Vlad's Thatcher Despair

It's the fault of the Guardian again. It's like in a horror movie when the car won't start and the cranking of the engine alerts the bad thing. At the last moment the car starts and the victim escapes, dodging falling trees on the treacherous road, until round the last bend to safety springs the bad thing again. Or in the nasty house when the undead come catapulting through the kitchen floor to steal the children, and the talisman suddenly saps their power, sending them whirling back through time in the centre of a phsychedelic tornado. The sun comes up, the birds sing, theres milk and bread on the doorstep, all is well - or was there a rustle in the bushes? Was that the creak of the cellar door? Is that a pair of eyes in the back of the wardrobe? And it's like that with Thatcher and it's happened twice lately.

The first time was intentional; not my intention but Richard Hamiltons . The current show of politicised art at the Whitechapel Gallery, 'Protest And Survive', features an installation by Hamilton which is a reconstructed operating theatre. The surgery monitor above the table shows a silent film of the smirking Thatcher, gloating over her merciliness in the Falklands war. The lack of sound and the sterile surroundings work to emphasise the chillingness of her expressions ; I previously saw this in a Tate show when she was in power and it was easier to adjust to it. To be confronted with it today is akin to being the victim of a cruel practical joke. But that's history and easier to deal with: what's harder is the fact that she still exists. The second recent confrontation was when I turned the pages of the Guardian and saw a photograph of the podium at this week's Tory conference and she was there, but with a look that recalled all that attendant cruelty.

The world is full of worse despots and tyrrants than Thatcher and one, Milosovic, climbed down this week ( ironically not without the same stubborn refusal to accept defeat that Thatcher displayed ) but it is not just as a leader, statesperson or a politician that Thatcher was and is so despicable, but simply as a human being . Gone are the days when I wanted her to die a slow painful death , vomiting black bile and oozing puss. Now I just want her to drop dead and go away. Away to her unmarked grave ( as long as it isn't under my kitchen floor) and leave us alone.Or as our Elvis said :

Well I hope I don't die too soon

I pray the Lord my soul to save

Because there's one thing I'd like to live long enough to savour

Thats when they finally put you in the ground

And I'll stand there laughing on your grave

And tramp the dirt down


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