From the CoffeeHouse ‘lunchtime expresso’ we learn that former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read has apologised for his Ukip calypso song amid claims that it is racist. The song, which the musician performs with a mock Carribean accent, drew complaints from people including Labour MP Chuka Umunna, who branded it ‘distasteful’. The DJ has now requested that his record company remove the single from sale, saying: ‘I am so sorry that the song unintentionally caused offence. It was never meant to, and I apologise unreservedly.’
So one Labour politician chuka his rattle outta de pram over what is a satirical record, consequently the singer apologises and asks his record company to withdraw it from sale? Is not part of British humour poking fun at others? If a song is written in calypso format then where is the harm in performing it in the style of those that originated it?
I do not recall any outcry at the time Lance Percival performed topical calypsos (with a mock Caribbean accent) on That Was The Week That Was. Neither do I recall any outcry at the antics of Charlie Williams (The Comedians) whose humour was often at his own expense and particularly his colour – and who would respond to heckling by saying: If you don’t shut up, I’ll come and move in next door to you.
Umunna considers himself a Brit – to which one can only say: Chuka, me ol flower, first, what the hell has it to do with you; and second, if you don’t like our humour then find a country whose humour you do like.