Brighton Rap

There was a worthwhile exchange this morning on the Today programme between Henry Porter and Simon Fanshawe on the proposals by Brighton Council to outlaw homophobic (and, to be fair, other hateful) lyrics by performers in licenced premises in the Brighton and Hove area.  To be honest,   Porter was floundering somewhat and was being asked to take a position he really wasn't supporting.  It was rather unfortunate that the council spokesperson sounded like a 14 year old schoolgirl. But she was perfectly sensible in what she said.  Fanshawe was very good. Here is the piece:

And here is 'The Hooded Negro', aka David McMillan, on rap and 'free speech in the US.

This McMillan guy is pretty cool and produces some interesting, humerous videos. Here is one of his parodies - 'Prescott Ellison' (the Blind Black Republican).

On the other hand:
Imagine a country where city officials could take it upon themselves to ban art exhibitions, pieces of music and other performances that might, in their view, provoke violence. Where a pub, club or gallery could be threatened with having its licence revoked, and effectively be forced to close down, if it played music or displayed art that has been blacklisted by officialdom. Imagine a country where a young woman could be put under house arrest for, amongst other things, writing poetry judged to be ‘dangerous’. Imagine a country where the strictures on what you can and cannot say are so stifling that arts institutions censor themselves, sometimes withdrawing potentially inflammatory plays or exhibitions in order to keep sweet with the powers-that-be.