who must not be allowed to hear the song that they have elected to number 2.

By banning Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead (and only allowing four seconds of a song is, in fact, a ban) the BBC are effectively admitting that the witch in question can only possibly be Margaret Thatcher (and not Margaret Hamilton), even though Thatcher isn’t mentioned in the song, which is in fact a harmless, children’s song written over 70 years ago. Whilst the BBC tut-tut-tutted a polite disapproval at the Russian government for sending a “feminist punk” band to prison for recording an anti-government song, they engage in identical intolerance against Ding dong the witch is dead without a second’s hesitation.Thatcher’s funeral will be paid for by the public - who have not been asked if they object to paying, yet the public will be barred from attending.


When Cameron talks he is simply speaking his part, but he is adamant that the scorn Thatcher poured onto others should not be returned to her. Her mourning family must have considerations that were never shown to the families of the Hillsborough victims, and although Thatcher willingly played her part in the Hillsborough cover-up, let’s not go into all that now. Instead we’re asked to show respect for a Prime Minister whose own Cabinet were her rivals. Thatcher’s death gives added height to David Cameron (a Prime Minister who wasn’t actually voted in by the British people, yet there he is – reminding us all of our manners), and he does not understand how the best reason for doing something is because there’s nothing in it for you…

Can the BBC possibly interview someone with no careerist gain attached to their dribble? No. On the day that nine British citizens are arrested in Trafalgar Square for voicing their objections to the Baroness, the BBC News instead offer their opening platform to Carol Thatcher, a dumped non-star of I’m a celebrity get me out of here, and to Sir Mark Thatcher (Sir!), unseen since the disgrace of his involvement in selling arms to countries at odds with Britain.

Excellently put. You can read the full statement here, it’s worth it.

There’s a very odd public mood in the UK right now, something strange is in the air.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
08:23 pm
Glenda Jackson denounces ‘heinous’ Thatcherism in House of Commons tirade

For a moment, I thought I was watching a film—perhaps a re-make of Peter Barnes’ The Ruling Class? You know the scene where a demented Jack Gurney, 14th Earl of Gurney (Peter O’Toole) gives an insane speech in favor of the death penalty to a parliamentary chamber that is received with the most rapturous applause from his decrepit audience, the literal-living dead—the rotten, skeletal, cobweb-covered corpses of the House of Lords?

This was the only way I could make sense of what I was watching, as the British House of Commons gathered at a specially convened session to eulogize the evil dead—Margaret Thatcher.

By turn, all three leaders (Cameron, Clegg, Miliband) of the main electoral parties (Conservative, Liberal, Labour) praised the politician whose policies callously attacked the poorest, the weakest and least able, destroyed families, communities and industries, divided a country, and created mass unemployment for generations of Brits.

The vile stench of greed, hypocrisy and fear was almost palpable, as each bland politician paid homage to evils of Thatcher and Thatcherism.

I suffered through more than 3 years of unemployment during the Thatcher era—and know first hand, the evil Thatcherism inflicted on the UK. And yet today the faceless, forgettable MPs came to sing her highest praises.

Thank goodness then, to Glenda Jackson, the former actress-turned-politician (MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, London), who did not follow the sheep, but stood up and told the British Parliament the truth about Margaret Thatcher and her evil policies.

“There was a heinous social, economic and spiritual damage wreaked upon this country, upon my constituency and my constituents.”

“I tremble to think what the death rate for pensioners would have been this week if that version of Thatcherism had been fully up and running this year.”

“By far the most dramatic and heinous demonstration of Thatcherism was not only in London but across the whole country in metropolitan areas, where every single shop doorway, every single night, became the bedroom, the living room, the bathroom for the homeless.”

Ms. Jackson went on to explain how Thatcherism promoted the vices of greed and selfishness as virtues.

“That everything I had been taught was a as vice, and I still regard them as vices, under Thatcherism was a virtue.”

“Greed, selfishness, no care for the weaker. Sharp elbows and sharp knees, this was the way forward.”

“People saw the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

“What concerns me is that I am beginning to see possibly the re-emergence of that total traducing of what I regard as the basic spiritual nature of this country—where we do care about society, where we do believe in communities, where we do not leave people to walk by on the other side.”

If only more Members of Parliament, these so-called elected representatives of the people, were as honest and as courageous as Glenda Jackson was today, then there would be genuine hope for a better tomorrow.


Posted by Paul Gallagher
06:16 pm
Iron Lady, Rust in Peace: ‘Ding Dong the Witch is Dead’ zooming up the UK iTunes chart

No, that’s not Margaret Hamilton…

“Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” made it to No.27 in the UK iTunes chart this morning due to a Facebook campaign to make the cheerful, death celebrating ditty a #1 after the passing of Margaret Thatcher.

Elvis Costello’s bitterly anti-Thatcher song “Tramp the Dirt Down” made it to #93 and the Iron Lady’s passing certainly hasn’t hurt sales of Morrissey’s “Margaret on the Guillotine,” Robert Wyatt’s “Shipbuilding” or Billy Bragg’s “Between the Wars.”
Crass should expect to have at least a couple of dozen songs to licensed for documentaries, I should think…

A gathering in Glasgow that attracted 250 people took its inspiration from the song “George Square Thatcher Death Party” by Mogwai.

