Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Never mind the bollocks - here's Michael Gove

There's a very, very scary article from Michael Gove in the Times about punk. He got worked into a lather of nostalgia after reading something by his colleague Mary Ann Seighart, which from Gove's account (I haven't read it and can't be bothered looking for it) expounded the not unreasonable proposition that punk was a pile of shite. Michael responds, reminiscing about the days when he was an "anarkyste":

"I, despite what the byline photo may suggest, was too young to be swept up in the first phase of the movement. They didn't let us pierce any part of our body at Sunnybank Primary School. But the truth about punk is that its appeal, or lack of it, isn't about age. It's about attitude."
He didn't know what he wanted, but he knew how to get it; he wanted to destroy passers-by. Then he went on to Robert Gordon College, then to Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford where he joined the Conservative Party. But he obviously kept the embers of punk rebellion burning in his soul:
"But the division between the natural hippy and the instinctive punk isn't just a matter of musical taste or even class-consciousness. It colours your attitude to politics. Was your first response to the political challenges of the early Eighties the hope that we could once again Teach the World to Sing in Perfect Harmony? In other words, were you inclined, like Mary Ann, to believe in the noble dream that was the SDP? Or were you, like me, inclined to think that after 40 years of social democratic drift it was time to Rip it Up and Start Again?"
Um, well I did vote SDP but only because that tit Galloway became the Labour candidate - but fundamentally, none of the above. I'd just left school and my initial reaction was, "Shit - there's no jobs". Now the thing is, unemployment has this way of putting you in touch with your inner-hippy, as it were. It's all the leisure time, y'see. Then you realise angry young men, full of testosterone and taking their frustration out in their music has all been done before - only rather better, and that this was only possible because they stood on the shoulders of two African-Americans called Muddy Waters and Johnny Allen Hendrix, who between them invented electricity.

It's maybe because of this I've lost the "raw aesthetic" Gove refers to:
"Our tea is unperfumed, as are our candles."
Phew! Unperfumed candles? I think you'll agree aesthetic sensibilities don't come much rawer or more uncompromising than that - very Mike Leigh. The man's an animal, I tell you.



Michael "don't fuck with me" Gove

Hat Tip: Marcus at HP

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