Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Me on The Politics Show
As Jack mentioned on Saturday, I was invited to speak on The Politics Show this Sunday about the controversial Form 696. The form relates to live music and the Metropolitan Police's ability to request sensitive and discriminatory information from promoters, performers and patrons so as to assess the "Potential risk" of that event. Feargal Sharkey wrote a fairly explicit letter to the Met asking for the form, which while officially voluntary has become mandatory in many London boroughs, to be reviewed, an "Official review" has been announced and it's hoped will see the form repealed. While the main focus of the outrage has been a racial one, there are far reaching implications for the creative community as a whole. By filling in Form 696 we are effectively allowing The Police to decide that if they don't agree with my message and who I'm delivering it to, then they can shut me down. Throughout history music has been a great communicative tool in times of struggle and hardship, the idea that I can no longer use the gift I feel I've been given to communicate a message to my people, because The Police don't want me to, scares me to my soul. The Police State doesn't get much realer than that. In Chile, in South Africa, in Afghanistan, songs were used to inspire, to teach, to relay messages of hope and determination against fascist regimes. In London, 2009 we have to ask for permission. You can watch the show on the BBC iPlayer HERE. The Form 696 section kicks in at about 31 minutes. If anybody could rip the 696 section so I can put it on Youtube I'd appreciate it. I downloaded the whole thing through the iPlayer software but the BBC appear to have it coded like clever internet people.
While in the Green Room waiting to go on I managed to grab a quick chat with Peter Tatchell about Form 696 which was pretty great. Peter Tatchell's one of the bravest men in the country, he doesn't give a fuck, a real fighter for the downtrodden. I don't always agree with him but it takes a lot of balls to be that guy.
There's been a lot of people very outspoken on the Form 696 issue including DJ Semtex, DJ MK, Bashy and Tinchy Stryder whose blogging helped me when doing last minute research on Saturday night so I thank you all. Also thanks to Akira for sending the BBC in my direction. I'm gonna tear down Dawn of the Don on Friday. Yiggity!