No Such Thing As Society
A History of Britain in the 1980s
By Andy McSmith
Constable – £14.99
Just as Margaret Thatcher was capable of inciting one to spit blood during her incorrigibly vile and in-humane, eleven-year reign at the helm of British politics; the tiniest, sneakiest reminder of said tenure, remains just as equally inciting, not to mention hateful today, as when she used to regularly spout forth in the eighties.
Absolutely typical of ghastly prog-rock musicians and ignorant politicians the whole world over – neither of whose twain necessarily meet – Baroness Thatcher (as she is now annoyingly called), always, always, adamantly and vehemently, refused to listen. And there’s a chapter in No Such Thing As Society – A History of Britain in the 1980s called ‘A Lady Not For Turning,’ wherein there are numerous, frustratingly colourful episodes, that substantiate this.
For instance, in relation to former Prime Minister’s son Mark Thatcher and a £300m contract which was up for grabs in Oman in 1981, author Andy McSmith writes: ‘’Mrs Thatcher exhorted the Omanis to award it to a British firm. Mark, aged twenty-seven […] brought no qualifications to this task other than his family connections. The contract was awarded to Cementation and Mark Thatcher’s firm received a commission, reportedly in six figures. Two years later, when the Observer uncovered the story and alleged that the commission paid to Thatcher’s firm was at least £350,000, the prime minister faced such a flurry of written questions in the Commons, she feared she might be forced to make a lengthy statement to the House. A thirteen-page draft was drawn up, in which, among other things, she was going to say of Mark: ‘He is under no obligation to reveal to me details of his business or personal affairs. Like most parents, I only know what I am told.’’
What the fucking-fuck? What a blatant cop-out. What a shameful and despicable act of cowardice and raging ignorance; especially for one in office, let alone a Prime Minister – who for one, ought surely to have bequeathed the nation with (an example of) just a shard more morality. And we wonder why Britain has devolved into nothing other than a bankrupt, broken society, cast lose amid a sea of trust fund sluts and vacuous celebratory scumbags.
One need not look any further than she who penned the very title of this exceedingly well-researched book, as to why said scenario might be the case. As for the above example, what a great, shining example of SCREAMING NEPOTISM at its finest.
If you or I were to even think about denying the Inland Revenue say, of ten pounds, we would be economically tainted and hounded for the rest of our days – and no doubt thrown in prison. But Baroness Liar (as she ought to be honestly called), harbourer and friend of blatant murderer, General Pinochet; cold, callous and calculated destroyer of numerous working-class families the length and breadth of the land; power-crazy debutant, responsible for the pointless deaths of hundreds of young British and Argentinean servicemen; is, like so many others in corrupt government, allowed to walk free.
To be sure, this highly charged yet readable, irresistible yet contestable book, is by far, one of the most concise and accurate histories of a decade that supposedly changed Britain forever. From the Bobby Sands and Falklands War to the Miners Strike and Live Aid, from Princess Diana and the Guildford Four to the New Romantics and the Gang Of Four, No Such Thing as Society is an undeniably refreshing take on a decade that, in Britain at least, really didn’t do itself any favours.