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Reading: When Punk & Reggae Fans Launched the “Rock Against Racism” Movement and Pushed Back Against Britain’s Racist Right (1976)

From When Punk & Reggae Fans Launched the “Rock Against Racism” Movement and Pushed Back Against Britain’s Racist Right (1976)

Open Culture reminds us that where we are is where we were before.

The Rock Against Racism Carnival brought together punk and reggae bands, and fans of both, starting a tradition of multi-racial lineups at RAR concerts into the 80s that featured X-Ray Specs, the Ruts, the Slits, Generation X, Elvis Costello, Steel Pulse, Aswad, and Misty in Roots, among many others. “When you saw a band like ours jamming with Tom Robinson or Elvis Costello,” says singer Poko of Misty in Roots, who played more RAR shows than any other band, “it showed that if you love music we can all live together.” That message resonated throughout the country and the sound systems of the streets. At the first Carnival, Fortnam writes, “phalanxes of police held back counter-demonstrating skinheads” while an estimated 80,000 people marched through the streets chanting “Black and white unite and fight, smash the National Front.” Rock Against Racism became a massive movement that did create unity and pushed back successfully against far-right attacks. But it wasn’t only about the politics, as photographer Syd Shelton recalls below. It was also a fight for what British punk would become—the music of fascism and the far right or a synthesis of sounds and rhythms from the former Empire and its former colonies.

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Reading: The truth about why Cummings hasn’t gone: Johnson is too terrified to sack him

From The truth about why Cummings hasn’t gone: Johnson is too terrified to sack him

Bad Family

But if Cummings and his wife didn’t know what they’d done was wrong, why would they choose to write a lengthy article last month about their virus experience – full of personal family information – which omitted all of these dramas, all of these material facts. Or as Cummings addressed these questions of what is unredeemable in the rose garden: “I stress to people that they should not believe everything in the newspapers.” And I stress to people that by far the most inaccurate account of the period in question was in the Spectator, bylined Mary Wakefield and Dominic Cummings. As for his querulous domestic exceptionalism, you’d think they were the first parents ever to get properly ill in possession of children. Or child, in this case. God knows, it’s not much fun. But, dare millions of us say, it is kind of what you sign up for – a reality not lost on the ICU nurse couple I heard on the radio, explaining about both of them being hard hit by Covid-19, and having to isolate with their own three children without help.

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Reading: Dominic Cummings surely knew he was exploiting a rule meant for abuse victims

From Dominic Cummings surely knew he was exploiting a rule meant for abuse victims

Uh oh. Riding on the tails of the vulnerable risks exposing your ideology, Dom.

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Reading: Oi, Cummings! Leave those lefty kids alone

From Oi, Cummings! Leave those lefty kids alone

From Stuart Lee at The Guardian. “Necessary phantoms” is not just a great name for a band. It’s what Cummings and Trump need to survive in a political world.

Last week Policy Exchange tried to make liberal higher educational institutions the next bogeypersons in the Rightwing Coup’s culture war, another target in an ongoing parade of necessary phantoms.

They have run out of nasties like the EU are turning on their own tail:

Turning Point UK, the British incarnation of a wealthy American rightwing youth organisation, endorsed by the child-friendly Conservative luminaries Priti Patel and Jacob Rees-Mogg, is aiming to compile a student snitches’ website listing the dangerous leftwing academics exposing our kids to their anti-racist mathematics and frayed corduroy jackets.

We’re in university to get Educated: live on mac and cheese, listen to punk with buddies and prog rock secretly, read tediously long and complex novels, and party. So why turn on the students? Instead, start your own.

Why don’t Policy Exchange, Turning Point UK, Toby Young’s X-Men of Shits, and the Freedom Association just set up their own universities, teaching climate-emergency denial, anti-trade union theory, progressive eugenics and political correctness gone mad? Universities are supposed to be leftwing, daddio! And so are students.

Ok, Boomer?