As Sean Hughes put it, “everyone grows out of their Morrissey phase. Except Morrissey”. It took me longer to do so than most but songs such as “Margaret on the Guillotine”, the closing track on the album Viva Hate, certainly helped.
“The kind people,” he croons, “have a wonderful dream: Margaret on the guillotine.” To which I found myself thinking, well, I know Thatcher’s been responsible for enormous suffering but even so – is this really OK? Does being “kind” have to involve telling someone whose politics you disagree with to “please die”?
Of course I worried that this was just me being a woolly liberal, unwilling to embrace the revolutionary rhetoric of the dispossessed. Perhaps if I truly cared I’d have been having the same fantasies too! Nonetheless, I always had a sense of unease regarding the way in which men in particular expressed their personal disgust at Thatcher’s politics. Always the same references to violence, the same intimation that all this was fine because she wasn’t a real woman anyway. It felt more than a little like an excuse for the guilt-free indulgence of misogyny.