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Trad English song & the BNP

26 Jan 10 - 02:05 PM (#2821852)
Subject: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Newport Boy

A good response from Eliza Carthy in
today's Guardian

Phil
    Moderator's note: This thread is not open to visitors, although Guest posts from regular Mudcat participants are acceptable.
    -Joe Offer-


26 Jan 10 - 02:23 PM (#2821867)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Herga Kitty

Yes, I thought that when I read it too!

Kitty


26 Jan 10 - 02:30 PM (#2821872)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: GUEST,tinker

So she's gypsy ... from how long ago? Definitely not on Marin's side.


26 Jan 10 - 02:43 PM (#2821888)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: BB

Norma, I believe, although I can't remember the details.

Barbara


26 Jan 10 - 02:48 PM (#2821891)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: John MacKenzie

Excellent stuff; well done Eliza lass.


26 Jan 10 - 02:54 PM (#2821898)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Mrs.Duck

Not very far back if I recall correctly. I thinki some members of Norma's extended family are still travellers.


26 Jan 10 - 04:51 PM (#2822002)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Leadfingers

Good For Eliza - I'll go along with her comment -"Bollocks to Nick Griffin" !


26 Jan 10 - 06:14 PM (#2822100)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Stower

Excellent and perceptive, just as one would expect from Eliza or her dad.


26 Jan 10 - 09:18 PM (#2822222)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: MGM·Lion

... or her mother. I remember a Folk Review interview Valerie & I did with Martin & Norma when they stayed over with us in Cambridge, and the articulacy from both remains memorable to this day.


27 Jan 10 - 01:53 AM (#2822295)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Joe Offer

Links tend to get lost over time. Since this is a music article, I'll post the entire text here.
-Joe-

    Traditional English song has no links to the far right or Nick Griffin

    Stereotyping folk musicians damages the reputation of a struggling but valuable form of music

      • Eliza Carthy
        • The Guardian, Tuesday 26 January 2010
        • Christian Koch lightheartedly listed the musical tastes of "the world's most evil men" (The guiltiest pleasures, 16 January). For instance, Osama bin Laden thought at one time that Whitney Houston was "the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen", and liked the B-52s. Generally it was fine – apart from the inclusion of BNP leader Nick Griffin, who you report as being a fan of my music.

          People have said to me in the last few days that everyone who knows me and my work in traditional English song knows I am not far right. I collaborate with musicians from all over the world and have performed concerts for the promotion and recognition of migrant musicians in this country. I also come, albeit distantly, from a Gypsy family, and I believe in free movement, liberty and social justice for everyone.

          But music that stirs is political, be it a 100-year-old narrative about a murder, or an older song about a young girl struggling with unwanted pregnancy within a prurient society. And I have always made a point of performing English music almost exclusively, engaging in media discussions about what this means, and how to celebrate the ancient culture of where you are from without pushing anyone away; in fact treating a strong cultural history and music as an invitation, essentially "you show me yours and I'll show you mine" – pride in oneself engendering mutual respect without hostility. I have been lucky enough to perform all over the world and I have held my head up among the most stunning, proud people because I know who I am and where I come from. My country has its ugliness. But I feel part of the positive side of us.

          The thing that really bothers me about Koch's piece, however, is when he says: "No prizes for guessing the BNP chieftain's favourite type of music. Yes, it's that most arthritically white of genres: English folk." These words offend me with their ignorance and prejudice. Ancestral music is blameless in this, and what does my ancestors being white have to do with anything if civilised people know that race is irrelevant?

          Idle gossip is all very well, but Koch damages the reputation of a struggling but valuable music, centuries-old – though currently undergoing a massive and diverse youth revival. The folk scene was struggling, and with an ageing audience; but in the last decade it has become exciting and inclusive, as going to any one of the hundreds of festivals around the country can demonstrate.

          As a cottage industry it needs intelligent and open-minded support and does not need outdated stereotypes trotted out for the sake of a giggle. I refuse to be a "nu-folk poster girl" for this.

          At the moment I'm touring with the Imagined Village, an English folk band that includes British Asians alongside guests such as Billy Bragg and Benjamin Zephaniah. You mentioned Folk Against Fascism: we support their attempts to distance folk music from the far right. Bollocks to Nick Griffin. And because talk is not cheap when it comes to this, bollocks to Christian Koch. It's just not funny.

