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Barry Keeffe

The Long Good Friday’s screenwriter in the NME, 18 April, 1981. He also wrote a number of plays relating to class, bovver, and police corruption.


Scottish Poetry 1972

This write up of a poetry conference is from Scottish International, March, 1972.
This was a Scottish Arts Council funded magazine. Scottish International Review was a quarterly published from January 1968 to May 1971, then as a monthly until the final issue in March 1974. It incorporated an earlier journal Feedback published by George Square Publishers on the Edinburgh University Campus. It was edited by Robert Tait from 1968 to August 1973 and by Tom Buchan from September 1973 until closure. The editors had poets Edwin Morgan and Robert Garioch as literary advisers.

National Effrontery

Politics and violence were all part of the mix at gigs in the late 70s/early 80s. They were the arena where fascism and anti-fascism slugged it out. This response to a racist is from the letters page of Sounds, 25 October, 1980.

I’m not ashamed of being white or of my British heritage either, but that doesn’t equate with the National Front.It does, however, mean a desire to preserve the free speech and democracy we supposedly enjoy in Britain and no doubt the NF do encounter a healthy and venomous opposition, but mainly because there is a realisation that were the NF to gain sufficient impetus, they may not extend the same courtesy of free speech as you and I would perhaps grant them.
You can hardly expect me to defend those who would not have the slightest qualms about denying me the ‘free speech’ that the NF enjoy anyway; I’ve seen one of their political party broadcasts on TV myself.
“Never any outcry about the homeless, jobless, whites?” Every time I turn the television on, a politician or trade unionist is decrying the obscenity of 2 million unemployed. The number is, I assume inclusive of all races. And what about the ‘inter-tribe fights in African States?” that’s no justification of racialism in this country.
“Proud to be white, so are my mates, and if that makes us racist, well so what?” So everything. If you ARE a racist, admit it. If you’re not you should realise the implications of glibness on the subject when compared to the rest of your letter. And I’m sure Sounds writers don’t wish they were black, even though they may well be biased; they’d probably rather be what they are: white and affluent.

Marc, Wotton-Under-Edge, Glos.