Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Why I Like Folk Against Fascism

I've written before about the cheeky British National Party who tried to hijack English traditional music and hitch it to their political bandwagon. What was cheeky was that on their website they sold CDs of English folk music thereby linking by association the artists with their political agenda. Hardly surprising then that some of these artists took umbrage and formed Folk Against Fascism.

I'd have been pretty miffed
myself had they used any of my creative output on their site - hardly likely, I know, I don't have the appeal of people like John Boden, one of the founding artists of the campaign whose music was used as part of one of the party's muddle-headed arguments. The BNP make a quantum leap between the building of new mosques and the destruction of an English heritage - a heritage when pushed, they can barely define, I don't see a queue of Doc Marten'd skinheads queuing up outside the Cross Keys Inn at Uppermill eager to join the Saddleworth Morris in defence of this English culture they seem so eager to protect.

The odd thing is that the BNP seem to ignore the swathe of folk songs that rail against exactly the type of thing they promote, I wonder if they'll be selling any of the famous protest songs that campaign for equality and freedom, I do hope so.

I'm not always an advocate of campaign groups, I prefer subtler methods of winning an argument, but the nature of much of the BNP's highly efficient propoganda machine is insidious and pervasive, which to my mind needs people to take a visible stand. So this is mine:


Mind you, if you ask around our office admitting you like folk music is possibly lower down the scale of embarrasing revelations than actually being a member of the BNP, so there you go.

One of the clever things artists supporting Folk Against Fascism are doing is to put the FAF logo on their CDs, a neat way of either putting the BNP off selling their discs in the first place or a good way of having the BNP promote Folk Against Fascism - either way's good. Mind you, I'll bet the FAF people haven't reckoned with the risk of the BNP recruiting a team of skinheads with felt pens who might colour out the logo before CDs are sent out.

Have a look at the FAF site
there's loads of great photos, resources and details of artist who are supporting the campaign.
Anyway have a look at the website - there's even some music


Jonathan said...

You can win over anybody with folk music just by letting them listen to Kate Rusby :)

There's a cover of "Here There and Everywhere" by Emmy Lou Harris that works pretty much the same.

It always amuses me that the BNP want their voice to be heard, but they don't want other voices to be heard.

Steve said...

I've just read a book called 'The Ballad of Britain' and the author is at a gypsy camp somewhere watching the traditional dancing and listening to the old songs when the gypsies stop because they realise one of the observers is from a right-wing organisation dedicated to claiming the folk heritage as their own.

It's frightening that these idiots think that gypsies of all people will cuddle up to them and share their culture but it's more worrying that, if we're not careful, folk music will become as tarnished as the flag of St George.

Incidentally, I'm making my blog invite only so if you stuill want to read it can you email your blogger email to steve dot garry at gmail dot com.