The Auntie Doris Years: 1974

imageTimes got harder and harder. The IRA were stepping up their campaign and setting off bombs in London and Birmingham and even one on a bus near Oldham. The miners were on strike along with what seemed like two dozen other unions. Fuel was getting scarce. Prices were going up and up and up. There were regular power cuts, which left us all in the cold and dark. The shops ran out of ruddy candles! Ted Heath didn’t have a clue what to do! He made it so that people could only work three days a week, which wasn’t too bad, because it meant a four day weekend. He had the telly finish for the night after half past ten, which wasn’t too bad because it was mostly rubbish on after that time any road. But he was floundering, and he had to call a general election.
We ended up with Harold Wilson in charge of a minority government. We had to have another one before the year was out to get enough seats to be properly in charge. ‘Course, he was a sensible bloke and managed to get the miners sorted out by paying them a bit more. Some people thought that that was outrageous, but they were generally the sort of people who had no idea what it might be like to work in a coal mine, and thought that money was an entitlement reserved for clean people with posh accents. In other words, Daily Mail readers.
There’ll always be people who say that the unions ruined the country. That’s just ruddy nonsense. It’s the ruddy Tories that ruined the country, and persuaded everyone otherwise by printing a load of shite in newspapers like the Daily Mail and the Sun.
Hark at me! I’m on my high horse again aren’t I? I can’t help it though. When you have lived through it you can see it happening. I wouldn’t let any other newspaper except the Daily Mirror into my house when I was alive. Well, I had a look at the Morning Star once, but there was no cartoons, no horoscopes and no telly in it. Not even a ruddy crossword. You can’t run a revolution without giving people something to do in their coffee break. You have to give people a glimpse of good things, and I don’t mean the kind of glimpses you get in the Sun. “Show em some pictures of half naked lasses and tell them that people who want to be paid a decent wage for a hard days work are greedy” that’s what the ruddy Sun is all about. And it hasn’t changed much since the 1970s either. They are still peddling the same old nonsense.
I think I had better have a small glass of rich ruby QC and go for a lie down. I might just listen to…
…Auntie Doris’s Topping Pop Tune of 1974: “Seasons in the Sun” by Terry Jacks. Although why that fact that “all the birds are singing in the sky” should make dying any harder. I don’t know. It might be a pleasant distraction if you were listening to one or two birds twittering and chirruping a bit, but a skyful of the little buggers would make a right old racket, and I I was feeling poorly anyway, I’d probably be begging the nurse to switch me off.

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