Curry and a bit of Motown

The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the 21st Century

Curry and a bit of Motown

with 100 comments

A 21st Century EnglishmanMy name is Tom Attah. I am Black British. You don’t see that on forms very often.

I was named after the Irishman – Thomas Larbey – who gave my mother and father a place to live in the late 60s whilst they studied medicine. Compassion and chance and tolerance from the United Kingdom are built into my name.

DAMNED RIGHT I am an Englishman. I’m never going to pass for white but I will always, ALWAYS pass for human. I have earned the right to call myself that down days of compassion and understanding and belonging and song. And if I will call myself human, English, European – then I have to – HAVE to – admit where my mistakes are, and to forgive people for making theirs.

That would be to forgive the 120,000 people in Yorkshire who voted BNP this week.

There’s a story about people who came on boats across the waters through the mist and fog because they heard tales of a land of opportunity, a place where they could make their names. They came on long journeys where many of them died, into a harsh climate that was NOTHING like their own, to a place where they were resisted and where they did not know the language – and where they had to fight to make their voices heard. But fight they did, and slowly but surely they integrated into the peoples and lands that they had come to so slowly and from so far away.

But enough about the central Europeans invading Roman Britain in the year 450. Enough about how England is named after a tribe of Germanic conquerors (the Anglii), from 1,550 years ago. This is about the BNP, so we need to skip forward almost 16 centuries to today.

I am Black English. I can tell you the names of every UK prime minister for the last 200 years. I don’t think that Nick Griffin can do the same thing.

What terrifies me most is that I understand. I know what the Barnsley BNP voters mean when they say they “…don’t know what they want,” I know where they are coming from when they say they don’t care who it is – just as long as someone claims to know who they are and what their pain is and how to cure it. It’s blues. Not racist blues, HUMAN blues.

Politics IS that simple and that serious.

But my understanding was bought at a high price.

Millions of my ancestors were displaced and murdered to buy my understanding. My forebears were beaten to death to give me my chances and my parents were abused in the streets to purchase my opportunities – so that now, when it is time for ME to understand and to forgive, when it is time for ME to share and to educate – I know how to do it. If I don’t stop the wheel of segregation and distrust and lies and ignorance from spinning then I have learned – WE have learned – nothing.

But I’m angry about this.

HOW DARE YOU Nick Griffin, lie to my people. HOW DARE YOU Nick Griffin, tell them that you are in this for them. HOW DARE YOU Nick Griffin, tell me that I have no right to be here. The only true indigenous peoples in the UK are the Welsh, and they are angry enough already. This nation was BUILT on immigration, invasion, inclusion and adaption.

My father fought so many battles to get into 2009 and now here we are thinking about the same old thing – a group of people feeling like they have been forgotten, who believe that they are jobless and who think that they have no rights.

The people who voted BNP think that they have been told the truth. Hell, on the streets of Barnsley the people didn’t even know the name of the BNP candidate they had voted for. My job is to tell people the truth. I play music, so that should be easy – anything that’s a lie sounds like dissonance, out of tune, discordant to me.

I know that the blues is a state of mind, not a style of music. The hard part is going to be telling people the truth, even though they don’t want to hear it. The truth is that everyone belongs. Some need it read to them, some need it played to them – but we all BELONG.

Musicians – please play it. Writers, please write it. Singers, please sing it. Artists, please paint and draw it – and everyone else – EVERYONE else – just show it and believe it and demonstrate it and let it shine out of you because you KNOW that it’s the truth. Tell everyone what you have told me, because we are friends, and we are friends for a REASON.

Me – I have some incredible and beautiful and talented people in my life. I am lucky like that. I play gigs so all I can do and WILL do for the next year or so is transmit the message above to the disenfranchised people or to those who didn’t vote this time round and tell them how important it is that they VOTE NEXT TIME – because if they don’t, shit like this happens.

The Barnsley people DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THE NAME OF THE PERSON THEY ELECTED. ( All they knew is that something – anything- had to better than what they have got now.

How do we explain to people about their potential? How do we show people that they are more empowered than they have ever, ever been?

I am open to suggestions. What do you think I can do – what do you think that WE can do to change all of this? It’ll be a slow process, but look at how far we have come, look at what we have at our disposal – if you are reading this, look at how easily we can talk to each other.

How do we take a message of understanding and inclusion – the message that I have learned and been taught for the last 36 years – to people who have forgotten it or never been taught that they belong in the world, not on an island?

But you know – it could be easier than I think. After all, everyone likes a curry and a bit of motown.

Written by mpttom

June 13, 2009 at 1:22 am

Posted in Manifesto

Tagged with , , , , , ,

100 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. “I am Black English. I can tell you the names of every UK prime minister for the last 200 years. I don’t think that Nick Griffin can do the same thing.”

    To quote Sun Tzu: “There is no greater disaster than underestimating your enemy.”

    Griffin went to Downing College, Cambridge. He is *clever*. He was the first person to realise that positioning the BNP to look ‘moderate’ was the key to winning seats. If you labour under the misapprehension that people who stand for, and vote for, the BNP are all dimwitted morons you will give them the opportunity to come up with strategies to put them into a position where they can win votes.

    People who involved with the BNP are *wrong*, not stupid.


    June 15, 2009 at 9:49 am

    • Onion 2k – I agree, I don’t believe for one moment that the BNP voters are slow or stupid – certainly not dimwitted. I believe that they have been sold the BNP as a badge of Britishness and solidarity, and in a town like Barnsley where the mood is one of disaffection and resentment at being seemingly forgotten by mainstream governement, Team Griffin seems like a viable alternative.

      “…the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” and we can change this. We must.


      June 15, 2009 at 10:11 am

    • I do not think that Tom was saying they were stupid. Some of them are for sure. But if they are so ignorant (by the other meaning) that they don’t care, then why would they have acquired the info.

      Am doing a presentation on the BNP and our current situation on 28th June. Do you know of other good readings like Tom’s?

      Email as I might not get round to getting back to this wordpress before then.



      Mark Beaummont

      June 15, 2009 at 6:21 pm

  2. it is rare to see people express themselves so clearly and be as insightful to what is truly going on.


