Badge - Warning: These People Are Mad, 1980s Object Reg. No: SH 870579

'Warning: These People Are Mad' badge, alternatively known as a button, depicting two controversial politicians of the 1980s: British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President of the USA Ronald Reagan. Thatcher ruled as conservative Prime Minister from 1979 until agreeing to resign in 1990. She was the first female Prime Minister of Britain. She was staunchly conservative in her views and policy decisions. She was an advocate of privatisation of state-owned industries and utilities, reform of the trade unions, the lowering of taxes and reduced social expenditure across the board. Her policies succeeded in reducing inflation, but unemployment dramatically increased. In foreign affairs, Thatcher cultivated a close political and personal relationship with President of the USA Ronald Reagan, based on a common mistrust of communism, combined with free-market economic ideology. Thatcher was nicknamed the "Iron Lady" by the Soviets. She led Britain in the Falklands War in 1982 and an attempt was made on her life in the IRA bombing of a Brighton (UK) hotel in 1984.

Ronald Reagan was the President of the United States of America from 1981-1989. He was a staunchly conservative Republican. He introduced bold economic policies which resulted in deregulation and substantial tax cuts. In 1983, as a response to his long-standing concerns about the Soviet Union, he introduced the "Star Wars" defence system which critics dismissed as "aggressive, imperialistic and warmongering". Reagan compounded the situation when he 'jokingly' made the following announcement as a part of a radio sound-check: "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes." His administration was also marked by controversy over the Iran-Contra affair. Reagan survived an assassination attempt in 1981. He played a key role in a peaceful end to the Cold War in 1989.
This is a white badge with red and black text on the upper half. On the lower half, the figures of Thatcher and Reagan appear as they were represented by caricatures on the popular 1980s British TV satire show, 'Spitting Image'. A pin is on the back.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Nic Maclellan, 1987
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 37 mm (Diameter)
Dimension Comment: Measured 2.10.08

More information

Tagged with: anti-nuclear protests, nuclear disarmament, peace issues, political protests, protest movements
Themes this item is part of: Nuclear Power & Nuclear Weapons, Public Life & Institutions Collection
Primary Classification: POLITICS & PUBLIC PROTEST
Secondary Classification: Anti Nuclear
Tertiary Classification: badges
Inscriptions: Printed obverse: WARNING:/ THESE PEOPLE ARE/ MAD
Person Depicted: Ronald Reagan, United States of America, 1981-1989
Person Depicted: Margaret Thatcher, England, Great Britain, 1979-1990
Date Used: 1980-1989

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