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St Patrick's Day and Ken Livingstone

07 Mar 02 - 05:06 AM (#664078)
Subject: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: McGrath of Harlow

It looks as if Ken Livingstone is coming through on his promise that if elected as Mayor of London he'd do something for St Patricks Day.

Here's a message from him that popped up in my email:

Dear friend,

As you may be aware I am supporting the traditional parade to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in London, to be followed this year, for the first time ever, by a festival on Trafalgar Square.

The parade will start from outside Westminster Cathedral on 17 March at approximately 1.30pm (assemble 12.30pm) and walk along Victoria Street to Parliament Square, then up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square. On the parade there will be floats, plus bands, dancing troupes and community organisations. On the Square will be an afternoon of traditional music, dancing and other entertainment. Performing at the festival are The Dubliners, Mary Coughlan, Finbar Fury, Celtic Feet and many others.

I would very much like to invite you to join us on the day to help celebrate the day itself but also the contribution that generations of the Irish community have made to London. I hope to see you there

Yours sincerely, Ken Livingstone

Whatever people might think about the old GLC it used to put on good free concerts. As I wrote when Ken was running for mayor "Hank Wangford wrote a song in which GLC stood for Good Loud Country. Roll on the Restoration - we should get some good concerts out of it." (And here's the song I wrote at the time "The Once and Future Ken" - with with a sounf file.)


07 Mar 02 - 05:09 AM (#664080)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: McGrath of Harlow

NB That wasn't a personal invitation to me from Ken Livingstone - I'm just on his mailing list. In case anyone thought I was due to be up there with The Dubliners and company.


07 Mar 02 - 05:14 AM (#664083)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: Nigel Parsons

McG stated "NB That wasn't a personal invitation to me from Ken Livingstone - I'm just on his mailing list. In case anyone thought I was due to be up there with The Dubliners and company. "
To quote Barry Norman "And why not?"


07 Mar 02 - 12:16 PM (#664259)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: Big Tim

I see that the NI Assembly has passed a motion to display shamrocks on St Pat's Day rather than lilies at Easter. I was surprised that the motion came from Jim Wells of the DUP until I realised that the Easter Lily is a republican symbol and Sinn fein wanted that instead. Personally I am with the DUP, for once, on this one. Any differing views!!!!!


07 Mar 02 - 01:11 PM (#664307)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: McGrath of Harlow

The Lily is a Unionist symbol as well - as witness The Orange Lily O!

And that was well before the Easter Rising. It's strange the way flowers are supposed to take sides. And change sides.


07 Mar 02 - 01:25 PM (#664319)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: Ringer

Wow! If he's doing all that for Paddy's Day, I can't wait for 23rd April.


07 Mar 02 - 02:31 PM (#664371)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: GUEST

Big Tim, You can`t be naive as that?, supporting Jim Wells, big deal, if Sinn Fein had proposed Shamrock, Jim Wells would have opted for Cabbage. Ard Mhacha.


07 Mar 02 - 03:32 PM (#664442)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: McGrath of Harlow

Cabbage - now that wouldn't be a bad idea. A very significant plant in Irish cuisine, second only to the potato. And with no sectarian overtones thta I have ever hear of. And no more absurd than the Welsh having the leek as a national symbol.

There are national animals and national flowers - how about a national vegetable? Nominations invited.

Here is a bit more about the St Patrick's Day events in Trafalgar Sqaure and so forth.

Now would this be a good occasion for people to test out the Public Entertainment Licence state of play in London? Would they really bring the law down on people who wished to make music in public places on that day without a PEL being in place?


07 Mar 02 - 03:35 PM (#664447)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: McGrath of Harlow

Here is the Mayor's emao; address - mayor@london.gov.uk Perhaps it would be a good idea to ask him that question about PELs.


07 Mar 02 - 04:17 PM (#664502)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: McGrath of Harlow

That email link was wrong - this is the email address: mayor@london.gov.uk.

