The Auntie Doris Years: 1988


If it was up to you, who would you choose to be a top manager at one of the country’s major secure mental hospitals? Maybe someone who understood a bit about mental health? Someone who had been the boss of some similar establishment, maybe a hospital or a prison? Someone with a good reputation. Someone with a bit of ruddy gravitas. Someone who could make people believe that they knew what they were doing. A bit like Winston Churchill made us believe that he knew what he was doing in the war. Someone who could make us believe that problems weren’t as hard to solve as they might have been, and given us the faith to succeed. In 1988 Thatcher needed to choose someone to be a top manager at Broadmoor Secure Mental Hospital. She gave it careful consideration. But by now, she had her Caligula head on. She could do what she ruddy well liked. So rather than choose someone sensible, like anyone normal person would, she decided to choose a disc jockey. Jimmy Ruddy Savile. She thought that he was qualified to do the job because he had done some voluntary work there. Even if she somehow hadn’t heard the rumours that he was a filthy so and so, it still beggars belief. A major secure mental hospital! A ruddy silly disc jockey, It makes you wonder what he had on her and her government. Goodness Gracious! How’s about that then guys and gals? It’s a wonder that she didn’t make Freddie Starr the minister for the welfare of small animals. Or brought back Ronald Biggs and put him in charge of the Royal Mail. Meanwhile my Raymond had been in WH Smiths again, this time he bought that “Brief History of Time” book. He was really proud of himself. “It’s about science and space and stuff Doris” he said, “All the latest theories about big bangs and black holes and stuff, only really easy to understand because it’s been written by a bloke in a wheelchair.” I don’t think he got further than the introduction, before he stuffed it down the side of the settee. Mind you, I tried it and I didn’t get much further myself. All that stuff makes my ruddy head spin. I reckon that I understand some of that sort of stuff a bit better now that I am dead. You lose a bit of your blockheadedness after you pass over. I reckon I am much cleverer these days, as you can tell by my little homilies on the internet. But I’m still not as brainy as that Stephen Hawkins. Even if he is in a wheelchair. Besides, our Madge was in a wheelchair for her last few years, and she wasn’t any dafter than she was when she can walk, so I don’t see what wheelchairs have to do with intelligence. If there was a connection, then that ruddy Margaret Thatcher ought to have been in a wheelchair… Setting on a kiddy fiddling disc jockey to run ruddy Broadmoor! Auntie Doris’s Toppington Poppington, Musical sensation of 1988: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin. Some people say that Bobby McFerrin committed suicide after topping the pops with this lovely little ditty. He didn’t though, and Bob Holderness out of Blockbusters didn’t play the saxophone on it either.

The Auntie Doris Years: 1987

Ruddy, Ruddy, Ruddy, RUDDY Thatcher! She only went and won her third Election in 87, didn’t she? What on earth people were thinking, I can’t imagine. Neil Kinnock was in charge of Labour, and although he was no Clement Atlee, or Harold Wilson, he was a decent enough seeming bloke. But the Labours were turning away from socialism, and half the people in the country couldn’t tell the difference between them and the ruddy Liberal Democrats Social Alliance or whatever they ruddy called themselves. So Ruddy Thatcher got in again. But if she had been a bit crackers before… You could tell that she was getting close to completely crackers now. She was like ruddy Caligula. She really believed that she could do anything she wanted. “I am going to give more privatised industries back to the people” she said. Some ruddy idiots actually believed her. They didn’t see that nationalised industries actually belonged to them already, and all she wanted to do was let her rich Tory mates get hold of them cheap. Yes, some ordinary people could afford a few shares, but how many hung on to them for more than a year or two before selling them to Thatcher’s ruddy Tory cronies, for a few quick quid. And how much was your last gas bill?
“I intend to be the Prime minister until at least 1994” she said. Which was so frightening that it even frightened her own ministers. “I want to introduce a new tax, a ‘community charge’ by 1990,” she said. What she meant was she wanted to tax people to vote. You had to pay this “poll tax” to have your name on the ruddy voting list. Not that she only wanted rich people to vote. She wanted another reason to send poor people to prison too, because that way, they couldn’t be counted as unemployed.”
She didn’t want poor people to read the small print and understand this properly either, because she abolished free eye tests. She took that many biscuits that Mr Peak and Mr Frean eventually had to close down their factory. Like everyone else that was actually producing anything in 80s Britain. It’s probably a ruddy call centre or a biscuit museum now.
The 1980s should have been a happy decade for me, I should have turned 70, and grown old comfortably. But I could see the country falling to bits at the same rate as me and Raymond’s bodies were. All the beautiful organisations and things that had been set up for ordinary people who had fought and returned from world wars. People who wanted equality, who had defended the country for toffs and commoners alike. Now being ignored, and cheated, and treated as worthless. Left Right and centre. By a mad old woman and her greedy cronies. It was a crying shame.
Auntie Doris’s Top Pop Popperty Topper of 1987: “Something Inside So Strong” by Labi Siffre. It’s a funny ruddy name, Labi, but it’s a great song. A great song for downtrodden people everywhere, and there were plenty of them in Britain in those days.. And more to come….