Meanwhile, former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell tweeted:

“Thinking of our 1st Lady of girl power, Margaret Thatcher, a green grocer’s daughter who taught me anything is possible…x”

My favorite quip about Thatcher kicking the bucket is this bust-a-gut funny YouTube comment, for the below clip from The Wizard of Oz, left in the past hour by linkieloos:

When I realised Thatcher was dead, I did a double fist pump an shouted “fucking brilliant!” Everyone around me was disgusted. Looking back, I suppose it was out of order… especially as I was the first paramedic at the scene!!


Posted by Richard Metzger
01:29 pm
Paedogeddon: Margaret Thatcher and ‘friend’

Either someone in the art department at CNN has got a terrific sense of humor, or else they have no idea who the bug-eyed kiddy fiddler is in this photograph with the late Baroness Margaret Thatcher.

Why it’s Sir Jimmy Saville, a man she called “friend.” CNN showed the photo four times in five minutes today when they announced Thatcher’s death on Starting Point today. BRAVO!

Via Raw Story:

Wall Street Journal Social Media Editor Neal Mann noted on Twitter that CNN “obviously didn’t get the memo” when it ran the photo of Thatcher with Savile.

Or did they get the memo, Neal?

“That is the picture CNN chose to run for Margaret Thatcher’s obituary? A pedophile?” Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy website asked, accompanied by a list of tweets by conservatives slamming CNN’s decision.

“Whoever’s doing the Thatcher montage on CNN is either an idiot or a sly lefty. Repeated images of Thatcher with Pinochet and Savile…”David Tumilty wrote.

I’d vote for sly lefty.

Posted by Richard Metzger
07:33 pm
‘Let’s privatize her funeral’: Film Director Ken Loach on plans for Thatcher’s send-off

Film director Ken Loach gives his assessment of Margaret Thatcher, and offers a suggestion for her funeral.

Margaret Thatcher was the most divisive and destructive Prime Minister of modern times.

Mass Unemployment, factory closures, communities destroyed – this is her legacy. She was a fighter and her enemy was the British working class. Her victories were aided by the politically corrupt leaders of the Labour Party and of many Trades Unions. It is because of policies begun by her that we are in this mess today.

Other prime ministers have followed her path, notably Tony Blair. She was the organ grinder, he was the monkey.

Remember she called Mandela a terrorist and took tea with the torturer and murderer Pinochet.

How should we honor her? Let’s privatize her funeral. Put it out to competitive tender and accept the cheapest bid. It’s what she would have wanted.

Ding-Dong the Witch is Dead T-shirts are available from Jetpace Industries.
H/T The Guardian and Michael Rosen blog

Posted by Paul Gallagher
07:13 pm
What does ‘Mark E. Smith’ think about Margaret Thatcher dying, anyway?
03:04 pm

I really wish this was actually Mark E. Smith’s Twitter account. Whoever tends to this feed does quite adept job at capturing the Mancunian bard’s drunken surrealist essence.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The Wit and Wisdom of Mark E. Smith

With thanks to Elizabeth Veldon!

Posted by Tara McGinley
03:04 pm
Margaret Thatcher is (finally) dead
08:51 am

Good fucking riddance, too.

It may seem churlish to revel in the death of anyone, but in the case of someone like Baroness Thatcher (or Andrew Breitbart) taking a final bow, I think throwing one last rotten tomato is appropriate.

That horrible old witch was 87. May she rot in Hell.

Posted by Richard Metzger
08:51 am
Palin dissed by Margaret Thatcher confidante: ‘Sarah Palin is nuts’

Sarah Palin would like to meet Margaret Thatcher when she’s in England next month. Palin told the Sunday Times:

“I am going to Sudan in July and hope to stop in England on the way. I am just hoping Mrs Thatcher is well enough to see me as I so admire her.”

Hey, not so fast there, snowbilly grifter! Palin’s plans for something to rub off on her (or at least a photo op that will drive Michele Bachmann green with envy) will be most likely be “thwarted” with the excuse that Baroness Thatcher is seldom seen in public anymore and in poor health, as Wintour and Watt report at The Guardian’s website:

It would appear that the reasons go deeper than Thatcher’s frail health. Her allies believe that Palin is a frivolous figure who is unworthy of an audience with the Iron Lady. This is what one ally tells me:

“Lady Thatcher will not be seeing Sarah Palin. That would be belittling for Margaret. Sarah Palin is nuts.”

Posted by Richard Metzger
06:01 pm
Baroness Thatcher’s Funeral
09:05 pm



Brit guerrilla funnyman Mark Thomas has a pre-formatted postcard on his website that you can send to the Queen to let her know what your plans will be during Baroness Thatcher’s State sponsored funeral—and no, the old bat is not dead yet, sadly, so this is still theoretical.

Amongst the options are singing “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” along the entire procession, setting off fireworks, holding a barbecue outside of Westminster Abbey wearing a comedy apron and my favorite, throwing coal at the coffin. You can also let your opinion be known to #10 by signing this petition. Thank you Mister Mark Jordan of London, England!

Posted by Richard Metzger
09:05 pm
Margaret Thatcher Calls the House of Lords
03:35 pm



I was going to post this—Worst/Best Beatles Cover of All Time?—but this is even better. I was crying I was laughing so hard. Part II is even funnier.

Much hilarity from the hilarious Robert Popper:


And on the matter of the decision to give Baroness Thatcher a State funeral, I simply don’t understand the controversy. She most certainly deserves a State burial… and sooner rather than later, I would hope!

Baroness Thatcher’s Bag part II


Posted by Richard Metzger
03:35 pm