Flash mob mania

Flash Mob Participants. Photo by Dana Kubick
Participants giving a voice to Britain’s Badgers – at the Lush Flash Mob event.

Photo: Dana Kubick

I think a quick clarification is needed of the Lush Anti-Badger Cull Flash Mob confusion, since it seems to have found its way into most of the newspapers in one way or another.

There was never any intention or need for me to be present at the flash mob event. As some of you may have noticed, I don’t dance, with or without a mob! And this was not a march, or a demo as such – simply an artistic statement of a point of view by a small troupe of performers. I was busy, working to deadlines on projects, which will be revealed soon, and my contribution was:

1) to supply the dancers with a rough mix MP3 of our new version of Weebl’s Badger Badger Badger song, which we now call “Save the Badger Badger Badger”. The Lush team were originally going to dance to the original version of this Internet sensation, by Weebl himself, but this was an opportunity for them to do something new and more relevant.

2) to wish them luck – on Twitter, and privately.

Unfortunately on the day before the event, somebody at Lush apparently came up with an incorrect draft press release saying “Brian May will be present with the flash-mob as they dance and call for the badger cull to be replaced by badger vaccination.” I saw it some time that afternoon, and immediately sent a message saying, “That’s not correct – we need to rewrite this”. It was agreed that the draft would not go out, and would be replaced by a new version, which I sat down and wrote with Anne Brummer, and sent back in a corrected form.

Unfortunately, while I got back to work in the studio, thinking the matter had been dealt with, somebody in the Lush office leaked the incorrect press release to the media.

To cut a long story short, by the time it got into print, that innocuous little sentence had got translated into “Brian May to lead Flash Dance, wearing a badger suit”!

The new statement was later published, which confirmed that I wasn’t in fact booked to be at the Flash Mob. But by that time, reporters were turning up at Smith Square expecting to see a furry Brian May. When no such thing happened, they were understandably disappointed.

Thus there have been a few mistaken reports like “Brian May backs out of anti Badger Cull event”, or even, I am told, “Brian May abandoning the anti-cull campaign”. Well, I’m happy to report that none of this is even slightly true. Happy, but also frustrated that false information was given. If I do commit to being somewhere in public, I am THERE, as anyone will tell you – no question. Everybody in the media knows that’s the way I work – professionally.

Well, Lush have kindly apologised to me, but I think an apology to the media would also be helpful. It’s not the papers’ fault they were wrongly informed. None of us is perfect, and mistakes do happen; but the thing to do is hold up a hand and say “Sorry – we made a mistake” and then we all move on.

Having said all this, it’s important to acknowledge the fine work that Lush do. The event was actually very well created by Lush, whose staff put in a massive amount of work to make it happen. It was a big success, and highlights the huge number of spontaneous outbursts that are appearing in the UK – indicating that more and more people DO understand the fact that this cull won’t work, and will cause incalculable cruelty in our countryside. Onwards! And by the way … am I giving up on the Badgers?!! No, folks, never fear. My colours are nailed to the mast. Some things ARE black and white.



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