CND – big demos in 1980 and 1981


There was a survey some time around 1980 when CND had a monster march in London.  It found that most young people thought they were going to die in a nuclear war.  You just can’t imagine that so many teenagers really believed they would be incinerated in a thermo-nuclear blast in their own lifetimes.

‘Jobs not Bombs’ became a very popular slogan.   There was a rather blood curdling song I heard on one demo that went something like…

“What shall we do with Ronald Reagan?  Put him in the shuttle and take the tiles off.”

That would have been around 1981.  Suffice it to say, that was five years before the shuttle explosion caused by…erm…a tile coming off – and a teacher at the wheel (first civilian astronaut).  Another ditty went…

“What shall we do with Maggie Thatcher?  Put her in a police van and send it to Brixton.”

Subtle humour was not flavour of the month that year.  There’d just been riots in Brixton and Thatcher was greeted with the cry of ‘Ditch the Bitch’.  I was at a Labour Club meeting at college where the rad-feminists went ballistic at the use of ‘bitch’ to describe the prime minister.  But the more proletarian elements at the Labour meeting accused the feminists of being petit-bourgeois and not understanding working class anger.   Strange times indeed.

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