The eighties were epitomised by wild fluctuations in fortune, Black Monday, scarlet Porsche 911s, freezing bottles of beer with a slice of lime, champagne drunk from tumblers, tight knee-length skirts and zoot-suits. However, for those who care to remember, the prevailing sensation at the time was anxiety.

Never before has it been so conspicuously easy to trace the current malaise in UK society to a certain period in modern history. Thatcher’s Britain was characterised by (probably) the laziest, most vindictive, divisive and ignorant government in living memory, content to obliterate rather than create. Their currency was misery. Their effect was to destroy the spirit of a nation.

Corrosion is the word that sums it up precisely.

© Rivenrod 2016


  1. Loved the 80s. Matured in the 90s. Mellowed in the Naughties. Chillin’ now. Thank you Margaret and Ronnie, you’re the best! You kept these bitter socialists from contracting out their entire pitiful lives to the State in exchange for serfhood dressed as fairness. That was then. Now we have Obamacare and Clinton & Trump. Give me Margaret any day instead of these clowns!


    1. Thanks for your point of view. I have to admit I am a little at a loss to understand how socialism contracts anything out to the state. I am becoming increasingly aware of just how little understanding there is of true socialism. Without going into too much detail, and in danger of boring the pants off anyone, I would just say that Socialism by its very nature advocates individual responsibility within the context and in support of the broader society.

      I can’t say much about Ronald except that he came across as relatively bland. Thatcher, on the other hand, is a different matter. At the beginning of her tenure, we all had high hopes, even those of us of a different political complexion. Suffice it to say, when she left office, a leading Professor at the London School of Economics (I think his name was Hills from memory but could easily have been another), stated that it could take as long as 50 years to rectify the damage she and her government had done to both the economy and to British society.


  2. I was supposed to graduate high school in 1987 but graduated a year earlier, desperate to get out, and the beginning of the corrosion here in the US was with Reagan. I saw them play in NYC and remember thinking at the time how this song is encapsulating something that is changing. Flash forward to 1999 and I was living in Seattle. One night, after long days of protesting the WTO, there to negotiate for the millennial trade agreements, a couple friends and I were listening to this song, among others, and we all thought, wow, the corrosion just gets worse.

    Back in the ’80s, America still didn’t see it, didn’t feel the corrosion and corruption blossoming, as we are prone to be blinded by fantasy. In the ’90s, especially during those protests, those of us who weren’t enamored and blinded by Clinton and his economic boom were nothing more than lepers. We were spit upon as nothing more than idiotic, violent morons who didn’t understand the importance of globalization, as if we just wanted to remain in the dark ages.

    Now, slowly, America is sensing the corrosion but they still misplace their anger. They still prefer to believe in delusional fear mongering, want to be ‘saved’ by some benevolent strong leader, and blame the mysterious ‘other’ rather than look directly in the eye of those really at fault. They’d rather believe in a dream of “better yesterday’s” then fight for a better future. I fear a Trump presidency but can not stomach another status quo Clinton presidency either and those who think the same are, once again, nothing but moronic lepers who will ‘stupidly’ hand the election to Trump, or so the chanting goes.

    More and more are awakening but I do fear that it will be too late, that it will take a civil war or worse, before the US finally shakes off these delusional fantasies and dreams. I’m old now but I try to tell the young, never give in to the stories they like to tell, do no ‘grow out’ of your idealism. The status quo is just code for accepting the shit they feed.


    1. Lily, I know it can be hard sometimes, but we must not lose faith in the goodness of the human spirit. In all my travels, I can see the first shoots of change across the globe. However, the difficulty will be to make those who choose to lead us truly responsible for the decisions they choose to make. One of the things we are doing, which is quite simple and more often than not achieves the desired reaction, is to send each of them (those who voted to bomb Syria) a photograph of a civilian victim ~ children and adults ~ of, say, bombing in Syria. We provide as much information as we can to reinforce the point that they are human too.

      There are very few countries in the world that are not engaged in some kind of aggressive conflict. Action in most of those conflicts can be traced to either USA, Russia, China and the UK. Traced to us! It’s about time we let our politicians know in no uncertain terms that their actions are NOT IN OUR NAME.


      1. I think because I live in the US, I am finding it hard to see shoots of positive change. The US is difficult to understand and explain. The media is controlled by a small group (something like 90% of all media controlled by 6 corporations, not positive, too tired to confirm right now), meaning there is very little real information reported. They are controlled by profits only. The romanticized belief in noble journalism acting as the fourth estate protecting citizens and democracy is just that, an antiquated romanticized remnant of what used to be.

