Student Protest, 21 November, London, Be There! Bring Guitar.

I’d seen this  in the Guardian the other day and was musing on how to work it into a post on BBC Bias….I could have used the usual ‘tenuous’ link of it being an ‘illustration of the BBC mindset’…..but to be fair the Guardian ‘proper’, and not CIF, does lay into the BBC at times whilst still retaining its lefty credentials (much like the Miliband brothers )

Fortuitously rather than consign it to the ‘interesting but with vague connections to BBC Bias’ file I read this in the Telegraph:

Meet Grace Petrie, a folk singer from Leicester. According to her website, “rage and despair” at the “heartbreaking” general election result (2010) turned her political. Here’s a sample:

And we’ve got a recession to beat/Let’s put more money into the monarchy and the millionaire in Downing Street/Someone’s got to foot the bill/Let’s start with the disabled and the mentally ill (from “Farewell to Welfare”).

Right on! Composer James MacMillan was so moved that he sent Grace a message, tongue in cheek, accusing her of mocking Leftie songwriters with a cruel send-up. She replied in classic feminist I’m-sorry-that’s-not-funny mode. A proper Spartist, in other words. How long before the BBC declares her a national treasure?

Well not so long as they have the perky little fellow Billy Bragg, a much loved, by the BBC, ‘street’ poet and protest songster ever ready to give us a Marxian twist to the latest political personality or policy that the ‘Right On’ have gone right off.

The BBC however,  will be happy to know that a whole new generation is being manufactured…yes that’s right, protest singers aren’t born they’re made and here’s the proof from the Guardian’s  ‘Educational Resources ( a bit of corporate sponsorship for those anti corporate protestors):

Amnesty International’s The Power of Our Voices is a cross-curricular set of resources designed for English, music, citizenship and PSHE lessons targeted at 11- to 16-year-olds.

Students can explore protest music through the ages in lesson one and a fascinating set of case studies

Guided by the poet and rapper Kate Tempest, students learn how to write their own protest lyrics in lesson three – and find out about Amnesty’s national protest song competition. Teachers can order the entire interactive The Power of our Voices pack for free from Amnesty International.

Martin Powell’s stirring poetry provides a real wake-up call for students, who are likely to respond to his accessible, in-your-face lyrics. Write for Human Rights gets straight to the point (see Martin performing the poem here) and the simplicity of Affirmations has the power to move mountains. His poetic quotes will add fuel to the fire of any student protest or demonstration

Poetry lessons made easy is a series of lesson plans for use in primary and secondary schools. My Shiny Shoes looks at truth and lies through the poetry of Margot Henderson. Raman Mundair’s poem An Elegy for Two Boys and related teaching ideas explores bullying and racism in response to the murders of Stephen Lawrence and Ricky Reel. John Berkavitch’s A Short List of the People I Hate explores list poetry and writing poems for performance. You can see all the Apples and Snakes poetry lessons made easy here.

I shouldn’t bother following many or any of the links to see examples of the work….Bob Dylan they’re not.

Still it’s nice to know the kids are learning something at school if not reading, riting and rithmetic. 

They can protest about not getting a proper education…’I know a song about that!’

Oh and kids reading this…note that ‘a wake up call to students!’…get out there, you’ve seen the adverts on the BBC, 21st November on the streets of London….The Student Protest against the Coalition and what have you……be there or be square….‘set an agenda for the next general election.’


Victoria Derbyshire will be there handing out tea, sandwiches and sympathy in return for soundbites slagging off the Coalition.



“You’ve got a lot to be angry about.

“You’ve had your education systematically attacked across the board by the coalition. And even if you get to the other end, what have you got to look forward to?


“Youth unemployment is at an all-time high, getting on the property ladder is next to impossible and we don’t even have the safety net of pensions to look forward to any more.


“In a year in which there are no votes in Parliament and no legislation coming before politicians, it’s about time we started setting the agenda.”



Radical man radical…now where’s the bloody bar?


