Dave Widgery et al.

Look get it straight

(July/August 1978)

From Socialist Review, No. 4, July–August 1978, p. 14. (letter)
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Dear Socalist Review,

Atrocious articles on Carnival. Mr Calico Nickers wants to harness and channel the energy of ‘Youth’ who have ten times more idea of what’s going down than your pretty average Marxist Editor.

John Rose’s trotskyist’s youth leaders guide to kids is painful (but he’d do a great album requests show).

‘Rastafarianism is totally pessimistic ...’ says the Chief Scout. On the contrary almost without exception the music names the oppressors and calls for unity and struggle.

If you don’t understand how religious forms contain deeply political meanings you won’t understand anything about black music ... take a Phensic.

Worst of all is the Hoyland/Flood Page stuff on RAR. How dare you ask them? With all that stuff about RAR being ‘Fun music with no political connections’ and punk is dead (which they’ve been saying since before it started).

Look lets get it straight. Punk is one of the most important working class cultural things to ever happen. Is it too much to ask that the Left (two years too late, as usual) LISTEN to the stuff ... and don’t use the Dansette. Open your ears ... and then your mind ... and maybe your EYES ... and Hair Dyes.

The dynamic Music for Pleasure Duo think ‘The task is to cement this union’ (Music and Politics). Grand. Haven’t you ever heard of RAR (Oh Yes you once came along and told us Roots was a Bourgeois Concept). The duo want it to die ... to justify their own low-energy and inaction. But the kids won’t let it. RAR’s swansong is being played now, the new TRB/Clash is tuning in/out at your local Yuuff Club.

They say RAR is the fun-angle and MfS is the political hit. They don’t understand working class kids NOW are political and fun without having to make 5 minute speeches to prove it. Mickey Mouse Disaster Time. It’s the sort of stuff we’d expect to read in ... shoddy-Marxism which SR should read like The Friends of Albanian Quarterly. Fact. The Leveller had a GREAT article which SR readers should read.

Yours in dismay
Dave Widgery, Ruth Gregory, Syd Shelton, Roger (Dub) Huddle (Dem heavier than before)

P.S. Roger Huddle doesn’t think the Leveller article is as good as what he has writ in this ish.

Last updated on 13 September 2019