The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #89365   Message #1687124
Posted By: greg stephens
07-Mar-06 - 07:17 AM
Thread Name: MI5 monitored Ewan MacColl
Subject: RE: MI5 monitored Ewan MacColl
Apologists for MacColl's politics tend to say "he was fooled about Stalin,like everone else"
    Granted, there were a lot of fools about dutifully selling the Daily Worker etc, and very nice humanitarian people most of them were too, and great supporters of folk music, and friends of mine. They were, in Lenin's rather chilling phrase "useful idiots". But for every hundred people being fooled, there was one of the clever people doing the fooling. And MacColl, I am afraid, stunningly eloquent and educated man that he was, was one of the foolers. He knew about Stalin. He made his choice.
    Fascinating piece by Peggy Seeger, wasn't it? Bit rude of her publicly laughing at some poor sod's performance because she thought the accent was a bit funny, wasn't it? MacColl sang in some remarkably dodgy accents (witness his recording of John Henry), but I bet she didn't howl derision at him.
But all in all, I think they were quite right to try to run a club with some high standards that they believed in. As Peggy Seeger pointed out quite fairly,that was the rules for their club, and their club alone. Nobody had to go.. They weren't imposing the same rules on anyone else.Unlike any folk club run by Stalin, for example, when anyone singing Rock Island Line would have been shot.