Chorley CitizenBARRED: Beer in honour of Britannia Coconut Dancers rejected in House of Commons (From Chorley Citizen)

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BARRED: Beer in honour of Britannia Coconut Dancers rejected in House of Commons

Chorley Citizen: Darwen and Rossendale MP Jake Berry was invited to put forward a guest ale in the Strangers Bar in the Palace of Westminister Darwen and Rossendale MP Jake Berry was invited to put forward a guest ale in the Strangers Bar in the Palace of Westminister

A BAR in the House of Commons refused to serve beer featuring the black faces of the Britannia Coconut Dancers.

Darwen and Rossendale MP Jake Berry was invited to put forward a guest ale in the Strangers Bar in the Palace of Westminister.

But parliamentary chiefs threw out the pale ale which had been specially crafted by a multi award-winning Rossendale brewery, saying the imagery ‘may have caused offence.’

MPs and local politicians slammed the decision, saying it ‘favours political correctness over common sense’.

The Coconutters have hit out, saying their traditional black make-up and colourful costumes are a celebration of Lancashire’s mining heritage, and have ‘no racial element whatsoever’.

It comes days after Will Straw, son of Blackburn MP Jack, was embroiled in a Twitter storm after posting a picture of himself with the morris dancing troupe.

Joe Healey, Coconutters secretary, called the decision ‘a real sad shame’.

He said: “I don’t understand the furore. Some people make caustic comments without understanding the tradition.

“After recent comments made about us, I felt compelled to go back through our history, and there is no racial element whatsoever. There is no mention of race or ethnicity.

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“Researchers from Sheffield University have done the same, and come to the same conclusion.

“Many morris dancing troupes, especially in Wales, wear black faces as a celebration of our mining history.

“Miners came out of the mines covered in coal dust. It’s nothing to do with making a mockery of other people.

“I know that myself and the other lads would either make changes, or stop taking part altogether, if we thought we were taking part in a racist tradition.”

Irwell Works Brewery in Ramsbottom dropped the image of the Coconutters from the beer pump and replaced it with the Bacup crest, which will accompany the ale in the Strangers Bar.

Mr Berry said: “I’m really looking forward to hosting the guest beer in Parliament in two weeks, celebrating everything that’s great about Rossendale.

“Since getting this opportunity, we’ve been in discussion with the Irwell Works Brewery since January about a number of names for the beer, to celebrate our local traditions here in the Valley.

“We thought of several names, but as the boundary dance was saved earlier this year, I thought it would be a fitting tribute to name the beer after the Britannia Coconutters, to celebrate their huge contribution to traditional dancing and their charity work across Rossendale.

“The House of Commons authorities did not feel that this would comply with the strict rules they have regarding the naming of guest beers and requested us to choose one of our alternative suggestions.

“I’m disappointed in the House of Commons Authorities decision. People who live in London obviously have no understanding about our Lancashire traditions.”

Sara D’arcy, managing director of Irwell Works Brewery, said: “After Jake suggested we do a beer featuring the Coconutters, I made it up and we sent it down with him.

“He came back to us and said they thought the picture of them could offend people, so we changed it to the Bacup crest.”

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said: “It’s regrettable that such a great Lancashire tradition can’t be celebrated in the House of Commons.”

Will Straw, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Rossendale and Darwen, said: "Everyone in Rossendale will be disappointed that our folk tradition and mining heritage has once again been misunderstood.

“But let's hope that the silver lining from this latest controversy will be more people to coming to Bacup next Easter to see the Nutters for themselves."

Bacup councillor Jimmy Eaton said: “This is a case of favouring political correctness over common sense.

“I’m 64 and I’ve watched the Coconutters dance since I was a child - there is nothing untoward about them.”

Nigel Evans, Ribble Valley MP and president of the All Party Beer Group, said: “I understand how the imagery can be perceived, and in modern times we have to be realistic about that.

