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Folk Against Fascism

Anne Lister 10 Jun 09 - 05:00 PM
Surreysinger 10 Jun 09 - 04:54 PM
Peter the Squeezer 10 Jun 09 - 04:38 PM
Rifleman (inactive) 10 Jun 09 - 04:08 PM
Ruth Archer 10 Jun 09 - 04:02 PM
treewind 10 Jun 09 - 03:56 PM
TheSnail 10 Jun 09 - 03:36 PM
Rifleman (inactive) 10 Jun 09 - 03:31 PM
Ruth Archer 10 Jun 09 - 03:28 PM
treewind 10 Jun 09 - 03:12 PM
Andy Jackson 10 Jun 09 - 02:58 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 10 Jun 09 - 01:36 PM
greg stephens 10 Jun 09 - 01:23 PM
GUEST,lox 10 Jun 09 - 01:17 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 10 Jun 09 - 01:10 PM
greg stephens 10 Jun 09 - 12:57 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 10 Jun 09 - 12:45 PM
Fred McCormick 10 Jun 09 - 12:44 PM
Richard Bridge 10 Jun 09 - 12:38 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 10 Jun 09 - 12:37 PM
Banjiman 10 Jun 09 - 12:31 PM
greg stephens 10 Jun 09 - 12:30 PM
MartinRyan 10 Jun 09 - 12:24 PM
Rifleman (inactive) 10 Jun 09 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,ifor 10 Jun 09 - 12:16 PM
Big Mick 10 Jun 09 - 12:15 PM
greg stephens 10 Jun 09 - 12:12 PM
Kampervan 10 Jun 09 - 11:40 AM
Rifleman (inactive) 10 Jun 09 - 11:39 AM
George Papavgeris 10 Jun 09 - 11:33 AM
Rifleman (inactive) 10 Jun 09 - 11:30 AM
Fred McCormick 10 Jun 09 - 11:26 AM
Banjiman 10 Jun 09 - 11:24 AM
Big Mick 10 Jun 09 - 11:18 AM
Rifleman (inactive) 10 Jun 09 - 11:16 AM
Tug the Cox 10 Jun 09 - 11:12 AM
Bryn Pugh 10 Jun 09 - 11:12 AM
theleveller 10 Jun 09 - 11:00 AM
folkandroots 10 Jun 09 - 10:59 AM
George Papavgeris 10 Jun 09 - 10:49 AM
GUEST 10 Jun 09 - 10:36 AM
Big Mick 10 Jun 09 - 10:18 AM
GUEST,lox 10 Jun 09 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,lox 10 Jun 09 - 09:56 AM
Phil Edwards 10 Jun 09 - 09:37 AM
treewind 10 Jun 09 - 09:16 AM
Tug the Cox 10 Jun 09 - 07:27 AM
treewind 10 Jun 09 - 07:07 AM
GUEST 10 Jun 09 - 07:03 AM
GUEST,Scotsman Over The Border 10 Jun 09 - 06:23 AM
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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Anne Lister
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 05:00 PM

The "cultural diversity" argument is a toughie. Trouble is, our own culture (morris dancing, folk dancing, singing folk songs)has been so much the butt of stupid media comments over the years and we have become so afraid of expressing pride in our own country that this is precisely where the BNP and other fascist groups think of taking a stand.
I want the opportunity to stand up proudly for England (as well as Wales, Scotland and Ireland) without anyone assuming I'm a jingoistic moron. And I've written songs about that and if I found the BNP had attempted to take them on board I would instantly find ways and means to take legal action to stop them.
At WOMEX last year I was appalled to find that the majority of "world music" from the UK sounded like music from other cultures, (because it was - sometimes from people whose heritage was from other cultures but sometimes from musicians who clearly wanted to be from elsewhere)and that there was very little recognition that the UK has its own indigenous cultures. Note the plural.