And here is the email I have just sent:

Dear Ken Livingstone,
Thank you very much for what is proposed for this St Patrick's Day, and confirming what I always told people when the idea of you becoming Mayor came up - that whatever else happened, we could be sure of some good music when you were back.

Already I have flagged up the news on an international Folk Music internet forum, the Mudcat Cafe (http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=45030), and it is attracting interest from far flung places where this kind of music and this kind of event is valued.

But there is a problem - the existing law on Public Entertainment Licences means that the kind of informal music making, in pubs and in other public places, such as cafes or street corners, which are a key element in such events as the Fleadh Ceoil in Ireland, and in the musical; life of Ireland generally, is illegal in this country. The exception being in those few places where a Public Entertainment Licence has been obtained.

This means that if a few friends want to sit down and play a few tunes or sing a few songs for their own mutual enjoyment, and not as a matter of entertaining other people, they are putting the manager of the premises involved - a publican, or a bookshop manager, or someone running a cafe or a barbershop - at risk of a massive fine.

Is there any possibility of some easing of such restrictions to allow this St Patrick's event to develop in the way it could, and enrich the cultural life of London? (And on other occasions as well. It's not just the Irish who are hot by the present law.)

The present restrictions - which do not apply in Ireland or Scotland. for example - have now been made far more repressive by a recent High Court decision which has very much restricted the very limited leeway that the "two-in-a-bar" rule has permitted. It now appears that if more than two people sing or make any kind of music in a pub, a PEL is required, even if no more than two at any time are singing or playing.

Now some other people send him something similar maybe?


08 Mar 02 - 04:08 AM (#664887)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: Paddy Plastique

Will they be dying the Thames green ? Will they even need to ?? And the pints of bitter ??
Most important of all - a jumbo-size green council bin bag over that Cromwell statue for the day...
Plus - shamrock not a vegetable ? - the gran's tortoise can't get enough of the stuff - alright then
it's a 'salad' leaf...


08 Mar 02 - 11:31 AM (#665092)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: Big Tim

Does not the cabbage too have political significance, for some? What about Cabbage Town in Toronto, founded by poor immigrants, many of them Irish, who got by largely on the cabbages that they grew in their gardens.

In NI tho what's needed is real "parity of esteem". There are two cultural traditions, both equally valid, and each, ideally, should tolerate the symbols of the other. The Union is firmly tied up in the Belfast Agreement, the rest is propaganda skirmishing around the edges. I appreciate that is what Jim Wells of the DUP is about.

There will never be real peace in NI until I, or you, can can on Derry's Walls and sing "Derry's Walls" and go into east Belfast and sing "Sean South of Garryowen" without being assaulted. "Naive" Ard, maybe, maybe not.


08 Mar 02 - 12:49 PM (#665148)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: sledge

It would be nice to see some sort of St Georges day celebration being promoted, but I doubt we shall see that, after all a nice fashionable "Celtic" party has got to be worth a few votes next time round at the ballot box

Sledge


08 Mar 02 - 01:26 PM (#665178)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: GUEST

C`mon Big Tim if you keep bending over backwards you`ll be doing yourself an injury. Live here for a time and you will realise we[we being the people of Nationalist prsuasion] don`t come close regarding bigotry, and this information I can verify came from a Protestant. The disgraceful scenes at Holy Cross School should have been proof enough. Try fifty years of being second class citizens and you will understand. Ard Mhacha.


08 Mar 02 - 02:37 PM (#665236)
Subject: RE: St Patrick's Day and Ken Livingstone
From: McGrath of Harlow

I suppose the thing is the Irish value Irish music (even the ones who don't like it that much), and a lot of other people like it too, so there's some advantage for a populist politician in an event like this.The same goes for Black people, with Notting Hill, and potentially for other ethnic groups as well (Indians, Greeks, Italians, Scots, Welsh).

But until English traditions get given the same kind of value and respect, in the first place from the ethnic English, these traditions will continue to be ignored by the politicians.