“I think the quality of the beer on tap is more important than the publicity emblazoned on the pump.”

A spokesman for the House of Commons said: “The ale offered was not acceptable as the imagery proposed to be used in connection with sales may have caused offence."

He added: “Irwell Works brewery will be supplying a different guest ale in the near future.”

Comments (28)

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7:21am Fri 2 May 14

hasslem hasslem says...

this is a story? HofC bar decides not to accept a beer?
this is a story? HofC bar decides not to accept a beer? hasslem hasslem
  • Score: -15

7:48am Fri 2 May 14

burner says...

Will it only offer Milky Bar chocolate and not Bourneville D**k chocolate ? . . . . . . . only Corn Flakes but not Coco-Pops cos it turns the milk b***n ?
Will it only offer Milky Bar chocolate and not Bourneville D**k chocolate ? . . . . . . . only Corn Flakes but not Coco-Pops cos it turns the milk b***n ? burner
  • Score: 24

7:49am Fri 2 May 14

kosmic karma says...

Sorry state of affairs when tradition and political correctness (a nebulous entity) collide.
Sorry state of affairs when tradition and political correctness (a nebulous entity) collide. kosmic karma
  • Score: 23

7:58am Fri 2 May 14

A Darener says...

Shame on all the labour MP's, especially northern ones. They should be promoting and supporting the Northern traditions based on the coal mining and industrial industries of the working classes.
Well done to Jake for trying to educate the Southern softies to ignore the PC brigade. Why is "race" rearing it's ugly head in things that have absolutely nothing to do with race. That is racism in its worst form.
Shame on all the labour MP's, especially northern ones. They should be promoting and supporting the Northern traditions based on the coal mining and industrial industries of the working classes. Well done to Jake for trying to educate the Southern softies to ignore the PC brigade. Why is "race" rearing it's ugly head in things that have absolutely nothing to do with race. That is racism in its worst form. A Darener
  • Score: 28

8:13am Fri 2 May 14

maxcollie says...

This is an insult to the Coconut dancers. They were formed long before the word "racism" was used in our country.
This is an insult to the Coconut dancers. They were formed long before the word "racism" was used in our country. maxcollie
  • Score: 26

8:29am Fri 2 May 14

Saj143 says...

Deport them ..... only joking.

PC gone mad.
Deport them ..... only joking. PC gone mad. Saj143
  • Score: 5

8:34am Fri 2 May 14

greenscreener says...

Not a cynical move designed to attract column inches then ?

FFS did anybody really know or care what beer is in the HoC bar before this nonsense ? I didn't and I don't think it's going to worry me much in the future.
Not a cynical move designed to attract column inches then ? FFS did anybody really know or care what beer is in the HoC bar before this nonsense ? I didn't and I don't think it's going to worry me much in the future. greenscreener
  • Score: 6

8:53am Fri 2 May 14

Letsgetitright says...

Since when was Ramsbottom in Rossendale?
Since when was Ramsbottom in Rossendale? Letsgetitright
  • Score: 10

8:53am Fri 2 May 14

MET1983 says...

Madness!
If you dont like the traditions, dont move to the country in the first place!
Madness! If you dont like the traditions, dont move to the country in the first place! MET1983
  • Score: 19

9:09am Fri 2 May 14

Excluded again says...

A Darener wrote:
Shame on all the labour MP's, especially northern ones. They should be promoting and supporting the Northern traditions based on the coal mining and industrial industries of the working classes.
Well done to Jake for trying to educate the Southern softies to ignore the PC brigade. Why is "race" rearing it's ugly head in things that have absolutely nothing to do with race. That is racism in its worst form.
Remind me again who is in government in London?