I think everyone should be proud of their own heritage and background, and that includes us. I don't feel the need to include stories from other cultures when I'm storytelling, especially when the majority of children in our schools don't get exposed to the local heritage at any stage - because we're all trying so hard to be "multicultural" and avoid bias.

So I'm firmly with Folk Against Fascism, very firmly against the BNP and all it stands for (not mad keen on UKIP either, and have never managed to be a Tory) and I don't see a conflict of interests if I stick with performing and studying stories, music, dance and song from these islands. Doesn't make me racist to want to promote my own cultural heritage.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Surreysinger
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 04:54 PM

>These things take a bit of time!
LOL! 48 hours ... I come back from work to find that the FB group is now over 1000 strong in terms of membership. I call that rather impressive.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Peter the Squeezer
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 04:38 PM

I'm not into either myspace or facebook, but this has my wholehearted support. Music, nor any other art form should NEVER be allowed to be used as a platform for the kind of evil distortions put about by filth like the BNP. I look forward to the website coming on line.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 04:08 PM

I provided links to both the myspace and facebook sites on a couple of my websites, that was done yesterday.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 04:02 PM

Anahata, that's absolutely brilliant.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: treewind
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 03:56 PM

I suggest anyone here with a web site should say something about this. I've added to mine. This is not meant to be gratuitous self-promotion (I expect most of you know what we do anyway), but as an example of a way to help publicise FAF:
www.treewind.co.uk/mha
Comments for further improvement would be welcome.

I didn't link to the BNP's own site - not sure if that's wise or not.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: TheSnail
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 03:36 PM

Crow Sister

I think awareness raising, including adopting approaches of the very same kind as you are describing, is indeed currently the prime purpose of FaF

Actually, I don't think it is. I don't think they set out to instruct people on what sort of music they should play or promote.

From the Facebook group -

This group is being created to take a stand against the appropriation of folk culture by the BNP. They want to take our music. We will not let them.

The message I take is that we should play "our" music for the love of the music without fear of being accused of being right wing little Englanders. If we move away from it, we are just handing it over to the BNP without a fight.

Bryan Creer


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 03:31 PM

Riflerman: you said "speak for yourself" implying I am not interested in cultural diversity in traditional music...

I was thinking anyhting do grandiose and pompous. All I WAS thinking about was actually

"maybe, just maybe, it's time for some people to take off the blinkers and have a look around!! A good start would be to join the Folk Against Fascism facebook group"

Did I mention "cultural diversity in traditional music" Nope!


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 03:28 PM

Well, we have a domain, and I understand that the website is under construction as we speak. These things take a bit of time! But it's on its way, I promise. I'll post news as soon as there is some.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: treewind
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 03:12 PM

Joan said there would be a web site.
Any news of this yet?

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 02:58 PM

Well said Lox :

"The debate is not engaged in to be won in the eyes of its participants, but in the eyes of its observers.

Much as a prosecuting Lawyer does not argue to convince a defendant that he is wrong, but to convince a jury.

The Jury here is the public."

Much as I laughed at the egg throwing, it does seem more use in the end to allow the public at large to hear the rantings of these evil people. Only then will the "jury" be able to judge.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 01:36 PM

"I was proposing something that individuals should do, street by street, pub by pub, club by club, festival by festival."

Sure Greg, I follow you. Though in relation to the idea of promoting such 'strategies' of outreach on a collective ground floor level, considering the general low level of current initiative in such undertakings (of which you speak), broader awareness raising arguably has to come before individual clubs, festivals etc. actually begin initiating such action by themselves.

I think awareness raising, including adopting approaches of the very same kind as you are describing, is indeed currently the prime purpose of FaF, thus I suspect we are essentially agreeing?

