This story reminded me that I had not yet written anything about Tolpuddle 2010.
Well, the weather was surprisingly great, the showers remained (mostly) hot and the mood was remarkably upbeat despite the onset of a right-wing Government. My summary of the weekend is Two Jako Thumbs Up.
There was, of course, plenty of political lunacy on display. If I had my way, the festival organisers would put more effort into promoting the event to ordinary trade union members, which would hopefully ‘moderate’ the political mood somewhat.
It’s important that this event is accessible to trade unionists who aren’t necessarily the hardcore activists. Instead of holding a political festival which essentially preaches to the converted it would be great if Tolpuddle could instil a sense of political awareness and commitment to TIGMOO in trade unionists who were not previously politicised.
One amusing speech was given by some gimp from the NUS who complained that the term NEET (describing 16-21 year olds not in employment, education or training) was somehow discriminatory and oppressive. It was ridiculous.
The NASUWT was inspired to hand out free kites at its stall. Nice idea, but it got a bit dangerous when they started flying into the electricity pylons.
Billy Bragg – musically solid, as usual. It was amusing to see Comrade Bragg (who made the mistake of backing the Lib Dems at the recent general election!) argue from the stage with people in the crowd who disagreed with his support for the alternative vote.
Are there any festivals other than Tolpuddle where the performers get heckled by people shouting out their views on proportional representation?