    June 15, 2009 at 9:53 am

  3. Inspirational words.

    Bryn Colvin

    June 15, 2009 at 9:57 am

  4. Great stuff!

    Richard Hirst

    June 15, 2009 at 9:59 am

  5. My family have lived in Wales since the year dot. So have my partner’s family. His nieces are black, as his sister married a guy from Uganda. Many of my cousins are Indian, as one of my relatives married a doctor’s daughter from Calcutta. Their ancestors are as Welsh as mine and my partner’s. They belong here. This is their country. The only thing that has ever made me ashamed to be Welsh is Nick Griffin.

    The problem is that even if the universe was peopled entirely by white men, some of them would still be at the bottom of the heap. I’d be interested to see who they found to blame, then. Because some people need someone to blame. They need scapegoats, whether those scapegoats are Moslem or feminist or Black or Liberal. They need to wall themselves up in a bubble of self righteousness, because that’s easier than actually doing something about the quality of their own lives.

    My late partner came from the bottom of the social heap – his parents were fairground people. He ended up with a doctorate in Artificial Intelligence, because he refused to listen to people who told him that it was someone else’s fault.

    I don’t know what we do about all the other people who would rather have someone to blame – pointing out their lies does not work for those who are avid to believe in something comfortable, even if it isn’t true. I guess we just keep on keeping on, and slowly making things change.

    By the way, a large percentage of my ‘Welsh’ ancestors? – were Flemish, on the run from religious persecution. As you say, built on immigration, built on change. If Britain had magically sealed its borders round about 1400, I wouldn’t be here.

    Liz Williams

    June 15, 2009 at 10:07 am

    • I couldn’t agree more. And this beautiful mongrel tongue of ours is built on inclusion and adaption and evolution and is one of the strongest languages on the planet. Ironic, that.


      June 15, 2009 at 10:16 am

    • Liz, although Nick Griffin lives in Wales, take comfort in the fact he isn’t Welsh. He is in fact English. Sorry England. Thankyou Tom, for a lovely piece. It cheers me up after the depressing news that we are sending Nazis to Europe x


      June 15, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    • Ever see that episode of The Goodies? (Ask your parents if you’re under 35!). All racial prejudice gone. Instead the short people were to blame – cue all sorts of nastiness done to Bill Oddie!

      BTW, I do believe not even the Welsh (Celts) were here first – there was a group living here when the Celts arrived – they were ‘Aryans’ or Indo-European people from somewhere in Asia (take THAT BNP!). Before that the Pre-Aryan peoples were here; often called Cro Magnons. Neanderthals were even earlier, as were Pitheganthropus though the last two weren’t Homo Sapiens Sapiens (ie a differents species). Truly, our islands have a long history of immigration (partly because the place was joined to the continent for much of the time).


      June 15, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    • Liz, I have replied to tom’s letter in a favourable light, however, it has been proven time and time again that the overwhelming evidence is that crime is caused by a greater percentage of black youths across the UK.

      I saw this at first hand when I had a shop in a major city in the UK. I have been robbed several times by blacks, however, I am not against anyone’s colour or race but you cannot refute the statistics from official sources.

      We in the BNP do not hate anyone but we know that our country is full to bursting with people who should not be here. It is therefore the first criteria to send back the waves of immigrants who are in this country illegally. It is my personal view that it is impractical to remove from this country the original generations of immigrants who have settled here but, we have vowed to change the imbalance which now exists against the white population of this country.

      No other country in tghe world puts immigrants ‘rights’ before those of its own people. We also believe in justice and we will not tolerate gangs of feral youths of any shade raping our women or robbing our people with impugnity, we are a democratic party which upholds democracy and freedom but, we cannot tolerate the present situation where there is a threatened takeover by Islamist fanatics with the ‘blessing’ of the treacherous Labour ‘government’.


      June 26, 2009 at 7:37 pm

      • Geraldo

        Crime is tied to socio-economic qualifiers, not ethnic ones. I am happy to share statistics which demonstrate an overwhelming amount of white-on-white and white-on-black crimes within specific demographics in cities.

        You know as well as I do however that there are “…lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

        My concern with your comments is that you are making huge generalisations and THIS is my concern with the BNP; the tendency is to blame genuine social and economic issues that DO exist – 1,000s of jobs being lost, a lack of investment in industry and an existing skilled workforce, a disenfranchisement of the electorate, the need for parliamentary and educational reform – on ethnic MINORITIES is…misguided and insulting, to say the least.

        Immigration is one of many issues that needs control and overhaul. It’s not the central reason for all of the UK’s problems.

        Blaming black faces for a Britain’s response to a global recession makes no sense at all. It was the commonwealth that absolutely guaranteed Britain’s existence through two world Wars and to hear your Party Chairman calling for “…a return to the state of the nation pre-1948,” is an insult not only to the non-white Englishmen who laid down their lives for this nation who allow him to make the comment, but to the very spirit of the United Kingdom itself.

        It’s no accident that the Royal British Legion has publicly requested that your Party Chairman desists from shaming them by wearing a poppy, their emblem, and the emblem of a nation that cares about its true heroes.

        Uneducated people do criminal things – but not all uneducated people. Desperate people do criminal things – but not all desperate people. Greedy people do criminal things. Criminality, a lack of education, greed and desperation are NOT the exclusive preserve of non-white human beings. They are characteristics of some uneducated, desperate and greedy people.

        Criminality is not a condition of race; it’s a condition of circumstance and mentality. Are you suggesting that prior to there being a demonstrable black presence in the UK there was no crime? You may want to think of Ian Huntley, The Krays, Myra Hindley, The Yorkshire Ripper, and Dr Harold Shipman – or are these people excused their hideous crimes against the United Kingdom and its citizens because of their skin colour?

        As a people we are defined by the quality of our thought and the quality of our thought is expressed by the quality of our language. We, the British people and our language, exist through expansion and aggregation and adaption – thus evolution and ultimately – survival.

        The ONLY way that our language and our values and our nation will continue to expand and prosper is by the acceptance and inclusion of outside influence – and I am sorry to say that nowhere in the BNP manifesto, policy or general conduct do I see a strategies that encourage the continuance of this proud and deserving nation into the future.

