The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #54781   Message #851120
Posted By: The Shambles
20-Dec-02 - 09:49 AM
Thread Name: PEL: Mummers stopped Cerne Abbas
Subject: RE: PEL: Mummers stopped Cerne Abbas
Mark has kindly agreed for this to be circulated.

For information, I heard the Radio 4 article and posted the attached message (below) to the Today programme.
Many thanks, Mark.

Mark Gibbens, Development Officer English Folk Dance & Song Society Direct Line: 020 7485 2206 ex.29

From: Mark Gibbens Submitted to Today
Programme, Radio 4, 20.12.02 -----

I was pleased to hear some coverage (20.12.02) of the current PEL crisis which is threatening traditional music, dance and song in England.

However your article rather missed the bigger issue; instead
focusing solely on the dispute between mummers in Cerne Abbas, Dorset and their local council.

The proposed PEL laws are threatening traditional and folk music in all areas of the country and some of the most vibrant cultural traditions are to be found in cities. It is not just about rural life.<

This issue goes to the heart of cultural life in England. The
English are only just discovering that they have as deep and vibrant a tradition as the Scots, Irish and Welsh, yet there is a very real risk that the new PEL proposals headed by Kim Howells will stifle it.

The PEL completely fails to tackle real public nuisance problems such as football matches on wide-screen pub TVs, and instead picks on handfuls of musicians with acoustic instruments or their own voices.

The PEL also falsely categorises a form of cultural expression which is a natural and integral part of people's daily lives as profit-making entertainment for the public. Who's next - people who tell jokes in the pub?

A more detailed analysis of the problem would be much appreciated by thousands of musicians, singers and dancers across the country.

Mark Gibbens, Development Officer, English Folk Dance and SongSociety.