Mudcat Café message #963625 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #54636   Message #963625
Posted By: ET
07-Jun-03 - 04:26 AM
Thread Name: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
From Hamish

LIBERTY AND MUSIC

Even Labour MPs who are members of jazz and other music appreciation societies are saying they will not vote against the Government over the Licensing Bill. Unless the Government makes further amendments during the next debate on Monday 16 June, these MPs will be voting in support of a new criminal offence: the provision of unlicensed entertainment facilities, which include musical instruments:

'An antique piano in a pub that was only provided for decorative effect would not give rise to the need for a licence. And a licence would not be required if the pub operator did not provide it for the public to play. A licence would only be required if it was used to entertain people at the premises or by people on the premises to entertain themselves.'
[Department for Culture, 'Regulation of Entertainment under the Licensing Bill', revised April 2003, p4, para 2.8]

Why is the Government doing this? Perhaps the 18th century French philospher and mathematician D'Alembert had the answer:
'I am amazed that in a century when so many pens write about the liberty of commerce, the liberty of marriages, the liberty of the press, or the liberty of painting, no one has yet written about THE LIBERTY OF MUSIC . . . Our great statesmen reply: "You are being short-sighted, for all liberties are interrelated and are all equally dangerous. The liberty of music presupposes liberty to feel, the liberty to feel involves liberty of thought, and liberty of thought involves liberty of action, and the liberty of action is the ruination of states. So let us keep the Opera as it is, if we wish to preserve the kingdom; and let us put a brake on the liberty of singing if we don't wish to see the liberty of talking following hard on its heels . . ."'

['On the liberty of music', essay, 1759. Jean le Rond D'Alembert, 1717-1783