Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/710/14173
Single and video: ill Manors by Plan B
The new single, and video, ill Manors, by rapper Plan B is conceived as a warning shout from the disenfranchised inner cities to middle England.
The video intercuts staged scenes of angry, violent youths in urban surroundings with real footage from last summer's riots. The lyrics mention the riots and suggests some reasons for the dusturbances:
"Don't bloody give me that, I'll lose my temper
Who closed down the community centre?
I killed time there, used to be a member
What will I do now 'til September?"
No doubt aware of the risk of being accused of condoning the riots Plan B released a statement, explaining that the song aims to reignite the discussion around the riots, which was swept under the carpet without addressing the underlying issues.
He talks of "a very public prejudice towards the underclass." Much media focus is on Plan B's anger at the accepted use of the word 'chav' - ill Manors mentions the most frequently used acronym "Council Housed And Violent".
The statement explains: "These kids are ridiculed in the press as they aren't as educated as others, because they talk and dress in a certain way... that makes them feel alienated. I know because I felt it myself growing up... They don't care about society because society has made it very clear that it doesn't care about them."
Coming out of East London's grime scene, Plan B is now bringing the discussion to a much wider audience than other artists could.
ill Manors raises important questions but stops short of offering any concrete answers.
We may get a fuller picture when Plan B's film, also called ill Manors, is released in May, but he's coming from the right place:
"We've had it with you politicians - you bloody rich kids never listen
There's no such thing as broken Britain - we're just bloody broke in Britain
What needs fixing is the system - not shop windows down in Brixton
Riots on the television - you can't put us all in prison!"
- Watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8GvLKTsTuI&ob=av2e
In The Socialist 21 March 2012:
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