IGNORANCE IN ACTION

It was dispiriting indeed to read of the physical and verbal intimidation in Birmingham City Centre

that forced a group of Morris Dancers in traditional garb and black-face make-up to abandon their

performance.  Even more so, to read that the Shrewsbury Folk Festival seems to encourage this

ignorant behaviour by its decision to refuse to book such acts at the said Festival for 2017.

This failure to understand and support the origins and reasons for centuries old English traditions is

lamentable and only encourages the dimwits in our midst with their dumbdown agendas to attack

that which they do not - intentionally or otherwise - wish to allow.  The black face employed is a

reminder of the resort to facial disguise (blacking) to hide identity in times when participants risked

punitive punishment.  It is woeful that despite attempting to explain this to those attacking their

performance, the Morris Dancers in Birmingham felt obliged to abandon their display to

prevent worse happening.

If we cannot support our own traditions with sane and sensible discourse then what should

future generations make of our failure?  And what then becomes the greater reason for "taking

offence"?  One positive aspect: an online poll shows a 90% vote in favour to booking such acts.

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Comments

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M.C. Newberry

Sat 14th Jan 2017 22:55

Thanks, Ray.
I sent an email to the said Festival's director setting out
my feelings about their decision but have had no reply.
As with freedom, if we set no value on our own traditions
and heritage, how can we then complain when they are trampled underfoot and lost?

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raypool

Thu 12th Jan 2017 19:14

Well said Mark. This sort of thing sounds like not only the death of the broad mind, but the rise of official paranoia, always a dangerous thing when what society really needs is to let off safe steam . Shall we find more freedoms to suppress ? how about sex shops for a start - we've already lost tobacco identification in supermarkets. We could also ban kids wearing witches outfits . Let's clean ourselves up right now!!

Ray

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