Only the BBC would dream of digging up a graveyard full of corpses who were punks in 1977 when we were celebrating the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.
“I was against the Silver Jubilee, against the symbolism and the money being spent on the festivities. My friends and I thought the royals could afford to pay for the party themselves.”
Thus one Louise Bolotin, a 50 year old “writer”, reminiscing about those glory days. A real rebel was Louise..to show her rage against the machine she wore her “Stuff The Jubilee” badge ALL DAY…tell that to the Solidarity members who were being imprisoned in Communist Poland or the Cuban dissidents being tortured by Castro’s secret police. Louise showed true defiance and, what’s more, she feels the same today.
The Beeb revived other corpses to find the same sentiment and then proceeded to inform us of the historical/sociological significance of punk
Her attitude typifies those following the punk movement at that time. Although the nation had been encouraged to have a party in honour of the Queen, not everyone wanted to come.
The rising popularity of the punks provided a snarling, spitting, sometimes swearing outlet for some of the angry youths disillusioned with 1970s Britain – a time of strikes, economic hard times and high unemployment
What a load of pretentious colour supplement drivel. It wasn’t a movement, you moron, just a fashion trend like the Teds, hippies, mods, skinheads, Goths and thousands of others. There was no political dimension, just, like me in my Teddy Boy drainpipes in the 50s, a wish to irritate my elders by wearing something that made me stand out from the crowd and to make me seem intimidating (think hoodies)…the badge of youth in every generation.
However a tiny group of student/arty types muscled in on the trend and created a style industry and bigged it up to get some PR traction and, of course, with sound capitalist motives, to make some money selling music and fashion. These, like latter day Jacobites, are sad dinosaurs still dining out on the “movement” . Most of the punks, however, like the Teds and Goths and Mods grew up and became adults with families and proper jobs.
As for the BBC’s political point, as a teacher in South London during the 70’s, I remember that the punks tended to be the spotty, insecure loners on the fringe of school social life who found out of school solace in belonging to their outlandish tribe. In full punk gear they looked violent and terrifying but they were plaster board warriors who were essentially the embodiment of Urban Wimpdom.
So why did the Beeb even bother to visit this particular cemetery? The clue is in the description of 1970s Britain.. “a time of strikes, economic hard times and high unemployment”…it’s the BBC narrative about Cameron’s Britain and they are constantly searching for signs of disaffected youth. They thought they found it in the 2011 rioters but had to pull back when the public supported belated tough police action and harsh sentences. So, at the moment, they need to go back in time…except they forget to mention that punk erupted under a Labour government and the black fog of despair that generated the punks was dispelled in 1979 with the arrival of the BBC’s nemesis..