Once again the left are offended on behalf of people who aren’t offended

coconutters
Picture Source: farm6 – flickr

Folk dances that involve ‘blacking-up’ are an English tradition and should not be regarded as racist, a Labour candidate for Parliament has insisted.

Will Straw, (son of a famous Labour figure) is the candidate in the marginal seat of Rossendale and Darwen, where he is already popular with local voters. young Will is looking a safe bet too keep the Straw familiy in Parilament when his Dad steps down as MP for Blackburn in 2015. In fact the biggest threat to Will is not from the Conservative, Lib Dem and UKIP candidates who will oppose him but from people trendy left wing elitist twats who have never been outside the M25 or north of Watford but are absolutely certain they know far more about the Lancashire Constituency than:

a) People who have lived in it all their lives
b) Veteran Labour MPs who served a neighbouring constituency for 30 years
c) Indian, Pakistani, Bangla Deshi and Caribbean migrants who have made their homes in the area.

Like many areas of England, Scotland and Wales, Lancashire has its own quaint, silly traditions which have gone on for years without bothering anybody. One of these, the Bacup Coconut Dance takes place in the Rossendale and Darwen Constituency and Will Straw thinks it is all good fun. He was criticised this weekend for saying so, after posting an image of himself on Twitter with the Britannia Coconut Dancers of Bacup, a 150-year-old troupe of Lancastrian clog dancers who perform every Easter.

Smug left wing twats who have elected themselves as politicaly correct guardians left wing morality are up in arms, they claim it is offensive and racist for rural English dancers to blacken their faces and that such celebrations show ignorance of history. Well fine, if you are one of those ignorant left wing morons who believes the bollocks written about the slave trade. There was never any slave trade in the Lancashire Mill Towns. Liverpool and before it Lancaster have been branded “slave ports” but that again is an idiotic misrepresentation by leftie activists expressing their hatred of their own race and culture.

Slaves went direct from Africa to the market places of the Americas, cotton, tobacco and other stuff came back to ports like Liverpool, Cardiff and Bristol and from there cargoes of … Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead, Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays (h/t Cargoes by John Masefield)went to the traders in Africa, although I suspect axes, knives and guns were more popular that Tyne coal, road rails and pig lead.

While critics claim the Coconutters dance is offensive, because blacking up has often been used by white performers to parody black people and culture, members of the Black and Asian communities (apart from a few troublemakers) are totally relaxed about it, just as they are about the nativity tableaux displayed in town centres every Christmas, which always prompt wailing and gnashing of teeth from lefties determined to be offended on behalf of somebody.

The problem of the left of course is so many of them are emotional cripples who need to be seen to “care” and thus end up offending the people they claim to care about.

Read more about Will Straw and the Coconutters

An American Hero And A True Liberal

pete seeger - a recent photo
Pictue: Pete Seeger – a recent photo, Source newsrealblog.com

Pete Seeger was one of my heroes in the sixties (well starting from the late 1950s I guess), his witty songs of social comment appealed to the being that was emerging from childhood into free – thinking, anti – authoritarian adultery. I think him for one of my great love affairs too. Thanks to his music kindling an interest in folk clubs that I met beautiful Linda, fifteen years older than myself, proto – Goth (or perhaps hangover from the beatnik era), and a better educator than I could have found in any university (she gave me my first joint and my first B.J.)If by chance you read this Lin, yes I do still think of you very often.

Pete Seeger was a natural successor to Woody Guthrie, a pure voice raised in support of freedom and the rights of the individual, a man who instinctively mistrusted government and all politicians and, right up to the end of his life, had no time for the pseudo – liberal, crypto – facist left that is asiduously working to turn us all into mortgage and debt slaves. They might claim to share his values but all their claims to love gays, blacks and other minorities are exposed as hypocrisy by their very obvious loathing of the values and traditions of the working classes (Left wing intellectuals have always despised the masses they claim to love)

It’s impossible to pick a best Pete Seeger song and difficult to pick a personal favourite to round off this little tribute so here’s a video and a lyric I know my sister fatsally will love. It is also rather prophetic too.

