My other half and I disagree on so many things – for example when we were driving to see a potential wedding venue we passed through a village which had a lot of English flags flying – the white flag with the red cross, or Union flags (the OH gets cross when I say Union Jack as he says it is only a Jack when it is on a ship). I said this made me uncomfortable as it makes me think of BNP supporters, or racist, violent football supporters. He got really upset – and said he detests that fact that I think like that and even more that the flags have been hijacked in my mind by these parties.
For those of you outside the UK the British National Party (BNP) is a disgusting political party who are very scarily gaining strong ground in the UK, to the extent that they actually have a seat in the commons. I refuse to provide any links to their sites. Their basic premise is that anyone who isn’t white or British shouldn’t be here and should leave immediately.
I have recently become aware of Folk against Fascism. From the Folk against Fascism website:
The British National Party’s manifesto encourages its members to insinuate themselves into the folk and traditional customs of Britain. This involves the appropriation of British folk music and culture as a means of spreading its peculiar brand of racism and intolerance.
The UK folk scene is a welcoming and inclusive one; folk music and dance have always been about collaboration, participation, communication and respect. Folk Against Fascism has been created to take a stand against the BNP’s targeting of folk music, a stand against the appropriation of our culture. Folk Against Fascism isn’t a political party or a bureaucratic, top-heavy organisation. It is any and all of us who want to make ourselves aware of the BNP’s bigoted view of our history and culture, and who want to do something about it.
The BNP want to take our music, want to twist it into something it isn’t; something exclusive, not inclusive. We must not let them. Folk Against Fascism is a way to demonstrate our anger at the way the BNP wants to remodel folk music in its own narrowminded image.
Oh. My. Gods. This is appalling! I have a small amount to do with the Folk scene, having been in a folk group, which I will be going back to once I start my new job (they are close to each other). But more importantly to me, some folk music is strongly linked to Paganism. As such there has been a Pagan Folk Against Fascism group started. They have just released a CD, which can be bought here. I haven’t bought my yet as I want to wait until they have a digital version, but it looks good, containing some of my favourite Pagan musicians.
But for me this really does show how insidious the BNP is and how they are trying to twist things we should be proud of into things which make me, and others like me, feel uncomfortable about. Like flying the national flag.