The Iron Lady's funeral blues poems

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Well, she's gone. But the poetry lives on. I am sure many of you have written about the incredible feelings that her demise has  generated, or the  decision to hold a state funeral for her, or how wonderful she was (of course)  so do post the links in here or comment. Two of the best that I know are by Laura Taylor and Elvis McGonagall. Laura's deeply personal yet universal Dear Margaret, a summary of the destruction Maggie wrought,  begins:


For Orgreave, the Beanfield, and Hillsborough

For Operation Swamp 81

For rejoicing in the burning and drowning of men

For the miners, the unions,

the working class heroes,

the people whose skin you denied

For the innocents turned into criminals

For giving the Force a free rein

to wield batons and tear gas and horses,

to weaken and batter them all



And Elvis McGonagall has sent us this wonderful one, below, in full because of problems getting it into the blogs.

A Bed At The Ritz

Empire’s half-mast flag unfurls

Requiems tweet from ex-Spice Girls

Iron handbag, twin-set and pearls

Found dead in a bed at The Ritz


Cruel Britannia’s buccaneer

Brass-balled female anti-Greer

Cause of Ben bloody Elton’s career

Found dead in a bed at The Ritz



Steel clad belief in laissez-faire

The midwife that gave birth to Blair

Now dead in a bed at The Ritz


Lovelorn acolytes sadly weep

Cue phony Tony so skin-deep

“Hey – she was the people’s Meryl Streep”

Dead in a bed at The Ritz


Cold pre-packaged grocer’s daughter

Leading England’s lambs to slaughter

Ordained divine at Mammon’s altar

Dead in a bed at The Ritz


Boudicca of entente cordiale

The Tory gentleman’s femme fatale

Mandela’s foe and Pinochet’s pal

Dead in a bed at The Ritz


Fed the rich their daily focaccia

Spawned men of Jeffrey Archer’s stature

Besmirched the honest trade of thatcher

Dead in a bed at The Ritz



Here lies a shattered miner’s lamp

Factories choked down in black damp

Belgrano ghosts still slowly stamp

Round and round a bed at The Ritz


You can pray Charon rows her to hell

“Tramp the dirt down”, sound a futile knell

But all her dreams are alive and well

And living it up at The Ritz


Money shouts – just listen to the noise

Material Girls and City Boys

Ruthless Little Lord Fauntleroys

Even now they’re putting on The Ritz


Public service sold for private wealth

Community and kindness killed by stealth

Compassion, care and national health

Dying in a sick-bed far from The Ritz


Put inequality to the sword

Give each one of us our just reward

And then one day we all might afford

To pay for a bed at The Ritz


by elvis mcgonagall, april 2013





◄ Performance star Tony Walsh returns to Write Out Loud roots

You judge: deadline nears for £2,000 Poetic Republic prize ►


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winston plowes

Thu 25th Apr 2013 00:26

My Efforts -

(Scroll down a page or so and click on the poem to read)

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Neil Fawcett

Tue 23rd Apr 2013 22:22

As proud as Lucifer

you breathed your devil's breath

O accursed angel of hell

spurned from heaven to prey on death.

Subject us no more to your closed doors

O vicious Iron Maiden,

return to purge the evil dead

leave the living to find a haven.

Bluebeard soul reincarnate

your bloody hands harassed the meek

persecuted the elderly

and destroyed the weak.

So go back. Go! With your blue devil disciples

return no more with that apron of blue.

May just fires rise to melt your iron

till liquid, it runs from view.

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Andy N

Tue 23rd Apr 2013 12:53

mine is not my best but it said what i felt towards her (i do write political poems however but don't always share them as some are personal).

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John Coopey

Tue 23rd Apr 2013 00:27

Sounds sensible to me, Ian.

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Ian Whiteley

Mon 22nd Apr 2013 20:19

I don't have a problem with political poetry - or any kind of poetry for that matter - but where it has all become so tedious is that poets from both sides of the argument have attempted to 'ram their viepoint' down the throats of the opposite side - presumably thinking this will change their minds - IT WON'T. If folk would just appreciate that they have a viewpoint - make that point - then move on - it would make for better 'poetic' reading, rather than all the vitriol between posters who are, after all, just poets and people like everyone else. PEACE & LOVE MAN (WOMAN) PEACE AND LOVE

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Mon 22nd Apr 2013 19:43

I'd agree with you Laura - poetry is many things to many people - and there's a place for political poetry in all of that. I've loved hearing your performances over the last 6 months - they are passionate and totally engaging.

What I don't like is our homepage and our poetical ethos becoming a political one. I feel that as a poetry site we should remain above party politics.

I accept that that is a personal opinion though - and that I don't own or represent the site :)

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Laura Taylor

Mon 22nd Apr 2013 16:31

But Isobel - it is a huge thing that has happened. You can't ignore it. And it's not like it'll be up here on this page forever is it? Poetry is all kinds of animal - that's what makes it such a fantastically entertaining art form. You can't say it's 'this' or it's 'that' - it's everything that you can make with words.

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Mon 22nd Apr 2013 13:13

When I joined Write Out Loud (the site), I thought I was joining a poetry website, not a political one. The whole wording of this article leads me to think otherwise.