        I am happy to be corrected.


        June 26, 2009 at 10:24 pm

  6. Inspiring post dude.

    Marcus Povey

    June 15, 2009 at 10:08 am

  7. A good read. Thank you.

    It’s been passed on.


    June 15, 2009 at 10:13 am

  8. An insightful blog with lots to think on. You are right, everyone should vote especially women who have their own story. Apathy allows the extremes on both sides to creep in. The wake up call often comes too late. The politicians of all parties have allowed fear over rising immigration from European states to become clouded with the issue of racism. The PC brigade do not help in this. Ridiculous edicts wanted by no one, not in the least the people they claim to speak for, turn sensible people away from reasoned debate. Debate, education and open free discussion is the way to breed understanding, and an appreciation for all views.

    Sean Murphy, the snooker player was asked on reaching the world championship TV stages was asked if his progress was promoting the sport back home, he replied “Yes, the people of Wellingborough are delighted!” England cricketer Monty Pannesar was asked if he wanted to be a positive role model to Asian youths, his reply “No, I just want to play cricket and be a positive role model to all young people.”

    The attitude of inclusion and democracy makes us great. If I have the choice of running the risk of having more BNP elected or not having a vote in case I mis-use it, I’d choose the first every time. Change of attitude can only come from democracy, education, positive role models and accepting those that we strongly oppose. Well done on your blog. Keep up the positive message.

    Bill Boorman

    June 15, 2009 at 10:16 am

  9. I’m with you


    June 15, 2009 at 10:20 am

  10. Brilliant post Tom.
    Shame the people who voted BNP didn’t think there was a better alternative and shame on those who couldn’t be bothered to vote.
    Hmm, now I’m tempted to write a song about it…


    June 15, 2009 at 10:25 am

  11. Impressive and eloquent.

    I am ashamed at the number of people who felt that voting BNP was somehow a “protest vote” as it gives the air of respectability and even hope to people peddling policies in the main that are deeply offensive to many. A real protest vote is simply to spoil the paper.

    That said I do not believe that large numbers of people are actually moving towards this political standpoint and next election will vote significantly differently.

    Your post, and the responsibility of thinking, caring people is to communicate both the point of democracy and of social development including all people and beliefs, sadly even racists.


    June 15, 2009 at 10:26 am

    • Sir, there are more racists in the Labour Government and the Labour movement than people realise.

      It was Lauren Booth (a relative of Tony Blair) who called for the removal from this country of all Jewish people. Also, the reason that so many immigrants have been allowed into this country is votes, this is regardless of the misery caused to people of all nationalities who have had their lives blighted by vast numbers of people coming into their areas.

      We in the BNP have put forward common sense proposals which protect the interests of our own people. We are not racist and we do not believe that being in the EU is the right decision for Britain.

      The British National Party believes in democracy and freedom.


      June 26, 2009 at 7:50 pm

      • Geraldo

        A relative with no official executive or legislative state postion who is related to a former Prime Minister (sister-in-law) does not equal the tone and policy of a current government.

        I am not even going to attempt to defend Lauren Booth but I think you would do well to put her commets into their correct context.

        If I accept what you are saying about Lauren Booth representing the current government (which she absolutely does NOT) then you are inviting me to accept the views of some of the more radical and misguided members of the BNP. I am certain that this is not what you want.

        Where is your evidence that immigration is tied to votes? My understanding is that only British Citizens and registered taxpayers are qualified to vote in general and council elections. Have I misunderstood you?

        Having read the BNP manifestos dating back over 10 years as well as following closely the membership criteria debate currently taking place, I am interested to understand your definition of “Democracty,” and “Freedom,” with direct reference to your party’s current policies and the non-white British citizenship of the United Kingdom.


        June 26, 2009 at 10:13 pm

  12. True and gracious. Demonising all BNP voters as hateful idiots doesn’t get us anywhere.

    (But maybe not the best thing to compare the current wave of migrants with the Anglo Saxons. After all, the original Britons really DID get swamped by foreigners!)

    Bob Hanson

    June 15, 2009 at 10:26 am

    • I disagree, I think it’s a perfect example. As Tom has already mentioned, Britain’s history has been one of invasion and immigration and it has built this country – and our language – into what it is today. Where would we be if the Romans, the Vikings or the Normans hadn’t invaded? We’d be a very different society indeed, and a much poorer one for it.

      A great read which illustrates much of the immigration and invasion, and how things changed with it is Edward Rutherford’s London. A work of fiction, but pretty historically accurate I think.


      June 15, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    • Not entirely swamped I don’t think – from the history I’ve been studying recently, it seems more likely there was just a lot of intermarriage and a culture shift towards, at least in the case of the Romans, that of a more advanced society. If the natives had been entirely swamped, then Old English would have been wiped out, not left to evolve into Middle and then Modern English.

      We should remember that there’s strength in diversity, demonstrated well, I think, by the deplorable state that many royal dynasties got into through habitual intermarriage.

      I agree that those who feel the BNP are a good option are to be pitied rather than hated, after all shows what an absolute shower they’ll have ‘representing’ them.

      I shall certainly be doing what I can to spread this message, and I think tonight I’ll celebrate it by listening to a bit of Motown while I dig into what my (second-generation immigrant) father would call ‘a proper British curry’.


      June 15, 2009 at 2:18 pm

  13. Beautiful post – I agree with the sentiments whole heartedly!

    Despite being white I too am a member of a group not seen as “British” by the BNP. As a decendent of both British, German and other European Jews, the BNP also see me as a “second class citizen.”

    But I would say that my knowledge of my heritage makes me far more British than any ignorant BNP supporter. I know how our country has been seen as a safe haven for people running from injustices in their home countries and that makes me proud to be British!

    Chances are that somewhere down the supposedly “White, British” BNP supporter’s lines, they are too were once immigrants into this wonderful country and they should respect the rights of others who have made this country as fantasically diverse as it is.

    As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter if you are white, black, asian or oriental, Christian, Jewish, Hindu or Muslim, gay or streight, or anything in between, you have a right to live in this country, have equal rights as anyone else and be proud to be British!


