Stamp the Dirt Down

One of the most controversial and cutting edge plays of the decade is heading to London in April to mark the 25th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike.

Maggie’s End, which is sponsored by NUM North East Area, the RMT, UNITE and the GMB, is a dark comedy that begins with the death of Margaret Thatcher.

It will be performed for two weeks from April 6 to 18 at the 500-seat Shaw Theatre in Euston Road, an off West End venue near Kings Cross railway station.

Written by internationally acclaimed playwrights Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood, Maggie’s End premiered at the Gala theatre in Durham, October 2007, and attracted nearly 2,000 people to its sell-out performances.

The play was inspired by press reports that the New Labour government is making plans to give Baroness Thatcher a state funeral when she dies.

Trevor Wood said: “When we first heard these reports we thought that they were a bit of political kite-flying and that the idea would be quietly buried but they’ve since re-surfaced.

“There’s little doubt that most Labour supporters would see a state funeral for Margaret Thatcher as the ultimate betrayal by their party and that to acknowledge her in this way would re-open many of the sores of the 1980s.

“We wanted to explore what the possible repercussions of this could be, particularly in the north of England, where many communities were decimated during the Thatcher years.

“In the play, a former militant campaigner’s sense of outrage over the betrayal brings him into conflict with his only daughter, who has risen through the ranks to become a senior minister in the New Labour government, and threatens to destroy his family.”

Mr Wood continued: “Despite Mrs Thatcher’s death being the catalyst for the play, Maggie’s End is really about the legacy of Thatcherism and examines how far the New Labour government has travelled from its traditional roots.”

The play will mark the 25th anniversary of the miners’ strike, which ran from March 12, 1984, until March 3, 1995.

Davey Hopper, NUM North East Area secretary, said: “Maggie’s End is a great play and we wanted to bring it to the capital.

“The British public should never forget the despicable role the Thatcher government played in destroying mining communities as well as the shipyards, steel mills and other industries.”

He added: “We got fantastic help from London-based miners support groups during the strike and we look forward to seeing everyone involved with them again.”

Maggie’s End, which will be directed by Jack Milner, runs from April 6 to April 18 at the Shaw theatre, Euston. Tickets cost £15 to £11 and are on sale now. Contact the box office on 0871 594 3123.

40 comments on “Stamp the Dirt Down

  1. Bloody hell, Andy!
    I logged on, saw that picture, that headline and my heart leapt… And I read on only to have my hopes cruelly dashed.

  2. The good news is that according to Douglas Hurd, Thatcher is so consumed by bitterness and feels so betrayed, that she hasn’t had a single happy moment since leaving number ten. On which basis i am happy for her to live a little longer.

  3. Your boys took one hell of a beating didn’t they. She outlived the N.U.M. which is dead as a political force. Always remember you lost and we won.

  4. Dorothy on said:

    Don’t forgot the parties called for by Class War and others for the Saturday after she pegs it.

    Trafalgar Square in London and Glasgow Green in, er Glasgow.

  5. Guido is right we must never forget that we lost the battle in the 80’s. The class war goes on and we must fight for the victory of our side this time.

  6. anticapitalista on said:

    There will also be a party in Thessaloniki, Greece when she pegs it too. There are plenty of ‘Brits’ here waiting to celebrate.

  7. terryfitz on said:

    There will be plenty of Brits celebrating near where I live part of the year in Spain and they won’t be celebrating her death but what they see as her achievments. The trades unions have to take some of the blame for her years so bloody minded were they in the seventies. Blame Scargill and the TUC leadership for what happened. Did anyone actually drive a British Leyland car made during that decade? They were crap. Best things that came from then were Abba and Rod Stuart!

  8. Yes, blame the workers for standing up to her when she tried to obliterate half the country’s industry. Blame the workers for the incompetent management in British Leyland. Blame the workers for not meekly accepting the pay cuts Callaghan tried to impose on them.

    Incredible that there’s anyone still around who thinks like that.

  9. “Your boys took one hell of a beating didn’t they. She outlived the N.U.M. which is dead as a political force. Always remember you lost and we won.”

    You won? I’m sure Thatch is enjoying every minute of her so-called “victory”. Like her, you’re just another tool (in every sense of the word) to be used to promote the ideology of the ruling class. There is no “we” for those on the periphery like you, Guido. Make the most of it while you’re still useful to them because when you’re not there’s a whole world of pain waiting for you as Thatch found out.

  10. Pity the IRA never got her in Brighton. I loved the message they sent afterwards.

    ‘Remember, you have to be lucky all the time. We only have to be lucky once.’

