Tick-Tock Tuesday (28 January 2020) – Apartheid, Labi Siffre

I thought I’d create a new challenge. It is a challenge primarily for me, because I’m new to this platform, and because you don’t really know me yet, nor I you. As my name suggests, I am recovering from a stroke, and I like to push myself in all kinds of little ways… including getting to know the Wonderful World of WordPress. Although this is something I will be doing, I invite you, if this idea takes your fancy, to play along with me and share with me some of your own selections.

My plan is: each Tuesday, until I run dry, I shall post some piece of art with which I have some connection – which has helped to mould me, which makes me tick. Okay, a piece of art is a bit vague – it might be a piece of music, a movie, a book, a painting, or ???? – so my phrasiology is deliberate. It might be anything – I will play this post by ear, so I’m not sure what I’ll think of each week. And, I’ll keep posting on the theme weekly until I run out of ideas.

My rules? Well, I’m not big on rules! My choice will be something with which I feel a connection. That’ll be the important thing, just having some kind of fleeting affection for something probably won’t be enough, unless I’m using my choice as an example of something bigger.

It will be one choice per week – I’m aware that long posts can be quite onerous to read, and I’m in no hurry to complete this so if I have two ideas, I’ll probably hold the second until the next week.

In that same vein, I’ve created this block as a Reusable Block, which I intend repeating for every post on this theme. The block ends with a full-width separator, so if you want to skip ahead each week it doesn’t really matter.

I probably won’t post any lyrics, or any kind of analysis – if you like my choice, the information will be out there for you. But I will try to briefly explain why I feel a connection to my choice, just to try and enhance readers’ understanding of what makes me tick.

I will tag my posts TTT and I will go looking for other posts with that tag. If you’d like to join in, please do the same, or comment, or pingback to this post, and feel free to reproduce my graphic. Lastly, I look forward to reading about what makes you tick.

This week’s choice goes back to a time where, as a youngster, my beliefs system evolved.

In 1982, Margaret Thatcher was a war hero, having successfully kicked those nasty Argies out of the Falklands (my aologies if you are Argentinian – that is what the UK was told). Off the back of that popularity, she decided to hold an election in the summer of 1983. Although only a youngster myself, I got involved by helping out.

It was a very one-sided affair. For anybody who knows the UK, this was the era of the longest suicide note in history, as the Labour (the more left of the big parties) manifesto was dubbed. The media chipped in, telling us to fear Labour’s leaders.

In fact, one of the big lessons I learned from those early days was that people will tell you all sorts of things, true or not, to stir up that emotion of fear. Especially when their interests are at stake. But at the time, life was very one-sided. Poor old Michael Foot, if you remember him, never stood a chance. It’s a pity, because I can see now that he was a decent man.

At the time, apartheid was a big issue. From my earliest days, though, it was clear to me that apartheid was wrong. But yet, as far as I could tell, Margaret Thatcher was an unequivocal supporter of apartheid. She never criticised the regime, she quite happily labelled the ANC as terrorists, and encouraced British companies to invest heavily in (white) South Africa. It was clear to me whose side she was on.

Looking back, probably the start of my split with Margaret Thatcher, after quite a brief dalliance, before I was even 18 years old, and I have never gone back to her flavour of politics. I just think that as I grew up, I saw more of the world with my own eyes. So when people say nowadays that due to the growing-up process, they have changed their view on this or that, I have a degree of sympathy for them. Not necessarily support, but certainly sympathy for their argument.

It’s funny, because one of my favourite Irish singers is a chap called Christy Moore, a[n Irish] Republican and anti-Thatcherite, who said that one thing that the Thatcher era did, at least, give us was excellent music. And the subject of apartheid, is just one of many. Lots of bands expressed their protest in music, and today I present one such artist. The artist is Labi Siffre (I thought he was South African until I researched this post – but he’s British), and the sleeve of the UK single said it all:

On a beach.


  1. History is not always beautiful. I’m always ‘surprised’ that all of that wasn’t that long ago. I mean people remember and still it goes on and on.
    Some people learn but evil deeds will come back to bite ‘us’.
    The song is really a good choice, it’s good for my heart to hear the beat of another drum. Much needed, then and now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think of it as a brilliant protest song. Not necessarily just against apartheid, although obviously that’s what it was written about. I think it is a wonderful feeling, to had that solidarity, to know that somebdy else is undergoing that same struggle. I’m glad you like the choice.

      Liked by 1 person

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