In late 1994, after fifteen long years of living under the Tories who had privatised almost everything in sight, the Labour Party changed Clause IV to overturn their long-standing, clearly stated opposition to privatisation. The Jazz Butcher* "did their collective nut". Most real Labour supporters rather agreed with them, but, Tony Blair, the shiny new leader of Labour, was undaunted and pushed the new clause through, signing up for barely diluted Tory policies with regards to selling the family silver.

This was dreadful. We'd waited, hoping, for all these long years. Waiting to see the rictus grin wiped from Thatcher's face, wanting to see the boys with the red rosettes march into Downing Street. And now, this demolition of a key belief, this was a betrayal. It was the slow unravelling of real lefty policies. Not that there wasn't rejoicing in 1997, of course, when the Tories were sent packing, and the whole country smiled. But, something of the shine had gone from the victory.

The song, Sixteen Years was released as a single in 95, and included on Illuminate, their tenth album. It's a small, simple explosion of anger. It's not a subtle song, but it's outrageously honest. It's bouncy and grouchy all in the same breath. It's madly angry and hilariously funny (you need to hear it). Play it to an unsuspecting friend, and it never fails to raise a smile. Play it for the fiftieth time, and you'll still be grinning.

It's a song to put on, loud, and jump around to, yelling along to every single iteration of 'I hate you' every time you think of Thatcher's legacy, Michael Portillo's smug leadership smile, about so-called New Labour who sold out their country for a few more votes, about the plans to privatise Air Traffic Control despite all the fears about safety, about Railtrack, BT, or any of the other essential services that are racking up profits every second of the day.

Sixteen Years, The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy
written by Pat Fish

Privatised hospitals
Privatised water
Privatised electric
Privatised gas
Privatised buses
Privatised railways
Privatised garbage
Privatised jails

I hate you
I hate you
I hate you
I hate you

I hate you
I hate you
I hate you
I hate you

Privatised pensions
Privatised airports
Privatised dentists
Privatised coal
Privatised ferries
Privatised housing
Privatised telephones
Privatised nuclear power

I hate you
I hate you
I hate you
I hate you

I hate you
I hate you
I hate you
I hate you

Privatised businesses have shareholders
who expect to make personal gain
from their stake in essential public services
infested with junior-rat management...
and people wonder where
all the fucking money's gone.

I hate you
I hate you
I hate you
I hate you

I hate you
I hate you
I hate you
I hate you

(liars)
(cowards)
(fools)
(wankers)

* The Jazz Butcher, a.k.a. The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy, are the best band with a dozen albums that you've never heard of. Yes, I'll write something over in the other node real soon now. They're not punks.

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