Let’s get a few things straight, I started to work for myself from an early age out of necessity. With creative ideas and hard work I made a financial success of Agent Provocateur but I haven’t had any involvement with that company for years and I find it now completely boring. No one ever gave me anything or gave my parents anything either for that matter. I have earned everything I have. Truthfully Punk gave me the confidence to be able to do that. People assume too much, they make judgments based on information from the media they have been conditioned by. The whole idea of Punk was to turn all that propaganda on its head and to find out the truth for yourself.
There is a significant difference between value and price that’s too often, tragically, overlooked and not considered. I want a conversation in the public realm where everybody is invited to ask and think about what this memorabilia is really worth and why it’s worth anything at all? Punk was never meant to be nostalgic but if you want to take a trip down memory lane then let’s not white wash many of the realities. My experience of growing up in a South London household at the centre of punk was that grown men would spit in my face in the street for being a punk at nine or ten years old. Our flat was surrounded by National Front thugs who smashed our windows and made continuous death threats, my parents shop was always being smashed up by Chelsea football fans or raided by the police, people were arrested and charged for wearing the clothes in public. People were bashed up, cut up and stabbed, The Sex Pistols records were banned from the radio, you couldn’t buy them in the shops, they were banned from playing gigs up and down the country. They still made it to Number One in the charts but then there was no Number One that week. The charts started at Number Two!
We were hated by the establishment, hounded by the media, and all the people that wanted to fit in, and loved by generation NO FUTURE ! Who in turn didn’t really know what to do…. aside from wear the UNIFORM and jump about a bit…. but some of them found the spark they needed to believe THEY could CREATE their own way out of NO FUTURE, together with the kinship and confidence it inspired in people who did not fit in anywhere else and also had the bollocks to stand up and say “NO, I DO NOT ACCEPT THIS STATE OF AFFAIRS, I am not going to take this NINSDOL pill anymore” (Nationalist Idolatry, Non Stop Distraction and Organised Lying), which to me was the most positive and lasting legacy from PUNK.
So then one day I hear there is this PUNK LONDON celebration of forty years since the release of ANARCHY IN THE UK! Supported by and set up to benefit the British Tourist Industry, The British Fashion Council, The British Museum, The Mayor of London!? WHAT !? First of all why forty years? Funny number really, feels just like someone thought it might drum a bit of trade when there’s no Royal wedding to distract us. Who’s really behind this thing? The Heritage Lottery fund? The Mayor? Where is all this money going? Is it going to support the homeless? The fund for old punkers UNIFOORMS? When are they going to start selling GOD SAVE the QUEEN mugs with a safety pin through her nose at the palace gift shop ?!!?? Punk has been used by the establishment to show how ‘fair’ British society is because they are so “tolerant, open and democratic, it’s in fashion”, every high street store pedals their own cliched version, credit cards, insurance, Burberry the 1970’s purveyor of the “wankers mac” is now punk in the British ‘tradisheeaan’ etc etc. So what the fuck does it mean anymore? Culture in decline is marked by conformity of opinion.
If Punk is now so firmly a part of British cultural tourism and all that’s left of it is a pose, then it is conformist and we ought to treat it like beefeaters, Routemasters and Royal guards, pay them to titillate the tourists and give them a UNIFORM allowance.
There are parallels to be drawn between the no future generation of the 1970’s and todays. Our environment is being destroyed at a rate of knots, Fracking our land! TTIP! London is suffering social cleansing, having it’s guts ripped out and being turned into some sort of theme park for rich people who don’t pay their taxes whilst ordinary people cannot afford to live here! Boris Johnson has presided over that with his boys club Bullingdon morals – which are apparent in his indifference to the plight of the real problems of ordinary people in this city. What I am doing is highlighting the hypocrisy at the core of this hijacking of 40 years of Anarchy in the UK and it’s why I am inviting him to light the match on November 26th at Buckingham Palace.
Keep warm this winter make trouble.