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Pamela Moberg

Simone Clarke and the BNP

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Estelle, I was thinking the same about Clarke and Yat-Sen Chang.

FWIW Leigh, I've seen Clarke dance a handful of times, most memorably as a lead harlot in Romeo and Juliet, opposite Chang. However, the most memorable event of that night was Friedmann Vogel as Romeo and my fabulously decent seat in the round of Royal Albert Hall.... (I was practically drooling over Vog... er... the stage....)

Anyways, she is petite, but she strikes me as a vivacious, energetic dancer...... I know her rep includes Odette/Odile, Giselle, etc.... but I see her as more of an Odile, Kitri.... However, this is based on my extremely limited observations of her - I'd be interested to hear what more regular ENB-watchers may have to say.

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You can find a few videos of Simone Clarke and Yat-Sen Chang at their website: http://www.yschang.co.uk

What I don't understand is how Chang could have encouraged her to join the BNP. What exactly are his views on the immigration issue? Or perhaps that doesn't even matter and it's about letting the one you love believe in whatever she wants to believe in. Even so, I'm still scratching my head over this...

There is one thing that Ms. Clarke has gained from this: publicity. I didn't have a clue who she was before hearing this story (and I have a feeling many others didn't, either). Now I'm afraid I probably know more about her than I care to know. Also, for those balletomanes who are considering boycotting her performances, they may not have to worry about seeing her on stage in the near future. Sorry to say I can't find the link to the article right now, but I read somewhere that she is considering a change of career (even plumbing!). Another aspect of her behavior I find odd is her determination to not socialize with her peers at ENB, other than Chang of course. I always thought dancers had such a strong sense of camaraderie. Once again, this leaves her the odd one out.

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.......... Sorry to say I can't find the link to the article right now, but I read somewhere that she is considering a change of career (even plumbing!). Another aspect of her behavior I find odd is her determination to not socialize with her peers at ENB, other than Chang of course. I always thought dancers had such a strong sense of camaraderie. Once again, this leaves her the odd one out.

Actually, there's a link to that interview (if it is the one I'm thinking of) on their own website. In that interview at least, the plumbing career remark was made with humour I think. Although she might now be thinking more seriously about it......

Regarding the publicity, I don't think it can possibly do her ballet career any good and may do it great harm,... but then again maybe it will all blow over and make little difference in the long term. :blink:

Given that the BNP must already have an interest in her, since bringing both herself and their party to public attention, I wonder to what extent they might be trying to 'manage' the situation with her (and to what extent she might cooperate). For example, supposing the issue forces her to leave ENB (for any of a number of reasons) she might decide try and become 'outspoken' doing interviews, or writing a book justifying her views. If she could be in any way help the BNP cause, especially in the PR department, I'm sure they would be more than willing to encourage/support her!

Maybe that's unlikely.... but if she is stupid enough to join them in semi-ignorance then she might be stupid enough to side with their cause even further if she is ostracized by ENB, the dance scene or the general public. :)

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Aren't we getting a little carried away? Surely in a democracy, a private citizen may be a member of any legal political party or social organisation. If the British government hasn't outlawed the BNP, I think that a ballet dancer is entitled to be a member, however repugnant that may be to the audience. The UK is not a fledgling democracy that needs to protect itself from dissent. It can allow its citizens (or are they still subjects?) to behave as disgustingly as they choose.

I also don't believe that it would be right for the ENB to penalise Ms. Clarke merely for being a member of the BNP. I don't see what right a ballet company has to get involved in its dancers' political activities.

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This is that difficult area of 'being tolerant of the intolerant'. It's pretty much a toss-up on that one, and I usually opt in favour of seeing that the intolerant--which is Ms. Clarke here (and her BNP) or she could not defend so vehemently a totally intolerant and moronic organization--does not deserve any more tolerance than she is capable of herself. She has chosen BNP and supports it as the organization of intolerance it is, but expects ENB to be an organization of tolerance, because that would be very convenient.

I agree with papeetepatrick that Clarke's potential employment woes are the just consequence of her poor decisions, rather than a political witchhunt.

