I sleep walk.
I don't actually sleep walk - I sleep run. I have these dreams where a bomb is about to go off in my flat and I have to get out now. So I get out of bed and run out of the house. These dreams come in different intensities, but at their worst I know I'm about to die, and I'm terrified of that death.*
When I was small I lived in Thatcher's Britain, the Britain of Protect & Survive. I was terrified of bombs. When we moved to New Zealand I was five, and I listed one of my favourite things about this country that their were no bombs.
I don't think my terror dreams come from those years in Britain. I think they're a stress or anxiety response. But I think it's because of Margaret Thatcher and her pals that I dream of bombs. If I lived in different times I might be running from Wolves, or communists. I'd probably be just as scared, but that's small consolation when I can still taste the adrenalin from believing that I was about to burn to death.
As far as Thatcher's casualties go - my experience is nothing. The miners lives weren't ruined in their dreams, they were ruined in reality. While she never dropped a nuclear bomb, she did drop other bombs. Her economic policies led to redundancies and unemployment - those aren't just abstract ideas - they kill people. Poverty kills, hoplessness kills - the year after the miner's strike saw many more than the usual number of suicides. It's not just economic policies either Section 28, passed by the Tories, made it illegal to promote the teaching in state schools "the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship."
So when someone responds to me posting the lyrics to Merry Christmas Margaret Thatcher with: "Nothing Margaret Thatcher did is worth hoping for her death" - that really depends on what, and who, you value. People have died because of Margaret Thatcher.
I don't think individuals are the driving force for politics, if Thatcher hadn't been there, it would have been someone else. I don't particularly hope for her death any more, she's old and out of power, and probably a little bit out of it anyway. But when she does die you better believe that I'm going to celebrate. I'm going to dig out my parents old anti-Margaret Thatcher t-shirt and put it on, I will play anti-Margaret Thatcher songs all day, and I will write a post on this blog, maybe about Women Against Pit Closures.
My favourite phrase in Solidarity Forever is 'we will break their haughty power'. The power to ruin people's lives by remote control and sit back with a cup of tea is a haughty power indeed. To suggest that people shouldn't be angry about what is done to them, and other people, shouldn't be angry at that haughty power, is telling them their lives don't matter.
Friday, July 27, 2007
I sleep walk.