Just An Observation Friday April 12th


The news this week has been overshadowed by the death of Margaret Thatcher and in death, as in life, her legacy is proving extremely divisive. Usually I stray away from political comment- preferring to think of it as ‘politricks’ as politicians invariably dupe you into voting for them under false pretences and outright lies- but growing up in the 1980’s it was impossible not to be touched by Thatcher’s rhetoric and regime. None of my memories of this woman are pleasant nor are they tinged with fond nostalgia. I never bought into her greed is good doctrine which encouraged some sections of society to step on –in some cases tread all over and obliterate completely- others in the name of progress.

The society she encouraged was a society of self and there was little room for caring or compassion for those who were less fortunate. This ability to steamroll ahead, alongside complacency in challenging or fighting for the rights of the less privileged with little concern for the long term effects, would seem to be her legacy as I understand it. Section 28- banning the promotion of homosexuality- support of Apartheid, cosy relationships with dubious dictators, the selling of social housing whilst neglecting to build any homes to fill the void in affordable premises, the destruction of the mining industry and the privatisation of state owned companies are just some of the horrors I associate with her time in office. Let us also not forget that little thing called the Poll Tax.

The latter would become her grand folly and the point that even her own party realised her megalomania had reached monstrous proportions and they were dealing with an out and out madwoman. Though from the pro bias reportage of most of the media at the moment it is hard to believe this is the same person who has dominated headlines for several days now.

However despite the initial euphoria many expressed over news of her death- a reluctant smile admittedly crept onto my lips- and the sending of ‘Ding Dong The Witch is Dead’ to number one or even the street parties celebrating news of her demise or others arranged for the day of her funeral it would be wise to not allow her passing to allow us to slip back into complacency or take our eye off the bigger picture.

These actions will have little or no effect in the areas that matter. In fact they add fuel to the fire of her outraged supporters as in some ways they show a bitterness which is far from evolved or enlightened. The best way to protest about a government which is not to your choosing is to get out and take some positive action. In the case of many who are complaining about the state of the country this should manifest itself in actually getting out there and bothering to vote.

Elsewhere this weekend the Neu! Reekie Holy Show at the Poetry Club in Glasgow is definitely one not to be missed. Featuring the first full set from Jesus, Baby –a super-group numbering former Fire Engine Davy Henderson and Teen Canteen diva Carla Easton amongst their members- and following on from regular airings on Radio 6 this should be really quite something. The amazing Edinburgh hip hop crew Young Fathers are also on hand to lend a bit of diversity and to add further intrigue to an already heady and captivating line up there are slots from Kirsty Logan, Alan Bissett , evening founders Michael Pedersen and Kevin Williamson as well as video excerpts from Colin McGuire.

Showing that their influence now extends beyond the confines of Edinburgh this outing to the Wild West is certainly one worth travelling for. So saddle up and head west for  a Saturday night which proves that Britain really does have talent and yes it has absolutely nothing to do with Simon Cowell and his merry band of  sycophantic no hopers. Get to it!

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