Almost all private companies today have mission statements, nonprofits or government-supported enterprises like ballet companies do also. As far as I know, for a ballet company today that mission or vision includes reaching out to the local community and fostering a new level of inclusiveness in the ballet audience. Ms. Clarke's public statements run counter to that goal; as an employee she cannot fulfill the mission of the organization.

No, she should not be blacklisted out of theatres everywhere, but that doesn't mean she'll fit the needs of a company. She could form her own touring group like Anastasia Volochkova, of course she may not have the level of talent or connections necessary.

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Aren't we getting a little carried away? Surely in a democracy, a private citizen may be a member of any legal political party or social organisation. If the British government hasn't outlawed the BNP, I think that a ballet dancer is entitled to be a member, however repugnant that may be to the audience. The UK is not a fledgling democracy that needs to protect itself from dissent. It can allow its citizens (or are they still subjects?) to behave as disgustingly as they choose.

I also don't believe that it would be right for the ENB to penalise Ms. Clarke merely for being a member of the BNP. I don't see what right a ballet company has to get involved in its dancers' political activities.

GWTW is right.

It may be a narrow minded and unpleasant party with views we find reprehensible, and it may be inconceivable that a dancer who is partners with a Cuban born chinese man and dances in a company filled with foreign born dancers could hold such views, but it doesn't seem an offense that should result in her being let go.

I would imagine however that it leads to a *really* unpleasant and tense working environment. I'm sure she is pretty hated in her company...

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Okay, I concede she should not necessarily be let go, which I gather would be impossible to do anyway. However I don't feel that her public statements, focusing on her own political rights rather than the understandable offense taken by her colleagues and part of her audience, promote healing and moving on from this incident in any way.

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Okay, I concede she should not necessarily be let go, which I gather would be impossible to do anyway. However I don't feel that her public statements, focusing on her own political rights rather than the understandable offense taken by her colleagues and part of her audience, promote healing and moving on from this incident in any way.

Oh believe me, I agree--I find the whole thing highly distasteful quite honestly.

I just look at what has happened lately in our own country (if you don't agree with everything the president does or don't vote republican you are "letting terrorists win"!) and get a bit squeemish about the idea of firing people for their political views, no matter how repugnant.

NB--I don't mean the above to start a discussion of American politics as it would be inappropriate here and I'm sure there are people on this board with various views and that's as it should be. It was not a condemnation of republicans as a party, but rather certain politicians that have verbetum said (in the last 2 election cycles) what I quoted above. I'm sure there are things dems have said that are similarly unpleasant to other people...I just included it here because it's easy to say "those views are repugnant, she should be fired," but I'm sure there are people here whose (gasp) liberal views are repugnant to what has been a republican monopoly on federal govt (until this week), and I don't think we'd want to be fired for holding those views.

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get a bit squeemish about the idea of firing people for their political views, no matter how repugnant.

If there were people in ENB who expressed pleasure at Al Qaeda's terrorist attacks and support for Bin Laden's organization, I can easily imagine you would find Miss Clarke calling for their resignation or even arrest (I probably would). Since these events happened rather recently, Fascists like herself (and she is an avowed Fascist if she is a member of BNP; now that we've discussed this, I don't believe any of the naivete business as I first did. I think she knew everything that she was getting into from the very beginning, or found out in quick order. Why on earth would anybody believe her? I don't believe a thing she's said) are given a little more leeway than they were in the past, so 'no matter how repugnant' is relative, I'm sure you'll see.

I was interested that a great deal of searching by even the most fanatical balletomanes to find out about her dancing was a somewhat arduous matter. People here who go to the ballet nearly every night had sometimes not heard of her, and only one (who is in the UK, I think) had ever seen her perform. I don't think there's any serious principle behind preserving all sorts of liberal attitudes and policies in regard to her, as she herself is defending her right to be as intolerant as possible by joining a Nazi organization. I don't know how anybody could 'feel for her', and the story is really peevish and stupid. ENB should do whatever they feel like is best for the company. Maybe she brings in a lot of money as a 'lead harlot in Romeo and Juliet' as well as her Giselle, I don't know, but I sincerely doubt it, and definitely not now. It's not that big a deal that she got 'outed' by an undercover person. She's no Valerie Plame as far as I can see, and Robert Novak is still working WAPO. She should have been more careful and not gone around blabbing--after all, isn't the BNP a sacred trust to its members?

