There is a small, but distinguishable seam of discrimination that runs deep like a poisonous vein in the body of British society.
Malevolent, spiteful and ignorant, it tarnishes everything it feeds – from religion and race, age and sexuality, gender and disability.
At its worst, it nourishes opinions which are championed with a brazen, at times bullying self justification that openly promotes alienation and exclusion, yet equally insidiously, also gives life blood to a lazy, indolent acceptance of intolerance.
Thankfully, such views are held by a tiny minority of people in society, yet they are both voiced and displayed on enough occasions to evoke timely reminders of just why they should play no role in it.
The brass band movement should be no different.
Everyone who plays a part in one of the nation’s greatest cultural activities should champion inclusiveness in all its forms – with its organisational and representative bodies at the forefront of actively embracing and promoting such attitudes.
Mistakes and misjudgements will occur along the way.
Acceptance and contrition should be heartfelt and unreserved. Censure allied to proactive rehabilitation, with both individual and corporate self awareness, should be actively encouraged and promoted.
That responsibility falls on us all.
Do nothing and the spectre of intolerance will grow, gnawing away at our own self respect.
Do something, and discrimination in all its ugly forms can be banished to the annals of history where it belongs.
Iwan Fox & Anthony Banwell
Owners and Managing Directors of 4barsrest.com
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