Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Chant down the fash

Two loosely related posts:

1. A fantastic post at the great Uncarved blog on reggae music against the National Front in the late 1970s. [P.S. Listen to Steel Pulse at Rollo & Grady here.]

2. Beyond the implode: 9 things I hate about anti-Nazi marches. A funny taxonomy of the idiots you get at anti-"Nazi" marches. Includes: geriatric toddlers, megaphones, minstrels, angry nerds, get 'em merchants, vicars, and others. I noted this bit:
Off on a bit of a tangent here: perfect example of an angry nerd was at the Lewisham '77 30-year anniversary event held last year at Goldsmiths College. OK, there were some good speakers. Ace writer but rubbish deejay Leslie Lyrix gave a very concise and interesting presentation about growing up in the area at the time. Martin Lux (aka Wright), ex-Class War and seasoned fash-basher, even had the old academic biddies giggling in their uncomfortable seats with his passionate oratory. I think Balwinder Rana had permed his chest hair especially for the event, though it might have just been the light. Anyway, it was all going OK, until the panel offered questions to the audience.

Now, the event was tagged 'Lewisham '77' - so what kind of questions might you've expected from the attendees? Maybe something about lessons learned from combating the NF 30 years ago, or some follow-ups on Paul Gilroy's comments on the meanings we attach to 'identity'? No, some angry nerd who didn't look wholly unlike serial killer Denis Nilsen had turned up, so we had to spend 10 minutes listening to him SCREECH like a banshee about...Iraq. Yes, thanks, we know the war's sick, but this isn't the 'Iraq '03' Saturday afternoon conference. But, man did he rant - I'd hate to see how he'd react if anyone spilled his G&T. Whipping himself into a frenzy, he RAGED, SEETHED and HOWLED his bile across the room. I don't think much of SWP stalwarts like Ted Parker, but it wasn't his - or our - bleeding fault about Iraq. But there you go - it could have been an interesting debate, but one seething oaf had to fuck it up, and all due to his desire to be seen gnashing and wailing - when the real target for his frustrations was nowhere in sight.

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