  11. Anonymous on said:

    “Your boys took one hell of a beating didn’t they. She outlived the N.U.M. which is dead as a political force. Always remember you lost and we won”

    Yeah and look what you did with your great victory, smashed manufacturing and then destroyed the financial system.

    Well done no doubt the unemployed, the hungry and the freezing pensioners will be around to thank you.

  12. anticapitalista on said:

    #9 So we can conclude that terryfitz’s mates in Spain are all Tories, I suppose they have their own businesses too eh? and villas? whereas us lot in Thessalonkiki are just workers.

  13. terryfitz on said:

    Some of them down there are like me, builders who made it by hard work. I have actually found more cooperation amongst the self employed that amongst unionised workers. Some of the most viscious nasty individuals I have ever met have been the full timers of trades unions and left sects.

    Talking about Spain there isn’t too much on here about how both Stalinists and Trots were responsible for the murders of Anarchists.

  14. Always remember you lost and we won.
    – Thatcherite Reagonomics won!

    What you mean is,
    democracy was attacked by Thatcher-Reagan and the public was forced to subsidise the so-called shock doctrine of the Washington Consensus-Chicago School economic revolution. This involves the on-going deliberate destruction of public assets called ‘privitaisation’, as well as the de-regulation of financial institutions which have left the western general public up to its ears in debt, with no manufacturing industries because they’ve all been exported to the corporate gulags and open prisons of the Global South, and no visible means of wealth generation except by selling each other hamburgers and mortgages.

    Only just recently, the UK government got round to privatising the public taxpayer’s money via the likes of PFI and bank-bailouts becuase, basically, there are no public assets left to strip and steal. All that’s left of government assets, really, is the public revenue stream and now that’s tied up for years to come due to having to subsidise the banking bubble.

    If the Thatcher hadn’t engineered the Falkland’s War she’d have been out on her arse.

  15. Karl Stewart on said:

    Tatcher is/was an evil bastard who did more harm to this country than Hitler. I can’t wait until the bastard dies and I look forward to the party.
    And anyone who supports her is a bastard too – worse than a fascist as far as I’m concerned.

  16. DuncanB on said:

    Recently Carole Thatcher let it be known that her mother suffers from dementia to the extent that has has to be told every single day that her husband Dennis has died.

    Yes I know old age can be tragic but look on the bright side – every day Maggie has to relive the savage grief of realising that her husband has died. It may be not enough for the suffering that she has inflicted on the working class but at least it is something.

  17. Elvis Costelloish on said:

    It should be Tramp the dirt down. I’m all for a state funeral for the bitch as long as it’s tomorrow. Fitz is another fash whose death would not be mourned but celebrated.

  18. Tawfiq Chahboune on said:

    Is this the same Guido Fawkes who appeared on Newsnight and got humiliated, nay massacred, by the Guardian’s Michael White? If I remember correctly, Guido made such an ass of himself that even the Newsnight presenter laughed at him! This is quite an achievement given the awful shallowness of Michael White.

    But he is, of course, right. “We” lost and the Right one. Moreover, for those who weren’t sure, 2 + 2 = 4.

  19. Elvis Costelloish on said:

    Fawkes: you cannot win twat, you can only ever have a temporary reprieve. When you say `we’ are you wealthy or just a sad scabby suck arse?

  20. Tawfiq Chahboune on said:

    Given her dementia, Thatcher’s carers should wake her each day to the news there has been a revolution and Arthur Scargill is our new Lord Protector. Groundhog Day!

  21. There’s one good thing you can say about Thatcher. She made it fun to be on the left in the 1980s. In a strange way, I thoroughly enjoyed hating her, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. All that polarised politics, us and them, where we represented their “enemy within” and they represented the boss class at its worst… It was all much simpler then – you knew who was on your side, and who was on their side. We all knew that if “Maggie Maggie Maggie” was “out out out” her replacement would probably be better. Now you find a situation where certain Tories have better positions on issues like civil liberties – and even peace! – than the Labour mainstream. It somehow takes the fun out of politics…

  22. “Some of them down there are like me, builders who made it by hard work. I have actually found more cooperation amongst the self employed that amongst unionised workers”

    That Terry explains a lot!!

  23. Tawfiq Chahboune on said:


    I think it makes things more interesting. Yes, the Tories are the enemies of socialism, even the most lukewarm social democracy, but it is now becoming clear to all but the most naive that Labour is just as committed to the neoliberal status quo as the Tories. At least the Tories don’t take union cash and use it to clobber them. That makes them far more likeable, in that respect.