That all sounded far more complicated than it needed to ;-)


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: greg stephens
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 01:23 PM

Crow Sister: I am sure you are right about strategies and so on, they are, or soon will be,in place. But things like "strategies", in my experience, often just lead to big concerts with self-congratulatory line-ups, statements to the press, grant applications etc etc. All very well. But I was proposing something that individuals should do, street by street, pub by pub, club by club, festival by festival. You know, each person sweeps outside the house, the street will be clean. Don't wait for the council to send a team with a lorry.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 01:17 PM

"The problem perhaps with such debates is what you could be debating isnt what they actually think nor stand for but a very much watered down (for public consumption) version of this, the holocaust denial, enforced sterilisation the more dangerous racist agenda will be kept underwraps."


I absolutely agree that this could happen ... if the anti fascist approach is to respond to the BNP's initiative.

On the other hand, if the Anti Fascist groups take the initiative and constantly ask these questions and demand evidence for the BNP's claims then that ensures that the right issues are kept in the spotlight.

The debate is not engaged in to be won in the eyes of its participants, but in the eyes of its observers.

Much as a prosecuting Lawyer does not argue to convince a defendant that he is wrong, but to convince a jury.

The Jury here is the public.

If the BNP are given opportunities over and over again to claim that anti fascists are undemocratic trouble makers it will seriously damage their campaign in the eyes of the majority of people watching from outside; the jury.

The anti fascist groups need to raise awareness of who the BNP really are and get the public interested.

Newspapers sell to the public, and they will print what they think will sell.

If the public are baying for answers at the BNP's heels the press will bay with them.

there is absolutely no room for 'passive' resistance. Resistance to the BNP must be proactive and pre-emptive.

It must also be effective - and shouting abuse or trying to ban them will not work, es[ecially now that they have equal political rights to all the other elected parties.

The effective response is to put them on the defensive.

Ask the difficult questions politely and clearly so they can be heard and understood with no ambiguity in a room full of hecklers.

Ask politely and clearly for evidence of their claims, stressing that without it you will be unable to verify them


Keep it simple, keep it calm and kick them off the moral highground.

Expose them for who they are.

learn their arguments - they all say the same thing - and you won't be rattled by their rhetoric.

Stick to the point - don't be distracted by attempts to change the subject.

Know where the exits are!!


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 01:10 PM

I'd make a broad guess that JC & FaF would promote such notions likewise in any campaign stratagies Greg. Oureach of sucj kind,would be especially applicable with immigrant folk musics. Most of whom, ironically, seem to do a rather better job of maintaining their cultural traditions within Britian, than the English in particular have been themselves.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: greg stephens
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 12:57 PM

(Half of my last message went missing in the ether. What I actually said was)
Rifleman: you said "speak for yourself" implying I am not interested in cultural diversity in traditional music. I think if you look at my post, you will see that it is a main, indeed an obsessional interest of mine. I was pointing out that it is not an interest shared by many folk club organisers, in my experience. I think it would make a great statement if places where folkies gather(eg the middle bar at the Anchor in Sidmouth) were a little bit more ethnically integrated, on occasion. Then BNP singingers turning up to infiltrate would get the point. In my own experience, wonderful evenings can happen if white liberal middle-class folkies invite Zimbabwean singers or Kurdish fiddlers to come down the pub and swap songs. I think this a practical and music-orientated way to make a political point and have a thoroughly good time while doing so.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 12:45 PM

G. Stephens: "I was pointing out that it is not an interest shared by many folk club organisers, in my experience."

The implications of this comment in relation to the core issues of this thread, remind me so much of the charming (and equally stubborn) innocence of The Shire concerning the dangers of Mordor, prior to the Shire's scourging by Saruman.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 12:44 PM

Greg Stephens. "Now, call me naive, but wouldn't it be a good thing at grass-roots level if folk clubs and festivals were a little more welcoming to people playing/singing the traditional folk music of a more diverse range of cultures?"

