How the Left Fought Back Against Thatcher

How the Left Fought Back Against Thatcher

How the Left Fought Back Against Thatcher

It wasn’t easy, but artists, musicians and activists met Thatcher’s brutal tactics with compassionate responses.


May 4, 1979. Margaret Thatcher becomes prime minister of England. Her first remarks are borrowed from the prayer of Saint Francis: “Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.”

Thatcher’s decade in office was a consistent contradiction of this initial statement. A truer story is told by flipping each sentence: Where there is harmony, may we bring discord. Where there is truth, may we bring error. Where there is faith, may we bring doubt. And where there is hope, may we bring despair. “Society doesn’t exist,” Thatcher said. There are only individuals. We are unequal and we all have the right to be unequal. “Thank heavens,” Thatcher exhaled in relief.

In this video, an excerpt from Antonino D’Ambrosio’s Let Fury Have the Hour, artists and musicians weigh in on the twin legacies of Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, and the grim courses they set for their nations. Click here to read the full essay from which this text is an excerpt, and here to read D’Ambrosio’s book, out now from Nation Books.

Thank you for reading The Nation!

We hope you enjoyed the story you just read, just one of the many incisive, deeply reported articles we publish daily. Now more than ever, we need fearless journalism that moves the needle on important issues, uncovers malfeasance and corruption, and uplifts voices and perspectives that often go unheard in mainstream media.

Donate right now and help us hold the powerful accountable, shine a light on issues that would otherwise be swept under the rug, and build a more just and equitable future.

For nearly 160 years, The Nation has stood for truth, justice, and moral clarity. As a reader-supported publication, we are not beholden to the whims of advertisers or a corporate owner. But it does take financial resources to report on stories that may take weeks or months to investigate, thoroughly edit and fact-check articles, and get our stories to readers like you.

Donate today and stand with us for a better future. Thank you for being a supporter of independent journalism.

Thank you for your generosity.

Ad Policy