The good old anti-Thatcher days

31 03 2015

Now that we’re deep in to the general election campaigning season it might be an opportune moment for another bracing promenade down Football Politics Avenue.

If there was one match I would have liked to attend it was the 1988 Scottish Cup Final. A respected member of the When Saturday Comes messgae board wrote this a couple of years ago;

In 1988 Thatcher deigned to visit her northern socio-economic experimental laboratory. Whitehall carried the code name Scotland for this top secret scientific institution and Thatcher wished to see the lab rats at play and in leisure indulging their favourite past time, football. Just as she was innoculating them with the Poll Tax.

Accompanied by her chief ghillie, Malcolm Rifkind and the sniveling Peter Lorre-like Michael Forsyth (who remains my most hated Thatcher/Major era Tory figure ever) she popped up like Fenella the witch (without the Welsh accent) from Chorlton and The Wheelies at Hampden to present the trophy to the winner. No one wanted her. She didn’t care.

Before the match, thousands of these red cards were dished out outside the ground:

As Thatcher emerged Dundee United and Celtic fans brandished the cards turning Hampden into a sea of red and chanting that age old fan favourite “Maggie, Maggie get tae fuck, Maggie get tae fuck”. Unfortunately I cannot find any footage of it on youtube and I would be much obliged if anyone has any.

But the most revealing aspect of Thatcher’s relationship with Scotland turned up by the ’88 final was her answer to Alex Salmond in PM’s questions the following week. Goading Thatcher as to her unpopularity in Scotland as evidenced by the reaction to her attendance at the ‘red card final’, Thatcher replied:

“I had a very good day in Scotland. Whatever the Hon. Gentleman tries to say, Scotland’s economy and people are benefiting enormously from the way in which the Government are handling them”.

“The way in which the Government are handling them“.

There in a nutshell- the Tartan curios with their bizarre rejection of Thatcherism borne of course out of socialism and alcoholism. Specimens to be contained, quarantined and experimented upon.

Scotland never, ever, ever voted for Thatcher and her particular brand of political sociopathy, but we got it all right. Tory vengeance rained down upon us from a great height. So much so that the only popular weaponry we had at our disposal was to wave red cards at her in a Scottish cup final.

Here’s the Glasgow Herald’s view of the day, there’s also a you tube clip that gives us a taste of proceedings. (From 6:55 on but the whole clip is worth a view);

Our Banter addled present is in dire need of something like this, if only we had a contemptible prime minister leading a mailgn government with pernicious policies.

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