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54 Responses to Student Protest, 21 November, London, Be There! Bring Guitar.

  1. Merlin says:

    The problem with musicians and artists today is that they have become spoiled middle class, superficial egotists who are more interested in how they look than actually picking up a guitar, learning to read and study music theory and compose well-crafted intelligent masterpieces; they don’t seem to realise that the only reason they exist and have the opportunity to wear an Afghan scarf and dye their hair orange is because of neoliberalism free markets – the very things they are protesting against. Look at how ’50s and ’60s artists endured TRUE postwar austerity and poverty to ply their trades in pubs and clubs all around Europe; today we get loud mouthed arrogant brats dressing like Russel Brand, playing three chords on a guitar and trying to act like John Lennon and espouse their lefty, arty human rights man, you dig? Same with the spoiled student brats who are happy to vandalise parts of London and St Pauls in ‘protest’ but who come home to mummy and daddy after a hard day’s smoking weed and reading A Very Short Introduction to Marxism.


  2. Reed says:

    They’ve already provided her with some first steps towards the pedestal ̶b̶i̶n̶ …

    ‘Who’s Angry Now’ {many of us, but for different reasons}

    Broadcaster and journalist John Harris was in his teens at the height of the Thatcher years and protest-song obsessed. He feasted on the work of Billy Bragg, The Style Council and The Redskins, three Trotskyists who wrote jaunty soul numbers about the history of socialism.
    {cos nothing says ‘jaunty’ like socialism’s happy history}

    In his own suburban band The Immediates, he wrote songs about long-term unemployment, nuclear weapons and the return of Victorian values {Fatcha!}. But nearly thirty years on, he really misses it all {as, apparently, do many at the BBC}. He’s wondering where are today’s equivalents not just of Billy Bragg, but the young Bob Dylan and Ewan McColl? {I’m sure you’ll find some, stick with it…}

    In this programme, he goes on a journey to meet some of today’s musicians who are sufficiently fired up to sing socially and politically conscious music {I’m politically conscious, have a guitar – can I come. I’m right-wing, by the way}. They include the folk singer songwriter Grace Petrie {hurrah! – the new girl} who was angered by Nick Clegg’s change of position on tuition fees to write protest songs such as ‘Farewell to Welfare’. John also hears from Johnny ‘Itch’ Fox, the lead singer of punk band The King Blues, who see no division between their activism and their music & the controversial rapper MC Lowkey who has been very vocal about issues such as Palestine {ticking all those boxes, right on man}, the war on terror {OMG Bush!!!!!!} and the English riots {riots? I think you mean cry of the disenfranchised, comrade}. Just before the Occupy London camp was evicted {by the fascist pigs}, he also met with Get Cape. Wear Cape. {nope, me neither – is that Paul Mason’s alter ego}

    Fly’s Sam Duckworth who’s been helping to launch the first release from Occupation Records, ‘Folk the banks’ {badum tiss}. Finally Billy Bragg himself {should I bow – what’s the etiquette here} offers his opinion about this new generation, some of whom he has shared a stage with, and how they differ from himself {size of house?} and the musicians of his day.

    ….sadly, this one is no longer available. Totally bummed.


    BBC Introducing with Tom Robinson

    Over the years, Grace’s sincere folk tales and distinctive voice have earned her the nickname “the female Billy Bragg”.
    Grace Petrie joins Tom Robinson to share her future plans.

    …she’s on her way, folks. I, for one, can’t wait.


    • Guest Who says:

      ‘Over the years, Grace’s sincere folk tales and distinctive voice have earned her the nickname “the female Billy Bragg”.’

      Your music career is pretty much dead when you get introduced as another gender version of a person hardly known for much other than being promoted by the BBC as an activist.
      Guessing this, in turn, makes that awesome talent who pens BBC-loving ditties (can’t recall his name, but he has a scraggy beard, has appeared on this blog a few times and has such a high opinion of himself actually tried out a cherry vulture swoop… then flounce when he discovered it wasn’t like the sycophantic right-on forums he was used to) the ‘male Grace Petrie’. That’ll pack ‘em in the tents at #OccupyCamden.
      ‘Grace Petrie joins Tom Robinson to share her future plans.’