By God, you could sing that if you had an air to it. I don't think the folk revival is quite as precious these days as it once was. But when I got into ethnic music in the early '70s, hardly anybody I knew was even remotely interested. It wasn't that they didn't enjoy listening to the stuff, it wasn't British and the folk revival was about celebrating British folk music. I wonder how many seeds those people sewed in the minds of future BNP leaders.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 12:38 PM

Personally, I'm not interested in much non-English folk song (apart from the occasional Scottish song and the very occasional Irish or American song - and I do do some contemporary stuff too) not least because if my ability to understand the lyrics is diminished by language matters much of the song is not truly available to me, and also because I deeply regret the lack of interest in traditional English song, but on the occasions that I have seen African or Asian or "influenced by" players in folk song sessions, they have always been very warmly welcomed.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 12:37 PM

For anyone interested (I don't think it's been posted here yet?), here's a link to the FaF MySpace page


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Banjiman
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 12:31 PM

Big Mick, I'm implying nothing, merely posting the outcome of what I assume is validated research.

Your suggestion was not to insult the intelligence of average folks..... I was merely posting a clue as to where the BNP leadership aim their messages.

Please don't look for "isms" where they don't exist. As an ex mental health nurse I am fully aware of the value that all sorts of apparently "challenged" & "different" people can bring to society.

I don't think there was anything in my post above that questioned anyone's contribution to society.

For avoidance of doubt I'm not a Green or Lib Dem voter so claim no great I.Q. for myself.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: greg stephens
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 12:30 PM

Riflerman: you said "speak for yourself" implying I am not interested in cultural diversity in traditional music. I think if you look at my post, you will see that it is a main, indeed an obesssional interest of mine. I was pointing out that it is not an interest shared by many folk club organisers, in my experience.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: MartinRyan
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 12:24 PM

My point is you're not dealing with "average" folks..........

You talking about the Greens? They're the furthest from the average in the set you quote!

The (mis)use of IQ data in this way is ironic in view of the fact that such measures have long been criticised for having racist overtones.

Regards
p.s. More seriously, of course, a little knowledge of the Normal Distribution wouldn't go amiss.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 12:21 PM

"To put the matter bluntly, this is not an area in which many English folkies take an interest"

Speak for yourself, and maybe, just maybe, it's time for some people to take off the blinkers and have a look around!! A good start would be to join the Folk Against Fascism facebook group.
and Folk Against Fascism not being inclusive..Oh come on...yeesh!!


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: GUEST,ifor
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 12:16 PM

I am delighted at the formation of Folk Against Fascism. And I must say that I was also very cheered to see the odious Nick Griffin and his nazi mate getting their comeuppance yesterday outside Parliament.
They did not look like steely jawed members of the master race as they fled in panic to their waiting car.Well done to the Unite Against Fascism supporters for confronting those vile fascists and no platform for nazis!
ifor


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Big Mick
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 12:15 PM

Paul Banjiman, with respect, your post is very troubling. I have known many people of average or even below average "IQ" who are great contributors to society. Conversely, Adolph Hitler had an IQ higher than Al Gore's. It seems to me that you are implying something that is very troubling.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: greg stephens
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 12:12 PM

Now, call me naive, but wouldn't it be a good thing at grass-roots level if folk clubs and festivals were a little more welcoming to people playing/singing the traditional folk music of a more diverse range of cultures? I have spent various chunks of my life recording the music of various immigrant/refugee/asylum seeker people in this country, because I love folk music basically. To put the matter bluntly, this is not an area in which many English folkies take an interest. I think a practical way for folkies to express their anti-racism would be to be a little bit more inclusive at the level of the organisationm of their own venues. The politics is the personal.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Kampervan
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 11:40 AM

T.t.C., I was being neither smug nor patronising and I apologise if that's how it came across. I shouldn't have started my posting with the word 'sorry'.

You have your opinion and I have mine. Whilst I agree with you about the potentially appalling efffects of the BNP obtaining any form of power, I disagree with you about preventing them from being able to organise or speak.
I have sufficient faith in the intelligence and commonsense of the majority of the British public to believe that they would never vote these Fascists into power.
Their appeal will only ever be to a minority.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 11:39 AM

"But throwing eggs is just plain stupid. It is counterproductive"

a waste of eggs as well!