ENB should therefore be a sacred trust unto itself. If they think she should be fired, I don't think philosophy has much to do with it, and philosophy will be proved not to have mattered if they go ahead and 'freeze her out'. It just doesn't matter that much beyond what is best for the company.

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papeetepatrick, call me a lawyer (many people do :) ) but I think that there is a clear distinction between an illegal, outlawed, terrorist organization like Al Qaeeda and a legal political party like the BNP. If Clarke is not committing a crime, then I don't think that she should be discriminated against in the workplace.

Again, the hallmark of democracy is tolerance of others, as long as they are not harming others.

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I'm sorry, may I call a halt to the direction this topic is heading, as it beginning to degenerate into silliness.

Please, be assured I find the BNP repugnant and I feel that Ms. Clarke is rather naive and silly but not evil as papeetpatrick is suggesting.

Firstly, the Guardian story was little better than gutter tabloid journalism, mitigated or rather elevated by the broadsheet "quality" nature of the paper. An undercover journalist posed as a member of a right-wing political party and what did he find? Right wing politicals. Hold the front page? What caused the furore is the upper class/professionals he found within the organisation - again Right wing upper classes, I've yet to become hooked but then aha amongst their midst a ballerina! This is better than homosexual, kickboxing, defecting or blind ballerinas all rolled into one - and a media frenzy is born, sort of.

The paper "quoted" Clarke out of context or rather in context of the party - she said "immigration is getting out of hand" a sentiment held by many UK residents, many of whom belong to left wing political parties - and the sad truth is yes, in Britain we are facing a crisis in regards to our lax immigration policies, ballettalk is not a forum for political debate, so I shall leave it there, but Clarke, now a poster girl for the BNP is the repository of fascism, Nazism et al or rather is painted as such. Clarke is also grossly misserved by a quote out of context. In an unrelated interview she stated that the pressure of spending so much time within a company means she rarely socialises with her colleagues "it gets a bit much". A sentiment shared by many dancers in companies throughout the world. The Guardian misrepresented this a a fascist statement against immigrants.

The truth is that dancers are apolitical and not always intellectually well-rounded due to the hermtically sealed and intensive nature of their profession and training. Gelsey Kirkland wrote that when introduced to Henry Kissinger, not knowing who he was, it had to be explained to her that he was the "Baryshnikov of politics", Ulanova was directly linked to extremist politics of Communisim, Nureyev was known for making grossly anti-semetic statements.

And this brings us to Clarke - yes, she should have done her homework, she states she joined after reading the mission statement of the BNP, and it's sad that she has such little understanding of the history of the party or it's leader that she didn't use this awakening political awareness to galvanise herself into greater research about political activism. But, she was duped by a journalist - and it's strange that a board such as this where journalism is taken with more than a pinch of salt most of the time, is now taking a journalist's agenda as being the word of law.

Yes, I think she's greatly confused, but is she a Nazi? No, is she a fascist? No. I have no doubt she would lay down her life for her daughter and partner and it's sad that she didn't recognise the double think needed to make the jump from partner of an immigrant, to BNP member.

For what it's worth the BNP article reports of a man refused BNP membership on the grounds of being married to a Phillipino immigrant. The BNP were obviously all too ready to relax the criteria for Clarke - and as such one could argue that she's being used by them more than she realises.

She had no desire to become a BNP spokesperson and her interview with the Daily Mail was restrained - all I feel is a bit of sorrow that someone can be so misguided.

However, she has every right to belong to her party of choice. And she has every right to earn her living and it's repugnant that we would ask that she be deprived of her living and passion because of her political bent. I won't be booking tickets to see her, but I support 100% her right to dance.

Papeetpatrick, FYI Clarke is a virtuoso performer, perhaps in a great company she would have stayed at First soloist/soloist level, but she can deliver the goods.

I only hope that with her growing political awareness will lead her to research the history and implications of her choice of party and realise there are alternatives.

