Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Story Of Crass by George Berger (Omnibus Press 2006)

While Steve Ignorant had no qualms about describing himself as an anarchist back then, he's more reticent now. "I've realised now that I don't know what to call it, where my political thing comes from. My 'anarchism' - or whatever it was - didn't come from an anarchist background. I tried to read Malatesta once and I just got bogged down in it. And I've never read Kropotkin and Bakunin or any of those people, it just didn't appeal to me. It didn't make sense to me. I know that for reference if I need to look at those books I can, and I know they're making important points, but I know that for me, where I was coming from was the black and white sixties movies like A Taste of Honey, John Osbourne and a film called To Sir With Love.

"One day we were talking about books around the table," continues Steve. "Pen was talking about Tolstoy and I chipped in with To Sir With Love, and was met with roars of laughter, it was quite a joke. When there was the yearly clear-out of books, out it went. But the Maigrets stayed. That book To Sir With Love is about one of the first black men to go into the East End of London and teach unruly white kids how to respect themselves and other people as human beings. Which I thought was the basis of anarchism, wasn't it? . . .

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