    Here's the pertinent part of the story Eliza was responding to:

      NICK GRIFFIN

      Leader of The BNP
      Fan of Kate Rusby, Eliza Carthy

      Nick Griffin

      No prizes for guessing the BNP chieftain's favourite type of music. Yes, it's that most arthritically white of genres – English folk. In particular, Griffin (who penned lyrics for an album of "patriotic" songs entitled West Wind in 2007) is a fan of nu-folk poster girls Eliza Carthy and Kate Rusby. Championing Rusby on his blog as "an alternative to the multi-cult junk played incessantly on Radio 1", the BNP leader apparently turned up at her gigs, wanting to "do something".

      Griffin's attempts to appropriate folk could be seen as an attempt to jettison the far right's association with dodgy heavy metal (see: Skrewdriver), but his efforts have met with revulsion from the folk fraternity, who have formed Folk Against Fascism in response. In the meantime, Griffin has always got the BNP's record label (Great White Records) and singer-songwriter Colin Auty (key track: Mr Griffin Says Hello!) to fly the BNP folkie banner instead.


27 Jan 10 - 04:11 AM (#2822324)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Dave the Gnome

I am glad to see that Koch's article does mention the revulsion from the folk fraternity but Eliza is still quite right to point out that the flippant remark about 'No prozes' etc. could do the image of English folk music a lot of harm.

Unfortunately the far right have been fed the opportunity to embrace English folk by the attitude that the media have had to English tradition for years. How many TV adverts show Morris dance as something risable? There is a currently running campaign that uses folk music in a derogatory sense to advertise whatever their product is - I have blanked it I'm afraid but I am sure someone will remember. It is right at the top as well. Who was that minister who's idea of hell was a night in a folk club? The far right have seen this attack on our traditions as coming from the dilution of our culture by immigration.

We know of course that this is nonsense but when large sections of the populace are so easily led by the media and 'pop culture' there is always the danger that press will drive these self-fulfilling prophecies for their own ends. And while the mainstream is allowed to get away with these attacks, other people will use them for their own politcal agendas.

We need to be vigilant, not just of the arseholes within the BNP but of the even bigger ones that try to feed us the twaddle that passes as news nowadays.

Well done, Eliza, for bringing someone to task over it. It is ironic that the same media that causes these problems is giving us the opportunity to redress the balance so well done the Guardian for publishing it as well. Now, how about lobbying for some protection of our heritage to your local MPs as well? It has become more than a cultural issue now!

Cheers

DeG


27 Jan 10 - 04:53 AM (#2822344)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Bryn Pugh

I believe it was Kim Howells who said that for him hell is a night in a folk club.

Good on Eliza - I'll echo 'bollocks to Nick Griffin and while we're at it bollocks to Koch'.

Ewan had the rights of it : " . . . leave not a fascist alive on the earth", except that death would be the easy option.

(Aside : how long before the organic matter hits the air conditioning ? Watch this space.)


27 Jan 10 - 05:05 AM (#2822350)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Wolfhound person

We need to be vigilant in other ways as well. I was rung last year by a person whose name I vaguely recognised who said he had an instrument to sell. Since this sort of enquiry is part of my remit, and on checking I found he had been a player of said instrument a few years previously,I duly publicised it on a couple of appropriate lists.

Several people asked me for further contact details, which I supplied, and a couple even got as far as sending cheques to the "seller".

The original "seller" - after procrastination - disappeared, as did the money, and a police investigation was started. It later emerged he was a BNP member already wanted on some other matter, and is now said to be in Argentina with his girlfriend.

Be warned.

Paws


27 Jan 10 - 05:18 AM (#2822361)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: The Borchester Echo

Kim Howells was far more specific than that; his idea of hell was three folk singers in a pub near Wells, a concept which Steve Knightley incorporated into the rather naively conceived Roots. Unsurprisinly, the dim dickheads of the BNP completely misinterpreted the song's intention and stuck it up on their site, much to the author's dismay. Can there be a clearer illustration of the vigilance required to safeguard our cultura; inheritance from fascists? As Ms Carthy says, it's not funny and nor are Koch's trivialising attempts to make it so.


27 Jan 10 - 05:58 AM (#2822382)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Fred McCormick

Thanks, Newport Boy, for pointing that one out. In considering Griffin's musical tastes, it would be as well to remember what a sad collection of misogynistic misfits the BNP really is. EG., the following from a leading London based BNP member, "Women are like gongs. You need to hit them now and again". Also, the following "joke" recently appeared on a BNP blog; "Japanese scientists have now developed a digital camera with a shutter speed so fast it can photograph a woman with her gob shut".

