She ruined so much of my youth, with her big hair, capped teeth and right-wing policies. She started off pinching my school milk and went on to much, much worse. Yes, that's right, I'm talking about Margret Thatcher. Even if you don't know exactly where I stand politically I don't think it will surprise you if I say that I wasn't a fan.
I can remember the day she became Prime Minster, I'd not quite turned 8 but I'd never seen my Dad look so sad, I knew Labour had lost just by the look on his face. Yes you could say my family indoctrinated me into socialism but they also had me Christened and I shook that off. I'm proud to be a lefty. I'm proud that when it comes to my country and indeed the world, I want to see a fairer, more equal society and in that I felt she was diametrically opposed to me.
She became for me, a personification of everything I hated about the political right, I danced with joy the day she was forced out of Number 10 (and got completely hammered, I was a University student at the time) so I expected to feel a similar sense of elation when she died. I didn't.
I can understand that a large number of people wanted to run around singing "Ding dong the witch is dead" from the Wizard of Oz - there is actually a Facebook group with the soul aim of getting it to number 1 by the end of the week (at the time of writing it is at number 10 in the down load charts - how ironic!) I admit to singing the odd chorus in the last 48hours but to be honest my heart isn't in it.
In the first place this is because my fight isn't over. The current government are forcing through the sorts of cuts and changes the 'Iron Lady' could only have dreamed of. I will not stand by while the weakest and most vulnerable in our society have what little they have taken away from them and I will not be quiet while they break up and sell off the NHS. Yes we live in difficult economic times but make no mistake, these changes are political and ideological and not the necessity they are painted to be, there are alternatives.
And in the second place, at the end she was a sad, frail woman suffering from dementia when she died, her 'prime' (if you can call it that) a distant memory. I do feel a sense of sorrow for her children that they have lost their mother though I always felt rather sorry for them having her as a parent in the first place however I don't feel any more need to be 'respectful' than I did at say Pinochet's death. Mostly I just feel flat. One right-winger may have gone but it reminds me that the fight to put society back in the place I feel it belongs continues.
No, if I'm going to download any particular song this week it will be this number by Frank Turner. It explains very clearly how I feel while still somehow managing to sound a little happy. (I'll just warn you now it is unsuitable for young children or the work place as it contains plenty of adult language from the start.)
Take it away Frank.
Lyrics, for those who have small ears nearby.
Thatcher F*cked the kids - Frank Turner
Whatever happened to childhood?
We're all scared of the kids in our neighborhood;
They're not small, charming and harmless,
They're a violent bunch of bastard little shits.
And anyone who looks younger than me
Makes me check for my wallet, my phone and my keys,
And I'm tired of being tired out
Always being on the lookout for thieving gits.
We're all wondering how we ended up so scared;
We spent ten long years teaching our kids not to care
And that "there's no such thing as society" anyway,
And all the rich folks act surprised
When all sense of community dies,
But you just closed your eyes to the other side
Of all the things that she did.
Thatcher fucked the kids
And it seems a little bit rich to me,
The way the rich only ever talk of charity
In times like the seventies, the broken down economy
Meant even the upper tier was needing some help.
But as soon as things look brighter,
Yeah the grin gets wider and the grip gets tighter,
And for every teenage tracksuit mugger
There's a guy in a suit who wouldn't lift a finger for anybody else.
You've got a generation raised on the welfare state,
Enjoyed all its benefits and did just great,
But as soon as they were settled as the richest of the rich,
They kicked away the ladder, told the rest of us that life's a bitch.
And it's no surprise that all the fuck-ups
Didn't show up until the kids had grown up.
But when no one ever smiles or ever helps a stranger,
Is it any fucking wonder our society's in danger of collapse?
So all the kids are bastards,
But don't blame them, yeah, they learn by example.
Blame the folks who sold the future for the highest bid:
That's right, Thatcher fucked the kids.
Now why didn't they let him sing that at the Olympics?