This is a north v south issue. Both Labour and Tory northern politicians have supported the Coconutters. Its just that southerners don't get our culture, heritage and history.
[quote][p][bold]A Darener[/bold] wrote: Shame on all the labour MP's, especially northern ones. They should be promoting and supporting the Northern traditions based on the coal mining and industrial industries of the working classes. Well done to Jake for trying to educate the Southern softies to ignore the PC brigade. Why is "race" rearing it's ugly head in things that have absolutely nothing to do with race. That is racism in its worst form.[/p][/quote]Remind me again who is in government in London? This is a north v south issue. Both Labour and Tory northern politicians have supported the Coconutters. Its just that southerners don't get our culture, heritage and history. Excluded again
  • Score: 13

9:51am Fri 2 May 14

davemcb says...

Typical out-of-touch politicians. No wonder they have no respect from the general public (who so generously fund their subsidized drinking habits).
Typical out-of-touch politicians. No wonder they have no respect from the general public (who so generously fund their subsidized drinking habits). davemcb
  • Score: 11

9:55am Fri 2 May 14

Whydidtheybanme? says...

I think you have all missed the underlying issue here - it's because it's a PALE ale.........
I think you have all missed the underlying issue here - it's because it's a PALE ale......... Whydidtheybanme?
  • Score: 11

10:35am Fri 2 May 14

Lancs - pensioner says...

Another reason to get of the EU, all these politically correct views are rubbish, anyone remember the Golliwogg on the jam jar, that was the start when they band that, crazy absolutely crazy.
Another reason to get of the EU, all these politically correct views are rubbish, anyone remember the Golliwogg on the jam jar, that was the start when they band that, crazy absolutely crazy. Lancs - pensioner
  • Score: 15

10:39am Fri 2 May 14

A Darener says...

I probably still have the little badges of the Robinson's "*********s somewhere in a drawer. Given out as collectors pieces.

****** don't want to offend anybody by spelling out the word.
I probably still have the little badges of the Robinson's "*********s somewhere in a drawer. Given out as collectors pieces. ****** don't want to offend anybody by spelling out the word. A Darener
  • Score: 11

10:45am Fri 2 May 14

Excluded again says...

Lancs - pensioner wrote:
Another reason to get of the EU, all these politically correct views are rubbish, anyone remember the Golliwogg on the jam jar, that was the start when they band that, crazy absolutely crazy.
The EU had nothing to do with this decision. It was a decision by the House of Commons bar. You might as well say that this decision is a good reason to stop shopping at Asda or Tesco

As for the Gollywog issue, it was never banned. Robertsons have gone on record to explain that the decision to remove the Golly symbol from Robertson's jam and marmalade jars was taken after research found that children were not familiar with the character, although it still appealed to the older generations. It was a purely commercial decision to boost falling sales.
[quote][p][bold]Lancs - pensioner[/bold] wrote: Another reason to get of the EU, all these politically correct views are rubbish, anyone remember the Golliwogg on the jam jar, that was the start when they band that, crazy absolutely crazy.[/p][/quote]The EU had nothing to do with this decision. It was a decision by the House of Commons bar. You might as well say that this decision is a good reason to stop shopping at Asda or Tesco As for the Gollywog issue, it was never banned. Robertsons have gone on record to explain that the decision to remove the Golly symbol from Robertson's jam and marmalade jars was taken after research found that children were not familiar with the character, although it still appealed to the older generations. It was a purely commercial decision to boost falling sales. Excluded again
  • Score: -12

10:47am Fri 2 May 14

A Darener says...

Robinson was my wife's maiden name, meant to write Robertson's. Old age creeps on. Forget my own name next.
Robinson was my wife's maiden name, meant to write Robertson's. Old age creeps on. Forget my own name next. A Darener
  • Score: 0

10:50am Fri 2 May 14

A Darener says...

LP wasn't saying it was an E U decision. He was just pointing out that the slippery slope of PC dogma started with the EU many years ago.
LP wasn't saying it was an E U decision. He was just pointing out that the slippery slope of PC dogma started with the EU many years ago. A Darener
  • Score: 8

11:00am Fri 2 May 14

Excluded again says...

