Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Charles Kennedy and the Liberator Songbook

Faced with an annoyingly upbeat and united Liberal Democrat Conference, the press is doing its best to manufacture a row over references to Charles Kennedy in the Liberator Songbook.

This is sold every year to people attending the Glee Club at Conference.

A couple of experts have been phoned up and duly condemned us, including Jackie Ballard who really should know better.

The Birmingham Mail spoke to John Hemming, who gave a more sensible response:
Mr Hemming said that the songs had been written many years previously and it would be wrong to remove them from the songbook now. 
He said: “Charles wouldn’t have wanted that at all. 
“We spoke to his family and they didn’t want the songs removed either.” 
However, organisers of the event had removed lyrics to another tune, based on a Scottish folk song called the Skye Boat Song, which contained lyrics which were more offensive, Mr Hemming said.
Elsewhere the inevitable "senior Liberal Democrat" is quoted everywhere as saying the Glee Club "should have been axed years ago".

And a word of advice to the equally unnamed "Lib Dem source" who has been telling journalists that "hardly anyone goes" to the Glee Club.

That is not true, as those journalists will discover if they go along. This may keep the story running longer than it otherwise would and means they are less likely to believe you when a more serious matter comes up. So it wasn't a clever thing to say, was it?
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Now read Lord Bonkers' foreword to the new Liberator Songbook.


Ian Sanderson said...

I am an inveterate conference attender, but haven't been to the Glee Club for many years, but only because it's past my bedtime.
I actually find people pontificating critically about how others should remember deceased persons they loved pretty offensive in itself.
And I also remember how well Charles could take a joke against himself and how he made jokes at his own expense. That is an essential part of the Charles we remember.

zoeimogen said...

On the "hardly anyone goes to Glee Club" comment, I've heard it said that more people went to Glee alone than the Green and UKIP conferences combined.

Not sure that's true, but given that UKIP attendance was very low (500 being an optimistic estimate) and given that Glee was overflowing in a suite with a 500-person capacity it certainly seems to be true that it was more popular than the UKIP conference.