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 11:33 AM

C


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 11:30 AM

"I gather that someone variously calling himself "Richard Bridge" or "Hoff Bridge" is posting messages of support for the BNP at digg and sending abusive messages to members of the "folk against fascism" facebook group.

"Hoff" is short for "Hoffmeister".

There are only a very few places where I have used or been referred to by both names - and the 'cat is one of them.

But "Hoff Bridge" isn't me.

You may want to keep a wary eye on Daily Mail Reader - I suspect that he or his cronies are the guilty parties."

How dreadfully unpleasant.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 11:26 AM

Anyone who saw Nick Griffin being interviewed on Sky news will have seen one sad sick sorry bigoted son of a bitch being tied up in knots by one not overly penetrating interviewer. When the guy asked him about the ethnic qualification of BNP membership, Griffin had no answer. When he was asked why the BNP wouldn't allow the building of mosques in this country, he made a complete fool of himself. When he was asked about repatriation and the rights of British born 'ethnic' peoples he could not give a consistent answer.

That is the way to fight fascism. Show the illogicality of their so called policies. Show the socio/economic/ecological disaster which would result if this bunch of plonkers ever got into power. Show anyone who thinks otherwise what the logical outcome of a BNP government would mean in terms of their personal freedom. Demonstrate against them. March against them. Leaflet against them. Barrack their street meetings and picket their private gatherings. In short,exhaust all reasonable avenues of protest.

But throwing eggs is just plain stupid. It is counterproductive, and it is about what one would expect from the tattooed skinheads which the BNP seems designed to attract.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Banjiman
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 11:24 AM

You might have seen this but as far as I understand it this is properly researched at Lancaster University:

    "On a party-by-party basis, the average (childhood) IQ scores for 2001 voters were:

       Green - 108.3

       Liberal Democrat - 108.2

       Conservative - 103.7

       Labour – 103

       Plaid Cymru - 102.5

       Scottish National - 102.2

       UK Independence - 101.1

       British National - 98.4

       Did not vote/None of the above - 99.7"

My point is you're not dealing with "average" folks..........

Paul


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Big Mick
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 11:18 AM

Folkandroots, how did you figure it out? Do you believe that most others are not as capable as you of figuring it out? I ask this not to be argumentative, but to make a point. As to your point about the real agenda vs. What is being put out for public debate, that is known as shifting the premise, as well as having a hidden agenda. Of course they will do that. It is the only way that people with vile agendas can appeal to the great middle. It is our job to expose that, and have enough respect for the intelligence of average folks to get it.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 11:16 AM

"So you think the protesters might have over-egged it a bit? "

eggsackly!
-Tommy Handley, ITMA

wonder who was egging them on, and then egging them off?

"I prefer them in the light of day where their bigotry is easily seen."

one more time.......

"The British National Party would probably make it into a parliament elected by proportional representation, too. It would shine a torch into the dirty little corner where the BNP defecate on our democracy, and that would be much more powerful than duffing them up in the street — which I'm also in favour of."

- Billy Bragg in an interview with The Guardian, 2004


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 11:12 AM

'NO platform for racists and fascists' doesn't mean that they can't organise or say what they want.....and others are free to counteract them, shout them down or whatever,...thats a matter of tactical preferences.
It means not affording them a platform, i.e inviting them on yo your own or others'platforms, and campaigning to stop public institutions offering platforms to those who use them to intimidate and harrass part of the community.
There are many things that are legal, but are wrong. legislation always falls behind shifts in public opinion and tolearance.
Remeber Cable Street.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 11:12 AM

Deal me in. I endorse everything said in this thread, particularly what Crow Sister posted.

The problem, as I see it, in denying the BNP pond life a platform is that they might be perceived as martyrs -

"Just as we told you - those lefties deny us a platform because they are feared of our message".

(Just realised that I am repeating that which Big Mick, and George P, said above. Duh ! {it has been a long day] ).

