The Auntie Doris Years: 1979

imageThatcher. I didn’t ruddy vote for her. Even though I liked the idea of seeing a woman in the top job, I didn’t ruddy well want it to be her. You have to draw the line somewhere, and I drew it with her. She was the ruddy Daily Mail incarnate; All posh hairdos and elocution lessons, scaremongering us about the Russians being bent on world domination one minute, and cheating the Scots out of independence the next. Not to mention pinching the ruddy milk out of the kiddies mouths.
She was Prime Minister for eleven miserable years. Where there was harmony she brought discord, where there was truth, she brought lies and where there was hope, she brought despair. Not for her Daily Mail reading chums, but for millions of ordinary people up and down the country. Particularly in the North.
She called Nelson Mandela a “grubby little terrorist” but she was a supporter of the Chilean dictator General Pinochet who counted having pregnant woman thrown out of aeroplanes without parachutes amongst his hobbies.
She used the police force as her own private army, making it possible for them to get away with smacking protesters over the head with ruddy great truncheons, and blaming their inadequacies on innocent football fans at Hillsborough. Or on black people in London.
She made virtually everyone in the country a bit meaner, a bit greedier, a bit nastier, and a bit shallower as well. So much shallower that serious thought has been ruddy well replaced by personality contests, and socialists are seen as unelectable, to be replaced by grinning ruddy idiots babbling about “New” politics.
I was 65 when she became Prime Minister. I was dead before the Tories were finally kicked out of office. She was responsible for selling off loads of the things that had made me proud to be British, just to feather the nests of people who already had money. My things! The Railways, the Gas Board, the Electricity Board, the Water Board, the Coal Board, Telephones, Council Houses. The list goes on and on; All things that made life manageable. Even if they didn’t make a profit, they were Ours, for the benefit of us all.
And she sold off our stakes in things that did make a profit too; British Airways, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, BP, all for nothing; Nothing that benefitted ordinary people anyway, not in the long term. Just look at your bills if you think that I am wrong.
And now that Spawn of Thatcher, the oily Cameron, is trying to do the same for the little bits we have left. Including the ruddy National Health Service! Once that goes, we know that all sense has gone. What’s the point in being proud to be British any more? Why should we turn our backs on Europe and imagine that we should follow America. What does America have to compare to the National Health Service? They have to rely on the charity of a few good doctors who are not motivated by profit alone.
Ohh my, oh my. Where’s the humour in my little homily today? Sorry. I think that the slow destruction of British values and British institutions by people who keep harping on about how they are the ones who are upholding them is no matter for jokes. Think about it…
Auntie Doris’s pop hit of 1979: “Tragedy” by the Bee Gees.

The Auntie Doris Years: 1978

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The first ever test tube baby in the world was born in 1978, in Oldham, Lancashire. A first for Great Britain, thanks to the pioneering work of Dr Albert Steptoe and his son Harold. When Albert had first suggested the idea that couples unable to have children could be helped by a procedure which would involve the husband spilling his seed into a test tube of raw eggs, Harold’s initial response was to call him a “dirty old man.” But after a few refinements, he accepted that his father was on to something, and the two eventually became famous for pioneering the procedure which has helped countless people to start families the world over.
Of course, it wasn’t all plain sailing. And in the early days there were lots of ethical issues raised about the whole thing.
Many people were worried that some unscrupulous doctor might have stored some of the seed of Adolf Hitler and used it in the procedure without telling the unsuspecting parents to be, thus allowing for the possibility that the Third Reich would rise again and World War Three would break out. However, it was pointed out that even if such an unscrupulous doctor existed, and he had kept the seed in the fridge since 1945, it would have almost certainly have gone mouldy in the intervening 33 years.
Others said that spilling your seed was an abomination which was expressly forbidden in the Holy Bible. But they were appeased by the argument that if you catch it in a test tube, you can’t have actually spilled it, can you. In order to ensure that no seed was actually spilt, prospective fathers were handed a funnel along with their test tube and copy of Health and Efficiency Magazine before being ushered into a private cubicle to do the deed.
There have been cases where the so called “genetic soup” produced by the father at the beginning of the process has got mixed up with something produced by somebody else. My sister Pearl’s grandson Darren told me that when he was working in a hospital in Leeds on the Youth Opportunities Programme in the early 1980s, he knocked over a tray containing samples from around a dozen different men. He was too scared to tell anyone, so he took the labels off, and stuck them on fresh test tubes which he filled with some Yakult, which he bought from a shop just outside the grounds. He said that as far as he knew, no one ever found out, but that at least seven of the women got pregnant anyway, because of the friendly bacteria. The cheeky so and so also told me that a month later his friend at the hospital deliberately emptied three test tubes and filled them up himself. By hand! Mind you. I don’t normally believe anything that Darren says, because he also told me that some unscrupulous surgeons removed kidneys from their patients unnecessarily, and sold them on the black market to Uruquay where they were used in the manufacture of Fray Bentos pies.
Auntie Doris’s Top Pick of the Pop Toppers of 1978: “MacArthur Park” By Donna Summer. I know how she felt. I baked a cake one time, and my Raymond left it out in the rain. And to cap it all, he threw the recipe out and the bin men took it away before I realised it was missing. I’ll never find that recipe again.