Meryl, Meryl, Meryl. Out, Out, Out

Meryl Streep portraying fomre British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady
Meryl Streep portraying fomre British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady
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Dear Meryl, what have you done?

Not content with polluting the art form of cinema with the filth that was Mamma Mia, you had to go one step further.

It might have seemed a good idea at the time to take on the role of the first (and only) woman to become British Primer Minister.

But do the words ‘Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, Out, Out Out’, mean nothing to you?

There were quite the rage amongst students back in the day.

And what days they were, too.

The miners’ strike, that was a right hoot. Yes, setting working class family against working class family. Strikers against so-called scabs, police against pickets.

Things got so bad Arthur Scargill was actually a working class hero. Until we all saw a bit of sense.

No, not a good time to be a miner, the 1980s. Or live anywhere in the north of Watford or east of the Bann, come to think of it.

And definitely not a good time to be an Argentinian.

Meryl, you may never have heard of the Malvenas, but it’s what the good folk of Argentina call the Falklands Islands. Sorry, you’ve probably never heard of them either.

No matter. The point is the Argies decided to invade them being, as they are, a few miles off their coastline.

Anyway, negotiations for their withdrawal were going swimmingly - if you’ll pardon the pun - until Thatcher decided to sink the Belgrano, an Argentinian warship which was sailing AWAY from the islands when it went down, drowning all hands.

Next thing you know, British troops are clambering all over Goose Green and Thatcher went from being the most popular leader since Stalin to the longest-serving post-war PM.

And then there’s the hunger strike. Where do you want to begin over that one, Meryl?

At least you Americans had the last laugh over her when it came to Ireland when Ronnie Reagan forced her to sign the Anglo-Irish Agreement. The look on her face that day at Hillsborough was priceless.

Now, Meryl, if you can make a film about Idi Amin which goes on to win Oscars by the bucketful, there’s no reason why the Iron Lady should be a taboo subject. After all Forest Whittaker did a stand-up job of portraying Amin as a murdering psychopath, hence the lovely statuette adorning his mantelpiece these days.

You are no stranger yourself to the odd victory or two on Oscar night, but it would seem a little strange if you were to carry off yet another one for playing such a reviled character as Thatcher which is in any way sympathetic.

Doddering old Tories may long again for the days of Thatcher in her pomp, but not those of us who remember how it really was.

And, Meryl, there’s a strong case to be made for tracing back all the strife we find ourselves in today to the Milk Snatcher.

It was half a pint a day for our schoolchildren back in the 70s. Today it’s their university fees and you can trace a direct line right between the two.

If, Meryl, come the awards season you find yourself clutching that little golden figure and are required to make a speech, you might consider the following quotation.

It’s from an uplifting little ditty penned by a lovely singer songwriter by the name of Elvis Costello.

“Well I hope you live long now, I pray the Lord your soul to keep. I think I’ll be going before we fold our arms and start to weep.

“I never thought for a moment that human life could be so cheap. ‘Cos when they finally put you in the ground/ They’ll stand there laughing and tramp the dirt down.”

There are several other verses a little too vitriolic to print here, but I’m sure Meryl, you get the general idea.

No, Meryl, we didn’t have much of a giggle back in the 80s.

And there are still plenty of us still waiting to tramp the dirt down.