Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Eton Rifles

Missed this 2004 Times interview with Paul Weller - another Labour luvvie / working class hero. He was living in West London at the time. I doubt he'd have had to worry about crack and guns in London schools before the Fall :

I ask if his children are in private or state schools. (He has four, two by his ex-wife and former Style Council singer Dee C. Lee, one following a short-lived relationship, and a four-year-old daughter with his girlfriend, Sammi, 34, "very sweet gel, puts up with quite a lot from me".) "They’re all in private school. No, one’s in state school," he corrects himself. "If you’ve got the money, I don’t see how you’ve got a choice, really. I don’t want my kids mixing with crack and guns. I’m not saying it’s all like that, but there’s an element of that."


TDK said...

I seem to recall Weller telling people to vote Tory in 1979. As a young lefty I refused to buy Jam records. He later claimed it was done for publicity but I wonder - the actual words are never quoted.

Thats Entertainment said...

From the Jam's wiki page:

The Jam had political lyrics, condemning police brutality ("In the City") and expansionist development ("Bricks And Mortar"). However, one of their most openly political songs, "Time For Truth", bemoaned the decline of the British Empire and expressed disparaging sentiments about "Uncle Jimmy" (the Prime Minister, James Callaghan) in no uncertain terms ("Whatever happened to the great Empire?" / "I think it's time for truth, and the truth is you lost, Uncle Jimmy"). These pro-Empire sentiments and ostentatious displays of the Union Flag began to earn the group the tag of "Conservative". Weller's announcement that The Jam intended to vote for the Conservative Party in the 1979 general election served to confirm this association. It later caused them embarrassment, and dogged them throughout their career. Weller claims that The Jam's public relations representative had told them to become Conservatives to contrast politically with other punk bands.[citation needed] Misunderstandings in the music press about The Jam's political or social stance are usually attributed to Weller's lyrical perspective. Even as he pointed out what he saw as wrong and demanded change, Weller's lyrics reflected a deep affection for an idealised vision of England, much in the style of The Kinks' Ray Davies. This contrasted with the Sex Pistols' calls for destruction, or The Clash's calls for revolutionary change.

Liza Radley and a few others are great tunes:

The Style Council's Paris MAtch is another personal favourite. Tracy Thorn sounds wonderful:

Thats Entertainment said...

Head Start For Happiness is another wonderful, feelgood tune. This one featuring Dee C Lee:

I do feel strongly inclined to stick up for Weller. He may at times have been an arse and a hypocrite (who hasn't been?) but he is nowhere in the same league of twattery as Bono - and I am rather fond of a few U2 tunes as well.

Foxy Brown said...

Bassist Bruce Foxton did send his son, Iago (what the hell was papa thinking of) to Eton. Despite the anti-Thatcher rhetoric, Weller had much in common with the pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps Essex boy of the 1980s. He was very driven - a characteristic which he shared with his father, who managed The Jam, and to whom Weller was extremely close.

@ That's Entertainment,

Weller wrote some cracking tunes. One of our greatest songwriters.

Laban said...

I always liked 'Shout to the top' - very Curtis Mayfield.

Thats Entertainment said...

Iago! Blimey

Despite the anti-Thatcher rhetoric, Weller had much in common with the pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps Essex boy of the 1980s.

I am strongly inclined to think that this is one aspect of the cultural differences between London & the south east and the rest of the UK.

Whilst it seems true that in the rest of the UK, working class people are friendlier and more community orientated, working class people from London & the south east seem IMHO more entrepreneurial.

This may be because the rest of the country was home to heavy industry, mining, ship building etc, whereas being in and around the capital of a great empire will spawn differnt ways of making money.

It could also be that people from L&SE tend to be more kraut than celt and that these cultural differences have deeper roots. Ceasar said the people were the same on both sides of the channel.

Dunno. Maybe its just my imagination.

I've been called a South Eastern bigot before though. ;^)

Anonymous said...

Paul Weller shares the aspirations of many from white working class backgrounds. They want better for their children then they had themselves.

Mod culture epitomised this. The smart expensive clothes were a means to feel better about themselves and to forget the poverty of their lives.

The aspirational aspect of the white working class is why preachy middle-class lefties were always so out of touch when they arrived in working class areas flogging their copies of socialist worker.

The white working class never wanted 'equality' they wanted betterment.

TDK said...

That's Entertainment

Thanks for the comments. As a trendy lefty I knew better than to like the Jam. By the third LP they had become politically acceptable, which coincided with the start of their golden era.

Odd that I took social pressure seriously because I loved the Stranglers first 3 LPs and they were seriously verbotten.

Anonymous said...

I'll just be straight out honest. I'd had not given his lyrics a very deep look but just assumed he was left wing. I'm actually shocked. Quite a moment. I think That's Entertainment has it right about north/south divide. Loads more opportunities for making money in the environs of the big city but also in another way the visible differences in wealth -which you didn't get in some northern cities - create a different form of personal visceral resentment. I for one never really met a posh person - it was (1970s) just something you saw (all the time!) on TV and quite a recognisable 'given' thing like americans being, you know, yanks. Something your mum would describe as 'well spoken'. The northern WK were like some distant disconnected primitive tribe in their own country. They were probably more distant than people in the overseas Empire to a lot of the middle class down south. Provincials. I'll shut up now. Does the hurt still show? - you bet.