When I was in my teens the shadow of Margaret Thatcher lay, like some fell spirit, across the United Kingdom, inciting its youth to anger and seeming to rob the nation of optimism as dole queues grew and coal mines closed. Or so it seemed to me, on the other side of the world.
That anger, and its accompanying frustration, inspired a lot of great music, some of the best coming from Matt Johnson’s The The. I never would have expected, with Thatcher and her government safely consigned to history, that Johnson’s lyrics would come to seem more relevant today, than possibly ever before.
What inspired this? Well, I was reading a news article on the newly re-elected Australian government’s determination to get all of those lazy, slacker disabled people into a job and off their disability pensions, when the lyrics to an old The The song from 1989, “The Beaten Generation“, began to echo through my mind. I wonder if, as they cast their eyes to the skylines of this once proud nation, the government can sense the fear and the hatred growing in the hearts of its population?