“When they finally put you in the ground,
I’ll stand there laughing, and tramp the dirt down.”
A friend forwarded me some other excellent Thatcher songs, and I spent last night on a truly enjoyable trip down Memory Lane.
The songs and videos gathered include Costello’s, along with Billy Bragg’s, and the Specials’ “Ghost Town” – which was the soundtrack to a summer spent in London when I was 14 — and more hardcore offerings. Perhaps Thatcher’s one positive legacy is the inspiration she provided to punk rock. I remember the kind of ecstatic anger I felt listening to some of those bands – and Thatcher was an excellent focus for that anger.
Much has been said in recent months about the labor movement’s “impending decline,” with the right wing’s unrelenting attacks against collective bargaining rights in states across the country, from Arizona to Wisconsin to New Jersey. California is facing its own version of this attack with the qualification of the Paycheck Deception initiative for the November 2012 ballot that would dramatically curtail working people’s ability to participate in politics in the state.
Many people in the modern progressive movement date the beginning of these assaults to Ronald Reagan’s 1981 decision to fire 12,000 air traffic controllers after their union, PATCO, went on strike and shut down the nation’s airports. President Reagan’s decision to permanently fire (and prohibit any rehire of) all the controllers destroyed PATCO and served as the starting-pistol shot for three decades of attacks on the right to collective bargaining, that continue today.