When the cost-cutting Tory administration at Ealing council introduced an admission charge to the borough’s long-running free Summer music festival the decision was condemned. Now fellow Conservative Boris Johnson has gone one further by choosing to discontinue altogether the London-wide Rise music event, Europe’s largest anti racist festival with 13 years of history behind it.

Ever since Boris ran for office it was rumoured that the event was in jeopardy. In 2008 the funding was approved on the condition that the anti-racism message was effaced and now the whole thing is being wiped off the cultural map.

Last year’s BNP gains in the London Assembly were a disturbing sign. With the party buoyed up and hoping to make advances in the European Parliament in June the anti-racist message is more relevant now than ever. Despite all that “my grandfather was a Muslim” stuff the Tory toff put out to get the ethnic vote last year, the Rise axing shows his disregard for the anti-fascist cause when it’s most needed.

UPDATE: Longer Comment is Free post on this by me here:

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