    June 15, 2009 at 10:39 am

  14. Great blog entry… BNP shouldn’t be allow to get anywhere in UK politics!


    June 15, 2009 at 10:50 am

  15. How about everyone whom the BNP would wish to “voluntarily repatriate” as per their manifesto goes on strike for a week? Show people how these Isles would suffer if the BNPs plans were actually instated.

    How long would Britain last before descending into anarchy if all the “ethnically foreign” people the BNP wish to deport just downed tools?

    Matt Volatile

    June 15, 2009 at 10:52 am

  16. Good post – thanks. I found it linked from a friend’s LiveJournal, and I’ve passed it on through my Facebook and on IRC.


    June 15, 2009 at 11:03 am

    • Thank you, Denny – it’s a simple message but the more people that see it, the better!


      June 15, 2009 at 11:09 am

  17. Inspiring words!


    June 15, 2009 at 11:14 am

  18. Great blog! Maybe we need to understand people a little more and judge people a little less in order to beat the BNP.


    June 15, 2009 at 11:33 am

  19. Hi Tom,

    I fully support you.

    I listened to the BNP “thank you” speech on R4 and I hope all his supporters did as well. There was no moderation there!

    Rather than trying to hush the BNP up I think people should hear what their views really are. From their strict criteria most of their voters would also be booted out the country as well.

    I believe that Britain is great because we have this amazing blend of people. You can tell a British person not by their skin and hair colour but how they speak, dress and act. We are definitely a country of immigrants throughout the ages and better for it.


    June 15, 2009 at 11:43 am

  20. Tom,
    Once again you’ve shown yourself to be eloquent and considered. I’ve been involved in some interesting discussions over this issue this past week and will be sure to post your blog on the boards they’re taking place on.
    Peace, bro.

    Dean Mitchell

    June 15, 2009 at 11:43 am

  21. Absolutely wonderful, truthful post. Good on you babe.

    I’m ashamed of my country for having so many people who would vote BNP. I will be sure to post a link to here on other forums I use. Take care.


    June 15, 2009 at 12:07 pm

  22. “All they knew is that something – anything- had to better than what they have got now.”

    The sad thing is that it took this kind of mistake to get any change.

    If all those people who didn’t vote had voted, isn’t it far more likely that they would have wound up with *exactly* what they had last time? Generations of voters haven’t learned, generations of non-voters haven’t learned. Neither apathy nor herd conformity works. In fact, this system doesn’t work. Now that people realise this, Brown is pushing for a system that sounds better but actually allows for *less* change. Voting reform ala Big Brother.

    It takes things like this happening to inspire change. Well, let’s make some change. Or are we just going to lie back down once we’re through barking and let them walk over us again?


    June 15, 2009 at 12:24 pm

  23. A great blog post Tom. Inspiring and articulate.
    Thank you for posting it – I hope many more people give it a read.

    If the British People are to unite against extremists, we need more education and your words are part of that education.


    June 15, 2009 at 12:41 pm

  24. Apparently the number of votes they got actually went down, but they increased their percentage because traditional Labour voters didn’t bother to come out to vote. Which means the blame lies with the Labour Party for being so crap and with ordinary people for their apathy and disaffection with the current system. This is a great article. though, and gets at the heart of what truly being British is. The BNP haven’t got a clue about that. They’ll find out if they ever really get close to acquiring power; the strongest, most robust physical defence of this nation and its people from fascists has come from the white working classes. Ultimately they’re not as stupid as the BNP thinks they are.


    June 15, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    • Not only that, but their share of the vote went down in areas which already suffers from a BNP representation (if you can call it that) on the local council. Because, presumably, the electorate know what a useless shower they are. It’s possible that the publicity of having two MEPs will do them no favours as people will realise what they are…


      June 15, 2009 at 3:22 pm

  25. Great post, from one human being to another!

    I have passed it on via Twitter.

    Glen Feechan

    June 15, 2009 at 1:32 pm

  26. I see this is the only post – perhaps you’d like to make another, telling us where we might get to experience your music for ourselves?


    June 15, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    • Hello Heidi. You can find my blues at and I will certainly make more posts over the coming days.

      I’ve just finished a short run of gigs and so need to write and record some new material – thanks for asking. All commemnts and feedback warmly received.


      June 15, 2009 at 2:29 pm

  27. […] the blog of a Black British blues musician, entitles "Curry and a bit of Motown". Curry and a bit of Motown Curry and a bit of Motown […]

    B.N.P. Class Roots.

    June 15, 2009 at 2:29 pm

  28. Why nothing on English folk ???

    Richard Bridge

    June 15, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    • Hello Richard – not quite sure I understand. Could you explain?


      June 15, 2009 at 3:11 pm

  29. Great article! Even though I’m not from England I believe that this is a message that needs to spread and rings true for all human beings. I’ll be passing it along.

    Daniel DeGroot

    June 15, 2009 at 4:05 pm

  30. I’m not sure I understand their policy on repatriation that’s why they should be given a platform to explain it.

    They’re not stupid these people and they know that without skilled labour (foreign or native) the country would slowly grind to a sluggish crawl. Everyone’s making wild assumptions that they want to repatriate everyone but I’m not getting that message from what I have read and I think it’s media hype.


    June 15, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    • Hello Alfred. I agree entirely that Nick Griffin’s party should be made to explain very carefully EXACTLY what they mean and how they believe that their ideas would work in the long-term, since what is written on their website is incredibly vague; dangerously so, in fact.


      June 15, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    • It is not practical to remove from this country generations of immigrants who have settled in the United Kingdom; the main criteria will be to remove all of the freeloaders who are taking our jobs and housing and benefits and to stop immigration to enable us to sort out the mess Labour have got us into.

      We in the BNP hate no-one, but we will address the imbalance that exists at present to the detriment of white people. We are for Britain first and foremost, land and people.


      June 26, 2009 at 7:57 pm

      • Geraldo

        You are quite correct; it is not practical to remove ANY generations of immigrants from the United Kingdom since essentially the whole nation (excepting the Welsh) would need to be relocated to mainland Europe or Kenya.

        I need to understand your definition of freeloaders; living and working in several cities I am well aware of a benefit culture that is distinguished by its singular lack of ethinic diversity.

        Can you please clarify?


