Tuesday, 9 April 2013

That was a day

Say what you like about Thatcher, she did me a favour.

There I was, providing my junior Shark, Squirrel and Tiger with a lecture on 1980s British social and political history, introducing them to the Toxteth riots, which naturally segued into an explanation of Thatcher Thatcher Milk Snatcher, took a diversion into unionised labour, fell into an extended riff on the place of women then and now, before finishing with a replay of The Specials Ghost Town, and WALLOP! I find the very subject of my educational endeavours, she died.

Bang on cue. My extended lecture on the 1980s no longer 'mother wittering on again', but suddenly relevant to us all, and this time not for my happy reminiscences about my sticky-up Thompson Twins hairstyle (which totally suited me, if you're wondering).

Tiger, Squirrel and Shark, they looked at me with a new and quiet awe. Mama had clearly brought about this state of affairs through educational mind power alone. If she can do that to ex-prime ministers, what can she do to us?

At the very least, my children, place you in one of the key areas of the country when you can honestly answer that question, Where were you when Thatcher died? with 'In Liverpool, home of anti-Thatcher riots, place of Militant Tendency, above a pole dancing club, where we can listen to the explosions and cheers of the street revelers below'.

I'm assuming this sequence of events is pure coincidence by the way, and not the power of the spoken word, carried on a special poisoned air, flying from this place to hers, to knock her sideways. But I'm not telling the kids that.

For me, I don't know whether to punch the air or continue my lecture with a sober addendum on woman power. At this point, I can't tell the little grits whether Thatcher saw the inevitable changes that were coming to the UK's industrial heritage and simply precipitated them, or whether she caused the misery and grief and mayhem out of blind ignorance and willful spite aimed at male-dominated union power. Maybe both.

But Shark, Squirrel and Tiger have certainly had an educational time of it. Not only have we delivered the death of a most controversial ex-prime minister, we've renegotiated the Slavery Museum and the Maritime Museum, both of which bring an odd tangential support to an impromptu politics lesson while we explore the world in terms of power and control, resistance and defiance.

And thanks, Liverpool. You're certainly making this outing one to remember.

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