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Punk History



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Sunday’s New York Times has a piece on Joe Strummer, including this, uh, classic piece of analysis:

“The British milieu that the Clash emerged from called out for punk. When the Sex Pistols’ Johnny Rotten, draped on his microphone, intoned “no future,” it was the cry of youth coming out of school to discover that there were no jobs in Margaret Thatcher’s Britain.”

Actually, no.

Punk was a response to the mounting crisis in the British welfare state. When Johnny Rotten was busy intoning ‘no future’ it was 1976-77, a time when Britain was run by a Labour government. Mrs. Thatcher was not elected until 1979. The poor woman has been blamed by the Left for a lot, but to hold her responsible for the state of the economy before her election does seem, well, a little harsh.




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