Sunday, 15 February 2015

We cannot allow censorship and silencing of individuals- working men's clubs have a particular responsibility to resist this kind of bullying



There is a worrying pattern of failure to respect some of the older and greater comedians on the working men's club circuit. When Bluey Drongo ("an eff, a blind, a merry quip") appeared at the Cambridge Bittern Stuffers' club recently, a rival event took place for those folk who object to Bluey's often-stated belief that people who've retrained during their careers can never be true working men; you're born a working man, he says, and that is that; these newcomers don't know what it smells like when you've lined the pockets of the rich with the sweat of your brow, and it ain't roses, he says, let me tell ya. Strewth. Obviously, the fate of this minority isn't important or relevant to the rest of us true working men, so it is ungrateful of them to make a fuss when they could be enjoying Bluey's off-colour anecdotes instead.

It's also troubling that Bernard Waning has not been getting any bookings lately. Bernard's been touring with his one joke ("hear the one about the Englishman, the Irishman and the transsexual Scot?") for over ten years now, but what the heck, it's an important joke, and it is shameful that he should be denied the platform to tell it. Yet again. Some jokes just improve with the retelling, after all. If things carry on like this he won't even get a chance to publish his joke in the Guardian one more time, and then where will we be?

a piece on censorship in the Guardian

...and a response from Sarah Brown