Our favourite bits from Margaret Thatcher’s Smash Hits briefing note
This might be the best thing to come out of Margaret Thatcher’s entire time in Downing Street. A lovingly-crafted briefing note prepared for the PM before an interview with Smash Hits magazine.
It featured a brief description of the magazine, suggested talking points, and a bluffer’s guide to pop music including punk, the Beatles and what was in the charts including Percy Sledge, Ben E. King (‘continues a trend in using 1950s and 1960s songs in advertising’) and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Here are some of our favourite bits (you can see the whole lot down below).
‘The interviewer will doubtless assume to speak for ‘the average reader’ who, he may assert, feels closer to Socialist policies than to your Government’s policies. You will want to challenge this’
‘You could make the following points: Many youngsters of that age are apolitical and buy the records because of the music and the beat. It is worth mentioning that a degree of teenage rebellion is part of growing up. Teenagers have long been anti-establishment whatever the political persuasion of the Government of the day. The most extreme form of ‘pop’ rebellion was the punk phenomenon and that happened during the last Labour Government’
‘You man not enjoy the interview. Mr Hibbert may ask superficial questions which betray a lack of understanding. The challenge of the interview will be for you to demonstrate that just because you are not part of the pop scene, you are still in touch with youngsters and understand their needs’
‘The ‘punk’ era which hit the music world between 1976-78 was a very basic musical style featuring a strange bunch of ant-establishment acts, most famous of which were The Sex Pistols. When the Sex Pistols split up in 1978 the style died out, to be replaced by the current technological musical era featuring computers, synthesisers and videos’