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I'm going to be slightly moderator-ish here: We're probably not going to solve the issue of Free Speech once and for all here (not this week, at least. And next week, we're due to cure cancer) so I hope the discussion won't head round in circles.

It's still a really interesting issue, and I'm glad it prompted me to read further on the concept - one of the most misunderstood on the Internet. There's a pretty good first overview of the topic on Wikipedia (honest) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_speech that gives a good illumination of the various definitions in each country that account for some of the variations in the discussion. Racism is one of the main topics that is handled inconsistently, excepted from Free Speech in some countries and not in others.

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There is one thing that Ms. Clarke has gained from this: publicity. I didn't have a clue who she was before hearing this story (and I have a feeling many others didn't, either). Now I'm afraid I probably know more about her than I care to know.
Publicity is double-edged. On the one hand is fame, on the other, notoriety. I suspect that except for those of like minds (using the word very liberally), she has gained the latter. She also strikes me as more naive (or just plain stupid) than evil.

I am very happy to see you, OF. :) You've been missed.

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[ADMIN BEANIE ON]

Please do not characterize other posters in your responses. Each of us draws our own conclusions when reading the threads.

[ADMIN BEANIE OFF]

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papeetepatrick, call me a lawyer (many people do :) ) but I think that there is a clear distinction between an illegal, outlawed, terrorist organization like Al Qaeeda and a legal political party like the BNP. If Clarke is not committing a crime, then I don't think that she should be discriminated against in the workplace.

Again, the hallmark of democracy is tolerance of others, as long as they are not harming others.

I was just making the distinction between aurora's phrase 'fired for their political beliefs' and membership in an actual group. I think people defending Al Qaeda would probably not have to be a member of any org. to get in trouble just for expressing their support of them. I know I have no patience with any of them who do (including the rank 9/11 truth conspiracy nuts), but I think it's not necessarily illegal to say things supporting such terrorist groups, but that even without membership in supportive groups, it's likely that legal action might be taken.

I'm sorry, may I call a halt to the direction this topic is heading, as it beginning to degenerate into silliness.

Please, be assured I find the BNP repugnant and I feel that Ms. Clarke is rather naive and silly but not evil as papeetpatrick is suggesting.

I did not suggest 'evil', I suggested 'fully aware', and after the several days since the Daily Mail, she has to be by now even if she wasn't when she joined. If nothing else, the Guardian article and expose educated her on the BNP if she somehow managed to know little about it from being a member. If I suggested she knew what she was doing and no longer think it's naive, that's certainly my prerogative and I stand by it.

And this brings us to Clarke - yes, she should have done her homework, she states she joined after reading the mission statement of the BNP, and it's sad that she has such little understanding of the history of the party or it's leader that she didn't use this awakening political awareness to galvanise herself into greater research about political activism. But, she was duped by a journalist - and it's strange that a board such as this where journalism is taken with more than a pinch of salt most of the time, is now taking a journalist's agenda as being the word of law.

We did no such thing of taking a 'journalist's agenda as the word of law.' Most of us never even read the Guardian article, we just read the Daily Mail that Pamela gave us the link for. In that report, we read some direct quotes by Ms. Clarke and drew our conclusions from that.

Yes, I think she's greatly confused, but is she a Nazi? No, is she a fascist? No.

Technically she is if she is a member of the BNP. Or I thought that members of Fascist parties were Fascists. If they are not due to not knowing that they are members of a Nazi Party, then they can get out of the Fascist Party that they find themselves in when they do know. That's the problem: She doesn't seem to want to get out of the BNP, now knowing what they are (without question she now knows it unless she has so barricaded herself that somehow she still doesn't think they were anything but some party that stood for her immigration ideas).

I have no doubt she would lay down her life for her daughter and partner

I hope so.

For what it's worth the BNP article reports of a man refused BNP membership on the grounds of being married to a Phillipino immigrant. The BNP were obviously all too ready to relax the criteria for Clarke - and as such one could argue that she's being used by them more than she realises.

Yes, they were using her, most likely. But does she at least know this by now? She might, as they are likely pretty rough.