      She’s come along way..

      Baby. Having a £4Bpa PR outfit on your side never hurts no matter what your actual abilities. Ask Ed Miliband.


          • Reed says:

            Comment on the youtube page…

            “Am I the only one who gets goosebumps and tears of joy at this. Absolutely genuinely, especially when Peel is mentioned”

            Probably, yes.


        • Guest Who says:

          That would be the one, yes.
          A rare talent indeed.
          As one with some professional experience in this area, if I were to offer a thought, I’d have to say that, lyrically, coming across as Kim Yong Il’s personal fluffer may not appeal to all seeking depth and subtlety in a song, but looking at the YouTube count it certainly doesn’t hurt to know a market well. Speaking of dear leaders, I wonder if he has a pean of praise cued up for the next DG when s/he ascends to Olympus?
          Being there cannot be anything much more establishment than a £4Bpa corporation stuffed to the gills with market rate millionaires across the board, such a ditty hardly seems to be quite stickin’ it to the man, but one has to presume that one chooses one’s objects of protest carefully if wishing to get the support of the bubble.
          Listening to his adulatory song, I can’t help but wonder if words may need to ‘evolve’ now that Alan Partridge has moved to a place whose name can only inspire loathing?
          I wonder if there is a radio edit, unless the hope is its sophistication and layers will match that of Bohemian Rhapsody?
          The world may well be waiting for a musical version of ‘The once was a lady from Nantucket’, surely?
          One small quibble from the purely coincidental puff piece in the Graun..
          ‘Altogether now: “I’m proud of the BBC, at least it doesn’t pretend to be free … “
          Actually, I rather think it does on occasion try to do just that.


    • alan says:

      small world ain’t it?


    • Doyle says:

      I had the misfortune to see The King Blues once – utter shite.


    • Phobic-ist says:

      Grace Petrie? Wonder what she looks like. Perhaps a bit of a dish? (Arf)undefined


      • Guest Who says:

        Clearly, a person who knows culture when he lifts the lid on it.


  3. Mike Okherts says:

    Can anybody name a Billy Bragg hit song? The BBC keep telling me he is a succesful songwriter, so he must have written something that got into the charts or maybe he has sold a lot of albums. Can anyone enlighten me? Heard him sing on Radio 4 once, it sounded like the sort of pretentious crap a leftie student, aspiring to be a song writer, would write. Bob Dylan he ain’t!


  4. LondonCalling says:

    Gap year been and gone, bum degree from a bum university, tuition fees to pay off, don’t have the connections to bag a plum internship, don’t fancy getting up early every moring to “work for the man”, life is sooo unfair!

    I’ll become a protest singer. That’s what the world needs, more protest singers. Billy Bragg seemed to do all right out of protesting.

    But I’m going to be an original protest singer. I’m going to write songs protesting against mass immigration, against too many rights for criminals, Islamic extremist spongers living in Britain on benefits. I’m going to protest against rich environmental charities that tell lies about the dangers of climate change, protest against the excessive powers of the EU. I’m even going to write songs that protest against wealthy hippies being fake protesters.

    World, here I come, guitar in hand, harmonica ready, the new Bob Dylan, from The Right.

    Come gather ’round people
    Wherever you roam
    And admit that the Socialists
    Around you have grown
    And accept it that soon
    You’ll be taxed to the bone
    For the times they are a-changin’….


  5. Jeff says:

    I’ve nothing against lefties…so long as they’re still young. The young have every right to be daft. I used to be a huge fan of Tom Robinson when he was spouting talk of revolution. But when you still believe this crap when you reach middle age it all becomes a litttle embarassing. Of course in the case of Mr Bragg he doesn’t believe a word of the rubbish he spouts, but sadly his audience do. The Beeb’s favourite old groaner is a middle class mockney fraud…and a very rich one!


