Frank Turner – Thatcher fucked The Kids

Whatever happened to childhood?
We’re all scared of the kids in our neighbourhood;
They’re not small, charming and harmless,
They’re a violent bunch of bastard little shits.
And anyone who looks younger than me
Makes me check for my wallet, my phone and my keys,
And I’m tired of being tired out
Always being on the lookout for thieving gits.

We’re all wondering how we ended up so scared;
We spent ten long years teaching our kids not to care
And that “there’s no such thing as society” anyway,
And all the rich folks act surprised
When all sense of community dies,
But you just closed your eyes to the other side Of all the things that she did.
Thatcher fucked the kids.

And it seems a little bit rich to me,
The way the rich only ever talk of charity
In times like the seventies, the broken down economy
Meant even the upper tier was needing some help.
But as soon as things look brighter,
Yeah the grin gets wider and the grip gets tighter,
And for every teenage tracksuit mugger
There’s a guy in a suit who wouldn’t lift a finger for anybody else.

You’ve got a generation raised on the welfare state,
Enjoyed all its benefits and did just great,
But as soon as they were settled as the richest of the rich,
They kicked away the ladder, told the rest of us that life’s a bitch.
And it’s no surprise that all the fuck-ups
Didn’t show up until the kids had grown up.
But when no one ever smiles or ever helps a stranger,
Is it any fucking wonder our society’s in danger of collapse?

So all the kids are bastards,
But don’t blame them, yeah, they learn by example.
Blame the folks who sold the future for the highest bid:
That’s right, Thatcher fucked the kids.

Is it really just Frank Turner and myself who think this way? My wife, a Labour supporter, thinks I bang on about this too much. She thinks, possibly correctly, that the dissolution of the society of marriage is a major contributor to society’s ills. Others have said that I should leave Thatcher alone as she is an old woman.

My love of this song isn’t simply about my hatred of Thatcher but it is true that on the day she finally calls it a day and goes back to see her dad, Satan, don’t try to contact me, I will be too busy partying.
Anyway, I digress.

I live in a fairly wealthy part of Essex, on the Upminster/Hornchurch borders. Our families have always lived here and so we live here through convenience rather than choice. This area has been conservative for as long as I can remember. Or at least since I started voting. Recently the nationalistic parties have been making noises but fortunately have achieved little. This area boomed in the Thatcher years – the East End wide boys who saw a chance of a quick buck in the city by shitting on anyone that got in their way, moved in aspriational glee from the East End to this leafy Essex suburb. Nouveau rich.

Now I am all for people bettering themselves, nothing wrong with that at all… it’s how you do it though. Everyone puts others down to get on in life.

If you are offered a promotion few people would say “no give it to Smithers-Jones, he deserves it more than me”. On the other hand, most decent people would not go as far to stab Smithers-Jones in the back as happened constantly in the 80’s. Respect for others went out the window and the only thing people loved was money… at least round here.

And they grew and grew, bucking credit crunch trends and bank crashes, these people were beyond touch. And as they grew they obviously married and had kids, again nothing wrong with that. But its what happened then.. This is what myself and Frank bang on about.

These kids have been brought up to respect no one but themselves… not even their parents.. fuck everyone else, screw everyone else, you are better than everyone else because you have money …and don’t forget to remind people of that constantly, those are the rules. These kids have everything they want and they let everyone know.

Think I’m over-exaggerating? Go to Upminster High Street on any night of the week… groups of kids dressed in expensive clothes, riding mopeds/scooters up and down the high street, across the parks, on the pavement.

If you want further proof how about this? Macdonalds moved from Upminster. The huge forest culling corporation could not afford security guards they needed to stop these little shits from smashing up the store every week. This is Upminster. This isn’t one of the London borough’s that people associate with trouble. We have nice restaurants and a Marks and Spencers supermarket. It’s well-to-do.

“They are just kids”. Bollocks. I was a kid.. I was a punk… one of the people the public would look at and expect to cause trouble. I’ve never been in trouble. Not because I believed it to be wrong… I just wasn’t brought up to think I could do what I wanted to without consequences. If I was waiting for a bus and people were there before me, or were elderly or pregnant then I let them get on before me. Queue for a bus in Upminster and it’s a free-for-all to get on. I’ve seen pensioners pushed aside by school kids. I’ve seen an ambulance in Upminster cut up by boy racers in the car mummy and daddy have bought them.

These people don’t give a fuck, and they will breed and how bad will the kids of the kids be? I wish I could offer words of hope… my own kids are brought up like I was, to respect others, hold doors open, and understand rights and wrongs but it seems we are in a minority.

Here is my favourite verse; sums up Upminster:

And it seems a little bit rich to me,
The way the rich only ever talk of charity
In times like the seventies, the broken down economy
Meant even the upper tier was needing some help.
But as soon as things look brighter,
Yeah the grin gets wider and the grip gets tighter,
And for every teenage tracksuit mugger
There’s a guy in a suit who wouldn’t lift a finger for anybody else.

So what do we do ? I wish I had an answer rather than just a moan sounding like a Daily Mail reader.
Sorry, I don’t…

1 COMMENT

  1. Neither Hornchurch or Upminster are in Essex. They are both in London & have been for over half a century.

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