Anyway the real traditional day for English music has always been May Day, never St George's. (Even if they've switched May Day to a convenient nearby Monday - they'd never dare try that with St Patrick's.)

But I'm sure that if the rules and restrictions on live music were reduced, one of the effects would be a growth in the availability of music with roots in English traditions, and in the number of people appreciating it.

And aside from in a multiracial society, all the traditions feed into each other and produce new traditions with multiple roots.


08 Mar 02 - 03:52 PM (#665290)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: Big Tim

Ard, I'm with you in spirit but not on realpolitik (is that a word?).

Inevitably, yes, I do have a different perspective, never having lived in NI.

What in your view is the answer to the "Irish Question"? (Please answer this specifically).

As an outsider on the Middle East (35 people killed there this day), what's your view on that?

My opinon on NI and the Middle East is that the very fact that such strongly held beliefs exist on both sides is that neither side can be all right or all wrong. We are all mere humans. Therefore there has to be give and take, compromise, tolerance of the symbols of the "enemy". Surely a loyalist recommended St Patrick's Day symbol in NI should be welcomed?


08 Mar 02 - 04:44 PM (#665332)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: Richard Bridge

Magrath, I agree.

Incidentally May 6 is approaching and I don't suppose there'll be any folk music in the pubs at the Rochester Sweeps' festival again - only electric and country.


09 Mar 02 - 07:56 AM (#665656)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: GUEST

Big Tim, I may not be getting through to you. In the sick six counties of north-east Ireland if you see a Protestant person sporting Shamrock on St Patricks Day please inform the Guiness Book of Records, they have from time immemorial ignored all things Irish. Only on our local TV chanells do this rare event occur, when within the past couple of years, the news announcers sport the elblem, this is merely paying lip service. So please don`t pretend that your living in the South Seas, Scotland also has its share of bigots, just take yourself off to Ibrox Park To-morrow and listen to the ghouls when Rangers meet Celtic.Aed Mhacha.


09 Mar 02 - 07:57 AM (#665657)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: GUEST

Even memorial. Ard Mhacha,


09 Mar 02 - 11:07 AM (#665730)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: Big Tim

Ard, I'm not pretending anything. I've never lived in NI, only Ulster (Donegal) and that long before the Troubles started. However I have a brother in Derry, who has lived through the troubles - many of his pupils were in the IRA,I have another brother living right on the Border, so I have a reasonable idea of life there.

I can only repeat that there has to be compromise, a coming together sooner or later, so why not try to make it sooner. I do not underestimate the difficulties, the near-impossibilty, but efforts have to be made.

What do you make of David Trimble's call for a referendum in NI on a united Ireland?

Hope our team survives tomorrow!


09 Mar 02 - 04:17 PM (#665881)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: GUEST

The bould David Trimble is trying to strike while the irons hot. It is estimated that in about twenty years from now the Nationalists will be in the majority, so a referendum now would always give him the excuse to try and delay the inevitable. At the moment the Nationalists population is around the 46% mark. The result of the tribal warfare to-morrow won`t matter as far as the Championship goes, Celtic are home and dry. Ard Mhacha.


09 Mar 02 - 09:48 PM (#666028)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: GUEST,slightly scared of old firm games

is that the kind of survival he meant....?


10 Mar 02 - 10:58 AM (#666272)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: Big Tim

Petrov OK!


11 Mar 02 - 06:49 PM (#667277)
Subject: RE: St Patricks Day and Ken Livingstone
From: McGrath of Harlow

Here is a site with more details on Sundays running order and that

I was pleased to see that there's a good non-sectariuan touch to the day - it starts with Mass in the Catholic Catherdral, where the parade starts and ends with Evensong in the Protestant church of St Martin's in the Field, off Trafalgar Square, wherte the free concert is taking place.

And there's an open stage as well as all the famus people on the main one. That's where the good music will be.