    • Earls Court says:

      I heard Billy Bragg once at a lefty lovefest only went to see what he was like in real life. He doesn’t seem to be a self-loathing jealous loser. So he is most likely not a lefty in real life. He laughing all the way to the bank from the money he makes from all the lefty’s who think he is right on.


  6. George R says:

    And in USA, the following are the ‘OCCUPIER’ plans for disruption in Washington, 4 July.

    “#OWS Occupiers urged to disrupt, protest Pamela Geller speech at Independence Hall, July 4th.”

    Whose side is BBC-Democrat on?


    • Reed says:

      The left’s hypocrist on display yet again…

      “I have a right to protest”

      “You shouldn’t be allowed to speak in public”


      • Reed says:


        …although…some of those occupiers seem to think they’re not that far from a modern day Jesus, so perhaps that was close to a fortunate accident – ‘HypoChrist’.


  7. Earls Court says:

    Jesus was the son of God, the left are the children of Satan.


  8. I happen to be one of the so called “corporate sponsored” poets that you speak of in this blog.

    This is The Guardian working with Amnesty International to teach young people about the art and cultural importance of protest poetry and music – hopefully with a view to inspiring young people to discover that there are many creative ways of speaking out and having their voices heard (which includes speaking out against the current educational system and organisations like the BBC if they wish). I cannot see how this is a bad thing?

    I find your comments on a whole new generation being “manaufactured” somewhat worrying.


    • Guest Who says:

      ‘The Guardian working with Amnesty International to teach young people about the art and cultural importance of protest poetry and music – hopefully with a view to inspiring young people to discover that there are many creative ways of speaking out and having their voices heard’
      Sort of a information and education thing? Focussing on the young and impressionable? By those who believe they know better? Now, where have I heard that before? What could possibly not go right? Especially when backed by multi-million £ activist entities and billion-£ media monopolies (hardly offset by loss-making print media).
      The problems arise when the ways, creative or otherwise, of ‘speaking out’ and ‘having voices heard’ seem to get selected, edited and broadcast in rather uniquely uni-directional ways. What’s liked by a self-elected minority in oversight get ‘in’, and what’s not on-narrative doesn’t make the cut. Then it becomes propaganda. Calling it art only packages it differently.
      My two seem to have no problems speaking out, having their voices heard and… now… doing so with reasoned argument, which is much more difficult to negotiate. If a wonderful thing and highly encouraging. Luckily most teens still shout and demand to a degree of ineptitude they are hence hardly worth bothering with. Being trained to do so with dogmatic sound bites will simply make that even easier as they will have simply become parrots and tools of others vs. honest voices worthy of being paid heed at least.
      As to your last sentence, amongst other things to worry about, that other people comment and you simply don’t like it seems a concern worth addressing as a priority.
      Are alternative opinions really such a threat to your beliefs?


    • Gill Coombs says:

      The most rational, sensible and well thought through comment so far…


    • Gill Coombs says:

      Hooray for Martin Powell’s reponse: rational, sensible and well thought through, with none of the sarcasm and derision characterising the blog, and subsequent posts. Thank goodness for young people with social, environmental and politcal awareness, the creativity to express themselves and the passion to make a positive difference for life on earth. Bob Dyan they may not be. But that’s alright with me; there’s room for many types of voices, as there always has been, and these are the ones that are emerging right now. If you don’t share the values of these young people, of course that’s fine. But let’s hear as well-reasoned and creative a response!


      • Guest Who says:

        ‘rational, sensible and well thought through..
        So good it deserves to be said twice. Say things often enough and all that…
        At risk of contravening other style requirements, and preferring clarity over creativity in certain matters of debate, while a Boadenesque ‘it’s great because I think it is’ may suffice in some quarters, reason, especially that deemed ‘well’, is not the sole preserve of those who simply claim it for themselves.
        Though one can see how there are some who seem to think that is their right.
        At risk of broadening the matter of tonality into other, possibly twowrongs areas, as a new poster but one who must have had a look around recent threads (one presumes), on the matter of sarcasm and derision have the contributions of any others caught your eye?
        Or does it only count in critique when it suits, or doesn’t?


