Monday, April 08, 2013

Tramp the dirt down

By Frank Moraes

Margaret Thatcher was an evil woman. Now she's dead. At the end of her term in office, Elvis Costello released a song about her, "Tramp the Dirt Down." In it he sang, "And when they finally put you in the ground; I'll stand there laughing; And tramp the dirt down." I agree completely about that sentiment. It would be one thing if Thatcher had only ruined the United Kingdom, but she had a pernicious effect all over the globe. Nowhere was the effect greater than in the good ol' United States of America under Ronald Reagan. Thatcher's England led the western world into the abyss of free market authoritarianism (fascism without the explicit racism). It hardly matters that she's dead now.

It would have helped so much if she had died at 50, say. Of course, I tend to think that the world was destined to go through this proto-fascist phase that (on good days) I think we are slowly clawing our way out of.

I'm glad she's dead, but I do not look forward to all the hagiographic obituaries. Because you know how it goes in American papers. The obituaries of leftists have to be evenhanded and talk about the good and the bad. The obituaries of rightists only talk about what good men/women/gargoyles they were.

I love the anger in this song; it is Costello at his best:

(Cross-posted at Frankly Curious.)

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  • Great Costello song. I suppose one "good" thing about Thatcher's rule is that she inspired so much great protest music, from the likes of Billy Bragg, The Beat, Crass, The Specials, and Morrissey (who released the savage "Margaret on the Guillotine") as well as many others.
    One ironic thing about the Thatcher/Reagan era was (in my view) that these two planted the seeds for capitalism's demise. With the destruction of unions, the middle classes of the U.S. and the U.K. have been in decline since the 1980s. And without a strong, vibrant middle class around, it's hard to see how capitalism can survive much longer.
    I mean, already much of the "prosperity" we see in the U.S. is nothing more than a credit card-fueled mirage.

    By Blogger Marc McDonald, at 3:44 AM  

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