        June 26, 2009 at 10:47 pm

  31. Thanks for a beautiful article. I have spent much of the past week fighting a similar battle. I started seeing it as a race issue, then came to the conclusion that it is an ignorance and fear issue – though as a white Englishman my perspective may be somewhat different to your own, though I hope my own two mixed race daughters have given me some insight. The best thing we can do is to ensure people understand the BNP’s true messages, and show them how like Adolf Hitler Nick Griffin really is, how what he says is so reminiscence of what Hitler was saying before he became Chancellor. We have to show people that a protest vote for the BNP is really incredibly dangerous.

    Well done for standing up and being counted, we must all do our own little piece for common decency.


    June 15, 2009 at 6:03 pm

  32. […] Curry and a bit of Motown « Curry and a bit of Motown DAMNED RIGHT I am an Englishman. I’m never going to pass for white but I will always, ALWAYS pass for human. I have earned the right to call myself that down days of compassion and understanding and belonging and song. And if I will call myself human, English, European – then I have to – HAVE to – admit where my mistakes are, and to forgive people for making theirs. […]

  33. Caught this article from a Brit friend of mine. Well done, Mr. Attah, and I’ve got to tell you, as an American seeing an awful lot of the same creeping in over here (mixed in deeply with our religious right as well, so you’re either the wrong color or don’t worship the right way) it’s good to see people of your eloquence on the right side of things. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.


    June 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm

  34. This part-Polish Welsh gal was touched last night after watching the civilisation prog on BBC2. Who are we? Why, we are all Africans. We might just look a teeny bit different from eachother down the years, but, essentially, we are all the same.


    June 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm

  35. I agree with the sentiments of the original post, but have concerns around some of the follow-up remarks & other comments read elsewhere about the BNP.

    The BNP are rising the crest of a wave of dissatisfaction with mainstream politics at the moment. We currently have MPs who openly put towing the party line above representing the needs and views of their constituents. We have MPs and Lords who have been found to be corrupt in terms of either taking bungs or fiddling expenses. And we have a government which, despite promises to the contrary, will not give the people a say in the main European issues.

    In this climate, a rise in the fringe parties is inevitable. Hitler came to power amidst a similar climate of dissatisfaction.

    Whether BNP voters are stupid or not is completely missing the point, and demonising them without understanding why they voted that way is pure ignorance. We live in a democracy and ultimately people will vote for parties they have faith in to do right for them and their families, locally or nationally. It’s now in the hands of the mainstream politicians to put their houses in order and prove themselves worthy of our votes. If they don’t, God help us…


    June 15, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    • Hello Smurf – I have to say again that I do not think that BNP voters are stupid or dimwitted – far from it. I know that the BNP put in the leg work by being on the streets of Barnsley every week for a year and speaking in a language that the electors could understand on a Saturday afternoon – talking about how Whitehall had forgotten them, and how no-one but them cared about what matters to “…honest folk, like jobs and t’elderly.”

      The people who voted BNP in Barnsley weren’t being slow, they were just being lied to.


      June 15, 2009 at 6:41 pm

      • But mpttom, for the most part they weren’t being lied to.

        They weren’t being lied to when told that Whitehall had forgotten them — the other parties were paying so little attention that this happened. Where were all the moderates?

        They weren’t being lied to when being told that their jobs are at risk, that taxes are going to go up while their salaries don’t, that cheap labour is constantly coming in from Europe, that the NHS will basically give them short shrift once they reach retirement age, etc., etc. There’s no shortage of ammunition to use.

        Sure, those voters were being lied to about how the BNP wasn’t racist, about vague plans for border control. But by the time you get to that lie, you’ve covered a lot of truths, a lot of reasons people do have to be scared in current conditions.

        In the meanwhile, a number of Labour, Lib Dem and Tory voters obviously sat on their hands and waited out the election because they believed their vote wasn’t going to go to any party that could or would help.


        June 16, 2009 at 1:44 am

      • I think that we agree. When I am losing my job, I don’t want to hear about my MP using my taxes to have his moat cleaned. When I can’t pay my mortgage or my rent or afford my shopping, I don’t want to hear about a man with two houses, or someone that’s bought a duck island for his private lake. I want to know that someone is going to give me somewhere to live or to support me until I can work again.

        The lie is that the BNP claim to be able to provide these things but since they have never previously even begun to have a sniff of power or responsibility, let alone credibility, the party has been able to campaign on a paper-thin platform of promises and reactionary lies that blow away under the slightest breeze of questioning.

        The truth is that the BNP voters feel – rightly – disenfranchised, forgotten, tired, humiliated and scared. The lie is that nationalism at this time is an acceptable solution. It really, really isn’t. If the results of the European elections here in Yorkshire mean that the centre parties are jolted into action and begin the much-needed process of electoral and parliamentary reform, or that independent parties begin to rise and address the needs of the electorate then this has all been for something good – but the cry from the people appears to be “look after me,” which is surely different to “…give me somone to blame.”


        June 16, 2009 at 12:23 pm

      • “If the results of the European elections here in Yorkshire mean that the centre parties are jolted into action and begin the much-needed process of electoral and parliamentary reform, or that independent parties begin to rise and address the needs of the electorate then this has all been for something good”

        Absolutely. Which is why we can’t fall for Gordie’s new electoral reform plan, which sounds great until you realise it finishes killing any idea of proportional representation or any small party’s chances to even be heard.

        His version of the alternative system would ensure, certainly, that BNP is never elected again. It would also ensure the Greens never get a local seat, the Libertarians, Jury Party, etc. Nobody but the big three would stand a chance, thereby protecting their power base indefinitely. If I were paranoid, I would say they couldn’t have planned it better, because people will flock to it.


        June 16, 2009 at 2:39 pm

  36. Excellent post, thank you for expressing your thoughts so beautifully. It always makes me smile when I look at my three sons – blond hair, brown eyes and olive skin. A good old Viking/Norman mish-mash, I reckon! And our surname is Self, which is Viking for Seawolf, which means our forebears were almost certainly invading marauders…

    Like you said, when people don’t bother to use their vote, shit like the BNP getting elected happens. I tell my kids over and over that countless people have fought and many have died, throughout history and the world right up to the present day, to win the right to vote and that they should never, ever take that right for granted, and they must always use their vote. So thank you for your promise to spread that message with your music.


