Do unto Thatcher as she saw fit to do unto others
I almost wasn’t going to repost this repost, but then I flicked over a tab to this article from stuff and I thought ah, how serendipitous! In life, she gave struggling industries the kiss of death; in death, she breathes life into a dying industry (not that any jobs will come of it of course, and in that sense there’s consistency).
All we ever hear about from music industry sources these days is the trouble they have generating sales in the face of widespread piracy. Instead, we have this:
A spokeswoman from Britain’s Official Charts Company said the track, sung in the film by the Munchkin characters alongside Judy Garland’s Dorothy after the oppressive Wicked Witch of the West dies, would hit No. 10 in the singles chart on Wednesday.
“The surge in sales follows a campaign to get the track to Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart following the death of Margaret Thatcher on Monday,” said the spokeswoman.
She said the song had sold over 10,600 copies by late Tuesday which was about 5,000 copies away from a Top 3 placing.
Another version of the song, by late US singer Ella Fitzgerald, was ranked No. 5 in the Amazon download chart.
Then there’s these crazy kids.
There’s only one thing that disappoints me about all this comment and analysis however. While Loach made a brave move in the face of maudlin tributes and grim celebrations of the normalisation of Thatcherism, the Dead Kennedys gave Thatcher and Reagan’s entire weltanshauung the middle finger at the height of its brutally coercive power. Nobody covering Thatcher’s legacy so far seems to have looked back on this gem, in which the Kennedys make full use their trademark acidity to highlight the lack of empathy and gratuitous cruelty of the 1980s new right and their approach to geopolitics, democracy, and industrial relations. While left-of-centre parties throughout the commonwealth today shrink from the task of criticising or attempting to roll back these reforms, this song makes them seem all the more spineless and unfit to consider themselves representatives of those who were left behind to rot.