'You’ve Never Had It So Good’
The lady wasn’t for turning
Or helping other women off the sticky floor, through the glass ceiling
Thatcherism offered no sisterhood, ran no women’s support groups
Nor did she care for minors
Thatcher, thatcher, milk snatcher
Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, out, out, out
Or trade unionists
Never mind strike, get on your bike.
As for your three day week, you’re making Britain weak
Don’t you see those other countries coming up the rear
Tooled up to the nines, shiny new factories in gear
To compete against us while you have another fag break
Foreigners can keep their lights on, bury their dead. Collect their rubbish.
Why can’t we?
Yes, crank out another rust bucket Friday Special at British Leyland
While making out you’re doing a favour for England
But you don’t fool Maggie
Determined to break your stranglehold on the economy
Like some sociopath to socialists.
She sold the working man his council house for a few bob, then closed down his pit job.
Using the Police as her own private security force to protect the scabs
Creating scabs that would never heal
And men ungrateful for longer lives of unclogged lungs
Who didn’t care for shiftlessness.
Then she hit you with the poll tax
And you bit back with a poleaxe
More frightening than the Falklands
And finally the lady was for turning.
She tore the heart out of coal and cars and ships and steel
But offered instead no Roosevelt New Deal
Just the inexorable rise of privatisation and its fees
Until forced to devise Corporate Responsibility
To infer they don’t rob customers without environmental reason
Successive governments changed little of what Thatcher put in place
Except to embrace the EU and open the immigration floodgates
The messing with our NHS and education go on
Until the day can dawn when all tax-funded services are gone.
Those who did well under Thatcher love her
Those whose communities she destroyed loathe her
She divided to rule and she loved opposition
She would never have agreed to a coalition
She would never have fiddled her expenses either
Yes, she had a few qualities as a leader
And her ism will live on long after she’s gone.
But her greatest legacy was surely as a figure of controversy
For love or hate, she provoked debate
With her ‘don’t care got nowhere’ mantra
And sober single-minded agenda
She was the enemy of political apathy
A woman who defied what a woman should be
She made people care about politics like few others did
As she opened a pandora’s box without a resealable lid.
©LS King 2013
Originally I looked up Margaret Thatcher quotes and intended to cobble a poem together using those, but things went in a completely different direction as they often do in writing. I did find some of the sayings unintentionally amusing though (Mrs Thatcher was known for having very little sense of humour and never getting jokes). Could that be one of the reasons she was so embarrassingly awful in her cameo on 'Yes Minister' which she insisted they write for her...?
- 'Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.'
- 'When I’m out of politics, I’m going to run a business. It’ll be called ‘Rent-a-Spine’
- ‘Politics used to be about trying to do something. Now it’s about trying to be someone.’
- 'We are a grandmother'
- 'I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.'
- 'You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it'
- 'I seem to smell the stench of appeasement in the air'
- 'There is no such thing as society, there are men and women and there are families.'
- 'To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects.'
- 'What we think, we become. My father always said that... and I think I am fine.'
- 'Don’t follow the crowd. Let the crowd follow you.'