The Tuts at Undercover

The Tuts experience of Undercover was a long way from good.  You can read about it on their Facebook page.

Dr Lucy Robinson’s piece here is geat –

Your Punk Politics Will Be Privileged…

I am quite deliberately not going to talk about what happened on this blog.  What is without question is that the organiser is ultimately responsible for the whole event and security in particular, and part of being responsible for a whole event is planning for all of the things attendees might do.  The second thing that is without question is that The Tuts singer-guitarist was left bruised and the whole band very upset.

Even in the hypothetical situation of an full independent investigation [as if] placing significant blame on the band – a hypothetical situation I have no reason to believe is true – the promoter still has lessons to learn.  By definition.  That to me is a big part of what makes the whole story so depressing.  The Facebook comments – many of which could be taken word for word from ‘Derailing for Dummies’ [an essential read for anyone who doesn’t wish to be an arsehole unnecessarily] – are depressing to put it mildly.  But perhaps what is worse is the fact that I get the sense that the lessons of Hillsborough have not been learnt – certainly not by the commenting public.  Bear with me.

I am not an expert of the Hillsborough enquiry.  The basics of the situation were that there was a tragedy at a football ground where 100 or so people lost their lives.  The police blamed hooligan supporters.  Eventually – 25 years later – the truth came out – the crowd behaved as crowds behave and the police were found to be at fault for making very bad decisions. Crowds cannot recognise the crush they are part of and all just stop and walk away so everyone is safe – crowds just do not work like that however much we wish they did.  Police can (or at least should) recognise that opening gates to allow a massive crowd into an already crowded enclosed space is extremely dangerous (as evidenced by the outcome).

It seems to me that even if we were to offer considerable sympathy to the anti-Tut side of the argument, the facts are that a promoter and his security team have left the band very upset.  So upset that they are prepared to call him out even though they probably knew that he’d have a load of supporters justifying his behaviour and reminding them to stay in their place and shut the fuck up otherwise they won’t get gigs.

I think that there is a very strong parallel here – even if we accept the Undercover supporters’ version of events, then the organisers still have questions to answer because there is nothing in either side’s account of the story that could be seen as beyond the reasonable anticipation of the organisers.  If MI-5 thought Undercover was a hotbed of terrorism and sent in 500 armed police to arrest everyone I would understand that Mick Moriarty did not have a plan to deal with it.

Someone [female 5’2″ in this case] [alledgedly] drunk and being a bit boisterous is very very predictable at a punk gig.  That person being left bruised and very upset can only really be reacted to in a handful of ways by the organisers.

“We don’t want bruised and upset people at our gigs, so we have to learn from this and see how we can improve our procedures and behaviours next time to minimise the chances of it happening again.”

“We don’t care if our customers and/or bands are left bruised and upset.”

“We do care if our customers and/or bands are left bruised and upset, but only if they’re sober.  Drunks don’t have the same rights as sober people.”

Personally I don’t like the latter two responses.  I hope that Mick Moriarty will come up with his side of events.  No matter what he says I find it very unlikely I will have sympathy with him unless he can show how he is going to learn from this.  It may be that the Tuts have things to learn as well, but “when you get drunk you lose your rights” should not be one of them.

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