    June 15, 2009 at 6:47 pm

  37. Thank you for this – perfectly expressed! My two little girls are part Welsh, part Jamaican, part English, and pure Yorkshire. Nick Griffin and crew seem terrified that soon there will be no such thing as British, or English, which just seems ridiculous. Cultures evolve all the time and often become fuller and richer for it.

    I went to a family gathering a while ago with my partner’s family, who are originally Jamaican, and saw something which, for me, perfectly captured multicultural Britain – a group of men ranging from white as a sheet (me!) to absolutely black, dressed in everything from traditional religious dress to Adidas, arguing (in Scouse, Brummie and cockney accents) about the Premier League. I’m proud of this country, and the diversity we have.

    Thanks again 🙂


    June 15, 2009 at 6:54 pm

  38. Let me say up front that I agree entirely with the detail and sentiment of the article. The BNP are fascist scum who should not have any place in modern society.

    I would say, however, that you have missed some important aspects of the reason why the BNP were elected.

    I live in the North of England (I’m afraid I don’t know where you live). This is where the BNP were elected (although I would argue their share of the vote went down in the North West – it’s just that the share of the vote for Labour went down more). I think we need to consider the following :

    Nick ‘the bastard’ Griffin was on Today on Radio 4 and one of the telling statements he made was purely anti Islamic. He grouped whites, Sikhs and Hindus together and Muslims separately. While I don’t dispute the BNP are anti Jew/Black/Other minorities they are clearly and delierately anti Islamic because that gets votes (at least in the North).

    The commonly held view in the North (from a purely anecdotal standpoint) is that Asians do not interact with Whites. They do not go to the pubs or restaurants, they do not go on package holidays. They do not work in offices and factories, even when they do they have to deliberately try to conform or be considered weird and foreign.

    All these stereotypes are self perpetuating, there is prejudice in the jobs market preventing Asian workers from entering working class jobs, therefore they aren’t considered for working class jobs, therefore when they do start a working class job they are abnormal. It is important to note however that jobs where there is less prejudice and based more on qualifications e.g. medicine, there is a high number of Asian candidates and workers.

    I think these barriers (both real and imagined) are slowly breaking down. There is more integration now than there was in the past. Minority kids are free to follow their parents ideals and become devout Muslims, change to become more middle class and ‘integrated’ or become irritating chavs (race is not a barrier to chavdom).

    Tom’s well written article is about the BNP and their stance to Black people – I agree with him entirely, I just would also like to add to his argument.

    The BNP were elected because of these prejudices, it is important to fight them at every stage. I believe in free speech, but hate speech must be challenged at every opportunity, while throwing eggs at Mr Griffin and his thugs, sorry henchmen, sorry ‘security’ may be enjoyable to watch a more powerful approach would be to counter his racist speech with the truth.

    I also lay the blame at the 15% of MPs who shamelessly stole from this country. It is because of them that an already skeptical population believes 100% of them are crooks. This is the main reason why the BNP got in, all the mainstream political parties should be ashamed that this has happened because of them. They should all band together to remedy this catastrophe immediately.

    We do not live in a perfect society and it has many faults. We should not let the BNP gain ground because of them.


    June 15, 2009 at 7:04 pm

  39. Tom, what a beautiful, well thought, funny and reasoned post. Made me cry, as did the election result.

    When people realise they are part of a world, rather than a clique or creed, is when change for the better for everyone, will happen.

    Thanks for this, from a Scot (from many different heritages throughout Europe).


    June 15, 2009 at 7:19 pm

  40. Thank you for this post, which I’m reading via facebook. Keep on singing!

    Tammy Hervey

    June 15, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    • Excellent, Tammy – please pass on the blog URL to as many people as you can!


      June 15, 2009 at 7:37 pm

  41. Excellent and insightful article. Many respects to you.


    June 15, 2009 at 8:16 pm

  42. […] Read “Curry and a bit of Motown”, by Tom Attah. […]

  43. I understood that the BNP voter numbers didn’t go up, it’s just that more ordinary/rational voters decided not to bother? I suppose we just need to make sure we get off our backsides and vote next time to keep nick griffin and his scary BNP mob out?


    June 15, 2009 at 11:37 pm

  44. My dad got that ‘No dogs, no blacks, no Irish’ filth when he came over from Dublin, decades ago… At the invitation of Rolls-Royce, who didn’t have enough gas-flow design technicians.

    And *his* lot are descended from a ‘foreigner’ to Kildare, a particular type of man who prospers in times of war and famine; and he, in turn, descends from brigands with boats who went sailing from Norway because their ancestors ended up in Scandinavia, having been kicked out of everywhere with fertile soil and ice-free Easters…

    My mother’s folk are denizens of darkest Somerset: a people apart, treated with open contempt by the citizens of Bath and Bristol. Some still speak an ‘English’ close to Low German – utterly untouched by the language of the Norman aristocracy who owned them as serfs in bondage to the land. An estate which was rather better than the outright chattel-slavery of their ancestors under the Saxon Eorls.

    Is there a point to be made? Maybe. I look every inch the English aristocrat, and sound it too; moreover, I have moved up in the world, and exercise some of the power over men that comes with it. Should I say “over ‘lesser’ men?”

    Fortunately I was brought up rather better, and despise the fools who name themselves my social superiors or imagine themselves to be a ‘master race’. If I am ‘above’ or ‘below’ any man it is a matter of opinion, which counts for little, and a sum of my achievements – which counts for even less in an age which celebrates mediocrity.

    So what am I to think of these ‘Nationalists’? What ‘nation’ are they from? Are they aware that they and I are mongrels from the leavings of twenty centuries of brigandage, migration and war? How little they know of the stories of sea and soil and blood and toil that separated us by luck, and unite us if we did but know it.


    June 15, 2009 at 11:42 pm

  45. Inspired words. Thankyou so much for posting this. I couldn’t agree more.


    June 16, 2009 at 12:19 am

  46. I liked the way you expressed yourself in this post. I can feel how determined you are to incite change.


    June 16, 2009 at 5:12 am

    • Thankyou – please share this with as many people as you can!


