Search This Blog

Sunday, 1 December 2013

An open letter about Conflict

Today I had planned on reviewing the Girlschool/Raven and Michael Monroe gigs that I had attended during the week.
Events surrounding the tragedy at the Clutha Vaults bar/venue in Glasgow have however pushed that aside for the moment.

So I will start by saying that I, like so many others, are saddened and upset at what was a horrible accident.
I personally know people who were there, and if I had not attended the Michael Monroe show then it is a possibility that I would have been one of the people in the Clutha.

It's a sobering thought.

In a strange way I also feel a slight swelling of pride by proxy at the reactions displayed by those who were there.
The general public and professionals who responded and put their own lives at risk are to be commended.
It doesn't make much sense to feel pride in the actions of others who we don't know, but it's there none the less.

Unfortunately there is always an ugly side to any incident like this, and that's what I feel needs to be commented on.

As most know Katie Hopkins issued a tweet about the life expectancy of us Scots, that while it wasn't specifically aimed at the victims of this tragedy, was spectacularly mistimed.
No surprise there really.
The press have also drawn our attention to the police investigation into some tweets of jokes.
Once again that's no surprise.
The starting gate seems to be opening ever earlier for that sort of thing.

I don't feel the need to cover that ground though, and instead I want to address the opinion expressed by Colin of the punk band Conflict.

In the aftermath of the incident he publicly posted this.

I have been advised, asked and even pleaded with not to comment.
BUT, the ONLY good copper is a dead one.
We NEVER forgive-We NEVER forget-NO apologies EVER.

The man is entitled to state his views, and as a supporter of free speech I would never consider calling out for him to be censored, but I do have a problem with this, and that problem is with the unbending fundamentalist attitude that it is soaked in.
There's no room for debate with anyone who holds an opposing view.
No effort to change a persons mind by eloquently defending a position and shedding light on why they are passionate about it.
Instead it is simply the wishing of death on complete strangers because of their employment status.
There's not even any room for making an exception in what was said.
It's a very broadly inclusive comment, and all a bit fascist I would say.

Wouldn't you agree?

It's the jackboot on the throat angle to ushering in a perceived brave new world.
You disagree with me so it's death for you.
That's it in a nutshell, and how illogical is that?

How perversely immature must someone be to cling to that sort of ideology?

Let us cut to the chase. Celebrating death is a rather ugly pastime isn't it?
I can understand how people can look at one individual who has wronged them and feel a sense of relief at their departure from this world, but general sweeping comments are a different story.
To highlight how immature and fascist the ACAB message is all you have to do is swap cop in the 'the only good cop is a dead cop' rant with anything of your choice.

The only good Jew?
Remember that one? Always popular it seems.
How about changing it to black, or child? Or plumber?
There you go.
The only good plumber is a dead plumber.
It's dangerous village idiot thinking.

Unsurprisingly on the thread Colin has his supporters who are mentioning how they have had experiences with the big bad coppers.
The rationalization of the indefensible.
Of course there are less than savoury individuals working in the police service.
As there are in every job you care to mention.
And of course there's much we can legitimately complain about, but in this instance a man and a woman died.

This is when compassion and empathy should come to the fore.

I doubt that there will be anyone who would claim we live in a perfect world and wouldn't welcome change.
Yet to go to the extremes of wanting to excise those who are not singing from the same hymn sheet from the world is an extreme that we have some experience of, and we know it offers no real solutions.

Two people started a shift and didn't come home to their families and friends.
I didn't know them and it doesn't matter.
Two lives were lost.
That's it.
The impact will be reverberating through the lives of those who know them right now.
Today, nor tomorrow is the time to celebrate that.
In fact there is no time when it would be appropriate.

Those who are feeling a little tingle of excitement at the thought of two police officers dying in such tragic circumstances should be setting a little time aside to consider why that is.

One of the most ludicrous arguments put across to defend the Conflict position on this is that the officers are deserving of their death as they participate in the oppression of us all.
Similarly anyone who buys a Conflict album, t-shirt, patch or attends a show contributes to the capitalists system that is in place, and by dint participate in the oppression of us all to.
As do they for pushing their merch onto others.

That will of course be different I suppose.

As for myself Conflict will no longer feature in my life.

I will not even go as far as to advocate a boycott of the band as that is a form of censorship, but I do sincerely hope that they can reap the reaction to their fascist attitudes and wither on the vine.

Conflict. You are dead to me, but not really dead.

I'll leave that sort of wishful thinking to you guys.


  1. Absolutely Mainy. These halfwits are no better than the Westboro Baptist clowns, and just as relevant. I hope they suffer ignominy and failure in everything they attempt henceforth. Let them know the real meaning of Conflict.

  2. The form of anarchism that they promote is not the peaceful ideology that anyone with an understanding of the concept recognizes.
    The reason we wouldn't need to enforce laws is a simple one. No one would be looking to negatively impact on the lives of others.
    Now I'm not a supporter of that as I have seen little in human nature to allow me to embrace the concept as one that is workable, but what Conflict are doing by wishing death on others is the enforcement of a view that has more in common with fascism.
    We will offer you Utopia, but only if you do as we say.......always.
    Utter shite.
    The sort of thing that teenagers gravitate towards and then quickly realize that the idea has more holes in it than a tramps vest.
    Remove compassion from a debate and it opens the door to this sort of bollocks.

  3. Good to see Events for Charities stepping up to organize benefit events, The Bellfield Inn in Kilmarnock participating, Audio in Glasgow doing a month long collection and offering the venue free to anyone that wished to host a benefit show.
    Also it is worth mentioning that a taxi firm in Glasgow offered their services for free to the families who had relatives in hospital and that all appointments for blood donations were filled and delivered on.

  4. I was going to join the argument on their page, it wasn't just a badly timed statement on their part, the statement was timed 'perfectly' by them for maximum 'fishing' and some pathetic attention seeking, at best it was an unforgivably stupid thing to say, at worst it was an absolutely fucking awful trawling expedition, to jump on a tragedy for some online self-promotion, surely this isn't what punk is about...surely fucking not?? I stayed my trembling hands and stayed off the status threads though, as you just can't argue with that kind of stupid without eventually sounding like an angry maniac. More fascist than punk? Most certainly. Are they allowed an opinion no matter how crass and shitty that opinion might be? Of course they are, but I don't have to like it, agree with it, or ever fucking forget it.

  5. Excellent and balanced piece Mainy. The blunt ignorance required to glorify these deaths when their fellow officers have spent days digging people out of the rubble is just staggering.

    I was never a fan, but I now hold them in active disdain for their thoughtless posturing.

  6. It's come to my attention that the comment - that was posted twice - has been removed.
    I have no idea if this was facebooks doing or Conflicts, but never the less I will not forget.
    The deed was done, the ugliness of the bands ideological views were there for all to see.
    Agree with them or they will dance on your graves when you pass.
    That sort of attitude is the stop on the journey before the final destination that is also the final solution.
    I fully expect that the band will never play in Glasgow again, and quite possibly anywhere else in Scotland.
    In my opinion that's no loss to the punk community.