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14 April 2013

Oh, Maggie, Maggie what did we do?

Margaret Thatcher's death last week has brought on a considerable wave of reflection from different quarters. 

This week's cover of the The Economist proclaims Maggie a "Freedom Fighter," which -- for those of us who've actually done some freedom fighting and worked for and with freedom fighters -- just feels downright offensive.  Perhaps Maggie did some good things for the UK, but freedom fighting wasn't one of them.

The Economist print cover
Really? Let's ask Mr. Mandela.
An alternative, critical perspective is in order; one taken from the time during which Maggie served as PM. In 1983, Pink Floyd released its album, The Final Cut: Requiem for a Post War Dream. It is a scathing commentary on Thatcherism, and the title of this post is taken from the the last line of the album's first cut, "The Post War Dream" (pun certainly not intended!).

The Final Cut was accompanied by a wonderful 19 minute video EP, presented here.

One of the tunes on the album, but not featured in the EP, is "Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert." Here are the lyrics:

"Oi...Get your filthy hands off my desert!"
"What 'e say?"

 Brezhnev took Afghanistan.
Begin took Beirut.
Galtieri took the Union Jack.
And Maggie, over lunch one day,
Took a cruiser with all hands.
Apparently, to make him give it back
Short and to the point. You get the idea.

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