She had no desire to become a BNP spokesperson and her interview with the Daily Mail was restrained - all I feel is a bit of sorrow that someone can be so misguided.

I didn't see anything restrained about it, for which I was glad. You could figure out more since she said a lot more than I would have under the circumstances.

However, she has every right to belong to her party of choice. And she has every right to earn her living and it's repugnant that we would ask that she be deprived of her living and passion because of her political bent.

'We' didn't ask for that, including myself. I said ENB is the only entity that has the rights and powers to weigh what needs to be done. If you read my posts, you would see that I don't care what they do because I think they would be the ones to know.

Papeetpatrick, FYI Clarke is a virtuoso performer, perhaps in a great company she would have stayed at First soloist/soloist level, but she can deliver the goods.

I didn't condemn her as an artist, I said I wasn't interested. I am also not interested in the ballerina in the Universal Ballet whose marriage to the Reverend Moon's dead son's ghost, just because they have sometimes rented the NYState Theater. I also don't read writers I think are unintelligent, or pay attention to composers or instrumental soloists who I don't think are intelligent. I didn't doubt she could dance or she wouldn't be doing Giselle with any company. That's not the same as what I find to be an artist, but that's neither here nor there on this issue.

I still think the Guardian expose was a good thing, because it may keep her from getting deeper into the BNP, and maybe she will be able to get out of it all the way.

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Kate Lennard said:

The BNP were obviously all too ready to relax the criteria for Clarke - and as such one could argue that she's being used by them more than she realises."

This made me wonder, perhaps her exposure was an inside job? What a great gig for publicity for the BNP if so! :)

This is a very interesting thread. As a prof. dancer myself, I know it really is best to be seen and not heard. That sounds old-fashioned, but it's true! Anyone in the public eye is likely to be scrutinized, and I think it will be hard for some audience members to sit back and enjoy Ms. Clarke's dancing after this incident; people will now be biased against her. Talk about career suicide. :( This is where she should have utilized her right to remain silent.

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Papeetpatrick

I think you're getting yourself a little bit worked up over a very naive, stupid woman and what will prove to be a storm in a teacup.

Yes, the BNP is at its core founded on neo Nazism, fascism evil ideals. But I do not believe Clarke to be evil. Misguided, none too bright sure - but evil?

The BNP is gaining a frightening foothold in the British cultural and political landscape precisely because they seem to directly address issues which concern left-wing voters as well as dyed-in-the-wool Conservatives (Republicans).

The Daily Mail article was carried out after she'd been "outed" by the Guardian and I really do advise you to read the Guardian article as without that there would be no media debate. And Clarke was singled out precisely because the arena of ballet and the Cultural perception of the ballerina as a fey, inoffensive political non-entity was too good an opportunity to miss for a journalist seeking extra gravitas or sensation for a rather uninspired article.

Yes, her wages are partly paid for by tax pounds, as are those of MPs, right wing policemen, civil servants should we ask that all workers in all sectors drawing wages from public tax funds and whose political stance we find repugnant be made unemployed? There'll be more jobs created than there are people to fill them.

The problem here is that ballerinas are not expected to hold political opinions, stances that are non-liberal. Fonteyn was a thoroughbred Conservative, who funded fascist South American coups, was best friends with Pinochet, Noriega, the Marcoses and who danced in South Africa at the height of Apartheid, a place no other ballerina would touch with a barge pole and who was totally unapolgetic in her actions.

Nureyev infected countless homosexual partners with HIV despite knowing he was HIV+ and knowing many of his partners did not have access to any form of medical help - there are seven definite cases of HIV infection in Ufa linked directly to Nureyev's visit there in the late 80s.

Ulanova was a fervent supporter of the Communist regime with its quashing of civil rights, liberties, artistic freedom, its eradicating of counter Communist dissidents, imprisonments, concentration and labour camps.

I'm not bringing this up to denigrate these artists, but to enjoy their art one has to divide the artist from their personal life - if one can. That's up to the individual.

But Clarke has done nothing wrong, absolutely nothing. The Daily Mail article at least showed she had the courage to support her convictions, something Fonteyn never did in print - I think it's just terribly sad the silly woman can't see past the fools' gold of the BNP bumpf and truly analyse the the party. But as she said much of the literature went over her head.

