BTNG

https://twitter.com/robertsharp59/status/261052006762942466

Earlier this week I had a short exchange on Twitter with Mercury nominated Eliza Carthy, who pointed me towards a ‘Bollocks to Nick Griffin‘ video put together by the Imagined Village collective.  Griffin had claimed Carthy’s English folk music as somehow the preserve of white people, so the musicians created a rude online rejoinder.

I’m in there somewhere, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall gig.

The explanation for the video is succinct:

BTNG started as a bit of fun on the Imagined Village tour January 2010 when the Guardian reported Nick Griffin as a fan of Eliza Carthy on the basis that ‘this most arthritically white of genres: English Folk’ is seen by the BNP as the pure music of the indigenous English. We are happy for any tosser to like our music, left or right. We are not happy for them to claim our music as their own on spurious racist grounds.

Eliza Carthy also wrote a good piece in the Guardian at the time, explaining why she performs pretty much exclusively English music whilst collaborating and supporting migrant artists.

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.

This was written in 2010 but fits nicely within the narrative of British confidence established by the 2012 London Olympics.

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