Under the Nazis, women were regarded as second class citizens, with just two functions in life; child rearing and home making. It is obvious from jibes like these that the BNP holds women in similar contempt.

Would there be room under a BNP dictatorship for professional women musicians like Eliza? I do not think so.


27 Jan 10 - 06:13 AM (#2822386)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Dave the Gnome

Oh no! Godwin's Law - Now the Nazis have been mentioned is the thread dead?


27 Jan 10 - 06:41 AM (#2822392)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Jeri

Godwin's Law doesn't apply if the subject IS Nazis.


27 Jan 10 - 06:45 AM (#2822397)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Dave the Gnome

Ahhhhh - Of course. OK.


27 Jan 10 - 06:48 AM (#2822398)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Fred McCormick

I don't know about Godwin's law, whatever that is, but the BNP's reactionary attitude to women is something that needs bringing to people's attention.


27 Jan 10 - 07:03 AM (#2822405)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: The Borchester Echo

From 2005 election manifesto, BNP and anti-women policies:

"Divorce and family laws and maintenance arrangements discriminate against men, and innocent men who are falsely accused of rape have their lives ruined while their lying accusers cannot even be named."

Nick Eriksen, BNP London organiser:

"I've never understood why so many men have allowed themselves to be brainwashed by the feminazi myth machine into believing that rape is such a serious crime ... Rape is simply sex. Women enjoy sex, so rape cannot be such a terrible physical ordeal. To suggest that rape, when conducted without violence, is a serious crime is like suggesting that forcefeeding a woman chocolate cake is a heinous offence. A woman would be more inconvenienced by having her handbag snatched. The demonisation of rape is all part of the feminazi desire to obtain power and mastery over men. Men who go along with the rape myth are either morons or traitors."

Is that reactionary enough?


27 Jan 10 - 07:05 AM (#2822407)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Dave the Gnome

Godwin's law, Fred, is that the longer an internet discussion goes on, the higher the probability that someone will be likened to Nazis. As soon as it happens the thread dies. I was worried it had happened too soon here but, as Jeri points out, it cannot be applied to threads about Nazis. And you were quite right to point out yet another nasty aspect of the BNP. Thank you.

DeG


27 Jan 10 - 07:09 AM (#2822410)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Dave the Gnome

...and thanks for that gem, Ms Echo - Maybe Mr Erikson would be happy bending over to get his soap in the showers at Wandsworth?


27 Jan 10 - 07:14 AM (#2822412)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: MGM·Lion

I have in-laws called Godwin - my wife's maiden name - so should like to know, please, who is the Godwin after whom the law named?

BTW, the joke about 'gongs' will be found in one of the quarrels in Noel Coward's Private Lives (1931) — not one of his best even then; certainly not greatly hilarious now.


27 Jan 10 - 07:20 AM (#2822416)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Dave the Gnome

What a coincidence - My Wife's maiden name is Goodwin! But in answer to your question, from Wiki -

Godwin's Law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin's Law of Nazi Analogies)[1][2] is a humorous observation made by Mike Godwin in 1990 which has become an Internet adage. It states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."

DeG


27 Jan 10 - 08:03 AM (#2822441)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh

If the Christian Koch in question is that American student who thinks it worthwhile mentioning his taking a long motorbike ride to see a movie (okay, I did a quick "Google" search), it's hardly worth bothering about his airhead opinions; "arthritically white" could be seen as offensive in so many ways, but let the wee laddie have his fun. He might grow up if he ever has properly to earn a living. What a pity that a "quality newspaper" such as the Guardian is said to be gives space to trivia such as his "Yet-another-compilation-of-a-few-facts-trawled-up-about-a-few-'celebrities'" article. Was the piece commissioned, or submitted speculatively? Who thought it worth publishing? What contacts does Koch have? What about his background?

On the other hand, "eternal vigilance" is clearly the price to be paid for many freedoms, and it wouldn't be the first time that politicians have wrapped themselves in any colours that suit their purpose at a time. No doubt there are already some songs satirising this tendency; perhaps there's an opportunity for some more.


