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General references and incidents from True Blue a musical about Margaret Thatcher:

 

The men in gray suits: The MIGS are a bit like the black helicopters that are said to appear at UFO sightings in the United States in that they have a semi mythical status. They only appear when there is a crisis in the Conservative Party and at one time effectively dictated when a leader should resign and who their successor might be. Also known as Tory Grandees they are apparently an elite selection of party big beasts, lords and financiers. Rumours of their demise have often been exaggerated and are hard to substantiate because no one will admit to being a member in the first place. William Whitelaw was once directly asked about his relationship to the men in grey suits and simply replied that it was clearly rubbish because as everyone could see he was wearing a blue suit at the time.

 

Their function and loyalty is to the conservative party which they believe represents the best government for Britain and so their loyalty though fierce to Margaret through most of her reign was pragmatically based. They were not, as pragmatists, true Thatcherites and this distinguishes them from the more ideologically driven of Margaret’s supporters. Throughout the story the men in grey suits crop up supporting her bid for leadership, supporting her in cabinet and in fact the archetypal man in a grey suit could even be her father Alderman Roberts.

 

Nor should they be confused with Margaret Thatcher’s successor John Major who although described as a grey man was never fully taken into their confidence. Indeed there is a conspiracy theory that the MIGS had Major installed as leader to lose, by a slight margin, the 1992 election thereby ensuring that Labour inherited the coming recession and that another decade or so Tory hegemony would follow from 1996/97 onwards. Major’s unexpected political nous and appeal to the voters meant that the Tories won in 1992 but have lost ever since and that the MIGS’ scheme was defeated. Since then very little has been heard of them and it is entirely possible that they have, like the Tory party itself, fallen into disarray and ceased to function. 

Men in grey suits

 

Hear the Men in Grey Suits Sing Eyes like Caligula here

The City Boys (and girls): In economics, popular term for the changes instituted in late 1986 to the organisation and practices of the City of London as Britain’s financial centre, including the liberalisation of the London stock exchange was known as the Big Bang. The city had been growing in confidence and prosperity throughout the Thatcher years and plenty of young traders became rich beyond their dreams in a very short time. A new generation of grammar school boys and girls came to dominate the trading floors bringing with them a brasher more aggressive approach to financial dealings.

 

Hear the City Boys Sing Fuck the North Here

Miners strike: The trigger for Britain's most bitter industrial dispute of recent times was the announcement that one Yorkshire pit, Cortonwood near Barnsley, was to close. On 5 March 1984 the men at that pit and those all over Yorkshire walked out. The next day the unions were told that Cortonwood was only the first of a wide-ranging programme of closures that would see 20 collieries shut and 20,000 miners lose their jobs. Scottish miners joined the action and by 12 March, half Britain's 187,000 miners had downed tools. The rolling strike was stopped in Nottinghamshire and other less militant areas. Both the government and National Union of Mineworkers had been preparing for the strike that divided the families, communities and the country. After more than a year on strike the last miners returned to work in 1985 their union split and the coal industry about to be shut down.

 

 Margaret Thatcher Musical True Blue

 

 Fields of Bersham will be available to hear soon

 Margaret Thatcher Musical True Blue

Poll Tax: 1990 became a year of violent protests and organised demonstrations against the Government's plan for the revised rating system. This became known as the Poll Tax after the hated 14th-century Poll Tax, which had been a major cause of the Peasants' Revolt. The result in the late 20th century was a large anti-Government vote in local and by-elections and riots in Trafalgar Square which provided some interesting photos for tourists to show of Central London on fire.

Stalking Horse: A dictionary definition is something used to cover one's true purpose; a decoy or alternatively a sham candidate put forward to conceal the candidacy of another or to divide the opposition. In terms of Margaret Thatcher this was Sir Anthony Meyer (1920-2004) former MP for Flintshire, in the days when there were Tory MPs in North Wales. He stood for the Tory Party leadership in 1989 and although Sir Anthony was defeated by 314 votes to 33, the result meant that 60 Conservative MPs had either voted against her or failed to vote. It exposed a critical lack of party support and precipitated her eventual removal from office a year later. His own constituency party, in the re-named seat of Clwyd North West, was horrified and accused him of ‘treachery’. Sir Anthony was sanguine - calling himself a ‘burnt offering’ in the cause of Europe others referred to him as a stalking donkey.

 

 Margaret Thatcher Musical True Blue

 

Hear Assassin Here

 

 Margaret Thatcher Musical True Blue

 

 The day I wasn't meant to see will be available to hear soon

Brighton Bomb: Five people died and 34 were injured. Those killed were Anthony Berry MP, Roberta Wakeham, Eric Taylor, Muriel Maclean and Jeanne Shattock. The bomb had been planted several weeks earlier by Patrick Magee, who checked into the hotel under a false name. He was caught and sentenced to 35 years. Four members of an IRA ‘active service unit’ were also jailed for involvement in the plot. In prison Magee got a first class Open University degree in fiction and its portrayal of the Troubles.  He was released in 1999, under the Good Friday Agreement, a move described by one Downing St spokesperson as ‘very hard to stomach’.