And, you know, I don't really give a toss if the cause is wrong or right. My political neck means more to me than the lives of a thousand men.
Recorded on 27th/28th April 83 at Southern. Personnel as usual. Thanks to Timothy Eggar MP for his assistance and the Conservative Party for their donations.
Sheep Farming... opens with a brief extract of Tory MP Tim Eggars on Dickie Arbiter's LBC radio programme in 1982. Pete Wright and Andy Palmer appeared on the broadcast with Eggars to discuss their previous anti-Falklands war single How Does It Feel? In October 1982 Eggars had asked the Attorney General to prosectute the band under the Obscene Publications Act, saying "this is the most vicious, scurrilous and obscene record that has ever been produced. It goes beyond the acceptable bounds of freedom of speech."
The full segment, from which the opening was edited, can be heard below.
Yes, this is Thatcher's Britain, so let's increase the strength of the police, let's expand the military, let's all arm for peace, let's suppress the opposition, let's keep the people dow, let's resurrect past histories for the glory of the crown......
The single was first released as a single-sided transparent flexi disc, reissued later on vinyl with the CRASS symbol in union jack colours on the cover and fold-out lyric / art insert.
"Who is this enemy?" "The enemy is the self, for it is the self that harbours the enemy."
"What is this history?" "History is the self, for it is the self that harbours history."
History is a continuous, methodical rationalisation for the misuse and abuse of power, the purpose of which is to create out of the natural chaos of life an illusion of order. It is a resurrection of that which would be better left dead, yet people are prepared to die to keep it alive. History creates and reinforces base nationalistic concepts of friend and foe and in so doing produces the enemy required by those who seek to justify war. History is the logic that gives war it's credibility. Armed with this logic we are expected to hate and possibly kill in the service of, and for the benefit of, the self-perpetuating oppressors who not only write the history books, but ensure for themselves leading roles in the great theatre that they represent.
WAR IS THE FICTION THAT THEY CREATE AND THAT WE ALLOW TO BECOME FACT.
Sheep Farming... sold thousands and was at no. 1 in the indie charts for several weeks.
We thought we were an information bureau in a way because we wrote songs about anarchism and pacifism, which introduced people to these ideas for the first time. I'm not saying technology is a bad thing, but you can Google all that information now. If that technology hadn't existed back then, would there have been a band like Crass? I don't think there would.Steve Ignorant interview, The Independent, 2012