I can see why contributions to this thread have been extreme in one direction or the other - that seems to be what we are encouraging. It's not something I like personally. I look to poetry to find beauty - I want it to transcend the everyday, the bitterness, the anger and certainly the party politics. I'm hoping this is just a temporary death induced madness - and that at some point we can get back to what it's all about.

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Greg Freeman

Mon 22nd Apr 2013 10:39

Whether or not I exactly share the sentiments of the poem doesn't reslly matter - I do think that John Keane's one here is a remarkably fine piece of work.

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Steven Waling

Mon 22nd Apr 2013 10:29

Maggie Maggie Maggie...

Dead Dead Dead

Chuck the fucking bitch

In the fucking bin

All she's worth frankly.

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John F Keane

Sun 21st Apr 2013 16:56

Cod Consensus

We smelt the piles of rubbish in the street
and read by candles in the freezing dark,
we watched for Nazi skinheads in the park
and heard the moan of Britain's long defeat.
The old paternalism kept us down
in triple-binds of accent, race and creed;
and yet we thought we nurtured hope indeed,
though dreams of aspiration went unknown.
And then the old consensus passed away
with all its myths, delusions and refrains
and brought us to this brighter, clearer day;
a day where workers profit at their ease
in lives of freedom far from old remains;
and new perspectives flow from overseas.

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Shaun O`Neill

Sun 21st Apr 2013 05:12


She ruled parliament with iron will,
Her influence is felt there still,
The after-taste of the bitter pill,
Is Thatchers Legacy.
She tore the country into two,
The Lib's and Lab's a-turning blue,
The Iron Maiden saw it through,
Such is democracy.

Dispassionate, methodical,
Dismantler of obstacles,
Prophet, seer and oracle,
Inventor of the rules.
In leadership her daunting presence,
Almost Hitler-esque in essence,
Commanding total acquiescence,
Confident and cool.

The nations assets were sold off,
To turn a profit, not a loss,
And so today we count the cost,
Of Maggie's steel-eyed rule.
On the Stock-Exchange, the assets floated,
(Many Tory applications noted),
The capitalists became more bloated,
As they began to drool.

Utilities, the first to go,
The profits from the water flowed,
(Despite the leaking pipes below,)
Returns were looking up!
The telephones and GPO,
Communication network sold,
The railways, buses, running slow,
The commuters geese were cooked.

The “common people” buying stock,
The public for their quota's flocked,
And business-minds became unlocked,
They bought their birth-rights back.
Those assets once belonged to them,
Taken in, time and again,
The ethos of the business men,
“I'm alright now Jack.”

In capital, they placed their trust,
In a stifled atmosphere of lust,
The moral mechanism crushed,
The nation was stripped bare.
The voice inside the “common man,”
(To silence it, the Master Plan,)
The mines sold into private hands,
And the Unions conferred.

The miners rights, whittled away,
From the pits a profit must be made,
But the miners right-to-strike held sway,
So the mines became unsound.
One by one, the pits were sold,
Their seams would yield no more black gold,
The Union's power could not withhold,
So Maggie got her way.

A recession became evident,
In the Winter of our discontent,
The dole queues so increased in length,
The nations nerves were frayed.
Galtieri took the Union Flag,
The economic outlook slumped and sagged,
And Maggie's tongue began to wag,
“Send The Fleet without delay!”

The jingoistic battle-cry,
To take the Falklands, do or die!
The missiles launched into the sky,
And the sheep sighed with relief!
Our South-Atlantic patch of grass,
Into the history books was cast,
Morale back on the rise, at last,
It was time to find our feet.

The recovery was consumer-led,
And so the bank-accounts were bled,
The credit-cards went to our heads,
As we learned how to consume.
Maggie's best mate, Ronnie, smiled,
When Maggie hid his cruise missiles,
A “special” friendship was devised,
And the credit-brokers loomed.

New super-markets filled with goods,
A European import flood,
The shop-keepers were losing blood,
The high-street bustle ebbed.
Cheap imports, European-made,
On super-market shelves displayed,
The shop-keepers coffin, firmly nailed,
The high-streets now are dead.

This consumer-driven state of mind,
Now, so very well defined,
Is this what Maggie left behind,
When she was booted out?
This materialistic Generation,
Sub-standard, dumbed-down education,
Predisposed toward self-preservation,
Maggie, what's it all about?

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M.C. Newberry

Fri 19th Apr 2013 12:37

Sadly, even in death mis-information is maintained.This was a ceremonial funeral NOT a stateoccasion. I was present at the STATE funeral of another politician - Sir Winston Churchill, planned under the operational title "Operation Hope Not" by the man himself - and the difference between the two was obvious.
As for Mandela's "foe" - cue the photograph of a clearly
delighted smiling Mandela shaking her hand outside
Number 10.
But I like the louche sardonic wit employed in the EM poem in question. Shades of "Private Eye".
Here's another - seen elsewhere.
"What is a socialist?
One who has yearnings
For the equal division
Of unequal earnings.
A dreamer, an idler - or worse,
All too willing
To put down his penny
And pick up your shilling."

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steve pottinger

Thu 18th Apr 2013 10:52

Those are great.

My contribution - for what it's worth - is here:

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Laura Taylor

Wed 17th Apr 2013 15:36

Cracking piece by Elvis there - and thank you again Julian.

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