A Darener wrote:
LP wasn't saying it was an E U decision. He was just pointing out that the slippery slope of PC dogma started with the EU many years ago.
Not at all. PC originated in some American universities in the 1970s by naieve but well meaning people who thought that changing the name of something changed the thing itself. It's an American import not a European import. Insofar as PC exists in Europe, they got it from the Americans and us, not the other way round.
[quote][p][bold]A Darener[/bold] wrote: LP wasn't saying it was an E U decision. He was just pointing out that the slippery slope of PC dogma started with the EU many years ago.[/p][/quote]Not at all. PC originated in some American universities in the 1970s by naieve but well meaning people who thought that changing the name of something changed the thing itself. It's an American import not a European import. Insofar as PC exists in Europe, they got it from the Americans and us, not the other way round. Excluded again
  • Score: 6

11:03am Fri 2 May 14

A Darener says...

Don't dispute your origins of PC. Does not alter the fact that it is fully endorsed by the EU. Just because the Americans love it doesn't mean we have to.
Don't dispute your origins of PC. Does not alter the fact that it is fully endorsed by the EU. Just because the Americans love it doesn't mean we have to. A Darener
  • Score: 6

5:16pm Fri 2 May 14

Loving lances says...

Bacup, like much of east Lancashire, is older, less educated and poorer than the rest of the country. That's why there was a sizeable BNP
vote and why Ukip is strong here. It's the Alf Garnett tendency.
Jake Berry and Little Willy Straw don't like to offend these gormless Garnett types. They don't have the courage of their own convictions and cravenly cave in to the gormless local traditions. That is why I can't vote for either of these candidates. But whether or not it is racist -- and many people think
It is -- it is still feeble-minded, outdated. nonsense.
Bacup, like much of east Lancashire, is older, less educated and poorer than the rest of the country. That's why there was a sizeable BNP vote and why Ukip is strong here. It's the Alf Garnett tendency. Jake Berry and Little Willy Straw don't like to offend these gormless Garnett types. They don't have the courage of their own convictions and cravenly cave in to the gormless local traditions. That is why I can't vote for either of these candidates. But whether or not it is racist -- and many people think It is -- it is still feeble-minded, outdated. nonsense. Loving lances
  • Score: -11

5:24pm Fri 2 May 14

Fan@clared says...

hasslem hasslem wrote:
this is a story? HofC bar decides not to accept a beer?
You’ve completely missed the point. These idiots in London are something else. No wonder the UKIP party is gaining in popularity. People are fed up with the MP’s we have now. Maybe they could’nt make any money out of it for themselves. Most of them are thieves.
[quote][p][bold]hasslem hasslem[/bold] wrote: this is a story? HofC bar decides not to accept a beer?[/p][/quote]You’ve completely missed the point. These idiots in London are something else. No wonder the UKIP party is gaining in popularity. People are fed up with the MP’s we have now. Maybe they could’nt make any money out of it for themselves. Most of them are thieves. Fan@clared
  • Score: -2

5:29pm Fri 2 May 14

Fan@clared says...

Excluded again wrote:
A Darener wrote:
Shame on all the labour MP's, especially northern ones. They should be promoting and supporting the Northern traditions based on the coal mining and industrial industries of the working classes.
Well done to Jake for trying to educate the Southern softies to ignore the PC brigade. Why is "race" rearing it's ugly head in things that have absolutely nothing to do with race. That is racism in its worst form.
Remind me again who is in government in London?

