Friday, November 14, 2008

Gary Glitter: Another brick out the wall

You might have thought that government MPs would have more than enough proper child protection issues to occupy their time without creating work for themselves campaigning against a brick, but apparently Bob Wareing from West Derby has made getting Gary Glitter's memorial brick removed from the Cavern Club a priority.

It's not clear what this is going to achieve, exactly, but Bob seems to think he's performed a public service:

"I didn't think he was a good role model and I wouldn't myself have wanted to put his name up.

"I understand the club wanting to put across the history of the Cavern Club and really not leaving anything out. But on the other hand this is a special case."

Nobody, as far as I can ascertain, asked Bob Wareing to put Gary Glitter's name up anywhere.

The trouble with this, though, is it's a little subjective, isn't it? The argument for putting the brick there - it's a record of everyone who played at the Cavern, without any attempt to vouch for either their quality as artists or as people. Once you take it down, insisting that it's a "special case", and start to introduce a character test, it all becomes a little murky. For example, Glitter's brick is being replaced by one with Pete Wylie's name on it. Pete is a lovely man, but got mixed up in something nasty a few years back when his former girlfriend called the police on him. Does Bob Wareing want to adjudicate on if that should debar him from having a brick in his name?

Closest to the Beatles' own bricks, there's one for the Rolling Stones. But surely the "special case" of Bill Wyman's relationship with the underage Mandy Smith would mean that brick has to come out, too?

Come to that, Paul McCartney was convicted of drug possession by a Japanese court, wasn't he? Doesn't leaving that 'Paul' brick up there somehow condone scoffing at local drug laws? Should we fetch a chisel and pop that one out, too?

It is not to suggest that Glitter's behaviour is acceptable to leave his name in a historical role-call; it's not as if he played the Cavern after his fall from grace, and Bob Wareing would presumably not feel comfortable if anyone went into the library on William Brown Street and removed any reference in back numbers of the Echo to the Glitter date. It doesn't help the victims, and it's unlikely to spare the misery of a single child in the future. The suspicion is that this is little more than a spot of easy news coverage for Wareing. I really thought he was better than that.


3 comments:

PeterD said...

Perhaps also Jimmy Pages relationship with a 14 year old Lori Maddox, or Bowies relationship with the 13 year old Maddox is considered OK?

Laura Brown said...

If I owned the building (and it's really the owners who ought to make the decision), then I might have people bid for the chance to design a brick to replace the Glitter one, and donate the proceeds to an organisation, such as Preda, that looks after child victims of "sex tourism" in developing countries.

However, on second thought, it would be better to raise money for such a cause without publicly scapegoating anyone.

Anonymous said...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/7731012.stm shows shows this story in a slightly different light...

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