Nicholson was able to overturn every social norm of her upbringing, give up her unglamorous job in a Yorkshire cake factory after becoming the biggest winner on the football pools in 1961 winning more than five million pounds in today’s money.
This turned her into an overnight celebrity in England and when asked what she was going to do with the money by the British tabloids she famously stated SPEND, SPEND, SPEND.
This is precisely what Nicholson did buying designer clothes, houses and cars, including the Jaguar her husband Keith died in. Then, more alcohol, more husbands...no more money. Although it all sounds very sad it was the expression of the irrational mind that made her a legend in her own lifetime.
Morrissey remained fascinated by Nicholson and her attitude to wealth, thinking of her as ahead of her time, precisely because society tends to be envious and snobbish towards what they think of as ill gotten gains, particularly if the recipient is working class and began life poorer than them.
Barbarism Begins at Home may be 32 years old this month, but its message has become clear.
We have all become big spenders now, in a world driven by credit and hyper-inflation, with the majority of us living beyond our means. Barbarism Begins at Home is therefore not only an ode to rational and irrational thought and behaviour, but more importantly, knowing the difference between the two. As Oscar Wilde famously said: "Give a man a mask and he will tell you the truth."