The stance of cutting her off from her life because of her political views is fascistic, right-wing and intolerant. We will not tolerate her because she doesn't think as we do.

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This is becoming some sort of political rally, and what I am going to say will be off topic, yet, I strongly feel that something needs clarification.

GWTW wrote: "Again, the hallmark of democracy is tolerance of others" couldnt be more with you there, and

"as long as they are not harming others".

Is not the arsons, molotov cocktails, knifings, shootings harming others? It goes on, you know. In Sweden there is freedom of demonstration as long as you notify the police in advance. You are free to demonstrate against vivisection, violence towards women etc. etc. 30 November is the day of death of King Charles XII, then the neo nazis are out in force. There is always a counter demonstration in another part of town - police try to keep them separate but always fail with ensuing great battles, people get injured, a couple die in the process. OK, it is democratic, but nil tolerance on either side - they would all kill each other if they could.

These scenes are occuring more and more often all over Europe and must somehow be stopped. Sad to say, the Swedish Democratic Party participated in their first election here last September - luckily they didnt have much success - and I would add that those in charge of the party dont look too terrifying, they talk of care of the elderly and infant schools and more money for the hospitals. It is the hangers-on who are the criminal elements, mugging foreigners, torching immigrant hostels etc.

This somehow has got to be nipped in the bud now - just consider the early thirties in Germany. People shrugged their shoulders and said "You always get a few young hooligans". Well, what did that come to!

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Folks, not to play the role of hall monitor, but I do suggest that we all: keep our tone as civil as possible; be careful, as Leigh noted, not to repeat ourselves; and try to avoid any suggestion that our fellow posters have deficient understandings of democracy, free speech, etc. Thanks very much. :)

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Papeetpatrick

I think you're getting yourself a little bit worked up over a very naive, stupid woman and what will prove to be a storm in a teacup.

Yes, the BNP is at its core founded on neo Nazism, fascism evil ideals. But I do not believe Clarke to be evil. Misguided, none too bright sure - but evil?

Not worked up at all, although I admit I'm bored. I was just trying to clarify, and most of my previous post does so. I said the BNP is evil, that's all. Even if I don't think Ms. Clarke herself was all that naive, I doubt she's got the time for serious evil, even if capable of it.

The BNP is gaining a frightening foothold in the British cultural and political landscape precisely because they seem to directly address issues which concern left-wing voters as well as dyed-in-the-wool Conservatives (Republicans).

The Daily Mail article was carried out after she'd been "outed" by the Guardian and I really do advise you to read the Guardian article as without that there would be no media debate. And Clarke was singled out precisely because the arena of ballet and the Cultural perception of the ballerina as a fey, inoffensive political non-entity was too good an opportunity to miss for a journalist seeking extra gravitas or sensation for a rather uninspired article.

That's done by all media all the time. If she were to use it properly, Ms. Clarke may have actually been saved by the Guardian guy, even if he was just being opportunistic.

The problem here is that ballerinas are not expected to hold political opinions, stances that are non-liberal.

Non-liberal is all right. Fascist is different, although your point below about Ms. Fonteyn is good in that regard.

Fonteyn was a thoroughbred Conservative, who funded fascist South American coups, was best friends with Pinochet, Noriega, the Marcoses and who danced in South Africa at the height of Apartheid, a place no other ballerina would touch with a barge pole and who was totally unapolgetic in her actions.

Nureyev infected countless homosexual partners with HIV despite knowing he was HIV+ and knowing many of his partners did not have access to any form of medical help - there are seven definite cases of HIV infection in Ufa linked directly to Nureyev's visit there in the late 80s.

Ulanova was a fervent supporter of the Communist regime with its quashing of civil rights, liberties, artistic freedom, its eradicating of counter Communist dissidents, imprisonments, concentration and labour camps.

I'm not bringing this up to denigrate these artists, but to enjoy their art one has to divide the artist from their personal life - if one can. That's up to the individual.

