The Las- There she goes
Those of you who knew me in the late 1980s will know that I was a militant little git. Although the Anti-Apartheid Movement was the only organised political group that I was actively involved in (and one that spanned party politics for the most part), I tended to have a view on anything and everything, and mostly those views were pretty left wing.
Whilst I've mellowed over the years, there are still things that get on my goat (don't get me started on bankers, for example). My memories of the 1980s, however, are stained by the malignant force that loomed over the country in the form of the UK's first (and so far only) female PM – Margaret Thatcher.
In October 1990, I started University at Loughborough, and embarked on a three year journey in which I learned an awful lot, but relatively little of it was from the form of the academic programme. I became involved in both Student Radio (you'll hear more about that in the next few years on this count-up) and Student Politics. Loughborough was pretty much apolitical as an institution and as a student body. There was a strange chap who was the Tory students society (who hilariously in a debate about voluntary membership of student unions declared that the Tory Party had no intention of dismantling Unions all together because they were, of course, the Conservative and Unionist Party of Great Britain), and that was about it.
I once had a conversation with a guy who said that he didn't understand why anyone would get involved in the NUS and “all that” because it was “just little kids playing at politics”. Having witness the careers of quite a few New Labourites develop at the NUS in the early 1990s, and with that memory, I can only conclude that these days politics is mostly little kids playing at politics.
Anyway, in November 1990, on a cold afternoon whilst I was sitting in my Halls of Residence room at Cayley Hall, the news came through that Margaret Thatcher had resigned. The fact that that day also happened to be the day of my 20th birthday made it all the sweeter. The Las song was the first one played on Radio One after the newsflash had announced the change in leadership.
Number one on my birthday in 1990: Vanilla Ice – Ice Ice Baby If you thought it was bad first time around, Jedward made it that much worse for round 2. There again, I didn't give a damn – Thatcher was gone!!
Click here for the playlist so far