    The Tories are being opportunistic on a whole bunch of things that make them look progressive. But what’s wrong with opportunism? And even the Tories would find it difficult to be worse than Labour. There’s that brilliant riposte by Mark Steel on HIGNFY about expecting Brown to be better than Blair: whoever follows Harold Shipman is going to be a better GP. So, if Cameron does get in, can he do any worse than Blair and Brown’s New Labour?

  24. “…if Cameron does get in, can he do any worse than Blair and Brown’s New Labour?”

    Based on the Tories attack this week on Browns (tokenistic) increase in tax for the rich I think there is still a difference. Despite the neo-liberalism of New Labour, the fact that it’s still supported by the unions means that socialists do need to relate to the left in Labour if we want to build left unity.

    As for voting for New Labour when socialists are standing in opposition and offering an alternative I think that’s a recipe for disaster for left unity. Respects failure to beat New Labour in Mile End is not good news for the left. Nor is Galloway’s call to support New Labour in Scotland at the expense of socialists standing in the elections.

  25. I would agree with Ray. The shift in Browns rhetoric and to some degree his measures is important. It potentially opens up a space for the left to put forward more radical ideas etc. Galloways position on the by elections was a dreadful mistake. But it really does appear that he is looking for a way back. He is a smart operator and he will know the chances in the coming general election are very poor for him As ANdy has argued on Liam Uaids site if the general election results are bad for Respect then its over.

  26. Pete Brown on said:

    #15 – Terryfitz is very typical of some of the scabs that proliferate amongst the Brits here in southern Spain. They are happy because they can undermine the system, cheat on paying their rightful contributions, deliberately undercut the prices of unionised labour, exist by paying back-handers to corrupt oficials, build crap villas on land that doesn’t belong to them – indeed all the corrupt and dodgy practices they learned during the Thatcher years. Fitz and his kind have given nothing to Spain, they wet themselves that a Labour Govt might just stop some of their antics in England so they decided to rip off a lot of innocent people in Spain instead. Thankfully their are some decent Brits here who are happy to integrate and pay their proper dues – some of my Spanish friends say why don’t I mix with more of the Brits, when I carefully explain they understand very quickly that mixing with s**t makes your hands dirty.

    No there is not a lot here about the Anarchists killed by ‘Trots’ and ‘Stalinists’, neither is their much about the thousands who were killed after the civil war by the fascist forces right up and including 1968. Nor is their anything about Terryfitz and his kind who are responsible for many young Spaniards not being able to afford to buy their own homes.

    Sorry about the rant but Thatcher gave us the like Tfitz and co. who I am afraid will be around after she’s gone

  27. anticapitalista on said:

    #29 Not a rant Pete, but true.
    Here in Greece it is different with many of the ‘Brits’ (at least the ones I know/knew) being exiles of Thatcherism. In the period 1987-93ish there were loads of young ‘Brits’ coming to Greece to work mainly as teachers of English as there was f’all in the UK. Although our pay was generally slightly better than our Greek colleagues in the same school (being native speakers) many of us were ripped off by not knowing our rights in terms of holiday pay, bonus payments as well as insurance ie Thatcherism with a Greek face!
    So our celebration of Thatcher’s death is as much against neo-Thatcherism here (in the name of the present New Democracy government)

  28. anticapitalista on said:

    #30 whoops, the last sentence should read:

    Our celebration of Thatcher’s death is as much against neo-Thatcherism here today (in the name of the present New Democracy government) as it was when we left.

  29. “#28 Which is why the ISG think that they can gather the ‘revolutionary left’ forces that are in RESPECT.”

    This does look like a move to counter Galloway and his supporters who weren’t happy about ISG’s behaviour at Renewals conference. It’s a very risky strategy for the simple reason that the split last Nov was caused by a left-right schism. History repeating itself as farce no doubt.

  30. terryfitz on said:

    Tanky Newman you are censoring comments that allege I am a fascist. You are responsible personally and legally. I want a response.

  31. terryfitz on said:

    Sorry, that should have read “censoring comments from myself countering the allegations that I am a fascist. Comments which you have allowed to appear on the site of which you are the sole arbiter and for which you are personally liable” As you have probably devined I have spoken to the ” learned friends”. I look forward to hearing from you.

  32. Terry

    I censorered your comments only due to the abusive language.

    If you want to respond without using personal abuse and offensive swear wiords, you are welcome to do so.

  33. “It looks like Trot and Tanky scum have bottled it”

    You are truly pathetic, fitz. Threatening people with violence is moronic. I don’t know why you let this idiot bully you, Andy. Just ban him and be done with it. If you don’t this idiot will continue behaving in this way. Making threats whenever someone crosses him. Ditch him otherwise he’ll think he’s got a license to get away with it on here.