Sunday, November 14, 2010
Dubbed "the only band that matters," The Clash was the greatest of the British punk rock groups whose lyrics expressed radical protest against the conservative policies of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s. Led by Joe Strummer, the band here sings in 1983 of those "working for the clampdown," the forces of repression. Thatcher's reign culminated in the London poll tax riot of 1990, sparked by the plan, later rescinded by her successor, John Major, to levy the same rate of local taxation regardless of income. With this past week's violent student protests in London against tuition hikes proposed by a new Tory government, one wonders if another generation of British rockers will pick up the mantle of protest from The Clash.