A member of the BNP lives near me.
I know because on the sign outside the flats where this person lives, someone has scrawled a flat number next to the letters "BNP". And yes, the address was on that leaked list of members last November.
I do wonder if the person concerned wears the graffiti as a badge of pride. Or whether they're vulnerable and fearful in a society that ought to respect people's freedom of speech, even if their views are hurtful and repulsive.
Do you recall the years after Thatcher (you remember Thatcher: she's the mother of the BBC's least favourite celebrity since Jonathan Ross, Jeremy Clarkson and, um, the DEC)? In the early 1990s, for a generation of young people politicised by the poll tax riots, it was especially cool to bash racism with music.
Some artists waved the flag higher than others. Reggae trance soundsystem Dreadzone (pictured) woke the zion youth and encouraged them to Fight The Power. Credit To The Nation sampled Nirvana with protest single Call It What You Want, and we all learned that (a) racism was wrong and (b) sampling had gone too far.
And Phil Collins threatened to leave the country if the left-wingers gained power. (They never did, because Collins and his ilk secretly infiltrated the Labour party with a drumming gorilla, or something.)
I still have Anti-Nazi League stickers on old notebooks somewhere. The notebooks are full of appalling song lyrics that will never again see the light of day.
Since then, we've forgotten how to be political through music. Yes, protest songs live on, and plenty of musicians rouse the Citizen Smith within us. But Bono made the whole thing a little maudlin, while Morrissey's revived spat with the NME left both parties looking more than a little pathetic.
Politics seems to be hiding in the wings when it should be centre stage. There is plenty to be political about. The BNP keep winning seats for their disgusting cause, the red-top dailies prey on people's fears, and the pay gap continues to drive a chasm betwixt all different sorts of people.
It's pretty disingenuous of me to turn a piece about racism into an exercise in nostalgia. But I wish we could regain that spark. Make Chumbawamba cool again. Well... okay... maybe I've taken it too far...