Little Boxes by Pete Seeger – lyric from Lyrics.com video (scroll down) YouTube.

Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes made of ticky tacky
Little boxes
Little boxes
Little boxes all the same
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same

And the people in the houses all go to the university
And they all get put in boxes, little boxes all the same
And there’s doctors and there’s lawyers
And business executives
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same
And they all play on the golf course and drink their martini dry
And they all have pretty children and the children go to school
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university
And they all get put in boxes, and they all come out the same
And the boys go into business and marry and raise a family
And they all get put in boxes, little boxes all the same

There’s a green one, and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same

Was he right on the nail or what?

Can’t find a recent video of Pete doing Little Boxes – here’s his recording with a video track.

Sex And Folk Music: A Dodgy Cocktail

Having been a folk fan in the 1960s when it was all Bob Dylan Donovan, Joan Baez, Vashti Bunyan (now there’s a name to exercise the memory cells) Fairport Convention and such, I recall folk being quite sexy. Maybe that was just an impression I formed because folk females who wore gauzy semi see through tops with no bra and doused themselves in Patchouli Oil tended to be more gererous with their favours, so much so in fact that us male folk followers were even willing to persuade ourselves Patchouli smells quite nice.

Ah the wonderful shallowness of those who would pretend they are serious minded.

It was all too short lived, that folk boom. Dylan went electric, Donovan went bonkers and Vashti Bunyan went off in a gypsy caravan. For years Richard Thompson and The Dubliners held the fort against the return of Aran sweater and Jesus sandals folk, the blokes with beer bellies and fuck off beards who would stand with a finger in their ear as they droned a capella through all 579 verses of The Ballad Of Blind Old Tom or something.

Sometime in the last few years modern folk has staged a bit of a comeback. The Pogues and The Levellers had provided a crossover between folk and indie which enabled live music fans to find their way to people like June Tabor and The Oysterband, Mumford and Sons and Laura Marling and to verterans like Martin Carthy and Steeleye Span.

Folk may be a bit of an acquired taste like the scent of Patchouli Oil but the performers are all talented and are eccentics, more interested in music than fame. A night out at a folk gig can be a great experience in an era that has seen rock and pop sanitised, plasticised and given a corporate makeover. The performers are real people and love what they do.

It’s hardly likely of course that Maddie Prior of Steeleye Span could still be the thinking man’s sex symbol but some of the younger acts both male and female are trying to sex up the genre. It will be great if they can and a bit of sex appeal goes a long way. There isn’t much substance behind the gloss of modern girl and boy bands, manufactured droids all of them, so the real people of the folk scene, people who might not boast surgically enhanced faces and bodies but who look as if thery would be game for a tuppeny upright backstage between their spots, have a chance.

A great regular in my part of the world gig for seeing fresh talent is The Hole Note in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire, where if you are lucky you make see my son performing as Brother Bastion.

Or if you like remoteness you can try The Green Dragon at Hawes, (Yes, it is the pub Tolkein describes in The Hobbit – he once taught at nearby Stonyhurst College.) It’s a bit out of the way but a wonderful setting.

CLICK HERE For Folk Gigs in your area

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Old Hippies – You Have To Love ‘Em…

Old hippies – You just have to love ’em to bits …

(BTW that’s a command; you HAVE to love old hippies … or very bad things might happen. You see we have all grown up to be witches and Druids. Ever fancied a holiday in the toad sanctuary?)

I have to confess to a certain conflict of interest here. I was not a kaftan wearing, flowers in the hail, tambourine playing hippy. I embraced the political philosophies of Timothy Leary &Co. though. And I was well into the folky, jangly, acoustic music which is why I have no hesitation in recommending that if you get chance you should try to see 60’s warbler Vashti Bunyan who is currently surfing the wave of renewed interest in contemporary folk by round the country playing mid – sized gigs.

My favourite Vashti story concerns the way she brought her meteoric rise to stardom to a halt in 1969 when she quit London to go and join Donovan’s artists and musicians commune on the Isle of Skye.

Vashti decided that going by car or train was a sellout and made the five hundred or so mile journey by horse and cart. By the time she got there everybody else had gone home.

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About Vashti
Photos