SHEEP FARMING IN THE FALKLANDS
As might well have been expected, Crass too were intent on striking out at Thatcher during the run up to the 1983 general election and did so in one of the ways they knew best. At the start of the Falklands war they had produced 40,000 one-sided flexi discs of Sheep Farming In The Falklands that were given away for free through the network of independent record shops. Due to the political climate at the time and to avoid any reprisals the discs had been manufactured completely anonymously without a song title, group name or matrix number. By the Spring of 1983 all such concerns had been put aside and Crass were now happy to re-issue the song as a conventional single under their own name complete with printed lyrics, a poster depicting Thatcher holding a gigantic turd, and for the first time packaged in a glossy, coloured record sleeve emblazoned with a revamped version of the Crass logo.
The Falklands war victory was the wave that Thatcher was riding to take her to an election victory; the issue that held her aloft above the calamity of her economic policies. In re-issuing Sheep Farming In The Falklands, Crass seemed to be trying to pick a fight or at least spark some kind of a debate about the war freed from the blinkers of patriotism. Apart, however, from the better quality of the sound the only real difference between the two versions of the song was in some of the lyrics, the newer version suggesting that perhaps it was no coincidence that the only ship that wasn't struck was the one on which Prince Andrew had served.
As on the original, Eve Libertine once again did her impression of Thatcher though with another change of words: "The Falklands war was really a cover-up job, it obscured the mistakes I've made, and you know I think the gamble I took could certainly be said to have paid. With unemployment at an all-time high and the country falling apart, I, Winston Thatcher, reign supreme in this great nation's heart."
Turning her attention to Ronald Reagan, she suggests that he might also try the same tactics: "Oh raunchy Ron, we've fought our war, now it's your turn to prove yourself in El Salvador. I've employed Michael Heseltine to deal with PR, he's an absolute prick but a media star. He'll advocate the wisdom of our Cruise missile plan then at last I'll have a penis just like every other man. They can call it penis envy but they'll pay the price for it." As Steve Ignorant interjects with a cry of "But the peasants are hungry, Mags!" 'Thatcher' responds with a paraphrase of Marie Antoinette: "Let them eat shit."
Perhaps because it wasn't purely an outpouring of abuse like the original version but the re-issue for some reason seemed somehow less ferocious and the flipside - entitled Gotcha - which was basically a litany of insults seemed somewhat tame compared to the usual colourful language of which Crass were the masters: "Gotcha, you Argie bastards, you Commie scum, you bloody scoundrel, you Paki bum. You thieving Arab, you slit-eyed gook, you dirty browner, you pacifist poof..."
The point being made was that the prevalent attitude during the Falklands war as exemplified by The Sun's 'Gotcha' headline was a prejudiced, sexist, nationalistic, racist one but for all that, however much anger Steve Ignorant could muster in his voice, lines like "you bloody scoundrel" and "you pacifist poof" still sounded a bit limp, a bit lame, and in the end it meant that Gotcha was one of Crass's most weakest of songs.
It's fair to say that Sheep Farming In The Falklands had no effect upon the outcome of the general election whatsoever because the Conservatives romped home and won what was judged to be a landslide victory. A few days after the polls had closed, Michael Foot stood down as leader of the Labour Party to be later replaced by a ginger-haired Welshman by the name of Neil Kinnock. Meet the new boss same as the old boss.
In response to the Thatcher victory, Crass rushed out another 7" single release entitled Who Dunnit? Packaged once again in a glossy sleeve, the picture on the cover was of some soiled 'government property' toilet paper whilst the picture on the back was of a turd with a Union Jack flag stuck into it.
The actual song was another example of Crass's peculiar sense of humour, it being basically a pub sing-along with absolutely no guitars or drums just raucous, drunken voices - with a bit of whistling: "Birds put the turd in custard, but who put the shit in Number Ten? Well what a fucking joke, it's enough to make you choke cos the shit's back in Number Ten again..." And so on over two sides. It was utter rubbish yet utterly brilliant, released as all novelty records should on coloured vinyl - faecal brown, of course.