27 Jan 10 - 08:05 AM (#2822444)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Gedi

Well Said Eliza - it's good to see someone of her stature taking a robust line in defence of Folk, and making it perfectly clear that it has nothing to do with the far right.

And thanks to Fred & Borchester Echo for appraising us as to some of the more unsavoury elements of the BNP stance. I for one was unaware of this element of their rather warped view of the world.

cheers
Ged


27 Jan 10 - 08:18 AM (#2822453)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Morris-ey

<<>>

Is not wholly inaccurate and is not, as such, anti-women.


27 Jan 10 - 08:24 AM (#2822460)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: The Borchester Echo

My quotes at 0703 were taken directly from a BNP manifesto and from a speech by a high-ranking official. In what way are they inaccurate? Or not misogynist? Kinder, Küche, Kirche springs immediately to mind.


27 Jan 10 - 08:35 AM (#2822468)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Fred McCormick

MtheGM. That crack about gongs could well have sprung from a Noel Coward play. Not being a fan of NC, I wouldn't know. But you're right. It wasn't funny then and it certainly isn't now.

Today is Holocaust Memorial day, and the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. It's an apt day to be thinking about Nazis and the damage which bigotry can cause.


27 Jan 10 - 08:39 AM (#2822469)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: WalkaboutsVerse

I agree with Eliza on some things, but, as I've detailed here, it's important to note that folk music has long been local/national, which is why so many classical musicians, wishing to give a nod to nationalism, have turned to the folk genre of their nation. And for what it's worth, I prefer the positive nationalism of the English Democrats, Plaid Cymru, and the SNP.


27 Jan 10 - 08:47 AM (#2822476)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Marje

Maybe Eliza, Kate and others who might be attracting the unwanted admiration of the BNP could think of a few songs to include in their sets that would make their position clear and make these louts feel uncomfortable. They'd need to be English songs, either traditional or "in-the-tradition" more modern songs, of a left-wing or feminist or pro-immigrant slant.

I'm not suggesting such singers turn themselves into female versions of Billy Bragg, but come on, can't we think of a few songs to suggest, songs that could be slipped into the set list of anyone who had suspicions about the motives of some of their audience?

Marje


27 Jan 10 - 08:50 AM (#2822479)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Noreen

Morris-ey's post said:

<>> Is not wholly inaccurate and is not, as such, anti-women.

(Symbols < and > have meanings for HTML which leads to text not being visible)


27 Jan 10 - 08:52 AM (#2822482)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Noreen

aaargh! sorry, try again.

Morris-ey's post said:

"innocent men who are falsely accused of rape have their lives ruined while their lying accusers cannot even be named." Is not wholly inaccurate and is not, as such, anti-women.

(Symbols < and > have meanings for HTML which leads to text not being visible)


27 Jan 10 - 09:02 AM (#2822492)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: The Borchester Echo

As I said, the extract is clearly visible in the BNP manifesto and indicates thus that their policy is to oppose the protection of rape victims. This is distasteful, certainly, but not inaccurate.

Anyone who was puzzled by Morris-ey's screwed up HTML had only to refer to my original post or to the manifesto itself.


27 Jan 10 - 10:06 AM (#2822552)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: Phil Edwards

WAV: I agree with Eliza on some things

I'm sure that's a weight off her mind.

it's important to note that folk music has long been local/national

Eliza 'noted' precisely that in her column.


27 Jan 10 - 10:14 AM (#2822566)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: treewind

Mike Godwin if you really need to know (only took 10 seconds with Google and Wikipedia)

now back to the topic...


27 Jan 10 - 10:20 AM (#2822573)
Subject: RE: Trad English song & the BNP
From: EnglishFolkfan

Two days ago this was in the Twittersphere:

From @FolkagstFascism
I uploaded a YouTube video -- Imagined Village http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ol8X-6daP4&feature=youtu.be&a

Which I then reposted with this at the beginning:
Blooming brilliant! Please RT ad infinitum

my reply to @FolkagstFascism A beautifully blooming brilliant ball crushing barrage against the Brattish Numpty Party ~ bloody good show Folks!

At each of the current Imagined Village 'Empire & Love' tour shows Simon Emmerson is filming the audience, house lights up, shouting the same phrase whilst making the same gesture. The whole of the packed Theatre Severn audience erupted with enthusiasm when I was there on Wednesday 20th January and a friend said the same happened a couple of days earlier in Liverpool. Simon said he is going to use the footage online.