May I say that I abominate the BNP and everything it stands for, just in case my comments above might be misinterpreted.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: theleveller
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 11:00 AM

"And as it was because of the egg throwing that it got there, it meant that the papers had to focus on that aspect of the story."

So you think the protesters might have over-egged it a bit?


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: folkandroots
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 10:59 AM

The problem perhaps with such debates is what you could be debating isnt what they actually think nor stand for but a very much watered down (for public consumption) version of this, the holocaust denial, enforced sterilisation the more dangerous racist agenda will be kept underwraps. Personally I have no doubt that some of those who have joined have been fooled (and are probably fools) and arent quite aware of what it is they have joined.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 10:49 AM

Sorry, that last GUEST was cookieless me...


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 10:36 AM

100% with you Mick, on all counts. It is this potential of turning them to "martyrs" that worries me most of all. No, I prefer the BNP to continue and act as a focus for their hateful policies - that way we know were the danger lies. And by all means, let them join us in debate. Not sloganeering, name-calling or misquoting but normal, common-or-garden debate.

We wouldn't change their minds or persuade them, of course. No one can. They have thought all these things through and made up their minds - if we think differently then we would be naive. But a public debate gets to be heard/read by the public. It is for their benefit that we should have it. Every chance we get.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Big Mick
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 10:18 AM

What are you afraid of? That they will lure some easily influenced person into their snare? That is pretty paternalistic, and shows a lack of respect for the intelligence of average folks. To me it seems that it is our job to expose their ugly agenda. FAF is a great start. Challenging their point of view everywhere they spout it is the hard work. Banning is a lazy response, and it doesn't work. Doing so gives them "high road, victim" status. I prefer them in the light of day where their bigotry is easily seen.

And remember that this sword has two edges. When you limit one persons ability to espouse ideas (even vile bigotted ones), how do we justify not limiting yours.

And finally, as a matter of policy, we don't limit what folks talk about, with very few exceptions, such as anything that is considered personal attack.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 10:11 AM

As for the eggs, guess whose ugly mug was on the front page of "The Metro" today ...

(the Metro is a free national paper found on buses and trains all over the country and as such is probably th most widely read paper in the UK).


And as it was because of the egg throwing that it got there, it meant that the papers had to focus on that aspect of the story.

It meant that Griffin got to be quoted giving his response.

Now there's a big f***ing platform if ever there was one ... well done egg throwers!!!

It meant that the newspapers, in all fairness, so as not to be seen condoning any type of assault, had to ask the egg throwers what the hell they were doing.

Do you think that any newspaper is going to condone that kind of approach?

They will report the story.

The story was that an elected politician was assaulted.

It meant that the arguments against the BNP were drowned in a scrum and that Nick Griffin got to stand up in front of the whole country and look ... ahem ... whiter than white.


No Platform for Fascists?


I'm afraid that slogans like that will not cut it as a strategy to beat the BNP.


You have to plan more than one move ahead. You have to be cleverer than them.


You have to prove it.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 09:56 AM

I accept richard bridges point that freedom of speech does not include the right to shout "fire" in a crowded theatre.

However, I also think that a well targeted, concise and non pompous confrontation of the BNP can have the result of the anti BNP message spreading.

Those two hypothetical lads might go back to their estate after witnessing such an encounter and carry the fight on when they encounter it there in a way that they might not have done had they not had the chance to hear the BNP view properly tested and shown up.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 09:37 AM

I think this is a brilliant initiative (and so does Pip Radish, who will be back shortly).

We (liberal anti-fascists) tend to tie ourselves in knots about freedom of speech. I think it's worth distinguishing between what the law guarantees and what people want. Where I live, there was massive opposition to the opening of a new Tesco's last year - so much so that they were initially refused planning permission. They went to appeal and won, and they duly built the store and opened it - as they had every right to do. But if protesters had stopped the building going ahead, I think most people around here would have thought they were in the right.

