In a thoughtful Pop & Hiss post on Monday, Reed Johnson included Morrissey’s “Margaret on the Guillotine” in a long list of songs by British musicians inspired -- if that’s the word for it -- by the late prime minister, who died in London on Monday at the age of 87.
Thatcher’s death led elsewhere to the circulation of an old quote by the singer in which he referred to her as “a terror without an atom of humanity.”
On Tuesday, Morrissey offered some fresher, if no less acidic, thoughts on Thatcher through his spokesperson that Pop & Hiss is reproducing below (with one omission of a swear word):
“The difficulty with giving a comment on Margaret Thatcher’s death to the British tabloids is that, no matter how calmly and measured you speak, the comment must be reported as an ‘outburst’ or an ‘explosive attack’ if your view is not pro-establishment. If you reference ‘the Malvinas,’ it will be switched to ‘the Falklands,’ and your ‘Thatcher’ will be softened to a ‘Maggie.’
“This is generally how things are structured in a non-democratic society. Thatcher’s name must be protected not because of all the wrong that she had done, but because the people around her allowed her to do it, and therefore any criticism of Thatcher throws a dangerously absurd light on the entire machinery of British politics.
“Thatcher was not a strong or formidable leader. She simply did not give a ... about people, and this coarseness has been neatly transformed into bravery by the British press who are attempting to re-write history in order to protect patriotism. As a result, any opposing view is stifled or ridiculed, whereas we must all endure the obligatory praise for Thatcher from David Cameron without any suggestion from the BBC that his praise just might be an outburst of pro-Thatcher extremism from someone whose praise might possibly protect his own current interests.
“The fact that Thatcher ignited the British public into street-riots, violent demonstrations and a social disorder previously unseen in British history is completely ignored by David Cameron in 2013. In truth, of course, no British politician has ever been more despised by the British people than Margaret Thatcher.
“Thatcher’s funeral on Wednesday will be heavily policed for fear that the British tax-payer will want to finally express their view of Thatcher. They are
certain to be tear-gassed out of sight by the police.
“United Kingdom? Syria? China? What’s the difference?”
Follow Mikael Wood on Twitter: @mikaelwood