Starting up a band and securing gigs on the circuit can be a tough business, and many obstacles present themselves to aspirant musicians without the interposition of individuals or groups of people who take a perverse delight in stymieing creativity in the name of cant of one form or another. A young indie group from Leicester named The Tennysons appears to have fallen foul of the self-appointed ‘moral’ guardians of our post-national era – UAF – specifically its Leicester branch, for its scowling arbiters of what may and may not be said or thought have pronounced an anathema upon the group, designating it as possessing dubious and implicitly ‘racist’ sympathies. Why? Quite simply because one of the group’s members once attended an EDL event some 16 months ago. For the UAF inquisitors of course, this constitutes grounds enough to damn someone for eternity.
The band has not been accused of employing ‘racist’ lyrics; no members of the band have been accused of making ‘racist’ statements either verbally or in print, and yet members of Leicester UAF have taken it upon themselves to try and humiliate members of this band and force them to make a public recantation of any sympathies with the EDL or the latter’s position. In order to do so, Leicester UAF have not employed reason, but a dirty underhand campaign, alleging that its members are ‘racist’ and spreading rumours around Leicester’s music scene thereby ensuring that venues have cancelled Tennysons gigs and thereby threatening to ruin the band. The Leicester Mercury states that ‘A number of the band's shows have been cancelled in the past few weeks as venues became aware of the allegations against the band.’ Moreover, it quoted Joel Lavender of the Soundhouse as saying "All of the venues are pulling them from their bills because of these allegations.”
Quite clearly, the members of Leicester UAF have some explaining to do and some apologies to issue. By making defamatory allegations about The Tennysons, they have after all inflicted significant damage upon the band, and the latter would be justified in seeking financial redress for the snide and baseless insinuations of Leicester UAF, whose spokesman Tom Mycroft told the Leicester Mercury:
Mycroft’s statement suggests that he is no longer of such tender years, and given this fact, he must know that the tactics that he and his confederates have employed against this young band were dirty and underhand. The manner in which members of Leicester UAF have behaved has proven to be far more revealing about them than the targets of their smear campaign, for the former have displayed a totalitarian mindset that is willing to brook no dissent, and to crush any who seek to display a different perspective or take on social questions. What this story proves beyond any doubt is that Leicester UAF does not support the concept of a free and open society where we may enjoy the right of free speech and artistic expression, whereas it proves nothing about the moral integrity of The Tennysons or any one of their members. Evidently, UAF will not approve of Tennysons song titles such as ‘England belongs to me’ as all members of the band are English. For UAF to give its approval to such a song, those singing it would have to be non-indigenous, preferably of non-European and Muslim stock."Everyone is entitled to make mistakes when they're young and they have made a statement against the EDL. I hope they are sincere about it."