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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

black & white minstrels

Darkie Day

Let me choose a tasteful type face in suitable noir to mourn this latest lamentable slide by my belovèd Britain towards humourless ruin.

A Devonian college pal of mine lived in deepest darkest Padstow and I was always pestering him to invite me down to the inner sanctum so I could join in what sounded a jolly local tradition - "Darkie Day".

I even bought myself a banjolele on which to practise 'Swanee River', 'Campdown Races' and other minstrel ditties remembered from the Black and White Minstrel Show of blessèd memory - indescribably "incorrect" now, of course, but staple evening entertainment back then, even to those of us fresh off P&O's finest from Hong Kong .

I'd heard back in late February of spoil-sport rumblings, but it now seems to have degenerated into ideological lunacy.

It may sound like a Monty Python skit on political correctness gone mad, but rumour has it that organizers of this centuries-old festival, in which locals "black up" and tour Padstow singing minstrel-style songs, could actually be prosecuted for an offence under the Race Relations Act.

A file on this year's event, together with video footage taken by the Filth during a surveillance operation, has been submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service to assess whether a crime, including inciting racial hatred, has been committed.

By the nine gods of Clusium! If ever an act of Parliament was subverted by blackguards, deliberately misinterpreted, used to wreak misery on others, and generally highjacked by the hosts of Midian hypocrites, alternative union jackit's that accursèd misbegotten Race Act.

Can you believe it? I'm almost ashamed to have the Union Jack fluttering over the front courtyard.

Well, I know where *I* intend to be next Yuletide ... enjoying what might be my last 'Darkie' strum-up before those nazi correcto creeps blunder in.

Meanwhile, it's hard to know what sort of gesture of solidarity to send from Bainbridge to those Padstow stalwarts - maybe a listing of the links so that my few visitors to this page need lose no time getting up to speed.

Let's see now, those nice renaissance reporters are always fun to start a list with:


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