The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #91232   Message #1734425
Posted By: Richard Bridge
07-May-06 - 03:56 AM
Thread Name: BS: BNP and folk music
Subject: RE: BS: BNP and folk music
I don't see much in the way of rational discussion here, and I do see quite a lot of ad hominem abuse.

I also see a distinction between adherence to and/or preservation of a tradition, on the one hand, and propaganda on the other. If we stuck to the definition of folk music and song as distinguishing it from contemporary music in the style of the tradition, then it would be plain that propaganda could not be folk music or song, for it would be newly created.

I am concerned at the possible disappearance of my tradition, which is why I try to emphasise it in my repertoire, and I would think there to be proper ground for concern if England were to subsidise and support almost every tradition but her own. That would be an improper discrimination.

The distinction that has to be drawn, and it is often a hard one to draw, is between supporting one thing and vilifying others, between being proud of, or of being, one thing, and asserting that others are inferior. This forum does see quite a lot of vilification and assertion that others are inferior, but it is not usually the Eglish who are guilty of it.

If BNP members really want to learn about their own history, traditions, and cultural history, we should welcome that, for education might improve their minds. We should also welcome representation of differing points of view in politics (within reason) but be wary of the glorification of murder or abuse (and there are plenty of examples of such glorification from accepted groups of songs already).

We permit (and even encourage)

1. Relatively recent Irish rebel songs celebrating the murder of Englishmen (but, for some reason, not Orange songs celebrating the murder of non-Orangemen)
2. Jewish music associated with Zionism
3. Non-Jewish music opposed to Israel
4. Vernacular music from WW2 celebrating the death of Germans or Japanese
5. A range of songs featuring gipsies, some supporting them, some denigrating them
6. A range of traditional songs featuring racial and social stereotypes.

While the knee-jerk revulsion at the appearance of the BNP in connection with folk is understandable, our views ought to be rational and consistent, and we should almost certainly not endorse the burying of an extant tradition merely because one political group sought to adopt it.

We should, I think, be fareful to separate our dislike of the BNP from any view about English music and song.