        Then there is our education system that actively discourages, if not outright destroys, any analytical thinking, any independent thought combined with systemic ‘dumbing down’ leaving the overall population without the skills to even analyze the rhetoric and think for themselves. Plus the media, in general, is written at an average third grade level.

        America is a combination of violence and fantasists. They fall for empty Disney-esque platitudes like “hope is all you need” because they can not understand the subtleties and complexities of true philosophical ideas, can not fathom anything different. Our collective creativity has been destroyed. Then, of course, we believe it is ‘freedom’ but in reality we love our guns because we love our violence. Violence is always the solution.

        On the rare occasion the media shows pictures of the poor Syrian children and refugees washing up dead on beaches or running from the bombings of their homes, they have no compassion, no sympathy. All they think is “kill the motherfuckers so they don’t wind up on our soil.”

        Then there is the religious strangle-hold that has become dominant again, infecting our laws in various states but sometimes even on a federal level and permeates all aspects of our culture. The so-called Christians are a typical American creation, believing in a ‘prosperity’ religion that means get all the money you can and who cares about the poor (I always think that Nine Inch Nails song “Head Like a Hole” is a good encapsulation of the US, worship god money). They are to be eradicated if possible, a blight, an embarrassment that those ‘losers’ can’t take care of themselves. Which is why any safety net, any tiny whiff of socialism is the devil incarnate and will not happen here. We continuously strip necessary social programs while bloating our already over-bloated military. America is proud to be the ‘police’ of the world, in other words, they do not care about the destruction and continuous wars because it fills the pockets of the corporations and feeds the delusion, the fantasy, that we are a strong, we are powerful, we are wealthy. They do not believe we have any responsibility for the not only the refugees but the continuous hatred that builds against the US for what we’ve done.

        We have games, movies, books, comics, art, etc. all glorifying war. We are not shown the effects to our soldiers, we do not see the images of death and destruction, the horrific carnage not to mention the psychological damage that effects not only the current generation but the next as well (my parents grew up during WWII in Germany and my parents scars effected us, the second generation, raised in a different nation, that’s how damaging war is). The average American does not understand what an actual horror it is to be bombed and droned, they do not understand the actual effects of war.

        There is a lot of hate in this country and those that aren’t part of the alt-right are still not interested becoming informed. They hate Donald Trump, sure, but they are not willing to consider the problems of Hillary Clinton either. They cheer Obama while ignoring his drone policy, his continuous approvals of various oil sites, including in fragile ecosystems, they turn a blind eye to his support of TPP (if they even have a clue what it is), etc. They already do the same with Hillary and will continue doing it with all the status quo presidents down the line. Yes, Donald Trump is a dangerous option for the White House but in general, there is very little difference between a Democrat and a Republican. Hillary Clinton is more Republican than Democrat and the Democrats are not as progressive as everyone likes to believe. With the focus on Donald Trump and his outrageous rhetoric, Hillary Clinton can slide under the radar. There is so little coverage of her email leaks, for example, all because Donald Trump is more outrageous and pads the bottom line much better. They’d rather portray whistleblowers and WikiLeaks as Russian operatives, continue to stoke some old “cold war” nonsense than report real issues. The debates are empty schoolyard arguments devoid of any real issues.

        I was active in Bernie Sanders campaign and severely disappointed that he has become some puppet for the Clinton campaign. I don’t usually buy into conspiracy theories but I’m starting to wonder what they blackmailed him with to keep him quiet and compliant. I actively write my representatives, attend town hall meetings and while I’m not as active in protests as I once was, I support them however I can. Unfortunately, more often than not, my representatives give the usual pat answers with simple solutions. A very typical American response, use a band-aid for a very complex problem rather than address it head on and come up with solutions.

        Sorry for the long, rambling diatribe but while I do have hope that the rest of the world is moving forward, finding the right changes, I don’t believe the behemoth that is the US is moving forward in the right direction. We have a long, long way to go before catching up with the rest of the world and we will not give up our wars for many years to come. Plus, with Trump’s latest rhetoric, I expect the voting places to be explosive. This election has been a long and tiring mess and I’m afraid November voting won’t be the end. Again, sorry for the long response, just needed to let some of this out after this long and painful campaign. It can’t end soon enough.


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