This is a north v south issue. Both Labour and Tory northern politicians have supported the Coconutters. Its just that southerners don't get our culture, heritage and history.
Absolutely right. I think like Scotland the North should seek independence. What I don’t get is why we need 600+ MP’s anyway when all our laws are now made in Brussles. Coming back to your point they haven’t a clue about anything in the North – not a clue. I heard on TV they thought Carlisle was in Lancashire. If it’s not London it’s irrelevant.
[quote][p][bold]Excluded again[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A Darener[/bold] wrote: Shame on all the labour MP's, especially northern ones. They should be promoting and supporting the Northern traditions based on the coal mining and industrial industries of the working classes. Well done to Jake for trying to educate the Southern softies to ignore the PC brigade. Why is "race" rearing it's ugly head in things that have absolutely nothing to do with race. That is racism in its worst form.[/p][/quote]Remind me again who is in government in London? This is a north v south issue. Both Labour and Tory northern politicians have supported the Coconutters. Its just that southerners don't get our culture, heritage and history.[/p][/quote]Absolutely right. I think like Scotland the North should seek independence. What I don’t get is why we need 600+ MP’s anyway when all our laws are now made in Brussles. Coming back to your point they haven’t a clue about anything in the North – not a clue. I heard on TV they thought Carlisle was in Lancashire. If it’s not London it’s irrelevant. Fan@clared
  • Score: 6

5:44pm Fri 2 May 14

boynesider says...

ignorance abounds in the government.the bar should be shut down.do we really want drunken politicians making decisions on our behalf.no way.this bar is heavily subsided ,who would like to work in a place like that...lol
ignorance abounds in the government.the bar should be shut down.do we really want drunken politicians making decisions on our behalf.no way.this bar is heavily subsided ,who would like to work in a place like that...lol boynesider
  • Score: 5

6:13pm Fri 2 May 14

drunken donut says...

But the bar accepts drunken sex maniacs (no names, no pack drill)
But the bar accepts drunken sex maniacs (no names, no pack drill) drunken donut
  • Score: 6

8:45pm Fri 2 May 14

mavrick says...

Political correctness gone mad, nobody in parliament got the guts to stand up to the perpetrators of this PC. Name and shame the person who made this decision and sack them.
Political correctness gone mad, nobody in parliament got the guts to stand up to the perpetrators of this PC. Name and shame the person who made this decision and sack them. mavrick
  • Score: 7

9:22pm Fri 2 May 14

pdb951 says...

kosmic karma wrote:
Sorry state of affairs when tradition and political correctness (a nebulous entity) collide.
That's the bunch of W***ers we have running the country. Different planet.
[quote][p][bold]kosmic karma[/bold] wrote: Sorry state of affairs when tradition and political correctness (a nebulous entity) collide.[/p][/quote]That's the bunch of W***ers we have running the country. Different planet. pdb951
  • Score: 7

11:22am Sat 3 May 14

POW WOW says...

The house of commons couldn't be more racist if it stocked German beers !!!!!
The house of commons couldn't be more racist if it stocked German beers !!!!! POW WOW
  • Score: 2

11:38pm Sat 3 May 14

nice person says...

Loving lances wrote:
Bacup, like much of east Lancashire, is older, less educated and poorer than the rest of the country. That's why there was a sizeable BNP
vote and why Ukip is strong here. It's the Alf Garnett tendency.
Jake Berry and Little Willy Straw don't like to offend these gormless Garnett types. They don't have the courage of their own convictions and cravenly cave in to the gormless local traditions. That is why I can't vote for either of these candidates. But whether or not it is racist -- and many people think
It is -- it is still feeble-minded, outdated. nonsense.
Numpty...
[quote][p][bold]Loving lances[/bold] wrote: Bacup, like much of east Lancashire, is older, less educated and poorer than the rest of the country. That's why there was a sizeable BNP vote and why Ukip is strong here. It's the Alf Garnett tendency. Jake Berry and Little Willy Straw don't like to offend these gormless Garnett types. They don't have the courage of their own convictions and cravenly cave in to the gormless local traditions. That is why I can't vote for either of these candidates. But whether or not it is racist -- and many people think It is -- it is still feeble-minded, outdated. nonsense.[/p][/quote]Numpty... nice person
  • Score: -3

Comments are closed on this article.

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