The BNP have every right to organise as a legal political party, and Griffin is an elected MEP and has every right to do that job: I would be 100% opposed to any attempt to ban the party or to have the fat fascist locked up. But if anti-fascists want to make it a bit harder for them to organise, or for Griffin to get his message across, then I'm not going to tell them they're in the wrong. It may be a tactical error - the counter-demo yesterday almost certainly was - but that's a separate issue.

Anyway, FaF is a great initiative. Pip isn't joining Facebook either, but he's with you in spirit.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: treewind
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 09:16 AM

"NO platform for racisits and fascists, ever"
You simply can't say that in a post that criticises another group for despising free speech!
The uncomfortable corollary of free speech is that it allows others to say things you disagree with. Of couse, as Hubert Humphrey famously said, "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously" and Voltaire "I don't agree with what you say, but will fight to the death for your right to say it". I don't actually feel comfortable about the "incitement to racial hatred" act because it's the thin end of the wedge of censorship of free speech.

Anyway, nobody can stop Folk against Fascism from promoting its own message, so that's what we should be doing, loudly and frequently.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 07:27 AM

'Sorry, T. t. C., when you start denying a platform to someone you disagree with, then the cure becomes worse than the disease'

Kampervan, what exactly are you sorry about? Sounds either smug or patronising to me.

   We disagree, and it is not a trivial disagreement. I believe that it stances like yours that allowed fascism a foothold in the past, and could possibly do so again.

   Your quite accurate description of how civilised debate works in a kiberal democracy crucially relies on BOTH sides signing up to the rules. fascist groupd don't, they loathe and despise notions such as democracy and fre speeech. Whenever they have abused the democratic process to gaion a foothold, thet use the same process to suspend democracy and make fredom of speech a treasonable offence.
    The Psychology and tactics of fasxist movements is well documented, this is not a matter of opinion.
   Holding meetings, rallies, broadcasts etc. are used, when allowed, not to debate, but to syphon off the disaffected. No.... the two youths mentioned above could not have been recruited at any time, it is the particular circumstances in a highly charged political meeting that are used to prey on their emotions, not their intellect. having others present to refute the fascisit is negatively effective.... the targeted disaffected youths already feel betrayed and outcast by threxse pillars of the liberal society.
   Fortunately, most of our politiciana are not so naive. No-one, form any political party, was willing to share a platform with the Nationakl Front in the European referendum debate of the 70's, and the NF were denied a platform for their hatred. Nowadays, all parties refuse to appear on programmes like question time if the BNP are invited. Again, a platform that would be used to intimidate and recruit the dispossessed is denied.
   Mosley and his Blackshirts were stopped, not by debate, but because working class activists in solidarity with the jewish community built barricades an rrefused the Fascists their 'legal, democratic right' to 'peacefully' demonstrate and propagandise. The 'battle of Cable Street' is a landmark in opposing fascism
   NO platform for racisits and fascists, ever.


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: treewind
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 07:07 AM

I'm not joining Facebook even for this, but on MySpace I'm glad to see that my friend request to FAF and theirs to me crossed in cyberspace!

And SPB-Cooperator: fully agreed - let's keep the political debate out of this thread and restrict discussions (as far as possible) to promoting this cause.

I'll put something on our web site too - especially if Folk against Fascism starts a real web site of its own and I can link to it. If someone hasn't started one yet, I'm offering free hosting space for it.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 07:03 AM

I'm not joining Facebook even for this, but on MySpace I'm glad to see that my friend request to FAF and theirs to me crossed in cyberspace!

And SPB-Cooperator: fully agreed - let's keep the political debate out of this thread and restrict discussions (as far as possible) to promoting this cause.

I'll put something on our web site too - especially if Folk against Fascism starts a real web site of its own and I can link to it. If someone hasn't started one yet, I'm offering free hosting space for it.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Folk Against Fascism
From: GUEST,Scotsman Over The Border
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 06:23 AM

Many thanks to Matthew Edwards for those links on the Roma and Travellers.

Let the BNP speak, their so-called policies last about two seconds when held up to any kind of scrutiny.


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