Following the death of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, rap collective Class Actions are releasing their popular song ‘M is 4 Maggie’ as a single. The track is a parody of the Thatcher years with razor sharp lyrics and a catchy hip hop beat. It is the perfect soundtrack for any ‘celebration’ party. David Brooke give us the low down on Class Actions this, Class Actions most well known track.
Divisive is the common word surrounding Thatcher’s death. Between those who knew the true terror of Thatcherism and the tiny elite that benefitted from it, stand those who admire her “conviction” and “achievements”, but are repulsed from celebrating her demise. Such a view betrays a departure from understanding the reality, for there is a reason why cheering her death felt natural to millions of people across the UK. (I tend to think that Thatcher’s complicity with the Pinochet and Suharto regime absolves her of any humanist principle).
But for those invested in the history of working class struggle, this was an entirely predictable response. Class Actions have always championed their alignment with the poorest in society and their consistency has paid off in due respectability for their music. ‘M is 4 Maggie’ is arguably their most well-known track from the first album Keep Your Pride. The re-release of this as a single demonstrates the sort of enterprising zeal that I’m sure Thatcher would have been proud of.
The track is focused upon a biting satire that reinvents the very language of Thatcherism and delivers it back with a punch. The infamous ‘U-turn’ speech repeated at the beginning of the song demonstrates an awareness of their use of language, repeating back to her,
Thankyou very much what you did for me
There’s no such thing as society
Greed is good because of you
Here’s my tribute to the Lady in Blue
The delivery from Aslan AK feels natural, at home in this language. The song continues onwards along the theme of delusion, tracking the very paradox of working class support for Thatcher in subsequent elections.
The sycophancy that permeates the song eerily echoes that of the hagiography of Thatcher in various media outlets. Liberation is used freely, co-opting the very term Thatcherism and New Right originally stole from leftists. The sneer afterwards of “We love you, Maggie we do”, repeated, speaks of how term was never really believed.
Thatcherism is not a new subject for musicians, and it has often been the source of some great music. Undoubtedly further interest will be drawn to this material, a new generation attempting to understand exactly what her legacy is. And it is the necessary intervention of ‘M is 4 Maggie’ that will provide a clear voice for Thatcher’s children to the children of Thatcher. Aslan AK is clear in pinpointing the problems of Cameron’s Britain stating that “I hope one day society becomes free of all the selfishness and cut throat ideals she preached. Let us not forget that Maggie is the Godmother of today’s financial crisis and subsequent government cuts.” The track is rich in satire, but also ruthlessly didactic, and is the pinnacle of Class Actions’ fidelity to the experiences of working class people.
You can download the track from Class Actions website.