I rang the manager of The Clash , a political punk rock group, because there had been a suggestion from the BBC Television Community Programme Unit that I have a four-minute discussion with the group. I have grave doubts about a Cabinet Minister appearing with a punk rock group, given what the media would make it, and he agreed with me that four minutes was not enough for a serious discussion. But what he said was interesting. The Clash are apparently very popular with working-class youngsters who don't find anything in our popular culture that meets their needs or reflects their feelings. He told me the group were not really concerned with being commercial and refused a lot of television because it put them into an artificial setting when they were really a live group. They were popular in Sweden, France and Yugoslavia. He said that to get any attention at all you had to be absolutely bizarre, but to understand what The Clash were trying to say you had to work really hard because the lyrics were in pidgin French."
Tony Benn, Conflict of Interest: Diaries 1977-80, p.268