      • alan says:

        ‘young people with social, environmental and politcal awareness’?

        Really…and just who has instilled that version of truth into them?


      • 1327 says:

        “Thank goodness for young people with social, environmental and politcal awareness”

        Gill would that political awareness include young members of the EDL or is that a non approved type ?


      • Pah says:

        Could you explain this comment please :
        Thank goodness for young people with social, environmental and politcal awareness
        Why, exactly, should we give thanks?


        • Wild says:

          At least this group think exercise is not funded by the State – all that is required is conformism dressed up as dissent.

          Why bother learning about the world when you can preach about it with a song.

          All you need is Leftist cliches dressed up as “freedom of speech” – the freedom to say what you like just so long as you say absolutely nothing.

          Freedom of speech and original thinking is precisely what they are against.


      • Reed says:

        “Thank goodness for young people with social, environmental and politcal awareness”

        That’s all well and good, but is this Guardian/Amnesty program interested in helping young people to become activists and speak out for political causes of all colours, or just the ones that they deem to be ‘culturally important’. This is the problem – terms like ‘socially conscious’ and ‘politically aware’ are self-defined labels of the left that are designed to exclude people with views that don’t conform – if you’re not ‘on-message’, don’t apply.

        What about those young people whose political awareness has led them to be concerned about issues that fall outside of the standard conventions of fashionable youthful protest – immigration, debt, the EU. Dare they raise their voices? Aren’t these the ones who REALLY need the encouragement to speak up, to be reassured that their views are as valid as anyone’s? Espousing the commonplace, spray-on attitudes of the left-wing protest movement is so de rigueur it’s a cliche. True bravery is shown by those young people willing to step outside these confines in an outspoken manner. They risk much more than mere sarcasm and derision as a response, so forgive me if I don’t applaud enthusiastically when another identikit rainbow warrior takes to the stage.

        Political and social awareness informs many different opinions, not just the Guardian approved ones.


  9. LondonCalling says:

    The Guardian: print arm of the Labour Party; Amnesty: campaigners for human rights. I would worry about these two organisations sponsoring teaching anybody anything, given their agendas. When I hear public-sector speak like “inspiring” a generation of young peple in “creative ways” from these organisations I am minded to say “hands off our kids”. They are quite capable of finding their own voice without needing “help”


  10. J.Booth says:

    Billy Bragg can write decent songs-St Swithin’s Day I think is rather lovely and not ‘political’ at all. Likewise his collaborations with the American band Wilco-where he set some old Woody Guthrie lyrics to new music-are very good. To be fair to Bragg he is a rarity among media approved socialists-he’s actually from the working class. I just disagree with most of his alleged solutions to complex social problems and I think he has strayed too far from his Barking roots to be wholly credible.


  11. LondonCalling says:

    It doesn’t really matter whether Bragg is from a working class background or the silverspooned son of the Queen of Sheba, he is still a leftie-tosser. He was not held back by his background, he has milked it, while promptly moving to a mansion in Dorset, as any normal person from a working class background would, if they could afford it. I would have less of a problem with Bragg if he acknowledged his now priviledged position and took up writing songs about the pleasures of fox hunting. It would be more honest.


  12. 1327 says:

    Yes that’s right the protest needs “guiding” ! The last thing the average Guardian reader wants is the young to realise just how much debt they are being loaded with now to pay for .. well your average Guardian reader and their public sector pension.

    Far better for the young to protest about racism and Fatcha than to start thinking to much.


  13. Pounce_uk says:

    Here’s a video clip of two people whom the bBC have employed having a little set too at Wellington college. I wonder why the bBC hasn’t mentioned this?