      June 16, 2009 at 5:42 am

  47. Rarely do words resonate as much as music. Beautifully written. (And it’s out and about in the Twitterverse)

    Sue Kerridge

    June 16, 2009 at 8:13 am

    • Perfect – it’s inspiring to see all of the positive comments over the last two days!


      June 16, 2009 at 8:23 am

  48. Thank you for this post. You’ve soothed my fear and anger, and given me back determination, and hope 🙂 Yeah, and I’ve linked to it from my (sporadic) blog too! All the best 😀

    Sole Sister

    June 16, 2009 at 10:29 am

  49. [Wordpress has borked my profile – Sole Sister link is wrong. I have linked to this post from ]

    Disobedient Child

    June 16, 2009 at 10:36 am

  50. I lived in Barnsley, or thereabouts until I was 18. One thing I know for sure is that most people from Barnsley would not naturally trust a Cambridge Law graduate to represent them. Great link to the story that they don’t even know name of their BNP candidate on the BBC.

    This makes sense to me. Working class people are being tricked by someone that would be the last person they would trust (Nick Griffin – southern, cambridge educated)… This is how we should be presenting the BNP to voters in Barnsley – they would rather shoot their grandma than vote conservative, but they have been tricked into voting for another set of toffs with a much worse agenda…



    June 16, 2009 at 11:18 am

  51. One other thing which might cause a bit of contention. I am white and will still never be considered British, because I have an accent. I will never be considered English, despite at least 12 generations of my family living and dying in Yorkshire, because I am American. Well, after 10 years here (and refusing to pay £600 for Brown to throw me a party with a passport), I refuse to tick that “White – Other” box anymore on all those forms. I’m ticking British because I live here, work here, have my history here and pay my taxes here, bureaucrats be d***ed right along with the “Do you miss your home?” lot.


    June 16, 2009 at 1:58 pm

  52. The BNP policies really aren’t as thin and hateful as you think, a lot of people are simply imagining the bnp policies based on their worst fear.


    June 16, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    • The BNP 2009 policies seem very thin to me; click the link and see for yourself.

      Just as an example; in a time of recession, where is the funding for the “…generous repatriation settlement,” going to come from?

      There is no meat on these bones. It’s perhaps as if the party never expected to have to back up these points with hard fact, budget or quantifiable policy – almost as if they never seriously considered themselves electable in a multicultural society.

      You can look at the humour section of their website and laugh at how moderate some of their party members are. This in particular is singularly offensive.

      You may also enjoy this interview from Sky TV if you are still in any doubt about what the BNP stand for. Just to re-iterate; the clip is of Phil Edwards, Head of Communications for the BNP. The 2005 Assisted Registration Policy is similarly interesting reading.

      The full General Election manifesto is equally enlightening and entertaining.

      I think my standpoint is clear at this time and in a spirit of fairness, openness and impartiality I invite you to review the resources above.


      June 16, 2009 at 9:16 pm

  53. Great post, Tom.


    Johnny Laird

    June 16, 2009 at 7:27 pm

  54. Great post Tom.

    There is so much racism as there\’s very little education.

    I have recently moved to Barnsley and was shocked and disgusted that locals have voted BNP.

    The masses need to be educated and taught that we all bleed the same blood and breathe the same air. I grew up around West Indian families in Birmingham as a child and I was bullied for being a \”n***er lover\”. Did it stop me hanging out with my black friends? Did it hell. Even at an early age I realised that something very wrong was happening albeit I didn\’t know exactly what racism was then. As I got older into my teenage years, I saw \”Roots\” on the television, then started reading books about Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Nelson Mandela et al. Then I discovered the horrific truth about racism. I am just one man but if I can educate just one other man about love and unity then it\’s a start.

    Gordy aka DJ Greedy G

    DJ Greedy G aka Gordy

    June 17, 2009 at 10:25 am

  55. In once prosperous ex mining communities like Barnsley its deprivation and lack of hope that lead to people to vote for the BNP. Its like a garden – without cultivation and care the flowers are strangled and engulfed by weeds. This is the fertile ground that Team Griffin can seed themselves in and flourish.


    June 18, 2009 at 7:08 am

  56. The worst article I’ve ever read, an absolute load of F*cking tosh.

    Griswald monkeypants

    June 18, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    • You’ve clearly never read the BNP manifesto.

      I’ve corrected your spelling and grammar to help you appear more articulate, but left the swearing in your comment as you clearly need that to express yourself.

      Just so you know, your view represents 0.03% of the people who have read the article to date.

      Thanks again for stopping by, and well done for being brave enough to use your real name.


      June 18, 2009 at 8:59 pm

  57. Hmmmm, Brons (the name of the BNP MEP) isn’t a very English/British name is it? It appears his great grandfather was a German immigrant – hints of hypocrisy one thinks.
    When growing up I had both black and German descended friends, not that I thought of any of them as anything other than like me and I’m from Cornish stock (with a pasty (sic) complexion).
    The ignorance displayed by the Barnsley voters is deeply troubling.
    Now I do fancy a curry and a bit of Motown right now. 🙂

    Me here

    June 18, 2009 at 6:02 pm



    You are a GUEST in this country and it’s time you WENT HOME!!!!

    A BNP Voter

    June 18, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    • Going home would mean a trip to Guildford from Yorkshire as I am indeed British and specifically – English.

      I am proud of that and unashamed of my views, which means that I am happy to share my real name with people – unlike you.

      How ironic. Feel free to prove me wrong.


      June 18, 2009 at 8:44 pm

  59. […] 2009 I don’t normally get political on here, but I felt the need to link to this guy’s excellent post on his blog, Curry and a bit of […]

  60. Many thanks for this eloquent post, from another one of Nick Griffin’s “racial foreigners”. What should be done? Maybe just to keep demonstrating every day that the simple fact of our co-existence proves Griffin wrong. I hope that this result is a one off. Plenty of the posts above give me hope that this is true.

