an open letter to Frank Turner
I have just read that blog that prints out some old quotes of yours that were floating around on the internet.
You know the one- the one that reads as being a bit right wing. I felt a bit disappointed when I read it although I had heard loose talk of this before. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you said and they are out of context? People are now doing the twitter thing about what you said but I’m not sure if things are that clear cut . Some of the quotes are from old interviews in 2009 so maybe you have changed your mind or they may be out of context or maybe you really do feel like this about the world.
Whilst I sort of respect anyone that doesn’t toe the party line and does the left wing thing because that’s what musicians used to do and is honest about what they feel there was some stuff in there that was a bit odd to say for someone who seems pretty smart. I know your father was a banker and you went to Eton but that class war stuff bores me. I somehow felt that you were like a sort of Joe Strummer, a sort of protest singer who transcended public school- afterall you once sang that Thatcher fucked the kids- maybe you were being ironic or maybe your views are a mish mash of right and left wing thinking in these post political party line times?
I’ve seen you play many gigs and enjoyed your live performances and your appearance at the Olympics was the moment we all took the whole shebang that night seriously. (ironically one of the quotes in the blog is about the wrongs of public money being used for the arts!).
I guess I made the dopey assumption that because you were some kind of folk singer who came from the punk scene that you must have been a protest singer. Maybe you are a protest singer but one who comes from the other side?
But that then got me thinking that the days when musicians at least paid lip service to the left are over for the time being and now that Thatcher’s children are reaching the top things are different. Maybe the natural state of rock n roll was always Tory and the counter culture/left wing thing was a minor blip in the never-ending selfish circus of showbiz.
Frank, I’m not into this one side hating the other type of thing and I feel we have to respect eachother’s views in this overcrowded world where there is too much shouting and not enough thinking but there some things in the interview that don’t make a lot of sense.
I’m struggling to understand what you meant when you said the BNP are a hard left wing party and some of your other views seems a bit muddled which is confusing because when I’ve met you you seem very sharp and your songs are well written and the lyrics showed little clue to what you were thinking.
We always feel disappointed when this happens but we live with it. I’ve never burned by Ramones records because Johnny Ramone was batting for the other political side so to speak, or thrown all my Misfits records away because of the same reason- the same with the Fall or Joy Division and I suspect that punk and hardcore may have more than the usual quotient of conservative thinkers in its ranks, not that you call yourself conservative- more of a libertarian and that is something else entirely and the quotes printed out to seem to be a jumble of views that swerve from the right to an almost anarchist point of view.
Frank, maybe you are an example of the new way of thinking where there is no left or right and the traditional boundaries have become so merged that no-one knows where they stand anymore and it is quite possible to think what were traditionally thought of us left and right wing views at the same time.