Joe Corré, son of Sex Pistols manager Michael McLaren and designer Vivienne Westwood, burned an estimated £5 million ($6.24 million) worth of punk memorabilia in protest against “the great punk rock swindle.”
“Punk has become another marketing tool to sell you something you don’t need. The illusion of an alternative choice. Conformity in another uniform,” said Corré, before setting fire to effigies of British Prime Minister Theresa May, her predecessor David Cameron, and former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne dressed in punk memorabilia at Cadogan Pier in London.
Corré has spoken out against plans to mark the 40th anniversary of the release of the Sex Pistols debut single ‘Anarchy in the UK’ with events across London as part of ‘Punk London.’ Supported by the mayor of London, the events include an exhibition in the Museum of London and a talk on the movement at Twitter UK.
Corré, the founder of lingerie retailer Agent Provocateur, attacked the events in a blog post, asking what exactly was being celebrated. “The establishment of a new humane and humanitarian society with no world order, the challenge against authority, or the fact that it was ground into the dirt,” he asked.
The items burned included bondage trousers made famous by the 1970s punk music scene, an item which are now made by Louis Vuitton, Corré said, highlighting the alleged hypocrisy of the counterculture movement.
Earlier this week, he said at a press conference that “Punk has been castrated and neutered by the corporate sector and the state.”
“Young people today, angry youth, need real solutions not the now conformist, sanitised and sterilised uniform of punk. It has no currency any more. Punk has lost all of its bite,” he added.