    PS. I share a house with three white people – two female, one gay. We keep saying one of us needs to develop a disability so we have the full complement of diversity…

    Zarir Sethna

    June 18, 2009 at 9:09 pm

  61. Fantastic post. I’m half Welsh and half Mauritian, and the mauritian side has irish and scottish, and indian and burmese and african. My best and oldest friend is Jamaican – African, French, Spanish and Irish in his bloodline. My wife is English, Irish, German and Jewish in terms of mix. I grew up in the East End of London, where the racial mix has been diverse for centuries. Just as it has been across the country for years. If anybody wants to try to find where we go back to if we don’t belong here they’re welcome to try.

    Perhaps it will be like a programme that was on a couple of years ago, where they tested some people who claimed to be English and proud through DNA to see exactly how English they were. No such thing apparently. Watching their faces when they found out they were not from descended from people from here, in fact some of them were not even descended from caucasian ancestors. I did laugh.


    June 18, 2009 at 10:16 pm

  62. I think most have said many of the points I would like to say.

    However, most white normal people (is that the right description – pun?) Will never vote for Griffin or the BNP.

    The BNP concentrate their efforts on the places where they might make a impact on the media. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a start for them or a trend; simply put, they will never convince the general public that they are a viable force – let alone the media, who only use them for shock value and to sell headlines.

    The minute they ever became more than a minority they would fail. Look into the politics of Media Barons and you will know this, Jewish people (of which there are some with great power in the media) will never give them more than a little rope to hang themselves. The majority of the UK, some of whom (like any country) are stupid and in some agreement, will still not vote for them as they have the whiff of Nazi Germany, the far right and all that goes with it about them.

    No, your average racist UK man hates Nazis more than anything. I would give them about two weeks if they ever did get any real following. Simply they will never gain the mass media’s support. I sleep easy, I bet Nick Griffin doesn’t, mind?


    June 19, 2009 at 3:05 am

  63. I agree that the BNP have managed to position themselves in such a way that they appeal to voters sick of politics and want to believe someone’s going to listen to them.

    I wrote about the BNP in Liverpool and think it came down to the fact that we’ve lost the ability to teach people about important things like politics. It’s the only way to explain this result.


    June 19, 2009 at 8:17 am

  64. Its easy to spot a BNP supporters comment by the lack of a real name! So to buck the trend I present me, a white guy resplendent with skin head. A couple of senior co-workers are very much sympathisers of the Nationalist rhetoric. Every day I’m ‘entertained’ by ignorance coving many a divers subject.

    What amazes me, in this day and age is how many people still think this way. HOW is this still the case?

    Hell, if it wasn’t race it would be intelligence, or ginger people, or poor people, or gypsies… there’s always the ignorant and always a suitable victim. I’m afraid it seems hopeless. Just hope the good will always outnumber the bad.

    Withholding my name in case this gets back to my boss! lol


    June 19, 2009 at 10:00 am

  65. Hi Tom,

    I blame the education system in this country which leaves so many people out from the day when they first attend school. We concentrate on the brightest and deem those not ready for school as “dim” and write them off. But they are not dim, they are simply at a different starting point and need to be taught from where they are. Give children material which is too difficult and they switch off and become alienated from school
    (and often from society as well). Give them material at the right level and they move forward in leaps and bounds, hungry for education. This also requires putting in enough staff in the first two years in school – one teacher cannot cope with a class of 27 pupils all at different levels and
    requiring continual individual assessment and individual learning materials.

    It is far easier for a party like the BNP to recruit voters who haven’t learnt than voters who are able to investigate, gain all the facts and use them to assess what they are told. Of course education includes what we learn out of school as well (indeed this can be the most important) but so many children miss out here as well, for lots of reasons.

    It is hard to change the education system, though we can keep trying. But what we can do is try to make sure that in our day to day lives we value all people equally, and when the opportunity presents itself to help someone who needs help, that we do that as a sort of “pass the parcel” – today I might help someone because I can, tomorrow when they can they might help someone else – because they can.


    June 20, 2009 at 12:07 pm

  66. Hi, saw the link here from the Gallifrey Base forum. Thanks for a great, well-written post – I’ve linked to it.



    June 20, 2009 at 2:34 pm

  67. divide and control
    secular exclussion
    blame culture
    non accountability
    media manipulation
    corporate extorsion

    they are all distractions to
    fool us into not persueing the real
    culprits who manipulate the masses
    year in year out.

    tempation, trickery, torment
    BNP relies on misinformation, media hysteria,
    disgruntled socio-economic communities and a
    political shamble of opposition. Well we
    certainly have it all in Barnsley.

    The Romans are comin
    The Saxons are comin
    The Jutes are comin
    The Angles are comin
    The vikings are comin
    The Normans are comin
    The Catholics are comin
    The Irish are comin
    The Indians are comin
    The Blacks are comin
    The Chinese are comin
    The Pakistanis are comin
    The Polish are comin

    We live, and life is nothing but an empty journey without love, hate at your own cost Barnsley.

    dave h

    June 29, 2009 at 4:05 am

  68. This article is immensely informative and fruitful.It will help readers to take proactive decisions and update themselves accordingly. Thanks a lot for providing so valuable facts.


    February 16, 2010 at 12:08 pm

  69. Thanx for the great posts, all great in their own way. I was born a human in India, try to love all sentient beings to the best of my ability and to the extent possible for me. Have travelled extensively but am presently in India for no other reason except that I’m more used to the place. You can find out a bit more about me on or you may just write to me at (am also there on facebook)and, perhaps, we can help one another in educating those who’ve forgotten they’re human and just a small part of the universe which is to be shared by all sentient beings…

    Deep Inder

    February 25, 2010 at 5:04 pm

  70. i was starting to suppose i may perhaps end up being the only human being that thought about this, at the least at this point i learn im not outlandish 🙂 i will make it a point to examine a handful of various other posts soon after i get my morning caffeine in me, it is actually complicated to read with out my coffee, adios for now.

  71. Saw this from your sig on Gallifrey Base, just now decided to check it out.

    What a thoughtful read that was. And thanks for sharing your musings with us. I’m sorry to see one or two idiots here (do you record IP settings?), but then there are idiots everywhere. Amusing responses to the boneheads, too! People like that make me ashamed of my skin colour, as ridiculous as that is.

    I do hope you keep using this blog.


    May 9, 2010 at 10:35 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: