250 Words #3 - Manic Street Preachers - If You Tolerate This, Then Your Children Will Be Next
Though the last few albums have been bland affairs, they are still capable of suddenly surprising the listener with something that is at once relevant and heartbreaking. "If you tolerate this..." is one such song. Take the lyric "And if I can shoot rabbits, then I can shoot fascists." Why would you shoot rabbits? You would if you were working class and lived through the depression. You would have to eat. Fascists? Spanish Civil War, in which thousands of ordinary people from all over Europe enlisted with the communists and the anarchists against to fight against General Franco's fascist coup.
And the manics have written a song about it. The betrayal of those willing to lay down their lives for a state in which full and total equality was the norm is something most bands would shy from. The manics have looked to their welsh working class roots for this song, and the betrayal of the miners in the 1980's hangs over the song like a shadow. The parallels are there for those that wish to seek them. Whatever you make of the politics, and this is a political song, there is a deep sense of sadness it evokes. It's just a crying shame that they don't do more like this.
“If you tolerate this, your children will be next” can be found on “This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours” (Cat No: 4917036/Epic) or on the best-of compilation “Forever Delayed” (Cat No: 5095512/Epic). It was released as a single in August 1998 and reached No 1 in the single charts.