    • johnyork says:

      So there we have it.
      The more than likely next DG of the BBC.
      Red hair, spoilt rich extreme left wing cunt, hypocrite and fucking stupid into the bargin.

      So that rules out Dr. David Starkey.
      All hail Laurie Penny’s accession !


      • LondonCalling says:

        Laurie Penny is a “Career Socialist”, unless of course she writes for the Independent for nothing. For thirteen years “Socialism” offered a career pathway to the best paid jobs in the public sector. I can’t think of any polite words to describe this self-absorbed tampon


        • Earls Court says:

          The scary thing is one day Laurie Penny will most likely be a Nu-Liebour MP. Or Polly Toynbee mark2.


          • Pounce_uk says:

            Watch the video again and at 1.50 watch her body language after asking that tax question and listen to her petty little laugh on presuming she had inserted a killing blow.
            Her pathetic little plea of innocence afterwards highlighted very well how she bit off more than she could chew with Mr David Starkey.


            • Pounce_uk says:

              Yet this vapid little runt is somebody who the bBC brings on time and time again in which to air her tiny little braincell about any topic they can find.

              A few years ago I had the pleasure of doing what Mr Starkey did to that leftwing twat. But in my case I finished by adding “the only thing you can do right is lying on your back and getting f-cked, now do the right thing by fu-king off.”
              She cried. Bless.


        • 1327 says:

          I suspect that more than anything else Miss Penny is an attention seeker who will do anything (and I mean anything) to get the attention she craves. Looking a bit dim and and losing an argument with Dr Starkey will be a nothing to her as long as she is centre of attention.

          I really wouldn’t be surprised if she changes sides politically several times in the course of her life just as long as it keeps her in the public eye.


    • Leftie-Loather says:

      Thanks, pounce_uk, never seen that vid’ before. Fantastic stuff! Game, set and match Starkey I think! She certainly soon learnt that if you can’t take it then don’t dare dish it in the first place! Of course the stupid little leftie crackpot cow tends to get a rather easier ride on gutless Al-Beeb News, Snoozenight, etc.
      He maybe a man-fanny lover but take him on at your peril! Bloke just says it as it is, no fuckin’ about! Top notch entertainment, loved it!


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Thanks for this, pounce. As if I didn’t already know, my goodness this woman is a disgusting human being. She opens her remarks by making a personal attack – slander and/or libel, actually – against Starkey about playing xenophobia and racism for laughs, but then freaks out and plays the hurt innocent lamb when he calls her out on something she actually did.

      And the insipid host sided with her entirely. At least someone in the audience had a clue. But we know which side the BBC is on, sadly. Every time this woman is on the BBC and is not “challenged” like they do with Tory ministers or Starkey himself, they prove their hypocrisy and degeneracy.


  14. Earls Court says:

    I’m sure someone in the BBC has a perverse sense of humour inviting laurie penny or owen jones on the BBC. They are both mentally challenged Left-wing losers, who still think they are in the student union. They both always end looking like fools. must be someone or a group trying to have a dig at the leftys and the leftys are to stupid to know it.


  15. Reed says:

    “mentally challenged Left-wing losers”

    All manner of tautology there. :) ;)

    Left-wing – the rest follows naturally.


  16. the sheep says:

    What embarrassing tripe.


  17. LondonCalling says:

    Though this thread has run its course, it is interesting to see another Guardian attempt at manufacturing news, this time with another hotbed of Lefties, the London School of eCOnoMICS, and natch, BBC Newsnight

    “Some 130 officers police took part in the LSE-Guardian newspaper study. The BBC’s Newsnight programme has had exclusive access to the results of the study, Reading the Riots.”

    How nice: The Guardian, the LSE, and the BBC, three in a bed, behind the scenes contacts, common purpose, on speed dial.


    • Leftie-Loather says:

      A convenience isn’t only a bog, it’s a constantly stinking state broadcaster!


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