Ding Dong the Witch is Dead. Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher kicked de bucket yesterday and England was cheering like they won the World Cup. Some musicians who sang about Thatcher in the past have made comments about her passing, including Dave Wakeling of the English Beat and Billy Bragg.
Dave Wakeling said:
“Although I rejoice in no one’s death, Margaret Thatcher’s passing is an important event for those who lived under her regime. She made competitors out of neighbors, and people stopped talking at bus stops, even about the weather, in the shadow of her affected, pretend posh accent. Margaret made herself big on the tears and suffering of others, more Cromwell than Churchill, yet however much pain she caused us, I wish comfort and solace to her family today.”
English Beat had released the song “Whine & Grine / Stand Down Margaret” on its 1980 debut album I Just Can’t Stop It (Go Feet Records / IRS Records) as a blistering commentary, calling for Thatcher to step down from her political post.
Billy Bragg said:
This is not a time for celebration. The death of Margaret Thatcher is nothing more than a salient reminder of how Britain got into the mess that we are in today. Of why ordinary working people are no longer able to earn enough from one job to support a family; of why there is a shortage of decent affordable housing; of why domestic growth is driven by credit, not by real incomes; of why tax-payers are forced to top up wages; of why a spiteful government seeks to penalise the poor for having an extra bedroom; of why Rupert Murdoch became so powerful; of why cynicism and greed became the hallmarks of our society.
Raising a glass to the death of an infirm old lady changes none of this. The only real antidote to cynicism is activism. Don’t celebrate – organise!