Yeah, that's true, and I wasn't as aware of the others' leanings at the time they were happening--never knew about Nureyev's infecting of sex partners, which I did need to know. Still, if Clarke wants not to be guilty of the same thing, she can't stay in the BNP unless it's so important to her that it's the most important thing. Also, maybe it will blow over and ENB won't really think it's that terrible.

But Clarke has done nothing wrong, absolutely nothing. The Daily Mail article at least showed she had the courage to support her convictions, something Fonteyn never did in print - I think it's just terribly sad the silly woman can't see past the fools' gold of the BNP bumpf and truly analyse the the party. But as she said much of the literature went over her head.

The stance of cutting her off from her life because of her political views is fascistic, right-wing and intolerant. We will not tolerate her because she doesn't think as we do.

Not because of the mere 'political views' themselves. But she needs to try to get out of the BNP, I would think, because things do not follow by the most desirable and noble logic. For example, Nureyev and Fonteyn are not more excusable for what they did, and maybe are even more culpable, but their higher profile did probably make it possible for their actions not to be questioned. I still think the Guardian article is something that could work to benefit a ballerina. In fact, it has to have done already. She knows what the risks are, if nothing else. I'm not that much of a moralizer. If she thinks the risk is worth it, then she will figure out what the stakes are. She might decide she cares more about her last few really good years of ballet.

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The Daily Mail article at least showed she had the courage to support her convictions, something Fonteyn never did in print - I think it's just terribly sad the silly woman can't see past the fools' gold of the BNP bumpf and truly analyse the the party. But as she said much of the literature went over her head.
The irony is that Clarke actually joined the BNP because her partner said, to paraphrase, "put your money where your mouth is if you're so convinced of your stance."

A number of BTers have expressed confusion over how she could have a Cuban-born partner of Chinese descent and still be against immigration, still loved by that partner, and how her foreign-born co-workers would be able to stand her. She actually said that she is not against all immigration -- she said that those who worked were fine because they could be tracked by the government by tax and bank records, etc. -- but that she was against mass immigration. And I suspect many of her co-workers would not exactly embrace a free-market situation where all beautifully trained dancers would be eligible for the rare work visas that they hold.

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I'm not bringing this up to denigrate these artists, but to enjoy their art one has to divide the artist from their personal life - if one can. That's up to the individual.

Precisely. Otherwise how could we enjoy listening to Richard Wagner?

My husband, who is Jewish, loves Wagner's music & attends every Wagner opera with the exception of Die Meistersinger. He feels Wagner used Meistersinger as a platform for his anti-Semitism.

If Ms Clark were dancing the BNP manifesto, I would certainly stay away. But she's dancing Giselle and should be judged only on how well she dances it .. or not. The rest is a separate kettle of (rotten) fish.

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Precisely. Otherwise how could we enjoy listening to Richard Wagner?

My husband, who is Jewish, loves Wagner's music & attends every Wagner opera with the exception of Die Meistersinger. He feels Wagner used Meistersinger as a platform for his anti-Semitism.

Curious, though, since all the others would have followed from the platform, there's plenty of anti-semitism in the other Wagner even if not so overt-- 'Die Meistersinger' is my favourite of all operas!

If Ms Clark were dancing the BNP manifesto, I would certainly stay away. But she's dancing Giselle and should be judged only on how well she dances it .. or not. The rest is a separate kettle of (rotten) fish.

I guess the nicest thing for me to say is that I would not want to see Ms. Clarke's 'Giselle', because I feel about it the way your husband does about 'Die Meistersinger...' The parallel is both imperfect and perfect.

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A number of BTers have expressed confusion over how she could have a Cuban-born partner of Chinese descent and still be against immigration, still loved by that partner, and how her foreign-born co-workers would be able to stand her. She actually said that she is not against all immigration -- she said that those who worked were fine because they could be tracked by the government by tax and bank records, etc. -- but that she was against mass immigration. And I suspect many of her co-workers would not exactly embrace a free-market situation where all beautifully trained dancers would be eligible for the rare work visas that they hold.

Yet she decided to join a far-right wing party with a blatantly racist stance and history. Couldn't she have chosen a more moderate party?

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